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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Recognizing and Managing Anxiety

Overview

Anxiety is a normal part of life that keeps us safe and alerts us to danger. Having some anxiety is normal, but too much anxiety can be bad, especially when it becomes overwhelming or interferes with day-to-day living. These information sheets provide suggestions and tips to help people recognize and manage anxiety.

Everyone experiences anxiety in their lives. However, when it happens everyday or gets in the way of daily life, it can be an issue. This resource is designed to help individuals recognize symptoms of anxiety.

 

Thoughts/Emotions

Feelings of dread, trouble concentrating, excessive fears, feeling irritable, looking for signs of danger, feeling like your mind has gone blank.

Brain

Dizziness, fatigue, difficulty falling asleep

Muscles

Muscle tension and twitching

Heart/Lungs

Rapid heartbeat, rapid/shallow breathing, trouble breathing

Stomach

Upset stomach, nausea

Hands

Sweating, shaking, wringing hands

Anxiety is normal. It helps keep us safe and lets us know if there’s danger. Having some anxiety is okay, but too much can be bad. This sheet provides some tips to help people manage anxiety.

Change How You Think

  • Learning how to solve problems can help you feel more confident and less anxious.
  • Learn that you can’t control everything, and that’s okay.
  • Try to stay positive.
  • Learn that everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay too.

Avoid Stress

  • It’s okay to say “no” to people, especially if you need a break.
  • Know when and how to ask for help.
  • Learn your limits and what situations are stressful to you.

Take Deep Breaths

  • Taking long, slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth can help you relax if you’re feeling anxious.

Get Some Sleep

  • Getting plenty of sleep helps your body rest and handle stress better.

Take a Break

  • Do something relaxing that you enjoy.
  • Practice meditation.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • Watch funny movies, TV, or videos.
  • Read.
  • Paint, draw or doodle.
  • Play games.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.

Learn What Makes You Anxious

  • Write down when you feel anxious.
  • Pay attention to where you are, what you are doing and who is with you.
  • This can help show who or what makes you anxious.

Eat Well

  • Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps your body work better and handle stress and anxiety more easily.
  • Reduce how much caffeine and sugar you eat.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

Be Active

  • Exercise can help you relax.
  • Spend time outdoors.

Talk it Out

  • Surround yourself with supportive friends and family.
  • Express your feelings and talk when things bother you.

Get help from a physician or therapist if your anxiety doesn’t get better. 

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Other downloads

Name Description Type File
Recognizing and Managing Anxiety Recognizing Anxiety pdf Download file: Recognizing and Managing Anxiety
Recognizing and Managing Anxiety Managing Anxiety pdf Download file: Recognizing and Managing Anxiety

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.