Mental Health in the midst of Pandemic

How are we all doing today?

I’ll be honest, I am struggling.

I’m lucky. My partner has his job. We have a roof over our heads and food in our fridge. We’re young and reasonably healthy. We’re able to practice social distancing to protect ourselves and others.

I know I am lucky.

I know there are people in this world who are on the frontlines with this damn virus. I know there are healthcare workers and delivery people who are exhausted. I know there are people with illness that puts them at an escalated risk. I know there are anxious parents who are struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy with their stressed-out littles while also holding themselves together.

I know there are thousands in my country alone who are being diagnosed with COVID-19 every day and hundreds who are being killed. I know that we are inching towards the 1,000,000 mark of confirmed cases worldwide with every passing hour. The news carries so much depressing information that I struggle to hold back tears whenever I watch it.

There’s so much pain and suffering in this world right now. There is so much anxiety.

But none of that negates that I still find all of this hard.

For myself, and probably many of you, I find it difficult to remove myself from the pain that people all over the globe are feeling. I feel it when I see someone on twitter ask for prayers for their dying relative. I feel it when I hear about another care home falling to this evil virus. I feel it when I hear that my friends have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

It’s a lot.

I broke down this morning thinking about it all. I just let myself feel the depth of the sadness, and I cried.

And then I reached out.

I texted a friend and told her about the stronghold this depression had on me when I thought about the pain of others. And she responded in the most beautiful way. All she said was, “me too.”

Two friends crying together miles apart about something we are powerless to change. Seeing the common humanity in despair is somehow encouraging. Because it means none of us are walking through this alone. We are all truly in this together.

If you find yourself struggling today also, please let me be that friend in the middle of the storm who says, “me too.” Please know that you are not alone in the sadness. You are not alone in the anxiety. You are not alone, period.

I want to also encourage you to be mindful of your own mental health and the things you can do to help yourself manage the flood of feelings that comes from being inundated with news, tweets, and information.

Limit your screen time. Today I downloaded an app for my phone to help me remember to give myself time away from the news and social media. It’s called “Flippd”, but there are many options for this kind of app to encourage you to do something other than being on your phone all day.

Listen to some music. Live Nation sent out an email yesterday to subscribers with a list of artists who are now offering (free) concerts out of their own homes and streaming them for their audiences. I wrote out the majority of this post while Melissa Etheridge sang in the background, lifting my heart and my spirits.

Journal. Your emotions and your anxious thoughts need a release. If you are like me, writing is the best and quickest way to process all of the many feelings you are feeling right now.

Exercise. Yes, I know. When you are depressed or anxious, the last thing you really want to do is to exercise. It feels like too much. But your body is filled with anxious energy that needs an outlet. A mindful walk, a run, or gentle yoga are all excellent ways to move your body. I plan to do some yoga the second I hit publish on this post.

Meditate. Meditation should be a daily requirement for each of us as long as the quarantine lasts. It’s a very simple way to hit the reset button on our emotions and our bodies. I use the Stop, Breathe & Think app, which is a free app. There are many different options for apps, some free and some not. Experiment to find the one that works best for you.

Be aware of what is happening in your mind and your body throughout the day. Make it a point to check-in and scan your body for emotion a couple of times a day so you can better care for your mind and body however they may need in the moment.

And don’t stop reaching out to friends or checking in with loved ones. We may not all be able to physically be in the same space, but we can all still be together in practice and in spirit.

Be safe, friends. Wash your hands. Stay home. Take care of yourselves, body and soul ❤

One thought on “Mental Health in the midst of Pandemic

  1. Thank you for this. The news has put me to tears and it doesn’t help when having a father who puts the news on TV just about every waking hour, along with me browsing Twitter (which I am trying to cut low on.) Me too.

    Like

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