It’s hard to not be anxious right now. But long term stress can wear down on your mental health. Read on to get some tips on how to take care of yourself during this time.
There is so much uncertainty that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has uprooted our lives and feelings of panic or anxiety are understandable. Know that your feelings are valid, and it’s okay to feel them.
How you are feeling is completely normal
It is important to acknowledge that people around the world are feeling a mix of many different emotions right now, but one most notably (or one that has been talked about on PatientsLikeMe) is grief. Grief over the loss of daily routines, a new sense of uncertainty, and a loss of security or their perception of being safe. This pandemic has created a “forced depression” - it has not only disrupted daily social outings, but also annual plans such as vacations, graduations and family visits, all of which typically give people hope and relieve stress. And for someone who is dealing with a mental health condition, these uncertain times can be even more challenging to deal with.
Mental Health professionals have provided advice for how to handle your anxiety amidst this chaos
• Connection can lessen anxiety! Find new ways to connect with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Free video chat technology, such as Zoom or Facetime, can be useful tools to connect while also social distancing. Schedule regular check in times with your friends and family to connect, eat virtual dinners together, or watch a movie at the same time.
• Keep your new daily routine consistent. There will be adjustments; however, keep the small things the same – shower, get dressed, eat your meals, or go for a walk during the same time of day you normally would.
• Focus on what you can control. Refocus your energy on making the most of this unexpected time – read more, get some fresh air, or pick up a new hobby if you can.
• Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to accept the unknown, and the uncomfortable feelings that accompany that.
• Cut back on your media exposure. Set limits on how much news you consume and where you’re getting your information. Look to reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for information.
Focus on things you can do
You have the power over your self-care and health practices. This includes getting rest, eating as healthy as you can, staying hydrated, moving your body as much as you can, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.
Share with the community
This is a time for communities, even if they are physically apart, to find common purpose.
How are you taking care of your mental health during this time of uncertainty? Join our community and share what is working for you!