Dealing with Mental Illness During a Pandemic

Joseph Meyer

Suffering from mental illness can be a never-changing situation that millions experience daily, but how about adding our current pandemic. For most who are aware we are going to a health crisis with COVID-19. A virus that has taken hold of much of the world. As someone who has battled with Depression and Anxiety for most of my adult life, I know the struggles.

I can only speak for myself, but I am also an introvert so alone having always been a component of who I am but I will say that has not helped me because deep down I want to have relationships with people, communication and a sense of togetherness. Now we are all forced to stay indoors for good reason, but that doesnā€™t help those with severe mental illness stuck in the home by themselves and if are stuck with people that can also be a challenge.

This is actually the first time in my forty years of age I can remember we in the United States has ever experienced such a situation but we are going to get through this and not let COVID-19 take us down with it. I understand for those who are working to cope with the situation and the difficulty it can be difficult to begin where to start and to prepare.

Preparation will be our best friend so here are some tips that may help.

  • Get medicated

For many who suffer with mental illness medication can be your lifeline to coping with tough situations, make sure you are well stocked for now and even the future. I no longer take medication but that is not always a choice for others. Medication in many cases can allow you to get three-month supplies making sure you donā€™t have to keep going back to pharmacy to refill. When I did take medication, I had comfort knowing that I was supplied so I would not have any lapses in taking.

  • See a Doctor

This goes in line with taking your medication and for those who struggle know the importance of a doctor which would include both medical, psychological and psychiatry. Even during these times seeing a doctor may be difficult but itā€™s still important to make sure you get regular check upā€™s, adjustments to medications and psychotherapy are key. Many medical providers now provide Telehealth which allows you virtually meet your doctor or speak with them over the phone. I prefer in these times the virtual option if they are able to see via skype, zoom or some other type of teleconferencing software.

  • Get comfortable

I am someone who know what it means to get comfortable, part of that includes making sure I have plenty of food in the house. Other ways to get comfortable making sure the bills are paid, plenty of clean clothes and anything you would need well to make you comfortable that includes even your favorite gaming system, music, movies. Having this comfortability in your life can help you stay calm.

  • Get Plenty of Rest

A good nightā€™s sleep does wonders for our mind, in these times I say its perfect acceptable to sleep a little more, getting under those comfy sheets and just sleep. Now of course if you work from home that may be difficult, but I would recommend get anywhere from eight to ten hours of good rest.

  1. Self-Care is key

Being stuck indoors it can be easy to pass on the shower or some minor exercise or even brushing your teeth, donā€™t do it. Self-care allows us to feel reinvigorated which goes a long way to our mental health.

  • Exercise

I have found that some form of exercise does wonders for our mental health whether its going for a walk, Gyms are currently out, unless you have a home gym so do it. Be consistent if you can each day do it you will feel better for it.

  1. Read

Picking up a good book does wonders for me as I get lost in a good book full of adventure and mystery using our imagination.

  1. Give yourself a break for once

We are too hard on ourselves at times and forget to cut ourselves some slack in difficult times. I know itā€™s easy to feel anxiety filled, worrisome over the current situation but try to put things in perspective as the times we are in will hopefully get better soon.

  1. Reach out

Communicate, call , text those in your life such as family and friends during these times are stuck in doors, this will make a difference in our lives if we can just laugh about those positive aspects of life.

The list can go on and on of all the ways those suffer with mental health in our current health crisis can cope as we all have our own. I know what makes me tick and I am sure you know what makes you tick, so lets work together to stay safe, stay sane in these times when we stuck inside not only protecting ourselves but others due to COVID-19. Wishing everyone good health during these times.

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