We all know this is a stressful time. Everything is closed, we’re home for more than 40 days, people camp out at stores then run the shelves empty, the economy is declining, every day we’re flooded with pandemic updates, and (COVID-19) increase rates. And it becomes scary when we read, think and talk about it. If all this news is making you anxious and stressed, you’re not alone!
This pandemic is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health, especially when you’ve OCD or Anxiety. And, I’m one of them going through anxiety. If I overload my brain with coronavirus news it makes me anxious, and I start thinking about catastrophic outcomes especially when you’re stuck inside with nothing to do but keep scrolling on social media. This is why I stopped watching the news. There’s something much spreading faster than this pandemic is Fear. So, I decided to take a few steps by not letting (COVID-19) anxiety ruin my mental and physical health during this lockdown, while still keeping myself and family safe.
Your thoughts produce your feelings.
This is how I’m trying to protect my mental health
- Being careful of what I’m reading and watching: Since no one has much control over a situation, which often makes everyone anxious. Unintentionally or Intentionally, people around us or the media are trying to tell people to stay safe by over flooding the news about the pandemic, although in some ways it becomes overwhelming, frustrating and sometimes it can lead to panic attacks.
So, I started limiting myself from reading and watching things that aren’t making me feel better. To stay updated about the outbreak, I get all the updates from my family or friends over a call or I follow people who talk positively about the outbreak. This makes it less scary and easy for me to digest any updates.
- Social Media detox: Sometimes posts about (COVID-19) on social media can make you feel restless and overwhelming. I started being careful about the accounts I’m following, avoiding clicking on coronavirus hashtags, muting coronavirus keywords, and muting Whatsapp groups where people are promoting misinformation.
- Engaging in fun things: Now that we’re putting down our phones and limiting our time for watching the news. There’s nothing wrong or boring, to engage yourself in stress-free activities, like meditation, painting, dancing, working out, playing with your pets or family, cooking, or learning something new. These anxiety-busting methods will not only help you to stay away from mental breakdowns but also help you to stay productive.
From nowhere, if something has triggered your mind, and you’re panicked or feeling restless. Acknowledge it. Don’t panic, pause and take a deep breath. Hydrate yourself. Practice the act of shifting your mood to things you are grateful for. Think that you’re safe, people are working to keep us safe. Whatever it is, do take time to notice grateful things, until you feel better. It will take some time and it’s totally fine. Let go of the feelings, it will pass. Then start embracing your feelings, once you start feeling better.
Practicing this will help you to take care of your mental health in the long run. Talk to your friends, practise empathy, laugh out loud over a call with friends, spend time with your family.
Send some love and pray for those who are ill because this is bigger for them than us.
Because in the end everything is gonna pass. Take care!