Getting Over Pandemic-Triggered Anxiety

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Clean Environment Means Healthy Body And Mind

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The 2019 Environmental Health Conference was a good venue for environmentalists (and entrepreneurs as well) to discuss and share their expertise on how the environment affects our daily life as well as our mental wellness as individuals. It was an excellent opportunity to listen to the talks there on how we can take care of our environment since it is taking care of us too. Indeed, having a healthy environment equates to a good life for every individual.

Continue reading “Clean Environment Means Healthy Body And Mind”

Talk Therapy For HIV-Positive Mothers

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The 2017 Annual Public Health Seminar was very informative. Almost every quarter, the BU School of Public Health handle the Global Health Research Seminar Series. It is a one hour event that caters to many public health topic like HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, infant health, early childhood development, ART retention, and more. I know the topics may seem very general, but the seminars are specific and one of a kind. For example, I attended the seminar wherein women with HIV in South Africa has revealed their stories and more to that, they have given birth while with their disease.

Continue reading “Talk Therapy For HIV-Positive Mothers”

Family Harmony

Which family doesn’t argue? Every single family argues whether it’s over whose turn it is to pick the family day activity, or who gets to use the bathroom first! Even when a family has grown, harmony doesn’t always come. People love one another but they can argue and be less harmonious than possible! However, can family harmony really help heal a family and what should you do to try and bring family harmony to your household? This site partly talks about it.

You Must Do Your Bit

You cannot expect to get family harmony overnight or without hard work. Getting a family to put aside their differences and come together is not going to be easy in any sense and it’s going to take a lot of time, too. However, you need to do your part when it comes to creating family harmony. You cannot keep bringing up past issues that cause arguments and you have to move on from the person you used to be. Harmony will take time and effort on everyone’s part, even you.

Family Harmony Can Help Bring a Family Closer

When you have family harmony, then you can honestly feel closer to one another. That can be so very important for a host of reasons and really it might help bring a family back together again. However, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get a family back on track. There will be screaming, shouting, and tantrums but that is part and parcel of life. You cannot have a happy household every minute of the day and there will be tears. When there is harmony, however, the family can feel much closer and happier in their own ways. Click this site!

There Are Going To Be Disagreements

In truth, families are going to fall out. Families will tear strips off one another and absolutely dislike one another,  but that is a family. You cannot have harmony every second of the day. It’s very important to remember that because while you might want to have a happy family, you will run into difficulties from time to time. It’s all a part of family life and, in all honesty, we can’t always be happy with every decision someone makes. For some members of the family, they will disagree when their sister chooses a man who mistreats her; and daughters will hate it when their mother tries meddling in their life. That is family life and it’s a natural part of it. There can be family harmony but you do have to work for it and there will be tough times even when things are going well.

Love Your Family

Who doesn’t want the perfect family? Having a loving mother, father, and siblings can be great but it doesn’t exist. There are no perfect families out there and it’s important to remember that because if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t be happy or love one another. What is more, family harmony isn’t as difficult to find either and with a bit of effort on your part, things can become much more harmonious. After all, perfection is boring!

 

My Therapist Told Me To Come Home – A Travel Blogger’s Depression

I’ve been a fan of travel bloggers.   I am amazed by their courage to travel alone.  It sounds inspiring when I hear most of them say that travel is life.  And I wonder, “Can I make it my way of life, too?” I have never left my hometown in my 21 years here on earth.  Will I ever have the courage to do it?

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Freelancing Is My Ticket To Traveling

I was determined to travel the world!

So I followed one travel blogger’s advice, and that is to do freelancing in order to afford life on the road.  I read, studied, and put to practice Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek.  Like the others, I made it my Bible in freelancing and traveling.  Getting into this kind of career was never easy.  I failed many times, but with determination, I was able to make it my stable source of income.

 

Overcoming The Anxiety I’ve Never Had Before

I would love to travel, but just the idea of traveling outside of the country became too overwhelming for me, so I decided to explore my country first.  I spent almost six months backpacking, and it was a crazy awesome experience.  I came back home for my mom to know that I was okay.  My family and friends were all excited to hear my stories.  Now, I am ready to travel the world, and my first stop, Vietnam!

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My Feelings Started To Change

It feels very different, and the level of anxiety is much higher.  My mind wanders, thinking of the worst-case scenarios that frighten me.  Different country, different culture.

It was slowly getting into me that I was a foreigner in this land of the unknown.  I tried hard to blend in and find friends.  I got lost in the streets but managed to find my way back to my rented room, which is part of the adventure.  I found the place exciting, and some places were really a paradise.  Some people were great, and there are some who were not, just like in any other places I visited.

 

It was at first fun flying from one country to another.  But I don’t know what happened to me. Suddenly, I was back in my hostel room, feeling so empty.   The excitement was starting to wear off.  Am I just missing home? Am I just overthinking? I tried going out more often and make more friends to divert my boredom, as I called it.  But things got worse when I found myself not going out much when I was in Thailand.  It was a beautiful place, but I was not sure why I could not find the energy to explore more.  Sitting at Phi Phi beach and watching families having fun made me miss my own family back home.  Loneliness struck me that for two nights, I was just in the room that I rented doing nothing until I found myself registering on an online counseling site.

 

I talked to one of their therapists and told him about what I was feeling and asked him what he thinks about it.  He told me that the way it looked, my sudden loss of interest and sadness could be due to depression.  Travelers, no matter how excited they are, can experience depression, especially when traveling alone.

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To Be Honest, I Want To Go Back Home

He asked me how I really feel now that traveling to me is no longer the idea I was just imagining but a reality of life for me.  I gave myself time to think, and my answer was I wanted to go back home. Traveling alone, seeing beautiful places, experiencing new things is not fun when you are alone, that’s for me to say.  I have this guilty feeling that I should be sharing all this with my family.   Whenever I look at my selfies sitting alone at a restaurant, playing at the beach, I think of the family I left behind, and I think of myself as “selfish.”  Instead of enjoying the rest of my travel, it depresses me.

 

Coming Back Home Can’t Be An Option, It’s Cowardliness

After several sessions and after hearing me out, my therapist told me why not go back home.  He said that I seemed to miss my family, which is true.   But I can’t.  I wanted to do this. Giving up and going home would mean I failed.

 

Then my therapist told me, “What’s the use of finishing your goal if you are no longer happy about it?  Think of what will make you happy and not what others will think. You travel not for another people’s satisfaction but your own.  If going home is what will give you your happiness, then that’s not failing. That’s knowing what you want.  Your travel has taught you so much and has opened your mind to many possibilities and experiences.  That’s not failing, but gaining, and not all are given a chance to have that.”

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All My Bags Are Packed

My therapist got me thinking.  And I found myself packing my bags and heading back home.  Traveling has always been my passion, and it has allowed me to grow and learn many things.  Coming home is what excites me now.  I miss sitting on our couch and sharing them my stories.  I miss my bedroom and my mom’s cooking.

 

Many people love the idea of traveling, but not all are ready to leave the comfort of their home.  But for those who gave it a shot, like me, but found themselves just curling up in their hotel room, bored, jittery, and depressed, it is not wrong to open your mind to the reality of what you are feeling.  Cutting your trip short does not mean surrendering to defeat. It’s the wisdom to know what you want and doing something about it, which many fail to consider.

 

I do not consider myself a failure because I took the courage to travel and find myself. It is just that maybe going alone is not for me at this point in my life.  But I will be back on the road, and when that time comes, I will bring along the most important people in my life.

 

Staying Sane But Not Single: Dating In The Modern World

Source: uk.businessinsider.com

I don’t think there has ever been a time in history where dating was easy and both sexes understood each other with complete clarity. If a time has existed with simplified dating rituals and processes, I think we can honestly say now definitely isn’t it. With an influx of dating apps and websites in previous years, our dating lives have become ever more active whilst simultaneously becoming more and more complex. I remember when I was around seventeen, I was sitting with my mum in our living room when an advert for a cliché teen drama popped up on the TV, she immediately turned around to me and said, “if I went back in time and had to do the whole young dating thing in this day and age, I’m not sure if I could deal with it all”. She then began to elaborate and explained the mammoth difference between technology and dating now compared to twenty years ago. For the first time in my life, I realized that my generation is facing a completely different type of dating battleground. Generations before us didn’t even have mobile phones to text with, let alone swipe right to spark a potential relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it is an incredible time we live in with plenty of opportunities, but along with this simplified process comes a whole host of additional issues.

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While we now have a much larger choice of potential partners, this choice can leave us confused and overwhelmed. This endless selection of partners can spoil us and our expectations. When presented with such an extensive list we may become more picky, resulting in an individual endlessly window shopping for the perfect partner. This choice has proven to make us more judgmental and may result in us dismissing a potential partner that we may have given a chance in real life. Moreover, a prodigious amount of choice can lead to more fragile relationships. The chances of infidelity in a relationship can be far greater when temptation is only a tap away, especially with Apps and sites designed for those looking to cheat such as Ashley Madison.

Source: unothegateway.com

For girls, online dating can present an age-old problem that has transferred from the real world into the cyber world, men that are solely looking for sex. This may not be breaking news but it is an issue for women across many dating sites and apps. Though there are some good guys out there, dating apps and sites create another platform in which men can bombard women with overly forward messages and unflattering pictures of their genitals. The good news is that apps like Tinder and Bumble give women more power to selectively choose and message potential partners instead of allowing waves of men to relentlessly contact them.

Like many apps, it is important to remember that your engagement should have a healthy balance with everything else in your life. Because the truth is, just like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, dating apps can be addictive. Operant conditioning dictates that we are more likely to repeat behavior if it is rewarded, and what is more rewarding than finding out someone thinks you are attractive. When we have a match or message from someone new. For example, Tinder has been known to strategically place those who have liked you in a certain order. This produces what feels like a random success rate of who you will match with much like the system used by slot machines to keep you playing.

All of this may sound incredibly depressing, but the truth is we are living in one of the most interesting times to be single. Societal norms are now more liberal than ever and technology is constantly keeping us on our toes, spicing our dating lives up for better and for worse. I will leave you with this clip as I believe the comedian Aziz Ansari perfectly sums up modern dating in a spectacularly hilarious manner.

 

My Beliefs Are Different From Yours

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(When Culture, Teligion And Tradition Clashes With The Modern Times…)

My marriage was arranged. Yes, it’s the 21st century and a woman must be free to choose her husband. But I belong in a family where tradition is rich and strictly followed. One of the many beliefs in our family is to set up a boy and a girl and will them to marry each other when they reach 19. The moment my parents knew I was a girl, my future has been “sold”. That’s how I saw it while growing up and I was very rebellious back then.

I wasn’t allowed to have suitors, let alone experience puppy love. Watching teen movies and rom-coms was the closest I ever got to “having a boyfriend”. My parents were preserving me for my future husband and I will meet him on my 19th birthday. I know which family he belongs to, but I don’t know who he is exactly. In parties, my mother would say – “Your husband is here and he says that you look beautiful. Masha Allah. He says that he is very blessed that you are a pious woman darling and he can’t wait to officially meet you on your birthday.” In a way, it made me feel all giddy, but the fact still remained – my choice was robbed from me – at that time, that’s how I saw it.

One day, my mother saw me crying. I have thought about my future that time and it made me panic. What if I didn’t like him or he doesn’t like the real me? Is he a good person? Will he be a wonderful husband to me? What will happen to me after we get married? Will I still be able to finish college? I really want to work and have my own income – will my husband allow me that? I have become so anxious and that anxietywas really building up to a point wherein I was hyperventilating. My mother saw all of that and came to my aid.

Source: vice.com

She told me that she felt the same way when her 19th year was fast approaching and when her betrothed, my father, was still waiting for her. “I know how you feel and I’ve been there myself. But we are your parents and we need you to trust us. We will not choose a husband for you who will destroy your future. You will go to college and you will be able to work in whatever field you choose – your husband will support you. As for children, whenever you’re ready. All the other things, you two will work it out and me and dad, together with his parents, can suggest and recommend actions for you to do. The final decision will come from the both of you, of course.” She told me.

I asked her why she needed to sell me to some guy that I don’t love. My mother laughed and said that I am indeed her daughter because when she was younger, she asked her mom the same thing. She answered me the same thing my grandma said to her – “Selling means I have acquired money from the “transaction”, but I haven’t. We are not selling you and we will never do that. We are just making sure that when we are gone, you have a responsible husband by your side who will be your companion until Allah continues on with your fate.” Yes, we’re Muslims and for some, this situation is a sample of oppression. As I look at it, I was beginning to understand why. It’s not oppression and I don’t feel oppressed at all.

People are given their freedom to choose, but what if we intentionally pick to do the wrong things all the time? Is this right and justifiable? I feel now that my parents are just watching out for me, since I am a woman, and they don’t want me to be tainted by the “modern” culture – lies, lust, premarital sex, drugs, alcohol and more. I prayed to the Almighty for guidance and understanding.

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Now, I can say, that I am waiting for this day to come. Other people may not “get” it, but this is my life and these people who are not supportive have no say in the matter. If the marriage will pose a challenge, my mother said that we can always turn to mediation and couples counseling (yes, we do this too!) which sounds really good to me. At least we are both pure when we take each other as husband and wife and we can get to know one another after that. The Almighty reserved him for me as I for him and in a way, I do have my own Prince Charming, which is romantic.

4 Millennial Problems That Exist

Life is so easy for the millennials according to some. They don’t need to continuously fight for gender or racial equality because it’s already at play. The ladies are free to receive higher education and become an achiever without anyone holding them back. The electronic gadgets you get these days only exist in the dreams as well of the previous generations.

 

But as luxurious as the life of a young adult seems it’s not all rainbows and cupcakes for everyone. There are real millennial problems that the oldies may never understand. Below are some of them.

  1. Working with incapable bosses

Millennials grow up with plenty of information accessible through one device. Since they’re in a fast-paced environment, they also have to learn things quickly to ride the tide, and most accomplish that. The result is that they’re already brimming with skills even before stepping into the workforce.

The problem comes when they enter a company and become a subordinate to someone whose only edge is being there longer. This incapable boss can pass their workload to the capable younger employee and accept all the recognition when the project succeeds. If it doesn’t, however, he or she will point the blame at the new employee.

The injustice surrounding the entire scenario gives stress to the millennials, without a doubt.

Source: managers.org.uk


2. Seeing fewer opportunities

Consequently, despite the talents and the academic degrees they possess, approximately 40% of the young adult population end up jobless.

The visible reason is that the industries cannot accommodate all the qualified millennials that universities produce each year. Their numbers don’t match the number of vacancies that companies can open. Thus, they become unemployed and have no means to pay off student loans immediately.

Source: accomnews.com.au

 

3. Having too many options.

There are older folks who claim that the Generation X is full of privileged kids who can get away with anything. No one can blame them since the millennials truly have more freedom to do whatever they please than anybody else in the history.

If young adults thirty years ago dressed in skimpy clothes, acted indecently on the streets, or turn up drunk at home, for example, hell may break loose. These days, parents simply chalk that up as ‘part of growing up.’ Some states even lower their age limit for drinking, which offers young adults a choice to spend time with liquor bottles rather than books and other productive stuff.

I guess the confidence shown to the millennials is alright at some point. But having too many choices too early can blindside them about what’s OK and what’s proper.

Source: everydayhealth.com

 

4. Developing mental illnesses.

Of course, we shouldn’t discount as well the fact that the patients diagnosed with some form of mental disorder are getting younger. Aside from social pressure, a lot of the millennials feel like they don’t know who they are. Not to mention, the stress of living up to the expectations of everyone who gave you your wants and needs is always there.

 

Surprising Emotional Changes That Can Happen During a Career Switch

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Having a job you hate can make work more difficult and tiring. Unfortunately, It is seldom that people realize how unhappy they are with the career they chose at an early stage. Often times, the urge to pursue a job they really like comes later such as when they pass the probation stage hence making the switch a daunting task.

If in case you decide to venture a different path to explore more opportunities, you should brace yourself with the possible hurdles that you might face along the way because the journey won’t come easy until you find the perfect recipe for success.

Moving out of your comfort zone can be scary and can bring a roller coaster of emotions therefore, Getting familiar with the positive and negative feelings you may experience on the process is a great way to start your career transition.

 

Stage 1: Depression and Fear

Letting go of your current job can bring a level of excitement, but when things finally sink in, you may end up feeling sad and depressed because you are no longer sure of what will happen next and you suddenly become afraid of what the future holds. The unfamiliar environment and new people around you can be intimidating which adds up to your frustration. But don’t worry, it’s nothing but normal to feel uncertain and dispirited. Accept that you have to go through this stage to prosper with your new career.

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Stage 2: Regret and Anxiety

With your new job, you can encounter new tasks that you have not done before so there is a tendency that you will feel uncomfortable with the activities and pressured with the timeline given to you. You may feel anxious with the outcome or the quality of your performance and deep inside you will question yourself if you have made the right choice.

 

Stage 3: Familiarization and Acceptance

As you move forward, you will feel a sense of belonging in your workplace. You meet new friends, become oriented with your day to day tasks and you will feel that things are falling into place. When you start feeling at ease, your work flows smoothly, your doubts starts to fade and you begin to enjoy your new job.

 

Stage 4: Determination

At this point you have already developed a feeling of relief and you focus more on the factors that can help you develop a right mindset and a better game plan. You become more goal oriented and eager to succeed.

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Switching to a new career path is one of the biggest decision that you could ever make in your life. The transition phase can be really difficult and at some point you will question the choice that you made. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you should stick to a job that you do not like. While you have to undergo the 4 stages of emotional changes on the process, exploring the unknown to seek for a better future or to fulfill your hearts desire will always be worth it in the end.

Self-Improvement Principles For A Healthy Well-Being

Overall personal development can take a long process. However, it doesn’t need to make a few minutes to begin improving one’s self. The growth of the mental and emotional aspects is always significant. That’s why one needs to pay attention to what benefits these factors. There are tons of therapy tips and guidelines to choose from. As long as there is the belief that any big goal can break down into a smaller task, an individual can genuinely get by with those adjustments he is about to take. In this article, I will try to enumerate some of the essential self-improvement principles one should consider mastering.

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Avoid Toxic Environment

One of the reasons why most people don’t succeed in life is because they choose to stick with what they believe is a better environment. However, there’s no such thing as a “better environment” when everything around regularly creates stress and pressure. Though some of the challenges in it may be beneficial for growth and self-development, the consistency can make an unfortunate turn of events. Therefore, if there’s a possibility that an individual can stay away from toxicity, he should work his way out of it immediately. That way, that person can have a chance to save his overall well-being.

Appreciate Things

As human beings, it is easy for a lot of people to complain about stuff. That’s because they don’t have contentment in life. They somehow don’t value things around them and often wish to trade what they currently have to something they desire. But when a person learns to appreciate what he’s holding onto, whether it’s a small thing, it creates a different perspective. It improves self-worth and self-love. When there’s appreciation on everything, one can become happy and fulfilled without questions asked.

Source: flickr.com

Embrace The Negativity Within

Self-improvement has a lot to do with negativity. It is the primary reason why an individual has unique characteristics. However, most of them don’t realize that having these negative vibes is also beneficial for one’s development. It shouldn’t become the reason that will push someone into thinking that he is never good at anything. Instead of believing that the negativity won’t help someone in improving himself, it should be the other way around. One can use it to accept the challenges better, create a necessary adjustment, and love himself unconditionally.

Don’t Be Afraid To Create A Mistake

 

The reason why a lot of people don’t see positive solutions in their misfortune is that they don’t try to acknowledge their slip-ups. They often ignore one of the essential ways to grow which is learning from their mistakes. Most of the time, they do it exaggeratedly, but they don’t have to because one wrong decision can be enough to teach a person a valuable lesson. There’s no need to try and repeat the mistakes over and over again to understand what it is and see how things would end.

Try To Make A Difference

 

Self-improvement is a process where a person needs to understand what he needs to do, change, and sacrifice, to become a better version of himself. Perhaps it’s more convenient when an individual consistently chose to stay as someone he is used to be. But, that particular thinking doesn’t always work for some reason. One specific way an individual grow is through changing and making a difference. Yes, one can stick to his principles, but it won’t hurt him to try and acknowledge methods that can potentially increase his overall development. And if fortunate, the adjustments he will create can eventually lead to better self-awareness.

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Be Yourself

 

Most individuals often misunderstand themselves because of what society thinks about them. Well, some are okay with the idea, and others are not though. But the exact reason why there’s a slow growth is because of “overthinking” about the situation. When a person continually cares about other people’s judgment, he is closing the door for self-improvement. But when he try and believe that none of their opinion matters, he will create a healthier view of himself. He will begin to like, love, and understand his personality way better.

Improving one’s self is a tough challenge to do. However, it is possible to attain once it becomes a choice.