Before the pandemic, I was genuinely doing well in my crusade to beat anxiety. I met with my support group three times a week and talked to people with similar mental disorders like mine. My therapy sessions were also going great, considering I managed to trust and open up to my therapist quickly. The doctor even allowed me to stop taking calming medication, which I did not like one bit.
However, I should have known that there is no such thing as a smooth recovery. There were supposed to bumps on the road that aimed to shake you a little and ensure that you could apply your newfound knowledge to the situation. In my case, that roadblock came in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I could still recall the night when I learned about it and the community quarantine that it resulted in. It happened on a Wednesday after coming home from my support group meeting. I was in a good mood while telling my boyfriend over dinner about my self-discoveries. Then, when we watched the late-night news, we heard about the businesses closing and the mandatory cancellation of mass gatherings.
Our lives changed overnight after that. My office shut down temporarily, no one in the support group could host or attend another meeting, and the therapist was no longer allowed to see clients in person. In other words, I had to stop doing practically everything that glued my sanity together. And just like that, it became almost too easy to slip back into my anxiety-filled days.
If you pay attention to my word choices, you may notice that I say “almost” in the last sentence. That’s because I have been able to get ahold of myself at the last minute and try to get over my pandemic-triggered anxiety.
Below are two things I have done in the previous months.
Rely On Loved Ones For Support
I love my boyfriend enough to decide to buy a house with him, but I have appreciated his existence more during the quarantine. He has been looking after me and helping me deal with panic attacks. Whenever I voice out my concerns, he listens well and does not make me feel as crazy as I know I am. Because of that, I get prolonged moments of clarity even without professional help.
Now, you need not shack up with anyone hastily just so you can have a support system at home. You may move back into your parents’ house or ask your siblings or friends to stay with you. This way, there will always be people around to remind you of who you are.
Decide On What Type Of News To See
There are many updates related to COVID-19 at this point. Some come with straightforward facts, complete with death tolls and more depressing stuff. Others talk about people overcoming the disease or scientists making progress with their goal to create a vaccine against coronavirus.
Considering hard-hitting news does not do you and your anxiety any good, you should focus on the latter type of content. It will still be factual, so you won’t be stuck in an ideal world. However, you can get the information in a positive light, thus preventing you from freaking out.
Letting anxiety affect you for too long was already an awful choice in the past. Allowing it to happen now that the pandemic remains far from over will only be suicide.
If you want to get over your pandemic-triggered anxiety as I did, you need to focus on yourself and your loved ones. Worrying about matters that cannot be fixed by a single person will not make a significant change in the world’s current situation. The best help you can offer is your promise to calm down and stay at home.