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Mental Health

To Those in Pandemic Self-Isolation with Mental Illnesses

With the rapid arrival and spread of COVID-19, the world has felt a little crazy to say the least. In an attempt to slow the virus’s spread, self-isolation and staying at home has become the norm. With this comes a lot of change, such as the move to online classes, working from home, and all socializing taking the form of DMs and video calls. These changes alone are enough to make day-to-day life feel a little harder. Struggling with mental illness(es) amidst pandemia and self-isolation has the potential to induce emotional turmoil and may even be debilitating. 

The good news is that if you are struggling with mental illness in self-isolation, you still aren’t alone. I myself am working daily to find the healthiest ways to cope with being cooped up while managing depression, anxiety, and things of the like.

Here are some tips and tricks I have found to work for me! I hope some—if not all—work for you too!

  1. Veggies, Water, Sleep. I know this may sound redundant and too simplistic or generalized, but meeting your basic needs can be life saving. Be sure to get plenty of consistent rest (adults need 7-9 hours of sleep!), eat regularly—make sure you’re getting in your fruits and veggies!—and drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water daily, shower regularly, and take your meds if you have them. Take. Your. Meds.

  2. Get into a Routine. If you’re doing online classes or working from home, it’s time to get that planner out! Write out your schedule for when you have lectures, discussion board posts, exams, assignments, meetings, etc. so you know what you have to do and when. This will also allow you to see when you have free time, which brings me to the next tip!

  3. Beyond the Basics: If the too much time you have on your hands is starting to eat at you, fill in those blank spaces in your schedule with something you can enjoy. If you want to start exercising or doing yoga, now is the time! Or pick up a new hobby, like sewing, crocheting, embroidery, video games, a new art project, or anything the internet has the ability to teach you! This will keep your mind occupied, and you may just pick up a skill that makes those endorphins flow with ease.

  4. Reach Out. I know this one can be super hard. But lucky for you, everyone is in the self-isolating boat with you. This means pretty much anyone is a text, DM, phone or video call away! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are in need of some grounding, reach out to anyone, and maybe even everyone you know. I promise they’ll be just as relieved as you are to receive some human contact.

  5. Do One Thing. If all of this feels like too much, if you’re beating yourself up for being uncertain amidst all the chaos, try to ease yourself by doing just one thing: brush your teeth. It may seem small and boring and maybe even ridiculous, but if you’re able to do just this one thing, it may help you to see that day-to-day living is completing one thing and then another one thing until you’ve completed a whole list of ‘one things.’ And if you brushed your teeth today, take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back. Because you’re getting through this, just like everyone else is— one step at a time.

 

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

crisistextline.org

Samantha is currently a junior at UNT and is studying English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in philosophy. She enjoys poetry, creative non-fiction, and all things witchy. She can be found on instagram and twitter under @ghostgrimoire.
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