Unfortunately because everything in the world is basically shut down, we’re constantly bombarded with coronavirus news and truly horrendous responses from American “leaders.” I’ve already been dealing with my anxiety and depression (which has been documented well here, here, here, etc.) for the past five-ish years, so this overwhelming barrage of apocalyptic current events is less than stellar for my mental illnesses (as I’m sure many can relate to). We’re currently witnessing a breakdown of every single system across the world, and while it’s good for Americans to see that we can’t go back to what we had before (capitalism literally kills…please read my socialism post here!), dealing with all of the current medical emergencies and ultimately the fallout of the coronavirus is terrifying.
The most recent time I went to therapy (last Monday), my therapist and I traded EMDR in favor of talk therapy where I rambled on for about an hour about how afraid I was/am of the current crisis. She let me verbally release my anxieties and while I didn’t feel 100% relieved after, I left with a roadmap of strategies and activities to comfort me while I’m dealing with the crushing worry. Quarantining after work and on the weekends as well as reading too much of the news can send me spiraling back to the mental place I was in at the end of last year, which is what I’d like to avoid. To keep me away from there, I’ve been practicing my therapist’s mindfulness exercises (some can be found here) and writing lengthy journal entries about how I’m feeling, even if I’m constantly repeating myself. I’ve also been playing my guitar multiple times each day (here are the songs I’m learning!), working on a few unfinished poems, watching old tv shows I used to love, sending Marco Polos to Jonathan and Lo, talking to Conor and Parker every day, and texting my therapist when it all gets to be a little too much. My main priority is staying off of Twitter (which is nearly impossible because I love it so much) as much as possible because I don’t need every single coronavirus update and/or death count, so all of these activities have helped maintain a manageable anxiety and depression level every day.