As we all know, many aspects of our lives have been put on hold due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic. Schools have been shut down, the majority of business’ and public places remain closed, and the public order to stay inside our homes has affected us all. For over 3 months, residents of all 50 states have been ordered to stay inside their homes and to only go out when needed (while maintaining social distance). Many of our lives have undergone significant change and many common responses to this have consisted of fear, anxiety and stress. Our daily routines have been restricted and we are often left stuck inside with our own thoughts.
During this time, there is a constant worry about the possibility of contracting the virus. However, we must not forget to look after our mental health as well. We have been faced with a new reality of limited social interaction with friends and family. This leaves many of us in our own thoughts at home not knowing what to make of it. “Americans are reporting significant and sustained increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to recent data from Healthline and YouGov’s COVID-19 tracker” (www.healthline.com). These recently recorded numbers are way above the normal average and data has suspected this is due to the challenge of our current environments.
Everything that has been going on is new. There is no script or timeline to this virus and things are changing everyday. And that can be scary. Dealing with the anxiety and stress of the unknown and possible pre-existing negative thoughts can be alot for one person to handle alone. Unfortunately not everyone has someone they feel they can confide in due to many reasons, and some are in homes they do not feel safe in. Cnquering negative thoughts is not always easy, especially being stuck at home with limited options of what to do to distract yourself. However, taking a walk in a nearby park, drawing/coloring, meditating, are just a few things that can help ease your thoughts when your mind gets too loud.
Even though we can't gather together, there are many ways to check in on friends and talk with one another such as skype, facetime, snapchat, etc. Be sure to check up on the people close to you because you never know what they're going through alone in times like these. Below are numbers of hotlines and resources for further information on mental health.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Fun things to do at home: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/30-fun-things-home.html
Mental health and Covid-19 (ways to cope): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html