EDMONTON -- The combination of COVID-19 and the recent Nova Scotia mass shootings has raised anxiety and anger levels in homes across the country, according to one Alberta psychologist. 

“When hard things happen we get scared, we get irritable,” Dr. Jody Carrington told CTV Morning Live Edmonton.

And in times like these, Carrington says it’s okay to get mad with the world around us.

The burden of dealing with it all can be heavy for families.

“If the big people are mad, the little people are going to be mad. If the big people are going to be upset, so are the little people,” Carrington said.

Carrington likes to tell her online followers that mad is sad’s bodyguard.

“It is easy to cause pain then it is to feel pain,” said Carrington.

A simple piece of advice from Dr. Carrington is just to breathe. She said it’s critically important.

“Everybody’s shoulders are up right now because there are so many things happening that we’re not even conscious of,” Carrington said.

“And when we drop it, that’s where grace lives.”