Self Care During A Pandemic
Fear and anxiety are spreading faster than COVID19. We need to take care of our mental health before stress becomes an even bigger threat! But how can you take care of yourself when you’re told to stay in your home, cancel everything and practice social distancing? It’s not going to be easy!
I was really looking forward to breaking out of my winter cocoon and finally getting out into the world again, but coronavirus has taken that from me.
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 coronavirus has taken over the world. It’s not so much the virus that scares me. I mean, it’s a flu bug and not likely going to kill you, unless you are elderly or have a weakened immune system.
It’s the unknown that’s really scary.
From what I understand, COVID-19 is less contagious and less deadly than the common flu bug. But, scientists and doctors know a lot more about the common flu bug and how it works.
So, people react out of fear. They go into panic mode and it’s pretty much impossible to ignore. The virus is everywhere, maybe not physically, but it is all over social media, the supermarkets, schools, and hospitals. There is no escaping it in that sense.
It’s only natural to have some anxiety over a pandemic. But, if you’re like me, you are freaking right out, perhaps losing sleep and unable to focus on much else.
I don’t even have coronavirus, yet the fear of this virus is making me sick… with worry about what will happen over the coming weeks.
I worry people will go nuts and start to go into survival mode and in the coming weeks the world will become a more violent and terrifying place.
I’m afraid with hours being cut back, that we won’t be able to pay our bills.
And, what if I get the coronavirus and it is really bad and I die?
So as you can see, I’m having a hard time! So, I’m starting to take my own mental health more seriously during this time, and you should to.
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 no escaping the coronavirus online. Take this time to re-connect 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 Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization 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 on 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!
Try a distraction. Get your mind off of what’s 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 text and phone calls! Don’t isolate yourself completely!
Get outside. The sunshine, the fresh air and change of scenery are sure to make you feel a little better! Make sure you head outside for at least a half an hour most days! 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.
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 progressional about your options!
This will pass and when it does, you’ll have a new found appreciation for the simple things- the hand shake of your elderly neighbours, the small talk during school pick up, and kind faces at the grocery store and stocked shelves. Things will go back to normal.
For the kids:
Make sure your kids know they’re safe. They hear and know more than you think and they’re probably scared.
Try to limit talk of coronavirus 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 is the real question…
Isolation and quarantining can have real emotional and psychological impacts. Quite literally, you could kinda lose your mind.
I’m having a really hard time even thinking about being stuck at home for two weeks straight.
I’m a bit of an introvert, but after a long winter I am feeling kinda low and so ready to get out in to the world again. Coronavirus took that away from me. I’m now afraid to go out.
I’m not in quarantine, but many people are. Let’s be prepared so we don’t get too down!
Survive A Quarantine
Now, I’m assuming you have all of 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 consistency 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 workout! Physical activity feels good.
Stay productive. It feels good to get things done. If you’re 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 backyard.
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 every day 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 ’em but 14 days can seem like 14 years when you’re stuck in a house together. Create separate spaces 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 Facetime can perk up your spirits!
Stay positive. Smile. Listen to music. Read a good book. Watch an inspirational movie.
Bonus tip: FOOD! Treat yourself to all your favourite dishes:) Food is pleasure and seriously ice cream makes you feel good.
All I want is for things to go back to normal. And I really hope you all stay healthy and take care of yourselves inside and out!