This is my first post, but it’s a very important one that I’d like to share with everyone.
We are certainly right smack in an unprecedented time and that few of us have ever experienced. With the pandemic felt world wide, the stay at home orders, people perishing and having to make a total change in how we do things, it sure can spark a wide ray of emotions such as anxiety, fear, depression and grief.
I’ like to say that feeling anxious, afraid and depressed during these times is a normal reaction and emotion to have. Some of us suffer from these ailments outside of these times too.
Let me start by saying that talking about anxiety, fear and depression at any time is important because so many people suffer from these mental health disorders, but it’s even more important to talk about it today given the circumstances that we are in.
The good news is that we can overcome anxiety, depression and fear, if we are willing to work at it and it does take work.
Think about this, in generations past there have been many plagues/virus’ such as the Bubonic plague, the Spanish influenza, Polio, Leprosy, Cholera, Typhus, just to name a few.
Despite the losses in death, humanity has always prevailed, so, let’s keep hope alive.
Here are a few things that you can do to help ease some of the anxiety, fear, depression and grief you may have. Before I provide you with some techniques to help you, let me talk about grief.
Grief can come in many forms. Often people think that grief is only felt when a loved one passes on. Grief can come about when there is a loss of employment, of a relationship, of a loved one, due natural disasters, and of course the current pandemic. Grief is experienced in 5 stages. Stage 1 – Denial, Stage 2 -Anger, Stage 3 – Bargaining, Stage 4 – Depression, Stage 5 – Acceptance. Sometimes you will go through each cycle multiple times.
Here are a few things you can do to help ease the anxiety, stress, fear, depression and grief.
- Meditate (download an app on your phone or on your computer)
- Exercise (walk in the back yard, on the treadmill, etc.)
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Tense each muscle in sections, hold for 7 second and then release)
- Deep Breathing (inhale through your mouth, counting from 1-4 seconds, exhale through your mouth counting from 1-4 seconds. Repeat as many times as you need to feel the relaxation.)
- Imagery (Imagine yourself in your favorite place, where you feel peace and relaxation. It can be the beach, the mountains, the cabin in the mountains, a garden full of roses, etc.)
- Mindfulness ( Think about the present moment using your 5 senses – sight, touch, taste, sound, smell)
- Journal your feelings (whatever they may be)
- Take a bubble bath
- Use aromatherapy (lavender is soothing)
These are just a few things to do to keep yourself busy during this stay at home order.
Remember, this too shall pass and that it’s important to talk to someone. Reach out for family, friends or a trained specialist. Many therapists are providing therapy via phone or by video.