Overwhelmed about Coronavirus? Same – Let’s talk about it

This past week has felt insane. There is no denying it – with all schools being switched online, cities going on lockdown and all the news constantly flooding your phone, it definitely feels like a weird dystopian reality. Every day the situation changes rapidly, and with all of the uncertainty happening it is completely normal to feel more anxious or on-edge than usual. 

Right now, the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and others is social distancing. I know it sounds kind of funny, or maybe even feels extreme, but seriously, it has just got to happen. This means avoiding public places, staying home as much as you can and only having small gatherings. I know this means a lot of adjustment, but these drastic measures are temporary and we can all get through this. 

pug in a blanket Unsplash If you are like me, social distancing sounds really scary. I am, what I like to call, a ‘creature of companionship’ – I LOVE being around people. I know when I am alone for a long time, I can really get in my own head. Especially with the amount of uncertainty in the world right now, mental health is something we have to be extra cautious of. I have been doing a lot of reading on how to stay mentally healthy during these times. It is, obviously, something I have never had to deal with. So, through many internet searches I have compiled a list of self-care techniques specific to the COVID-19 situation. 

Stay Informed but limit the media consumption

If you are in a situation where you need to self-isolate, or are currently practicing social distancing, try your best to stay off of your phone and social media. I know phones have become a natural instinct for distraction, but with every social media platform constantly discussing the coronavirus it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information. Also, remember that a lot of news outlets tend to report on the negative rather than positive; panic sells better than peace. Get your COVID-19 updates incrementally from trusted sources; places like the World Health Organization and government websites are great examples. Fact check things you see on Instagram, twitter, tiktok, etc.; people create stories that generate attention and don’t prioritize the facts. 

Separate what is in your control and what is not 

Though everything about this situation feels out of our control, there are things you can do for prevention. Staying home, washing your hands and avoiding public spaces are all things you can take control of in your life. Instead of focusing on all of the situations in the world that seem insurmountable, focus on tasks close to you that you can accomplish. For example, as a student whose school was just switched online, my short-term task for the next two days is to set up a schedule of when I will work on my next assignments. 

person washing hands Burst

Stay in the present 

Right now, one of the hardest things about this situation is thinking about the future. In my lifetime, we have never dealt with a worldwide pandemic like this. Instinctually the human brain is wired to think ahead. Questions about how the world will be in ‘x’ amount of time have been constantly circulating around in my mind. When I start to do this, I take a look at five things around me. By taking note of sensory experiences in your immediate proximity, it grounds you back in the present. This is a technique that takes time to learn, but it is easy to practice! When I find myself in a spiral of fear of the future, I blast my favourite song, take a look around and remind myself that in this particular moment – I. Am. Okay.   

In these times of uncertainty, we have to exemplify all the positivity that remains. Listen to your favourite songs, spend (face)time with the people you love and know that hope conquers all. To finish off, here are my two favourite Instagram pages that always share positive news in the world <3 : 

@goodnews_movement

@upworthy