Okay, yall – there’s been quite a bit of panic considering the coronavirus pandemic and economy. Whether you’ve been directly affected or not, everyone has a reason to be dealing with anxiety. (I mean, we can’t deny the fact that you, your friends, or anyone in your family could walk outside right now and get very sick. That’s just the truth of the fact). I, myself have even been struggling- the anxiety has been real. We’ve had our upcoming wedding tossed up from beneath our feet with no solution in sight. We’re dealing with salary cuts, both working from home, and fingers crossed my fiance and I can keep our full-time job. Did I mention I am waiting for test results to see if I have the virus? There’s so much going on right now, and it’s quickly spun all of our lives out of control.
With that being said, anxiety can do you more harm than good. Did you know that it can literally weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick? Even if you don’t go out, your ability to focus will decrease with anxiety. So, we’ve GOT to do something about it to calm your nerves. After almost having a panic attack, and about 4 emotional breakdowns, I have been able to gather myself and talk out how we can all help get our lives under control.
If you’re one of the not-so-lucky people to lose your job, don’t panic. In fact, if there was ever a time to loose a job, now is it. Everyone (at least most people) are understanding of the situation at hand. It’s not a normal day you’re losing your job and have to figure it out, companies are forced to come up with a contingency plan for their customers. For example, student loans can be postponed with no interest right now. Landlords are often willing to work with you, as are phone companies, electricity companies, etc.
Your first step is to sit down and write down all the bills you have to pay. Figure out what portion of that you can afford. Start with the least most important bill and give them a call. I would consider this to be any credit cards, student loans, etc… companies that won’t take your home/car away or turn off your water. See what you can negotiate. If you think this money isn’t going to last you til next month, go ahead and give those other more important bill companies a call to let them know the situation at hand. They’ll appreciate you communicating with them, and it’ll put you at ease knowing that you’ve done your part. Then, you need to sit down, file for unemployment and start looking for jobs. Contact a recruiter (it’s free to you) and they can help you as well. Some industries are really suffering, some are remaining unaffected right now, and some are thriving. Whatever you have to do to get money in the door right now- people will understand and appreciate your willingness and hardwork.
Regardless if you’ve lost your job or not, this next step is important for everyone: We all have to focus on what we can control. We can’t control the economy or the virus, but we can control how we respond to it. So, what are some things we can control?
- How we protect ourselves when we leave our house.
- See if you can find some gloves or masks online to ship to us.
- Wipe down countertops after bringing grocery bags in
- Use hand sanitizer both before and after the grocery store. Keep some in your car as well as your house.
- Don’t touch your face – I know easier said than done, but all we can do is try our best.
- What we’re listening to.
- Of course it’s important to know what’s going on with the CDC rules, latest stay at home orders, and county rules. BUT – it’ll do us good to limit how much we’re seeing of the news. If you’ve watched it lately, coronavirus and social distances is all they seem to have to talk about. Maybe try not to watch it every day, but every other day.
- Another way I’ve been able to control this is just checking twitter. Check to see what the latest tweets are from the CDC, WHO, president, governor, and county. I don’t even have one, but I can easily find tweets on google. Twitter will give you the latest info you need to know summed up in a few words, and just focus on the important & relevant topics. This includes new rules, new protections, and new guidelines.
- How we’re spending our time
- At a time like this, it’s important to keep busy. Set a schedule for yourself. Add some fun things you can enjoy into your day. If you get bored, your anxiety will start to increase, and you’ll want to go out. So come up with some things you’ve been putting off. Do you want to cook a new recipe? Watch a good movie? Learn a new dance? Clean out your pantry? Plan out your day and you’ll feel much better about the way things are going.
- I’ve also recently heard something that triggers your mind into happiness: Doing things that are both good for you right now and will benefit you later. Focus on what tasks you can do that will answer both of those questions. Is that a workout, or a face mask? Maybe it’s a healthy shake you can blend up for yourself.
- Get Active
- No, you can’t go to the gym right now, but you can do workouts at home, and there are TONS of people giving out free good ones. You’ll feel better working out, and your body will thank you for it. If you’re not a big work out person, it’s an opportunity to do it by yourself without any pressure. You’ll know you’ve done something good for yourself, and your body can release the energy it’s used to when you go outside.
- Schedule a FaceTime with your friends and family
- This is important – especially if you live alone. Even if you don’t and you’re used to seeing people regularly, get some social time in. It’s a fun, creative way to stay in touch with people with minimal effort. Chances are- they’re needing someone else to socialize with too.
- Get some fresh air
- The sun provides you Vitamin C and is actually really good for you. Fresh air is good for you. Depending on where you are, can you do a workout in your backyard, or even bring out the chalk with your kids? Even if you’re in an apartment, open up a window. Our bodies appreciate these small simple things and you’ll instantly feel better.
- Ask for help if you need it
- If you’re really struggling mentally (which would be understandable right now in a crisis) and you’ve gotten to the point where you don’t want to live anymore, it’s time to reach out to someone. Consider even calling the hotlines that have been set up due to COVID- 19. It’s a great place to start. If you’re not comfortable doing that, heck- reach out to me! I’d be happy to help you. It’s important we all support each other right now, and know that no one is in this alone.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is control what you can. Again, you can’t control the situation around you, but your mind and body will be at peace knowing you’ve done your best. If you haven’t done everything that you personally can, your anxiety is going to increase. So remember to listen to your body and do your best.
Lastly, try not to be so hard on yourself. Our best right now is not going to be our absolute all time best. I mean.. the whole world has pretty much shut down… it’s safe to say everyone (not just you) is operating at a different pace. Our minds are still trying to grasp what’s going on and it’s okay to not get everything checked off your to-do list. Acknowledge that you’re taking steps in the right direction, and focusing on what’s important- your mental and physical health.