The ebb and flow of anxiety

I can’t remember the exact date, but I remember the feeling I got when I started to venture out the first few times after being at home for so long during the pandemic.

I remember feeling anxiety, just by getting in the car and driving. I felt claustrophobic in my own car. I remember looking at the fields and the trees, and feeling overcome with emotion by how much things had grown since I’d been out driving last.

With time, my anxieties faded. This month, I started a hybrid work schedule, working a couple of days in the office each week. I was thankful to get vaccinated and feel comfortable going more places. But I realize everyone has a different timeline and different experiences. For me, “flipping the switch” and parting ways with habits formed during the pandemic wasn’t easy.


Oriole (Photo by Darcy Gray)

The pandemic has heightened awareness around mental health, and I’m glad the Wichita Journalism Collaborative is focusing on this topic. They recently compiled a helpful list of affordable counseling and mental health options in Wichita.

Throughout the pandemic and all of the changing rules and guidelines, one constant for me has been spending time outdoors. I recently spent 30 minutes alone in my backyard just photographing wildlife – something I’d never tried before – and that did wonders for my soul. I’ve really missed seeing friends at WPC, and as the WPC board considers returning to in-person monthly programs in July, we want to hear from you. We invite you to take our survey to share your thoughts.

– Darcy Gray, WPC president

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