Whenever I’m going through something, I hate when someone says, “it could always be worse.” Of course, there are situations that could be worse than mine but I’d rather take a moment to acknowledge what I’m going through than to experience pleasure from another person’s misfortune (schadenfreude). So, this is me acknowledging it…
Dealing with anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. My feelings of fear and apprehension seem to be heightened with each passing day. I don’t feel in control—I feel controlled. And, not knowing when this will all be over makes it even worse. Sure, we have arbitrary dates set when our cities and states will begin “opening back up” business by business, but that doesn’t do anything to ease my fear of the virus itself. Do I wait to see if the number of cases spike after May whatever? Or, do I assume this was all some sort of test of government control? I really don’t know.
I’ve tried to do my due diligence and read information on various trusted websites but they only further confuse me and make my fears worse. I’m stressed TF out! And you know what’s worse? Having limited ways to deal with that stress.
Typically, when I’m stressed, I like to channel that energy into a workout at the gym or bond with my friends during a girls’ night out. Right now, I don’t have either of those options safely available to me. Instead, I’ve been trying to find ways to deal with my anxiety while #socialdistancing, being #shelteredinplace, and all the other phrases that have come about since this whole thing started.
From Optimism to Anxiety
I’m not going to lie, when rumors began circulating about a possible “voluntary quarantine” against a virus that was impacting so many other countries, I didn’t take it seriously. Now, I didn’t go to such lengths as to host a Quarantine Party but I also didn’t rush to the grocery store to buy up all the toilet paper, pasta, and bread. Like for real, what were y’all doing with all the bread?
I took precautions but I didn’t really change up my day-to-day routine because I didn’t really know what to believe. I’m sure you all heard that voice recording from the girl whose cousin works for the Pentagon…whose aunt lives in D.C….and whose friend works for the government warning us about a four-week quarantine [rolls eyes]. There was so much false information being reported and spread that I decided to stop watching the news—I really couldn’t take it!
It wasn’t until I heard of major events being canceled and reports of people testing positive for the virus that I began to worry, like REALLY worry! I thought of my two-year-old son, my parents, my grandparents, people whose immune systems may not be as strong as mine. Then, the calls, texts, and Facebook posts about people losing loved ones to the virus began to flood.
My optimism quickly turned into anxiety.
What if I have it? Will I know? Will I survive it? Are my allergies bothering me or is it something more serious?
I had so many questions but not enough answers.
I decided it was best that I follow the orders of the state and do my best to keep myself and my family safe.
How I’ve Been Dealing With My Anxiety During the Coronavirus
I’m blessed to have had a work-from-home job before this all began so my work life hasn’t really changed but I’m definitely adjusting to a new normal. I was a loner before but damn, I did like the option to be social every once and a while. Before, I would get so busy with everyday life, but now, I have no choice but to make time for myself. I’ve resorted to backyard workouts, drives around the block to get some fresh but safe air, and dare I say it: “Zoom parties!” It’s actually not so bad but I do find myself saying: “When the world opens back up, I’m going to do XYZ…” I probably won’t or I’ll likely wait until my anxiety subsides, whenever that is.
If you’re like me and find yourself stressed because you can’t make any plans other than your next meal, don’t resort to the thought that “it could always be worse” to suppress your feelings. Instead, embrace what you’re going through. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t started an Etsy shop, invested in the stock market, taught yourself a new language, or learned to cook. It’s ok to come out of this whole thing as yourself, just the way you are. Trust me, you won’t be alone.