To a large extent, your feelings are predicated on your thoughts, and your thoughts are influenced by what you expose yourself to. In my previous article, I wrote about feeling anxious, depressed and paranoid this period and it being normal and not a definite indicator that you have a mental health disorder. I’ve compiled a few things as continuation, that you can try to help keep you from sinking into the rabbit hole that is depression, anxiety or paranoia.
1. Managing the kind of information your brain consumes can ultimately preserve you sanity. Stop with the BAD NEWS OVERLOAD. JUST STOP! Stop following the stories, stop paying attention to the analyses. Don’t watch any news for 24 hours (it might be difficult) and you’ll see that you haven’t missed anything that you didn’t already know.
2. Control what you can. You cannot control the spread of the pandemic, you cannot control your government’s response, all that is within your power is your hygiene and your environment. Wash your hands often, keep your home clean, boost your immune system by eating healthy and exercising. Basically, do all you reasonably can to keep yourself and family safe and let the rest go.
3. Deflect your attention. Take this excess time to find a rewarding distraction. I personally have gotten tired of watching the television, I can’t sleep for more than 6 hours in a day, not because I’m sad but because I have found gratifying things that keep me occupied.
4. Find a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Have you always wanted to learn how to ride a bike? Even though you might feel like an “agbaya”, go for it. I promise you will laugh at yourself all the times you almost fall and when you get the hang of it, that’s one thing struck off your bucket list. Those books you’ve not had time to read, Uncle/Aunty go and read one chapter at least and decide if the interest is still there, if not, ditch those books and try something that you’ve been curious about.
5. Take an online course on any and everything. Learn something as simple as how to sew your own fun looking safety masks. Take courses that will add value to your life, courses that relate to your interests or career. You can also create courses and teach people stuff you are good at and make money off it. You can check out Udemy, edx, Teachable, Thinkific, Learnworlds, e.t.c.
6. Youtube is your friend. Learn a new craft. There is a plethora of “how to” videos on Youtube that can be really useful to you ( how to manage your finances, organize your space, service your car, e.t.c). You can watch content that is relevant to your faith. Once you see begin to see it as a platform to boost your creativity or help you grow, you will begin to discover content that would amaze and aggrandize you and not just random yapping vlogs.
7. There has to be something you’re grateful for. I know, I know this goes without saying but it still needs to be said. When you are so focused on what you do not have or what you cannot do right now, you’re sometimes blindsided to what great things are right in front of you that you should be thankful for. I implore you, at some point today, shut your eyes and meditate on the little and large blessings. That you do not have the virus is a blessing, that you caught the virus and are alive is a blessing, that you can eat is a blessing, that you are in the same space with your loved ones is a blessing. Yes, maybe your situation could be better, but it could also be a whole lot worse.
8. If you try all of these and you still feel overwhelmed by your emotions, Talk to a loved one about how you’re feeling, they may just have the magic words to pick you right up. The way you feel is nothing to hide, it is not a sign of weakness, it is not something to pretend about, it is real. You can speak to a professional about it, you don’t have to announce to the world that you are taking this step neither do you need to prove to anyone that you’re doing perfectly fine, even when you’re not.
I hope this helps, leave a comment, send an email or DM if you have something to share
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