SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The pandemic has impacted not only our physical health, but also our mental health.

“We are suffering, grieving the loss of loved ones, fear of the unknown,” says licensed therapist Kesha Simmons, The Family Connection Center at Clint Davis Counseling.

Simmons says long-term stress causes a chemical imbalance in our bodies. There are certain signs that chronic stress has taken its toll.

“Some examples of it would be aggressive behavior, lack of sleep or too much sleep. It will exacerbate any pre-existing conditions.” shared Simmons. “If you already suffer from anxiety or depression, you may start to see it increase.”

Simmons says exercise and a healthy diet are key to coping. She also recommends scheduling time for play.

“Make an effort to do something fun that you enjoy that’s also safe.”

And she says don’t feel like you have to tackle the problem on your own.

“Tap into your support system and get it out. Most importantly don’t internalize all of this.”