I was going to write the following post about recession-proof jobs to get into while working from home. However, I decided to write about a topic that is more urgent than that because people’s mental health is at stake due to the COVID-19 scare. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression as it is, then this is an even scarier time for many of you.
How am I coping with this? Truthfully, I am not that worried for myself. The Coronavirus is not out of control in Toronto, and the government is doing everything in its power to keep everyone safe. I am doing my part by only going grocery shopping and if I absolutely have to run an errand I will. But that is the extent of it. I always keep my hands clean. I also know this will not last. How long will it last? I don’t know. It might be a few weeks or even months. But I can tell you it won’t be forever. And to be frank, I can’t help but laugh at people getting upset about being quarantined.
Maybe that is because aside from having depression myself which caused me to isolate, I also was trapped at home for a while when my son with autism and ADHD was living at home. I have been socially isolated. And those who are freaking out over it that judge mothers that have kids with special needs or young kids that complain about being stuck at home can understand where they are coming from.
On that note, I am going to say this and I am risking being judged. I am absolutely counting my lucky stars right now that my son is not living at home. What would he do during the quarantine? My husband is having to work from home. He wouldn’t be able to get his work done. Neither would I. He is at least being stimulated and getting the best at where he is. And I feel for the families that are dealing with this very thing.
Anyway, now that I said my piece, I will get to the point of this post. People are stressed and scared even without living with anxiety or depression. So, here are 6 important things to do in order to cope with the Coronavirus scare while living with mental illness:
1. Don’t Read The News
It is important to be aware of what is going on in your area as far as closures and tips you are given by professionals. However, don’t read other news about it. The type of doom and gloom news that will share the worst possible thing that has been happening that is nowhere near you live. This will only trigger anxiety and may even bring on attacks, or worsen depression, You really don’t need to know that and it is better for your mental health not to know that. Only stay up to date with the news that you need to know about. Stay away from too much media exposure.
2. Talk To Your Friends Through Video Chat
Socially isolating yourself is a big risk for those with depression. And even though it is absolutely necessary to do in order to flatten the curve, stay plugged when it comes to your friends. Talk with them face-to-face on Skype or Facebook video chat. It is important to be connected. Especially right now, virtually. Pretend you are in a coffee shop with them while enjoying a cup of coffee and video chatting with them while they are.
3. Think About A New Hobby To Start
This is actually a great time since you have more time on your hands to pick up a new hobby. Or take an online course in something. Learn a new language if that kind of thing interests you. I am actually beginning to learn about the Lenormand card system, which is similar but different from tarot. And even if you don’t start a new hobby, you can clean and organize your house. There is always something to do at home to occupy your mind and your time.
4. Stay In Touch With Nature
Even if you are socially distancing yourself, as long as you are not sick, you can still enjoy the outdoors. As long as you are not sick, then you can go and take a walk to the park if you have one near you. We have the woods near us so that is refreshing. The fresh air is good for your mental health.
5. Stick To A Healthy Lifestyle
Alright, I will admit something. I am struggling a bit in this area and this is the advice I need to take. But it is really important to not overeat and get some exercise in. Track what you are eating down so you don’t get sidetracked. If you are not taking care of your physical health, it will not help your mental health. I need to do better with this.
6. Work From Home
Of course, I was going to mention that. If you have not been working from home, then this is a great time to start. Go to this post so you can get some ideas on what to do from home work-wise. And I will be talking more about that in the next post I will write up as well about recession-proof jobs you can do from home.
And it is also critical to see your therapist through video chat as well. This is a difficult time for many, and here is a virtual hug from me to you. You will get through this and again, I cannot tell you when this will end. But it won’t be forever. Hang in there.