• Rhonda Armbrust

Facing Anxiety

By Rhonda Armbrust


When the COVID pandemic spread across the globe, and with all the unknowns around it, I went into hibernation to be safe. I had never been an unwitting participant in a pandemic before and didn’t know what to expect. For a while, I meditated more, read more, and enjoyed the alone time with my hobbies. I thought I was doing fine.

But then, a few months into this, I realized I was experiencing increased anxiety. Was my brain aging? Should I take some supplements? No. I just needed to live in a more rational world like the one I used to live in a few months ago that I had taken for granted.

Now, I was overcome by new complexities and questions such as will I die if I go out to dinner with friends? Do I need to wear a mask everywhere I go, travel the correct direction down the aisles in the grocery store, and will those things keep me safe? How many times a day and for how many seconds do I need to wash my hands?

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety and depression increased by 25% worldwide during the pandemic. So, I was not alone in my experience.

WHO Mental Health During COVID

The stress factor WHO identified as the main perpetrator of this increase was social isolation. Other contributing factors were financial worries and fears of infection.

It is important to manage your mental health, whether it is the pandemic that triggers your anxiety, or something else. The first step in facing anxiety is admitting you have a problem you aren’t addressing.

You can use the Burn's Anxiety Inventory to shine a light on your symptoms and anxiety level. Add up the numbers by your answers to determine your degree of anxiety. Use this as a guide to track your progress away from stress and unease.

Total Score

Degree of Anxiety


Minimal or no anxiety


Borderline anxiety


Mild anxiety


Moderate anxiety


Severe anxiety