I have become so homesick while being at home. It’s like everything I’ve ever known about life and living is changing right before my eyes and I don’t know what to do with it. As a child, I always went to my mom to feel better, to feel safe. She was what helped me in times of uncertainty as any mother would for her child. But who do I run to now? I’m a grown woman who has to figure this out and be strong. I cannot be around my elderly parents during this time of crisis, for their own health is at stake. And to be around my siblings is just as bad. I, too, am a mother and I know my own child is clinging onto me for support and consistency. But what do you do when that consistency your child is longing for is no longer possible?
Weekends were always a good time. Holidays were a sure thing to be spent with family and friends. Birthdays were celebrated with those we loved. Work was a safe place. And on other days just hanging out with friends and going shopping or to the movies was never a bad idea. The world as we know it has been changed and it’s something that is hard for all of us to wrap our heads around. For some, it is even harder for our minds to accept. Dealing with anxiety, change is already a challenge. Add chaos to the world and not seeing your family, now that’s just a disastrous feeling.
Millions of people may be experiencing mental instability right now with this virus hovering over the world. It is especially wearisome for those whose family are battling the virus and maybe even themselves. The stress is overwhelming and the unpredictability of our tomorrow only intensifies this feeling of uneasiness and discomfort. As much as we would love to be in control, we must remember that we simply can’t. The only thing we can do is remind ourselves that right now we are breathing. Right now we are alive and we will make it out of this.
Finding Ourselves Amidst COVID
We have to try to live life in such a way that doesn’t remind us of our everyday struggle with the virus. I am not saying don’t wear your mask and go out into crowds and visit people! No,no,no don’t be doing all of that, WE ARE TRYING TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PEOPLE. Stay at home and do things that will help keep your mind off of the craziness. Wake up in the morning, make your bed (a made up bed gives such a serene feeling) and drink your water and coffee. If you never were one to work out, start! Do a few jumping jacks, a couple push ups, some high knees and maybe a couple squats. Take your bath while listening to some crunk music that really gets you motivated and moving. Dress to impress, yes even if you aren’t going anywhere…. You better do your make-up, do your hair and put that “feel good” outfit on. If you look good, you will feel good even if its just a little bit. Anything counts when dealing with anxiety. I’ve done it for years and this works most times. Open up your blinds and doors to let that beautiful sunshine beam into your home. The brighter your space, the better you feel. Sit down and scribble out what you would like to accomplish today whether its clearing out that closet, re-arranging your spice cabinet, or just jotting down what you need to make it a relaxing day for yourself. Whatever you do, avoid the news. That just causes more anxiety. Figure out what you are going to cook and do it with some music on whether its gospel or rap, just anything that gets those hips moving and back to your happy place. Dance while spicing up those ribs! Once the sun goes down a bit go outside for some fresh air. Even if it’s to sit on your porch steps, just take some deep breaths and find yourself back in peace. Water your plants and grass. Go for a little walk around the block. After a day of keeping your head as clear as can be there is no better way of bringing it to an end, but with a steaming hot shower and some calming music to heal the soul. Massage your scalp as you shampoo and condition, massage your neck, shoulders, and feet as you soap up.
The Reality of this Disorder
I know that anxiety is hard to deal with. I, myself, have dealt with it for years and still continue to struggle with it almost everyday. There is no way to make this awful, gut-wrenching feeling go away completely, but the above could help. Even if it is just for a day, it helps. I know our heads seem to want to explode with emotions and thoughts. Anyone can say, “Try this, it helps” and it won’t mean a thing, but it is really up to us, ourselves to make us feel okay. There are days I find myself lost and all I can do is pray and pray, all day. That is what helps me. It may not help 100% of the time and when it doesn’t I have to figure out another way to crawl out of that black hole that anxiety tends to pull us into. Do not do things that will drown you further. As bad as you want to dwell in your bed and let it sink you in, get up. As bad as you want to curl up on the floor and cry all day, do it for a few minutes, instead. Though you may not have an appetite, food will help, try one bite. Your headache won’t go away and you don’t want to move, take an Advil or Tylenol and lay on your couch and watch some Netflix (nothing depressing, please!). There are things we can do to help ourselves, nothing is too small or too big to help manage our mindsets. You are not alone, we are all in this together even though it seems as though everyone you know and love is 100 miles away from you.
If you have not dealt with anxiety before in your life and have not been feeling like yourself, perhaps you are feeling off and just out of focus, then you may be experiencing some form of anxiety.
Here are the list of common symptoms that you or someone you know may be experiencing with anxiety:
• Feeling of being in danger
• Feeling of uneasiness
• Rapid breathing or hyperventilating
• Chest pain or tightness
• Sudden sweating
• Trembling or twitching
• Feeling weak or faint
• Unable to focus or think clearly about anything other than the problem
• Feeling of losing control
• Feeling like you are going crazy
If you cannot control this on your own that is okay. It is always okay to not be okay. Consult with your doctor if you feel like this is out of your hands and you can’t find your way out. Never be scared or ashamed to ask for help.