In 2020, most of us started by calling it a year of goals but ended up disappointed because 2020 came back, biting us. Halfway through this year and COVID19, many people are already wrestling with COVID19 anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression and many other mental challenges. Happy feelings have turned into heavier burdens in these stress-producing times.
Suffering from acute anxiety since a while and when I felt my life falling into place, finally, I wasn’t ready to take a step back. Having no option except working from home, staying away from friends and family and letting go of many other activities, I once again lost everything to the hands of COVID19 lockdown. Months into lockdown with little to no hope of improvement, COVID19 anxiety started kicking back in, worse than ever!
After having a few worst months, I finally decided that I’ll have to find a way out. From the experiences towards a solution, here’s what I was able to pen down.
What I Experienced
Every other person is experiencing different COVID19 anxiety symptoms as it varies from person to person and not everyone goes through the same thing.
The major symptoms that I’ve been experiencing were these:
– Reoccurring Thoughts
As much as I tried not to think about the ongoing situation, there were triggers that always forced me to start thinking about those things again. Reoccurring thoughts were one of the most difficult things to overcome. It is all about how strong our mind is and how efficiently you are able to get it thinking about positive things. Once you practising how to redirect your mind at positive stress, 50% of your COVID19 anxiety goes away, at least worked for me!
Getting irritated and impatient about minor things was out of my control. Repetitive sounds, unnecessary noise and also unnecessary silence, irritated me to my core. Not only sounds but stuff like not able to complete work at the time, missing something irritated me a lot as well. Cant’ say it is completely gone, but it is not there as much as it used to be.
– Excessive Sadness
Staying quiet, thinking about how I am away from my work, daily routine, friends and family caused sadness and also emotionlessness. It is very much connected to point one!
– Loss of Interest
Realising it very late, I found out that I have been losing interest in things I used to love the most. Painting was a major part of my life so was watching movies and writing but it was no more a part of my life. Which was a major setback in its own place.
– Palpitation And Difficulty Breathing
As much as I started thinking about how my life has been in a box only, I felt it causing palpitation and consequently, I was getting short of breath. Always confusing it with asthma, I never found out what was causing unwanted shortness of breath even when I was doing good in terms of health.
Why It Happened
Working in the healthcare sector, you have to keep yourself updated about what is happening around, which is what i think caused me a lot of trouble. Constantly having a track of how many cases are reported, how many people are dying, what are the possibilities and outcomes of it, it started making me sick. It is true, too much information is also very dangerous. Mentioning that I love my job, COVID19 had us all have bigger responsibilities than ever. Keeping everyone updated about everything, the happenings and the causes, has a lot of adverse effects on the people working on it.
I’d say, hats off to our doctors, healthcare workers and paramedics. Keeping themselves sane is a bigger job than any of us can see.
How I Started Focusing On Better Stuff
– Distanced Myself From The News
Though keeping myself updated about the happenings is a part of my work, I now only read about it when it is required. Keeping myself from the news is by far the best thing I’ve done, it helps a lot. Now, the only time when I read articles and update myself about the COVID19 situation is when I have to write about it.
– Stopped Over-Monitoring My Symptoms
Monitoring and assessing your symptoms is good, but the excess of it is not good. I have always been conscious if I’m breathing well, if my heartbeat is okay, if any of it is progressing or not. Trust me, you’re okay unless you start over-monitoring it. That is what makes you sick. Don’t do that. Give yourself 5 minutes in a day to assess if you’re doing okay or not, rest of the time, just let it be!
– Got Myself New Projects
Getting myself busy proved to be a good tactic. I got myself new projects that I love, working on my paintings a lot nowadays!. This has certainly helped me get my mind off of the negativity and chaos around me.
– Started Focusing On Fitness
Staying away from sports and not having an active routine was a major upset. I found out, we still can do a lot while staying at home. Get yourself a yoga mat, dumbbells and some resistance bands, you’re good to go!. If that seems impossible, go out for a walk. It all depends on how much we ourselves are willing to get moving. It has been a while now that I’ve put myself back on the workout track and am able to give ample amount of time to make my routine active again.
– Started Watching Grey’s Anatomy
I’ve never watched such lengthy seasons, but if it is good, then why not!. Watching grey’s anatomy has been a great decision. Having a good piece of learning along with entertainment is never a bad idea. Though it has got me hooked and won’t leave unless I watch all 17 seasons!!. I guess I am ready to waste my time like that.
Note For All The Anxiety Sufferers!
Whether you are suffering from COVID19 anxiety or any other mental issue, get yourself someone to talk to!. The recovery, the improvement, it is never possible if you don’t have people to talk to. Living alone, dealing with it alone and not talking about it never works instead, it makes the situation worse. Being an introvert, I never like talking about what I feel and what I do but sometimes, that’s the only thing you should do.
If you have someone you can trust, talk to them and let them know how you feel!. I have been lucky to have a friend and a supportive family to get me through this! It is never too late.
Moreover, if you need professional advice you can always talk to a psychologist through Marham.pk as your information is totally safe and your privacy is respected.
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Stay Home Stay Safe!
Javeria Adil Chughtai
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