Are you or someone you know having a hard time falling asleep or have been having fragmented sleep? This could be a sign of heightened anxiety. Amid the Covid-19 crisis, people have been reporting having higher anxiety and depression levels, and have been having a lot of issues with getting a proper shut-eye.
According to a recent report by Market Watch, use of anti-anxiety medications have spiked by 34% since the pandemic while use of anti-insomnia aids increased by 14.8%. In addition, antidepressant use also increased by 18.6%.
In an article published by Health, Alcibiades Rodriguez, medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at NYU Langone Health, says, “The COVID-19 situation is unprecedented in our lifetime—it affects everybody, all the time. The news is pretty almost entirely related to this, and usually focusing mostly on the negative. Anxiety levels are high, which may lead to fragmented sleep, unusual sleep schedules, etc.”
Both experts and people who have been dealing with anxiety even before the pandemic agree that one of the most helpful ways of addressing stress over the coronavirus crisis—therapy or other forms of professional help aside—is by listening to podcasts that offer a bit of wisdom and a sense of empathy.
A Mindful Moment
In this podcast, CEO, author, transformation and leadership coach, certified mindfulness meditation facilitator, EFT practitioner, and holder of a master’s degree in Leadership Coaching Psychology, Teresa Mckee shares ways to relax and become more mindful to improve your health, relationships, career, and finances. She has recently started releasing episodes that deal with the pandemic and the struggles it causes. McKee aims to help people lead more purposeful lives with her A Mindful Moment podcasts, but also knows how busy people can get so she keeps her episodes relatively short at about 20 minutes each.
Untangle is a podcast by the same people who developed the Meditation Studio app. It features real stories of people whose lives were changed by mindfulness and other contemplative practices. It teaches listeners ways to slow down and reduce stress levels and covers an array of topics including self-compassion practices. You can listen to it on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Podcast, and Stitcher.
Your Anxiety Toolkit
Licensed marriage and family therapist, Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT, hosts Your Anxiety Toolkit. Using her expertise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and depression with the use of mindfulness, she provides great insights as to how the mind works and provides listeners with helpful tools to manage stress, anxiety, and other emotions that weigh people down. Recently, she’s been tackling a lot of issues that are related to the pandemic in the name of helping people cope.
Therapy for Black Girls
Clinical psychologist, Joy Harden Bradford, hosts the celebrated podcast Therapy for Black Girls, which is dedicated to helping African-American women achieve better mental health. From managing loneliness and anxiety about the coronavirus to journaling for self-reflection, healing after an abortion, and understanding procrastination, she covers all bases. It’s important to note that Therapy for Black Girls is more than just a podcast. It’s a community, a resource of mental health information, and a platform that connects people with therapists that are the right fit for them.
The Hilarious World of Depression
In its website, The Hilarious World of Depression says that it “is not medical treatment and should not be seen as a substitute for therapy or medication. But it is a chance to gain some insight, have a few laughs, and realize that people with depression are not alone and that together, we can all feel a bit better.” Hosted by humorist and radio host, John Moe, this rather clever podcast destigmatizes depression and presents the topic in new light. In each episode, John interviews a comedian who has gone through depression. Even therapists recommend it! And just in case you’re wondering, yes, you can expect a lot of profound lessons and good laughs. It’s available on Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.