Already struggling with generalized anxiety disorder in my daily life, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened my mental health and wellbeing. I realized that I had a problem when I could not bring myself to turn off the news for fear that I might miss something important. I was afraid to go to work because I knew that I would be exposed and could bring illness and even death to my loved ones. Those things that I used to do to calm myself in times of stress were unavailable. A pandemic is just not okay. It occurs to me that this would be much worse if the weather wasn’t so fine.
In order to be safe and stay well, I have educated myself as to how to minimize my chances of contracting/spreading the disease. My travel is limited my travel to work and home and I’m on a reduced schedule. I follow guidelines for hand-washing, social distancing, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Any day that I don’t leave the house, I use the treadmill and can jog now for the first time in my life! I started online school, mostly to convince myself that we have a future. I now have some measure of progress, even while at home. Learning to teach prenatal classes online has been a fun challenge. Music practice has taken on a new dimension—it is less about performance and more personally fulfilling. I have found comfort in my time with God. My family has had meaningful, enjoyable conversations as the pace of life slows.
3 tips you to help you navigate through these difficult times:
- Use online resources to stay connected and informed, but then put them away.
- Give yourself a chance to experience your feelings. Feel them, acknowledge them, and then move on.
- Break up your days into activities to keep you moving forward, learning, exploring, and growing.
Written by ASHA Storyteller and nurse, Grace Peverly, RN.