This “invisible enemy” has caused fear and chaos in so many people. Yet for some, it has created an opportunity for their family to get in touch with one another again, as they quarantine themselves within their individual homes and yards.
Many families have posted on Facebook the fun things they are doing such as creative arts, silly videos or sharing pictures of homemade goodies. Time with loved ones, it seems like, is being enjoyed more than ever.
So, is this virus going to live or die? Will it bring out the best in you and your family, or will it kill your spirit as you allow fear or frustration to engulf your mind?
A quick google search can answer some many questions. Many people are afraid now. Some feel fear is a bad thing. Fear, at times, can prove to be useful to our well-being.
It is also proven that “unbridled fear can become a hazard to us. Fear can be our friend but panic our enemy.”
Fear is our natural instinct concerning dangerous things. It keeps us from falling to our death, from getting bitten by a snake and from “licking doorknobs in public places.” When fear is kept under control, it is our friend.
Doctors often say, “Just don’t panic,” because it pumps the body with negative energy, creating a force that will harm you.
When one can use fear as a tool and hold panic at bay, they then become a master of their own feelings.
Ashley Trainque, the new site manager for Craig County Health Center, suggested that, regarding COVID-19, information could be shared for those experiencing anxiety, depression, fear or struggling during this pandemic.
John Hosey, the mental health counselor for CC Health Center and an LPC, explained that during periods of crisis and upheaval, mental health for individuals often suffers.
“With the COVID-19 virus we have seen an uptick in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors,” Hosey added. “Outlined below are some coping strategies to keep in mind if these, or other symptoms, are increasing.”
- Social interaction and support are very important to maintaining good mental health. Reach out to friends and family in whatever way you can (phone, video chat, email, written letter). Consider also reaching out to those who might not have family or friends as doing for others can be therapeutic for you as well.
- Maintaining structure is important. When stuck at home it can be easy to slip into our daily routines which can often lead to changes in our mental health. This can exasperate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Do little things. Go outside and get some fresh air. Open the blinds and let some sunlight in. These small environmental changes can have big impacts on our well-being.
- Keep occupied. Boredom often causes mental health concerns to worsen. Now is the perfect time to complete that project or to take up a new hobby you always have wanted to try.
- Maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are also very important. Our minds and bodies are linked and when one is unhealthy it often impacts the other.
“These are all very basic things that can be completed every day but, they have a major impact on mental health,” Hosey noted. “If you find that self-care is not helping and symptoms continue to get worse, it may be time to reach out for help.”
Should anyone find themselves needing more support, the local crisis line is 540-981-9351, national suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 and national domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-7233.