6 Things I’ve Learned Trying to Manage Anxiety in Quarantine
That You Can Learn Too!
Here’s a fun fact about anxiety: anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults age 18+, leading up to 18.1 percent of the population. 33% of women and 22% of men are all afflicted by anxiety, making it the most prevalent mental illness in the world. Anxiety and mental illness in general is something that affects everyone.
I was diagnosed with anxiety at 14. That was the start to my mental health journey. I had moved to a brand new city and I had no friends and no one to talk to, so I began to self destruct. Thankfully, I was able to get the help I needed pretty quickly, but just because you get help doesn’t mean that everything is immediately solved.
I went through multiple prescriptions trying to find one that could stabilize me without going too far. Eventually I did end up finding one that worked really well for me and I was on that prescription for multiple years. I was thrown for a loop this year when I realized that I would need to increase my dosage. The stress and chaos that coronavirus brought to my life, paired with an endless stream of new online classes, quarantine, roommates moving out, and finals had finally caught up with me and I desperately needed relief.
I had never needed to increase my prescription dosage before and it was terrifying. Having to make such massive changes in my life because of COVID-19 was something that I could have never prepared for and I despised it. Now, a few months later and still stuck in quarantine, I’ve learned a few things about how my anxiety’s been affected in quarantine. I hope that some of the things I’ve learned can help you out as well, even if you’re some of the lucky ones starting to escape it.
1. You Should To Be Careful With the Distractions You Seek Out
Before you click out of the page, let me clarify. It’s not a bad thing to have distractions, especially in a time like this. Sometimes we all feel the need to bunker down and ignore the dealings of the world. I’ve felt this most especially with the riots and protests all across the United States. Every time I open social media I’m bombarded with things about Trump and his drama and how we should all be better at supporting and loving one another and it’s not fun to be faced with that for days on end, even if it is important.
It’s incredibly important to find healthy distractions instead of being sucked down rabbit holes. As much fun watching movies all day is, it’s not the healthiest distraction we can find. Finding healthy things to do, even in a time of crisis is essential for our physical and emotional health. A healthy sleeping and eating schedule, physical exercise, and avoiding addictive substances alongside playing games, reading, and talking to our friends and family can not only affect us physically, but mentally as well.
2. You’re Not Clingy Because You’re Missing the People You Love
This is one of the things that was hardest for me to learn. I came home from college missing my boyfriend and my friends like there was no tomorrow. I thought that I had to be absolutely insane; in my mind there was no way that it wasn’t clinginess and I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared of being pushed away that I pushed myself away from the person I love the most because I thought I was holding on too tight. That wasn’t the case at all, and oftentimes the people you miss are the ones who are missing you. It’s okay to miss people and want to talk to them because they’re most likely waiting for you to reach out.
Looking for ideas for date night or girls night while social distancing? Check out my last post!
3. Your Anxiety is Valid
I’m going to make this very simple. Your feelings, no matter what they are, are valid. No matter where they stem from, they are valid. Worry or fear that comes from anxiety isn’t a bad thing. Your anxiety is a part of you for a reason, and if you listen carefully and embrace it, you might be able to learn why it’s there. It is valid, and you are valid, even if you don’t feel like you are.
4. Your Anxiety Does Not Make You Broken
Something that I recently learned is that my anxiety is here to complete me. It’s here to protect me and to keep me safe from any situation that could harm me. For years I acted as if my anxiety was something that was broken. I thought it was something that made me broken. But that wasn’t the case. And it’s not the case for you either. We’re taught in the Bible that God made mankind in His own image. He is perfect, so He made everything perfectly. If God made mankind, how can we be broken? How can we be broken or imperfectly made if a perfect being made us? It’s a simple answer. We can’t be.
5. It’s Okay To Be Happy
Surprisingly, this was one that I wasn’t planning to have on the list. There’s so much going on in the United States and the world right now, I know that I might get backlash because of this but I’m going to say it anyways. You are allowed to be happy. Sometimes good things happen at bad times but that doesn’t stop it from being good. I got a camera two days before the riots started. I can still be happy about it, even if I’m not about the riots. You can be happy about the finals you passed, even if people are suffering from COVID. Joy is not the absence of sorrow. It is choosing to be happy despite sad things happening.
6. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
This is one I need to make a slight addendum to. It’s okay to not be okay, as long as you know it’ll be okay in the end. What’s not okay is to give up when the road gets rough. One of my favorite quotes is “when life puts mountains in our path, put on your boots and hike.” Obstacles are put in our path for us to go over them; they’re there for us to conquer. However, there are days that we need to camp out and try again the next day. As long as we don’t stop trying, we are not failing.
There will be times where we don’t think we can go on. There will be times when we just want to throw our hands up and shout “That’s it! No more!” In these moments we are the underdog. We are the superhero who doesn’t think they can go on and that they’re not who they thought they could become. This is the moment we have to crawl out from beneath the rubble and use that as our foundation. Our failures make us better and our imperfections make us strong. Anxiety is rough. But it’s also a two headed coin. When we take the time to learn to control the bad, we only make the good so much sweeter. I hope sharing the things I’ve learned can help you in these crazy times.
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If you are struggling with your mental health in these tumultuous times, don’t be afraid to as for help!
To connect to the crisis text line, text CONNECT to 741741 for immediate and specialized help.
If you or a loved one struggles with mental health, check out nami.org/ to learn more.
Stay healthy and stay safe!
Disclaimer: I am in not a medical professional and I am sharing advice based on my own experiences and as such, I am not liable for your decisions. If you are having severe troubles with your mental or physical health you should seek out professional help and get their professional opinion before following anything I may suggest.