Coronavirus and Anxiety

Image by Engin_Akyurt from Pixabay

So I may be jumping on a bit of a band wagon here but I’m selfishly glad to see I’m not the only one whose mental health is being affected by the surge of media reporting and misinformation regarding coronavirus.

From debates of should we self-isolate to carrying symptoms unbeknownst to us, it’s impossible to stay calm when toilet roll is flying off the shelves and social media is erupting.

I can’t help but feed into the social anxiety that has been telling me for years now that it’s a dangerous place out there. I can’t help but listen to the “I told you so”‘s that convince me it’s always been safer inside.

Even on good days, venturing out to public places, particularly university can be difficult for people battling social anxiety. I’m happy to say it’s not stopped me doing any of this for months now. But, for the last few days it’s become harder for me not to fall into the trap I fought so hard to get out of.

A friend of mine sent me an article running through what self-isolation means, because it’s not isolating yourself completely, it’s only going out when necessary e.g. shopping. It’s worth a read and eased some of my anxiety, you can find it here.

I can’t help but take comfort in the idea of being locked up, away from the current madness of the outside world. The frightening part is I can’t tell which part of me is being sensible and wanting to stay away from it all versus the side of me that is being consumed by social anxiety’s irrationality.

I feel overwhelmed by the array of information swarming all my social media from the threads of personal experience, to opinions on how the UK should be dealing with the matter. I feel frustrated at the government, and more specifically, Boris for not being firmer on the case whilst the rest of the world go into lockdown.

I feel confused on these decisions we’re having to individually make. But, mostly I feel anxious. Anxiety thrives off uncertainty. All I want is for somebody to take the uncertainty away and decide what happens.

Thanks to the digital age we are living in, we don’t have to be isolated from the world. Keep in touch with your friends, family, and loved ones through phone calls and text messages. Be sure to check in with yourself and do the things you love to do in your downtime. Some things to keep in mind during this period of potential self-isolation;

  • Keep food and drink with you. Calming tea such as chamomile can help ease an anxious tummy. I like using a hot water bottle to do this too.
  • Stretch your body and move when possible.
  • Get up and out of bed like you normally would and get ready for the day.
  • Watch a favourite film, read a book or get some productive work done.
  • Avoid social media but make sure to stay in contact with friends and family.
  • Keep your area clean and tidy.
  • Make sure to have a useful outlet if you’re feeling down e.g. writing in a journal, creating some art, doodling on a page etc.

In the case of such uncertainty, please take care of yourselves and be mindful of others. This illness may not affect you but there are many vulnerable people out there that aren’t just the elderly. There are people with ongoing conditions and disabilities. Stay mindful and be safe. For yourself and those around you.

I am always here to chat, feel free to contact me regarding any queries or for a general chit-chat regarding your mental health and coronavirus…

Ciao for now x

Posted by

Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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