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WATCH: 3 Tips for Facing Stress and Anxiety From Philly’s Leading Psychologists

If you’re suffering from anxiety, depression or another mental illness right now, you’re not alone. Nearly one in five U.S. adults is right there with you, or about 51.9 million people, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This May marks Mental Health Month, so there’s no better time to “Know Your Mind” and seek the help you need and deserve. 

Spend a few minutes reading up on some tips from local Philly psychologists. Then take advantage of some of the many mental health resources in the area listed below.  

Practice self-care.

This trendy phrase may appear all over social media these days, but it’s rooted in truth. “Self-care is simply the practice of taking an active role in protecting your wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress,” says Monica T. Campbell, Ph.D.

That can look like getting a little more exercise, sticking to a healthy sleep schedule and learning to say “no” to additional responsibilities when you’re at your max. It can also include things like seeking therapy. 

“Sometimes people think therapy has to be about deep-rooted childhood issues,” Campbell says. “It’s time to look into therapy when you’re having trouble functioning or are experiencing lasting distress. Telehealth is making the logistics around therapy easier.”  

Reevaluate your worries.

“Racing ahead and making negative or threat-oriented predictions about the future come from our ancient survival system doing what it thinks it needs to do to protect us,” explains Tamar Chansky, Ph.D. “With an anxiety disorder, that system goes into overdrive. The solution becomes the problem. Because when we’re in worry mode, more things seem more scary and unmanageable.”

To keep those feelings in check, take five minutes to write down your worries. Fact-check them and figure out if there’s anything you can do right now. “Very often, your worry about a problem is worse than the problem itself,” Chanksy says. 

Seek help if you need it.

“If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, you may think that you just have to live with it or ‘tough it out,'” says Ryan Connolly, MD, Medical Director, Behavioral Health, Independence Blue Cross. “Seeking help for mental health concerns is simply part of taking good care of your overall health.” 

Talk to your primary care provider about how you’re feeling. They can evaluate your symptoms, help treat them and refer you to additional care, if you need it. Keep in mind there are also a wealth of emergency resources standing by wherever you may need them: 

Find additional resources at mindphltogether.com and learn more about how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.