The world had found itself in the middle of pandemic caused by Covid-19 virus. Countries are implementing their own strategies for coping and protecting its people, but what about our mental health? What impact does this pandemic have?
People already experiencing unhealthy Anxiety and Depression may feel even worse. People not affected before may feel unhealthy Anxiety and Depression for the first time. The real consequences of this pandemic on Mental Health will only be known once things go ‘back to normal’.
With Anxiety, the endless worrying creates very uncomfortable environment to live in. Even when things are stable, the worry in individuals is ever present. When something like Pandemic hits, this may get worse. In fact, it may go from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to Health Anxiety and even OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). We call this ‘Anxiety Virus’.
The uncertainty of not knowing what will happen/ what to expect is driving that Anxiety higher. During Anxiety treatment, we teach clients to ‘tolerate uncertainty’. In these difficult times, it is much harder than before to tolerate that uncertainty, but you need to try. It helps to remember we ALL FEEL anxiety during times like this, you’re not alone. Even very relaxed people will feel on edge during these times.
Things you can do:
Don’t check yourself, or your family, for symptoms constantly;
Look honestly at the situation: what is within your control? Only deal with those things;
DON’T worry about things that ARE NOT WITHIN YOUR CONTROL- be strict with yourself and ban negative talk at home;
Create an action plan: what can you do to help yourself and your family? What will you do if you get ill- plan ahead without panic, think about it as a cold or a flu you’ve had before;
Talk to your family about it. Talk to the people you feel responsible for, including elderly. Have conversations about it and remain positive;
Delegate tasks evenly;
Try to lead as normal life as possible, whilst keeping yourself safe (within reason);
Look after yourself both mentally and physically;
Eat well, drink plenty, sleep well, go for a walk;
Up the hygiene, but not to the point that you’ll develop an OCD- stick to the normal routine as much as possible;
Don’t read news from unreliable sources;
Take a break from the news and treat yourself and your family to a nice film at home;
Respect and follow government’s guidelines on the pandemic;
Think and be respectful of other people;
And most importantly: ACCEPT you may get ill but remain positive.