Loving someone who is living with anxiety can be a challenge. If you are experienced in coping with anxiety, things can be a bit easier as you navigate caring for them. But, what if you have never experienced anxiety? How can you support a loved one living with anxiety?
Recognizing symptoms of anxiety, exploring coping skills together, and offering social support are among the ideas you can consider when offering your partner or close friend help as they cope with anxiety. Let’s start with some anxiety symptoms to look out for.
Symptoms of Anxiety can look a bit different from person to person. Some common ones to watch out for include nervousness, increased worry, report of being overwhelmed, or maybe an inability to concentrate on given tasks. Physical anxiety symptoms can also take place. These can include an upset stomach, racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, or even a headache. Ask your loved one how they experience anxiety so you’re better aware of what to observe in them.
Exploring Coping Skills
Let’s move on to coping skills. These are the tools someone might turn to when working to cope with anxiety symptoms. Some ideas include challenging anxious thoughts, engaging in reality testing, using mindfulness, or even meditation, as a way or processing what the individual has on their mind. Physical coping skills might include yoga, taking a walk, going for a run, cooking, reading, or any other activity that helps the individual get a break from the anxiety.
Finally, take the time to offer social support. This can mean a quick Zoom call, a text to check in with your loved one, or offering to hangout with them when they feel they need the company. Any of these ideas are great and can change from person to person. Meet them where they are emotionally and give them the space they need.
What are ways you want to try supporting a loved one when they experience anxiety symptoms? Need help with some of those ideas? Contact me today – let’s work together.