Updated: May 5, 2020
Quarantine and subsequent isolation could be either causing or exacerbating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Part of what keep us emotionally stable is having some structure and a schedule that includes mental, physical and social activity. Now that this pandemic has wreaked havoc on our day-to-day structure it’s extremely difficult or impossible to engage in these activities. With a loss of such stimuli we tend to either shut down which can lead to depression or we begin to over think which can lead to anxiety. Some of us may ping pong between both leaving us feeling even more unstable. Although this all sounds pretty bad, it could be a good opportunity if we can harness this negative energy in a positive way.
On the surface, it would seem obvious that starting to feel sad or nervous wouldn’t be good. However, if we dig a little deeper we could find that our symptoms could be trying to tell us something. It could be telling us that it’s time to deal with something- past pain, current problems or future concerns. Normally we’re all moving at light speed running away on life’s never ending hamster wheel that we are usually never quiet enough to let ourselves settle and listen. Normally if we do allow ourselves to settle and we start feeling something we don’t like we get right back on that wheel and distract ourselves. Now, however, there’s no wheel and there are no distractions, which leaves us alone with ourselves to listen... to really listen. Our symptoms could be our body’s way of letting us know something is wrong. You’re new job is to figure out what that is so that you can work through it. It may be guilt, regret, shame, embarrassment, judgement, forgiveness, grief, loss, anger, sadness, fear, worry, etc... Often times it could be a combination of these emotions. Take advantage of this uniquely shitty situation and work on YOU- make peace with your past, accept your present and trust the future.
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