Crest Ink - Volume 32 - Number 02 & 03

Coping with Panic Attacks by Ashley Koza, LCSW, EAP Counselor, Sinnissippi Centers

Panic Attacks can occur without warning at any time. People who experience panic attacks may feel that they are having a heart attack, dying or “going crazy”. Some symptoms of panic attacks are: • Racing Heart • Feeling sweaty or having chills • Feeling weak, faint or dizzy • Chest pains • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers • Breathing difficulties • Sense of terror or impending doom or death • Feeling a loss of control Panic attacks generally last less than ten minutes in duration, however having panic attacks increases chances of future panic attacks and can lead to a panic disorder. Treatment for panic attacks can be therapy and speaking with your doctor. If you are struggling with panic attacks here are some coping skills to manage the symptoms. • Deep breathing o Breathe in for a count of four, hold for one second then breath out for a count of four • Recognize you’re having a panic attack o Remind yourself that this is temporary and it will pass. You are OK. • Close your eyes • Practice Mindfulness o Focus on physical sensations; what you can see, taste, feel, smell and hear • Focus on an object • Try muscle relaxation techniques o Consciously relax one muscle at a time starting with something simple like fingers in your hand and move your way up through your body

• Picture a happy place • Engage in light exercise

Practicing these skills on a daily basis will help you remember them when having a panic attack. If symptoms con tinue please seek professional help whether through a mental health counselor or talking with you doctor.

Our 2020 March Charity Madness competition took an unexpected turn this year with the NCAA’s decision to cancel the March Madness basketball tournament, a direct result of the evolving COVID-19 public health threat. Sixty four Crest Foods customer teams had already been recruited and assigned a slot on the Charity Madness bracket, which left us with an impor- tant decision to make. With no games to follow, do we cancel our parallel charity competition? At the end of the day, we decided that the Crest culture and spirit of giving must go on! Tradi- tionally, donations are made to the charity of choice for each of the final four customer teams. This year, we will take that money and donate it to an organization coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. While the big prizes changed this year, our continued support of participant-selected public school projects did not. Every member of a customer team received an email with a gift code, allowing them to make a $10 donation to a help fund a public school project of their choice. Our customers have contributed toward a wide variety of projects, including indoor playground equipment for transitional kindergarten students, audio recording phones for second graders and graphing calculators for high school honors students from low income households.

April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 Crest Ink 19

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