12 Ways to Be There for Someone With Anxiety Right Now

Matt Christensen

Anxiety is everywhere right now. Honestly, if you know a person who isn’t a little anxious during this trying and uncertain time of Covid-19 quarantine, splash water on them to see if their circuit board fries and shorts out. But it effects everyone in different ways. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, on a good day, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from diagnosed anxiety. But now that we’ve got a previously unimagined combination of health, economic, and general stress, even the coolest of cool heads may be prone to bouts of anxiety or anxious thinking.

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That’s okay. And normal. And expected. According to the CDC, stress triggered specifically by a virus outbreak can lead to everything from fear and worry about one’s health and the health of their loved ones, to increased use of substances, to difficulty sleeping and eating. None of these behaviors are ideal but, during a time like this, all of them are increasingly normal. So, even if you’re not succumbing to them yourself, you likely know someone with anxiety. And you want to help.

But how do you best help someone with anxiety? It can be a tricky experience to navigate. You don’t want to invalidate their fears, but you also don’t want to exacerbate them. It’s about finding a middle ground. That’s why we asked a broad range of experts for some of their most actionable, and most effective tips for helping a friend with anxiety navigate our current state of affairs. Even if this person is across the state, the country, or the world, these tips can help. Here’s what to do.

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