By: Cassandra Nordal
This is obviously a scary time for us all. Hour by hour, we are watching our world change so drastically that we are all in a state of constant worry and panic. We have been focusing on the detrimental health risk and factors that this virus is causing, and now, we need to talk about the impact this is having on our mental health.
We are all in a complete panic right now which is stemming from the fear of the unknown. Are the stores going to be completely closed? How will I keep a roof over my family’s head? How will my business survive after this? Will I even have a job? When will I go back to work? How can I afford this? Do I have this virus? Will I get this virus?
Okay, so let me just say that even writing those questions made me spiral and want to vomit. So let’s take a deep breath and then read the next sentence.
I’m here to tell you… everything you’re feeling right now is completely normal. Let’s break it down and talk it out, shall we?
We’re going down, might as well go together!
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress, especially in a time like we are living in right now where things are changing so fast that we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Anxiety increases your pulse and breathing rate, so your brain and muscles can get more oxygen. This prepares you to respond appropriately to an intense situation. But if you repeatedly feel anxious and stressed or this response lasts a long time, your body never gets the signal to return to normal functioning. This can weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable. You’re probably thinking, cool, now my immune system is lowered and I’m going to get the Corona (insert dramatic eye roll here). Listen, I get it. Even writing it I thought about this. That’s the kicker of this entire pandemic - we are ALL going through it together.
To smoochy smoochy or not?
Relationship worry can sneak up on us. In fact, we might not even notice it happening. We have zero control right now, we might even be trying to overcompensate and almost over-control anything just to feel normal again. Someone close to me spoke to me about their significant other being constantly angry with her right now. He was upset with her going to work and then the following second he was upset with her for not staying home.
Sometimes when we are stressed and panicking, we redirect our anger onto our loved ones. Remember that this is no one’s fault right now and we are all trying. Make sure to communicate to each other. Have an open and consistent dialog. We might think we know what’s going on with one another because we have been together for x amount of years, but have you gone through this before? Do you know how your partner reacts to situations like this? No, you probably haven’t. So make sure you are talking and checking in with each other.
Let’s Talk Dolla Dolla Bills ya’ll.
Urg, already. Just typing it makes my head spin. Almost fifty percent of us lose sleep over finances. It’s the most common issues that ends relationships. It can become so overwhelming that it feels like you’re drowning. I get it. The government is updating us daily on the financial plan so at least we are being kept in the loop. I am by no means saying that this will make up for what a significant impact this will have on us, our families, our businesses, our economy, but again, we are in this together. My advice - talk it out, join or create a Facebook group with people in similar situations, and communicate. I think coming together with similar businesses during these difficult times will bring us closer together.
The “Until Then” Normal
There are some people that have been working for over sixty-five years and have never taken a break. Some people are comfortable with their day to day routine; so what in the heck do you do when the world seems to be shutting down? I will comfortably tell you right here to stop, inhale, and then exhale. You need to focus on what you can control right now.
We have no control over what is going to happen tomorrow. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen nor do I have all the answers, and if you will get back to your normal routine soon. But what I can tell you, is that a lot of people are feeling this drastic change we have all gone through. Even limiting hours on stores has created a feeling of worry, and change is hard on a regular basis let alone in this circumstance. Use this time to try to find a happy medium, an “until then” normal I’ve been calling it, and remember to BREATHE.
Ring Ring – It’s All Over!
Hypervigilance is defined as an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect activity.
The Nordal definition: I’m going to die. At this point in time, we are all on high alert and on a crazy fast track with all of our collective feet on the gas pedal. We are oversensitive and freaking out. I bet I’m not the only one that hears sirens at night and right away, whose mind travels to oh-my-lanta, it’s ending. This reaction is normal at this point in time due to the fear of the unknown.
It’s best not to look for all-encompassing solutions. There’s no right answer here.
There’s no single solution that’s going to solve this problem. All you can do is focus on yourself and what you’re going through. Name the feelings. Give yourself permission to feel them. Take your sleep and self-care seriously. And just keep going
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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