We have all been impacted by the rapid transmission of the Corona virus and the diagnosis of Covid 19 in so many. Everything has changed. Right now, I am keeping as well as I can and have elected to socially isolate. As many of you know I have a number of underlying conditions, many of which are listed as risk factors. Quite frankly, it is scary stuff.
Mental HealthOver the past few weeks, my physical health hasn’t changed much. I am still asthmatic, and using all my inhalers and medication. My other conditions including diabetes and arthritis as well managed. What has really surprised me is the effect that this has had on my mental health. My anxiety has flared up! I haven’t had a panic attack (before this) for 12 months. I feel like I am in really good form – and yet bubbling away in my subconscious is severe anxiety. I use the word bubbling because that is what it feels like. Always there and totally unsettling. I also find myself getting down – and it is a good few years since I ‘beat’ depression. I feel quite vulnerable writing this, but my instinct is that if I am feeling this way many other people are too. I think it is the unknown. Nobody knows what tomorrow will look like.
So, what am I doing?I am reminding myself that there is no point in worrying about something that I have no control over. This is really hard, as this anxiety has burst from my subconscious. Anxiety is a very real health issue and should not be disregarded. While I haven’t ruled out asking for medical help, I am trying to focus on what I can do at home. What I can do to help myself without adding to the burden that the health care system is under.
- I am limiting my news time. Being bombarded with news from social media, news feeds and TV 24/7 is too much.
- I am strictly adhering to my no phone after 9pm until I wake up in the morning
- If I watch TV (outside of a few news bulletins each day) I look for uplifting and humorous programmes.
- I am using my mini trampoline for endorphin building exercise.
- I am using technology for virtual coffee dates and social interaction
- I am trying to eat well and not indulge in too many quarantine snacks. (I crave sugar when I am stressed)
- I am trying to stick to a bit of a routine. I don’t go out to work, so that isn’t new, but it is still important to try and structure my day. I think this helps me to feel in control of what I can control.
- My bath is sacred. I love my long baths, along with a good book. This is a chill time that really feeds my soul and nurtures me.
- I am cleaning and tidying. Not my favourite occupation, but it is really started to yield results, and it improved my mood.
- I am journaling. I always journal, but during this time it is even more important to empty my thoughts onto a page and let my mind try to sort them out.
- Find time for creativity. I have been neglecting this and have realised how important it is. It doesn’t matter what you do – doodle, bake, garden – do something creative.
- I am learning new skills. I really have to engage my brain while doing this and so for an hour at a time I don’t think of what is going on out there.