I never thought in my life that I would be writing a post about pandemic anxiety. Much like everyone else in the world, this pandemic came as a surprise. I remember first hearing about the coronavirus, and hearing that it was only in China and it wasn’t something we should worry about here in the UK. Then each week, heck even each day it seemed to get closer and closer to home. The period between it being discovered in China and it hitting England wasn’t too long. Of course during this time, we were all glued to the news and our phones checking updates.
I remember having a conversation with my friend at work right before we got put in lockdown. We talked about how it wouldn’t be too bad, or that if we had to go home it would only be for a few weeks. Little did we know, it would be almost a year. People I would see everyday at work I haven’t seen in a whole 365 days. Nobody ever thought this would happen. And to say it has affected peoples mental health is an understatement. Anxiety and depression rates have soared and life is so uncertain at the moment. It’s a scary and confusing time for us all. This time has been so lonely and isolating for so many people. With months spent at home with nothing to do but think. It can all get a bit too much if you think about it.
In Todays post I wanted to share some things you can do to help to reduce/manage your pandemic anxiety. These are some of the things I have been doing to help calm myself whenever I feel overwhelmed by it all.
SWITCH OFF THE NEWS
One of the first things I did when it all got too much was turning off the news. I sort of went from one extreme to another. I had the news on almost all of the time. And if I didn’t have the news on, I was Googling everything. I wanted to know the risks, I wanted to know how it would affect my life. I slowly started to realise this was doing me no good. Hearing about all the deaths everyday and all the people losing their loved ones, is enough to make anyone depressed.
Turning off the news but still staying informed is how I am now. I know the current levels of infections but I don’t let it rule my life. It’s made me feel so much more free. I do make sure that I keep up to date with some stats, I don’t want to become ignorant to what’s going on around m I am slowly learning to live with this virus, and I think thats what we all should be doing.
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ONLY DO WHAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING
We all have choices in this life. We are free to choose what to do, but of course we are then subject to the consequences afterwards. Remember to only do what you feel comfortable doing. If the government in your country says you can gather, but you don’t want to. Then don’t. Just because they say something is allowed doesn’t mean you have to do it.
I think there will be alot of post pandemic anxiety too. I for one know that I am worried about life after the pandemic and what it will look like for us. Will there be masks? Will there be social distancing restrictions in place? Who knows. But even then, I will only be doing what I feel comfortable doing.
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TAKE IT EASY IF YOU CAN
Something that I have done during this pandemic (which I shouldn’t have), is trying to keep up my old life. For months I tried to be as active as I was when going into the office or seeing friends at the weekend. I felt guilty for relaxing and not wanting to be active and get outside. But friend, we are in a global pandemic. Our old lives are on hold, it’s near impossible to keep up the same standard as your old life. I tried everyday to put makeup on and do my hair, when in reality it didn’t matter if I did or not.
Once I switched my mind set I became so much more happier with life. I stopped putting pressure on myself to lose weight and bake banana bread. I started to live my new temporary life and it brought me so much more joy. Than putting unnecessary pressure on myself.
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BE WELL PREPARED
If you do plan to go out when it’s safe to do so, remember to be prepared. Preparation is key for me and my anxiety. If it makes you feel better then plan everything out. Write a checklist including remembering your mask, hand sanitiser, gloves. Time your trip out around times of the day when you know the supermarket or park will be quiet. I have found that large groups of people make me nervous now, because I worry about spreading germs. So I make sure I go to the supermarket when its quieter.
There are little things you can do throughout your day to reduce your anxiety and being prepared is one of them.
Do you have pandemic anxiety? How do you manage it? Are you anxious about post pandemic?
There is one thing we can all agree on, and that its really hard to not feel anxious about the future. It’s never been more uncertain. But there are steps we can all take to reduce our own anxiety and make a life that little more bright.