I felt inspired today to be as transparent as I think I ever have been on here. I have been diagnosed with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It was something I was ashamed of for a long time. It wasn't something I necessarily hid but I also wasn't one to promote it. Through my college years I have come across a lot of others with anxiety and I am happy to see mental health is being more regularly spoken about because there are on average 40 million adults in the United States alone that struggle with anxiety each and every day.
When this whole "self-quarantine" concept came about I figured it wouldn't be such a big transition or deal for me. Personally, I am a homebody. Little did I know the impact it would have on my mental health and the mental health of so many others around me. One of the best sources to naturally relieve anxiety is to keep yourself busy and get out and about. I personally am at my happiest and best when I have a full schedule of things to do. The more the better! It keeps me from over thinking, motivates me to be productive, and keeps me moving. Sadly, quarantine has the opposite effect on the body and soul. While yes is it EXTREMELY important we all remain home and not out doing our regular routine, I think what we are all kind of glossing over is people's mental health. The first thing they tell you when you are suffering from anxiety, depression, etc. is to get up and out! Obviously that is not an option right now. I mentioned to a friend that I was shocked that in all these news articles and TV programs I have seen little to no mention about mental health resources readily available during this time. Which is what brought me to writing this post on my little platform today. SOCIAL ISOLATION DOES NOT MEAN STOP BEING SOCIAL.
I know how horrible it feels (after 10 days of self isolating) and how much of a hit it is taking on my mental health. I have been worried more times then I want to admit, have had panic attacks, and felt so alone. I want people who are feeling like me to know you are not alone. I went on Twitter to see if there has been any mental health talk going on and there has. There are so many people who feel the same way (I will be attaching screenshots below!) It is not easy. Another remedy a lot of health professionals suggest is to keep a steady routine and let's face it this corona virus has thrown our routines out the door. It is so easy right now to coop yourself up in your room, to stay in your PJs all day, and to literally let yourself feel bleh. Trust me I've slept in later then I'll ever want to admit aloud. It is a toxic cycle that comes with the self-quarantine cycle. But I have decided to do plenty of research and provide alternatives and tips + tricks here so those who feel like their mental health and self-quarantine don't mix don't feel alone or like this is going to keep you down.
I just wanted to remind you all to open a window, smile, and remind yourself that this is not permanent. We will all be out soon. I hope this post finds you well and brought some sunshine to this cloudy time. Stay safe & calm!
Mental Health Tips + Tricks during COV-19
1. Self-Care Day: It is easy to let yourself feel bleh during this time. There is really nothing motivating us to get up and get dressed and do our hair/makeup/skincare routine. But let making yourself feeling good be the motivation. Start off with making yourself a yummy fruit smoothie (tons of studies show the Vitamin C in fruits helps with mood/anxiety). Then take a nice long bubble bath (imagine the episode of FRIENDS when Monica runs Chandler a bath). Do your skincare routine. Your skin needs it more than ever! Between all the junk food we are consuming and being cooped up inside, give your skin an extra boost! Do a face mask (feet/hand mask, under-eye mask...whichever you choose!) Cuddle yourself up in a comfy robe and watch a funny movie. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
2. Sit Outside & Read: Like I mentioned above Vitamin C is key! Sit outside and read a book (Hack: Apple Books has free books that you can choose from if you don't want to spend $) Whether it be a self-help book, a mystery novel, or any other book you've had on your list take this time to read. I will be reading "Where the Crawdads Sing" if anyone else wants to discuss!
3. Don't Sleep-In Every Day: This is the most difficult one for me. Anyone who knows me personally knows I love to sleep (haha!) When I have nothing to do my mind screams let's go nap. But right now we have to fight it. Sleeping in till 3:00 P.M. isn't going to help your mental health, trust me. Try to get on a sleep schedule, not only will it give you somewhat of a routine back.
4. Turn Off the News: While it is important to keep up to date with what is happening and what the CDC and government officials are advising us to do, don't fixate. I just have my Apple News notifications on so I can check in every so often and stay up to date but I have cut watching the news off. Also try not to rely on what your friends and family are sharing on Facebook and other social media platforms in reference to the virus. It is so easy to end up in a hole of media stories that'll just send you into a panic. Stay up to date, but don't stay on it. Let's face it the media loves to give us a story that will keep us digging for more and right now that's not what are focus needs to be.
5. Let Your Inner Artist Show: Order some puzzles, coloring books, and paint by the numbers on Amazon Prime. Make sure you disinfect your packages before opening but it is the safest way to get your art supplies right now. These activities will include bright colors and keep your brain busy, which will keep you from overthinking or getting bored.
6. Get Organized: Now is a great time to clean out your drawers and closets! I have begun cleaning out beauty products that my recent allergy tests deemed me allergic to so I can give to friends and family products that I have barely used or haven't used, donate unopened products, and trash what is expired or used (like mascara which you should NEVER share!) Watch Marie Kondo's special on Netflix and see what "sparks joy" and what doesn't in your home and make bags to donate to Goodwill or toss! That way you are utilizing this free time in a productive manner.
7. Call and FaceTime your People!: A lot of us are feeling lonely right now. If you are home with your family do a game night or movie night. But keep in mind a lot of people are either quarantining alone or with not a ton of people around. Check in on EVERYONE! You have the time now! Call an old friend to catch up, FaceTime your grandparents to see if they need anything, or have virtual wine nights with your BFF or girl squad on Zoom! We all are going to feel disconnected at one point or another so let's keep each other company...social isolation doesn't mean to stop being social!
8. Be One with Nature (Kinda): One of my favorite things to watch, other than Disney+ and Netflix, right now is LIVE streams from zoos and aquariums! It is so peaceful to watch the animals do their thing. Sit by a window with your tablet or computer and watch your favorite animals from afar. Trust me they are more entertaining than you think! My favorite is to watch the penguins and of course the meerkats at ZOO Miami! Here is a link for a bunch of different animal LIVE Streams, click here!
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But as always, this does NOT affect what I choose to post/share with you all. This blog is an expression of me and what I love so I will only share that with you all!