Life is hard right now for a lot of people in different ways.
As someone who experiences anxiety and depression on a regular basis, I can positively tell you this COVID-19 pandemic is driving me crazy—and not in the Britney Spears kind of way.
My week's worth of laundry has taken over my bed to the point where I only have a sliver where I can actually sleep. My whole "I can use this quarantine time to better myself" mindset disapparated like Harry Potter on Day 2 of social distancing. My allergies are causing my throat to itch, eyes to water, and thoughts to jump the gun—like, should I turn myself in because I clearly have the virus, even though I know it's really just freaking pollen? My Facebook newsfeed is blowing up with people in similar situations, going on and on about how their mental health is making them lose their marbles, to where they can't function whatsoever.
Yeah ... life is hard right now for A LOT of people in different ways. And now I have Britney Spears' Crazy stuck in my head, when I should be focused on doing things that need to get done ... and it just, sort of, drives me back to Broly berserk crazy, especially since my lack of motivation will make me not get any of those things done.
Here are just a few examples of how this international pandemic is affecting those suffering from different mental disorders:
"It's just anxiety, anxiety, anxiety"— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 5, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on young people, particularly those with existing mental health conditions
Loss of routine, school closures and exam cancellations are all big issues
[Thread] https://t.co/rdbNyMWB0O pic.twitter.com/VWcKJJmKSP
The pure stress of any single physical ailment making you think you might have the virus is the most unexciting yet mildly panic inducing daily occurrence— Claudia Boleyn🌹Labour🌹🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@ClaudiaBoleyn) April 9, 2020
Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has our back (as usual!). They understand the seriousness of mental health during this situation and offer up their best advice.
Take note—if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
... there is a very good chance you are experiencing high levels of stress. If that's the case, the CDC recommends taking care of yourself, as well as your community.
Examples include ...
- GETTING OFF SOCIAL MEDIA ... Seriously, they suggest unwinding from the news, especially if that's all you're keeping up with.
- Maintaining wholesome habits, like meditating, eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and not going hard on the alcohol and other drugs.
- Reaching out to others—definitely a great piece of advice. Everyone is in this together and probably experiencing some levels of stress. When you talk about it with each other, it's actually a great way to remind yourself you're not alone.
The CDC recommends keeping in contact via telephone, email, text message, and social media, among other ways.
For people quarantining themselves with their kids ... well, good luck! Just kidding! Kudos to you, especially if you're bolstering them to continue their education on top of working. If your children experience any kind of stress, the CDC recommends explaining the situation to them, maintaining most routines, being a role model to them, and limiting their exposure to the virus, even through social media.
Schools, as we begin week three. Remember We have increasing cases of the virus. We have increased number of unemployment claims. We still have shortages at grocery stores. Higher stress & depression among children & adults. Let’s fill the GAP w/ Love— 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐝 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐧 (@DrBradJohnson) April 5, 2020
Overall, during this international pandemic, it's important to try to remain calm and listen to our experts. If you are experiencing any mental disorders, especially anxiety or depression, the CDC suggests staying away from social media and the news which—let's be real—would only enhance those negative experiences.
Their full article can be found here, if you'd like to read some more about keeping cool during COVID-19.
Any other pieces of advice about how to stay calm during this pandemic? Comment below!