Reducing Anxiety in Times of Crisis

Recognizing and reducing anxiety in times of crisis

You may be worried about the news of the recent tragedy in or around your community. Things like this can cause stress and anxiety. But it is common to be concerned. First, be sure you get your news from trusted sources. This will help you really know if you are at risk. And it will help you find out what the community is doing to protect you.

What are common reactions?

News like this can cause many reactions. They may be physical or emotional. You may feel angry or confused. You could feel sad or even guilty. Sometimes those feelings don’t go away after a few weeks. Or they seem to get worse. That is when it may be time to seek help. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Feeling tense and nervous
  • Being tired all the time
  • Problems sleeping
  • Crying all the time
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Too much alcohol and/or drug use
  • Trouble concentrating 

What should you do? 

There are simple steps you can take. Take time to understand what you are feeling. Think about why. Recognize how your family and friends are feeling. And find out if they may feel the same way. Get some advice. Talk to someone trained to recognize the signs of anxiety.

Speaking to children

Pay special attention to children’s needs. Speak with them calmly about their fears. Children receive information best in “small bites.” These “small bites” should be truthful. Let them know that there are adults who will protect them if they feel afraid. Or tell them they can ask if they have questions.

When to seek professional help 

You should get help from a trained professional right away if you or a loved one has any of these problems:

  • Can’t return to a normal routine
  • Feel helpless
  • Have thoughts of hurting one’s self or others
  • Use alcohol and/or drugs to excess 


This document is for your information only. It is not meant to give medical advice. It should not be used to replace a visit with a provider. Magellan Health does not endorse other resources that may be mentioned here.