Y’all, I am trying.
As part of our civic duty, our leaders have asked us to stay at home. If we practice social distancing, we can prevent the spread of coronavirus. Yes, this a great way to save lives. But, our mental health will be taking a huge toll.
I am a huge advocate for mental health and self-care. I do a pretty good job of assessing my mental health needs. However, like many others, I am struggling to keep up with my mental health during this time. I hope this blog post will help those struggling with social distance.
No constant updates.
First, stay off of Twitter. By staying off Twitter, you will be avoiding videos of people licking toilet seats and calling it the #CoronavirusChallenge. However, you will find some tutorial by celebrities on how to wash your hands. Twitter can be entertaining but get your news updates from your state leaders. Constant new updates about coronavirus may lead to increase anxiety and panic attacks. Also, you maybe getting some false information. By listening to your state leaders, you will be getting relevant and accurate information about the virus. This will decrease your anxiety, and allow you to take reasonable precautions. If you can’t stay off Twitter, then limit your time.
Admit it, you’re anxious.
Second, it’s okay to be anxious and concerned. It’s a normal human emotion. However, don’t let it control your day and mood. By admitting to yourself that these are normal emotions, you can start the process of handling these emotions. Remember, you’re not alone. Also, you’re not weak for feeling anxious and concerned. Remind yourself that you’re strong enough to get through this and this will make your mood better.
Don’t do more than necessary.
Third, take reasonable precautions. Don’t go overboard. (I am looking at you, toilet paper hoarders.) If you do more than necessary, then you’re increasing your stress. For example, only wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Don’t say, “I am going to wash for 40 seconds, to be safe.” That’s an over precaution. Remember, your state officials and doctors will guide you on the correct precautions you need to take. If you slack on an over precaution you created for yourself, you will end up stressing yourself out more. Thoughts like I should have disinfected that room twice, or I should not have used that much spray will make you lose sleep. And, losing sleep increases your stress levels. These reasonable precautions set by our government and doctors will ensure your safety. So, please, listen and trust them.
What to do at home.
Everyone’s quarantine routine is different. For example, I don’t have a full-time job to occupy most of my day. So, I have ample free time to be bored at my house. For those who are working full-time from home, I’ll let my soulmate/best friend, Sami, guide you.
“Girl,” Sami says, “I have to treat it like any other day but with a location change. I get up every workday as if I am going to the office. I walk my dog, take a shower, eat, read the news, then start my workday at the same time I would arrive at the office. I even dress like I am at work. It helps.” After work, she cleans her house and finds a relaxing activity. She will either tend to her garden, play with her dog, exercise, and/or read a book. At any chance she gets, Sami will enjoy the nice weather but keep her distance from people.
Sami and I are both introverted people. I’ve seen a lot of internet memes stating how introverts are loving quarantine. But, after a few days of it, introverts are being negatively affected by this. Taking the option of going out from us is not a burden lifted from our shoulders. Rather, it’s a sad realization that we do depend on some social contact. Introverted people stay-in not because they hate people, but to re-charge. However, introverts miss their friends and family just as much as extroverts. The inability to receive human contact makes us feel sad and lonely. It makes us ask: how can we feel better?
Structure your days and find ways to comply with the guidelines. Remember, this virus affects all of us. Stop comparing coronavirus to the flu, because it’s not the same. Instead, figure out ways you can help your community. If you find yourself bogged down by social isolation, then have social distancing parties or webchats. Check-in on your elderly parents and grandparents by sending them lovely video messages. Thank your friends/family who are doctors and nurses. And, please stay home to save lives! (We can all carry coronavirus and give it to someone at risk. So, stay the fuck inside youths!)
Learn to meditate and keep your immune system up. Challenge yourself with new exercises and hobbies. Take this time to catch up with yourself and reflect on life pre-corona. Ask yourself: was my lifestyle causing me any self-harm?
I’ve been writing, reading, and watching movies. I talk to my friends almost every day and teach myself something new. (My sister and cousins recommend blogilates if you need something fun and knew.) I’ll learn a new dance or read about something I have little knowledge on. (And, fuck it! I’ll watch Tiger King.)
If you haven’t already: drink plenty of water, get some fresh air, and exercise to keep your immune system up.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned. Wash your fucking hands.