Experiencing A Global Pandemic: surviving the crisis + the impact on mental health

March 19, 2020

Experiencing A Global Pandemic: surviving the crisis + the impact on mental health

I never in a million years thought I would be experiencing something like this.  When I was younger, my biggest fears were getting kidnapped, my house catching on fire, and missing my favorite TV show.  Now, I’m currently living with the biggest fear I never knew I had: a global pandemic.

My brain is trying to comprehend everything.  How this situation evolved to what it is currently.  The first time I remember even hearing someone mention the word “coronavirus” was probably back in January, when the news first broke about the outbreak in China.  To be honest, I was one who thought maybe it would just stay over there and be merely some “foreign disease.”  I was wrong.  It didn’t take long for this thing to find its way into our country’s borders.  That was when I knew it wouldn’t be long before it came to my state.  And it did.  It continued to spread and become the crisis it is now.

I have never seen gas prices so low.
I have never seen so many of my favorite places close their doors.
I have never seen the shelves at the grocery store so empty.
I have never seen people fight over toilet paper.
I have never seen so many lives turned upside down.
But this is our new reality- for the next few weeks, months, and possibly years.

As a side note, being a business student, I am quite intrigued with how this pandemic will affect the economy in the years to come.  But I am not here to talk about the economic impact of this situation.  Maybe the next post will be about economics, but right now I want to talk about mental health.  Mine and yours.  For some of us, this is going to take a huge toll on our mental health over the next few weeks.  I personally am not one who is easy going when it comes to change.  Change is my worst enemy and I have been fighting it for the last several months as I adjust to the new lifestyle I have.  Now I must fight it in the face of a global pandemic.

It feels as though everything is turned upside down.  I cannot go to work, I cannot go to school, I cannot see my friends and the people I love the most.  It’s hard to believe this is a new reality for all of us.  What scares me the most is how long it is going to last.  Already it’s been months, and the virus does not show signs of slowing down anytime soon.  I hope and pray that is gone by the time summer comes around, but everything is so uncertain right now.  That’s another thing that is making me anxious- the uncertainty of the situation.  I feel very nervous and worried not knowing what might happen next.  I keep telling myself that it cannot possibly get any worse, but we have been warned the worst is still yet to come.

However, despite these thoughts and fears, I am still holding onto a thread of hope.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  In the meantime, I want to share with you guys some of the things I have been doing while being self-quarantined.

1.  Get up at your usual time
Sleeping in is actually not good for your body.  Get enough rest, but try to get up early and start your day as you normally would

2.  Get ready for the day
This was a big one for me.  I have found that I feel better if I still get dressed and do my makeup and hair as I would if I was going out for the day. 

3.  Work on projects you didn’t have time to do before
Now that you have all the time in the world, pick up a new hobby or do a house project you’ve been wanting to do for a while.  I’ve been using this time to work on my blog and YouTube channel (subscribe for quarantine vlogs.)

4.  Get outside
As long as you social distance yourself from anyone you may encounter, getting outdoors will help unleash those stuffy feelings and allow you some fresh air.

5.  Reflect
I’ve been taking this time to look back on the last several months and evaluate some things I need to work on as well as applaud myself for the good changes I’ve made.  Use this time away from other people to work on and take good care of yourself.

I hope this was helpful to some of you who may be experiencing the same feelings I am.  I hope that we will all be able to return to normalcy soon; but in the meantime, wash your hands, stay home, and stay healthy.

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