A little over a month ago, our lives were so different. While we had an idea of how the Covid-19 virus was affecting other countries, we had no idea that America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world would be turned upside down. People began preparing for the worst by stocking up on food and other necessities but for most of us it didn’t quite sink in until businesses started to shut down, schools closed and people lost their jobs. Many of us even know friends or family who have even caught the virus or have sadly succumbed to it.
For those who struggle with mental health like myself, I’m sure this pandemic has definitely affected you in various ways. For the first week, I faced this head on and thought I’d use it to better myself; I was eating healthy, working out every day and being very productive with work. By week two I felt stuck, as I began dealing with the worry of a close family member who was fighting the virus, worrying about my mom in the nursing home, and struggling to manage my work and home life. Once week three approached I already had two anxiety attacks and fell into a deep depressive episode. I was trying to limit my news intake but wanted to stay informed. While watching the news one evening and hearing how the death toll was rising, I didn’t even realize that my breathing became rapid, my heart was racing and I was crying uncontrollably.
Thankfully my ten year old was able to help me through my grounding techniques and was able to help me calm down and get through that attack. This was the very first time my kids had seen this and it terrified me! I called my therapist and immediately had a session. We prayed together and she was able to give me some new techniques that have been helping to get me through this pandemic. Whether you’ve had previous mental health struggles or not, I’m sure everyone’s experiencing some level of anxiety as we truly don’t know what’s to come, but all we can do is remain hopeful and continue to stay grounded.
Here’s some tips that may be helpful to you:
- First and foremost, whether you struggle with anxiety or not, understand that this pandemic is a situation we can not control, but focus on the things you are able to control.
- It’s okay to be upset, but be encouraged and remain hopeful. (everyday I jot down what I’m grateful for, as I know there’s so many people in our country who are struggling in other ways)
- Use this time to stay connected and show love to family and friends; (I’ve been teaching my kids to cook, working out and playing with them, and I’ve even become their teacher, lol. I’ve also been conducting virtual hangouts with my friends, which have been so fun)
- Journal your thoughts (whether you’re happy, sad, or upset, it’s important to process them. Twice a day I crack open my journal, jotting down the emotions that I’ve experienced throughout the day and what antecedents led to them.)
- Be gentle and compassionate with yourself- it’s okay to not be okay!
- Finally, use this time to crush those goals you’ve always had; write that book, start that podcast, work on that business plan or get that online business up and running!
Renee_theblogger_: When the dust settles and this pandemic is over, things shouldn’t go back to normal. In fact, they should be better! If you’re still doing the same things, haven’t become more self-reflective, and haven’t worked on some goals then perhaps you have not used this time wisely. Be still, but move!