Self care during a pandemic.
These are scary times! And even worse when you suffer from mental health issues. Now it’s more important then ever to take care of your self mentally and physically.
But how can you take care of yourself when you’re told to stay in your home, cancel everything and practice social distancing because there’s an unknown virus spreading out of control!?
The panic, social distancing and uncertainty are all absolutely wrecking havoc on my mental health.
I”m not the only one. Anxiety is at an all time high these days as fear of the virus has taken over the world.
It’s the unknown that is really scary.
How bad is it going to get? How long is this going to last? What if my kids get it? Will we be okay? Will we survive? What about finances? Are there enough medical supplies? Do I have enough food?
And there’s the complete change of all routine during the lock down. That’s enough to drive anyone with anxiety nuts!
What’s covid – 19?
It’s a novel virus, meaning its new and a lot is unknown. It’s scary, and many people are dying. Mostly those with underlying health issues. But some seem to have been in good health. Meaning no one is safe.
So people react out of fear. They go into a panic mode and it’s pretty much impossible to ignore. The virus is everywhere, physically and all over social media.
It’s only natural to have some anxiety over a pandemic.
I don’t even have the virus, yet the fear of this virus thing is making me sick… with worry about what will happen over the coming weeks.
I worry people will get desperate and out of control in the coming weeks the world will become a more violent and terrifying place.
I’m afraid with hours being cut back, that we wont be able to pay the bills. And what will happen financially, once this is all over.
And what if I get the virus and it is really bad and I die? Or some one I love dies?
As you can see, I”m having a hard time and if you’re reading this, chances are, you are too. So, I”m starting to take my own mental health more seriously during this time, and you should too.
Here are some ways to mentally prepare yourself for the effects of a pandemic.
Prepare mentally for a pandemic.
Stay off social media. Or at least limit your exposure. There is not escaping the virus on line. Take this time to reconnect with your family, friends and nature! Or read a book.
Listen to the facts. The best thing you can do right now, is find the real facts. Listen to trusted sources like the CDC and WHO or major news stations.
Ignore the hype. There are people out there trying to make bank on the hysteria, selling fake cures and misinformation. So stick with the facts.
There are also plenty of people that feed off this type of drama and your fear. If someone is trying to scare you by telling you that the virus is taking over the world and we are all going to turn into zombies, just walk away.
Let it out. If talking about how you’re feeling helps, let out your fears and worries to your friends and family. Just don’t let it consume you. See next tip!
Also, try journleing as a form of letting it all out. Journaling is a great stress reliever.
Try a distraction. Get your mind off of whats happening by focusing on other things. It could be a hobby, a new work project or meditation.
Keep in contact. Stay in contact with your friends and family through test and phone calls. Don’t isolate yourself completely.
Get outside. This works every time. The sunshine, the fresh air and change of scenery are to make you feel a little better! Make sure you head outside for at least half an hour each day. Go for a hike, sit in your yard or start a gardening project.
Take proper precautions. Prepare yourself for the pandemic, by stocking up on necessities, avoiding public places, frequent hand washing, and proper hygiene. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Prepare mentally as well. It helps me to think ahead, and also try and enjoy the little things I can everyday. This will all be over sometime nest year (I hope). I also meditate to clear my mind, when I’m feeling extra anxious. Diffuse some uplifting essential oils, cook and extra special dinner, light some candles.
I always feel better when I’m prepared.
And if you feel yourself getting depressed, seek medical help. You might need some medication or to speak to a professional about your options. Some times just talking out your fears helps.
This will pass.
For the kids.
Make sure your kids know they’re safe. They hear and know more then you think and they’re probably scared.
Try to limit talk about the virus around them.
And keep a routine as much as you can.
How to prepare mentally for quarantine.
You’ll probably survive the virus, but will you survive two weeks of quarantine with your family? That’s the real question.
Isolation and quarantining can have real emotional and psychological impacts. Quite literally, you could kind of loose your mind.
I’m having a really hard time even thinking about being stuck at home for two straight weeks… or longer.
I”m a bit of an introvert, but after a long winter I am feeling kind of low and so ready to get out into the world again. The virus took that away from me. I’m now afraid to go out.
I’m not in quarantine, but many people are. Lets be prepared so we don’t get too down.
Survive a quarantine.
Now, I’m assuming you have all the physical essentials to survive, but here are some mental tools that can help you stay sane.
Set up a routine. As your regular routine is thrown off, it’s important to set up some sort of structured plan. People love routine, even if you don’t realize it. It gives us some consistancy during a time of so much uncertainty.
Get physical. No, not with each other! If you’re driving each other crazy, try some yoga or do a dance work out. Physical activity feels good.
Stay productive. It feels good to get things done. If your stuck at home, try bringing a little work home if you can. Or start a project around the house you’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Plan something fun. Give you and your family something to look forward to. It could be a family movie night or a camp out with smores’ in the back yard.
Don’t forget about self care. Don’t allow yourself to be so busy taking care of everyone else that you forget about yourself. Set a half hour (or more) aside everyday for you. It could be tea on the porch or a bubble bath. Do something to recharge so you can feel better.
Give yourself some space. You love them but 14 days can seem like 14 years when your stuck in a house together. Create separate spots in the house to allow everyone to have their own space. Because you’ll need it.
Keep in touch.
Don’t forget to keep in contact with your family and friends. If you can’t see them, a nice chat on the phone or via face time can perk your spirits up.
Stay positive. Smile, listen to music, read a good book, watch an inspirational movie.
Bonus tip: Food! Treat yourself to all your favorite dishes! Food is pleasure, and seriously, ice cream makes you feel good!