This message may benefit you or someone you know. I have been called to share a recent personal experience in order to inform, inspire, and support whomever this is meant for during these unprecedented times.
Despite a lovely and relaxing Mother's Day, I found myself fighting feelings of depression, sadness, and anger over the couple of days after. As a PTSD survivor and mental health advocate, I am familiar with the consequences of leaving these feelings unchecked. Below I share some ways I've learned that help me return to a more balanced state.
Please do not ignore signs of depression or any other severe negative emotion, no more than you would dismiss physical symptoms like a high fever or cough right now. And while what works for me is to withdraw from a lot of socializing, NEVER isolate yourself totally when it happens. Hiding can lead to a crisis from which it is hard to recover.
Though I limit social contact, I always let my husband know first (although he can usually tell), some family, and maybe a friend so someone is aware of what's going on. I never doubt I will bounce back, and I always do so.
You may find it helpful to be around people; by all means do that if it brings relief. Know that you're ok, and your feelings, especially right now, are understandable and should not be dismissed by you or anyone else.
Remember, the episode will pass. Focus on proof of that truth. If you are Christian lean into prayer, bible reading, or music to provide comfort to tide you over. Any activity that calms you or brings peace, creativity or laughter (even a smile) will help. Focus on things to be grateful for- start with the blessing that you're alive and go from there.
Love on yourself with care, pampering, and total acceptance. As your spirits lift (and they will) look for opportunities to help someone else. There is someone feeling so much lower that they could use a hand to pull them up to even where you are now. Posting this helped me feel better because I know there's, at a minimum, one person who will benefit.
Take advantage of professional services if you feel even close to overwhelmed, just like you would if you had symptoms of the virus.
The effects of the mental stress due to the Coronavirus situation is becoming just as recognized and a priority as the physical disease itself. Therefore, many more resources are available to get low cost and free services. Get a professional assessment, your feelings may be rooted in a physical cause.
As for me, I protect and take care of myself by any and all means necessary and without apology. Over several years I have learned to trust myself to know when I need self care. Then I come back stronger and better equipped to help others.
As the darkness becomes light, I am so thankful that each and every time, the Lord God proves His love and faithfulness and pulls me back onto the Rock that is higher than I.