Mental Health and COVID-19

Wow what a crazy week it has been. As I sit here writing this I am filled with emotion but know this needs to be shared!

We all know what everyone is thinking about at the moment, it is the coronavirus. We have been talking all about the physical effects on our bodies but what about the mental effects during this time. The coronavirus will be having a mental effect on so many people, and I believe will have a huge impact on the community, probably honestly more than the coronavirus itself. This is just my opinion. How are you feeling? Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed or stressed? I am and it’s hit me hard so I am here to talk about it and how I am dealing with. I am here to share my story and hopefully you may be able to relate and won’t feel lonely during this time. We need to come together and support one another.

At the start I wasn’t really phased about this coronavirus but suddenly it has hit me mentally and the last week has been tough.

I started to inform myself more and more about the coronavirus especially as a small business owner. But what happened once I did this???? My stress levels increased significantly. Monday I was struggling to hold in tears. I think I cried about 4 times that day, feeling completely overwhelmed. At one point I felt close to a panic attack as I couldn’t control it and couldn’t breathe. This is where I knew I needed to calm myself. I think on Monday I did about 3hours of meditation to try calm my emotions just so I could get through the day.

Tuesday I woke up at 430am feeling overwhelmed and had to put on more meditation to get me back to sleep. Due to a couple of cancellations in clinic I gave myself the morning off. I went for a walk and then headed to the beach, the whole time listening to calming music. I also had to pop to the shops but I felt like my body was there but my mind wasn’t, I was blank and felt like I was walking around aimlessly. The whole car ride home I listened to calming music but I just wasn’t with it. I felt empty.

Then Wednesday hit and once again was really struggling to function. I felt like I was having a panic attack couldn’t breathe so I decided to ring the health direct line to speak to one of the nurses. OMG she was AMAZING! She was so calm and help me straight away, I really think I just needed someone to guide me to a relaxed state and she said that she had talked to so many people that day feeling the exact same way. This made me feel not alone and this is part of the reason why I writing this, to make sure you know you are not alone in this.

Fear is usually what can cause this overwhelm and stress. I was overthinking everything. Over thinking my body and how I felt. If I sniffed once, if I coughed once I was questioning everything. I have even taken the measure to take my temperature everyday to ensure I don’t get a fever. Another fear is what happens if I get it and give it to someone else, what happens if I do have it and don’t know it. Now this is what you call an overloaded brain. I know I was overthinking but what steps could I take to reduce this and ease my stress levels.  Because If I didn’t change something I wouldn’t make it through the week.

What I have done to ensure my mental health and stress is mananged.

  1. Stay off social media – THIS IS THE BIGGEST THING THAT HAS HELPED! I have now made the decision for no more scrolling through social media. I will have a quick look at my notifications and reply to comments if needed, also post stories but no scrolling.  I have had to do what is best for my mental health, I will stay updated with the government information but that is it. I couldn’t keep living in this stressful state and wow how different I feel. Plus I am now being more productive, funny that!
  2. Keep my coronavirus interaction to a minimum – yes its important to keep up to date but my brain doesn’t need to be washed with thousands of social media posts about it. I will watch the 7perth live updates to keep myself informed but that is it.
  3. Regular meditation – It doesn’t matter how many times a day I need to do this, complete meditation anytime I feel my body getting stressed. Currently I am meditating morning and night.
  4. Not listening to the radio – taking the time in the car to listen to calming music, a podcast or audiobook or just nothing, complete silence. Basically no coronavirus news.
  5. Ring the Health Direct line – Like I said I have felt so much better since I have done this. Talking to a nurse and knowing I wasn’t alone.

These are just a couple of things that has helped me and I hope they can help you. These have really made a difference in how I feel, I nearly feel like I am going on with my day to day life, but obviously with caution. For me I need some sort of normality. But I am not ignoring what is going on, I will be contacting my bank to prepare myself for the next few weeks for what ever may happen. I have realised I can’t control what is happening all I can do is to try to adjust and adapt to it. Deep down I have realised that we all will get through this, please have this faith and look after yourself.

Also a big thing that has saved me is my clients and being able to help people. Helping people through their pain and making them feel better physically and mentally through massage is what I love to do. I am so grateful that I am able to do this for YOU my clients, so I thank you for your support 🙏

You need to remember we are all going through this together. I really hope you don’t feel alone anymore ❤️

Here are some stress symptoms, if you are feeling any of these and are struggling please contact the health direct line on 1800 022 222.

Lisa xxx

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