Coping with a mental illness during this pandemic

Living with a mental illness is challenging, but now it has become even more difficult to cope because of the mental strain of COVID-19. This pandemic has caused a lot of stress and panic to a lot of people, that’s why it is especially harder on those that are already diagnosed with a mental illness. Here’s how you can cope with your mental illness during this difficult time.

Build a strong support system

When you are living with a mental illness it can be hard to cope with it on your own. You’ll feel like those around you don’t understand you and sometimes you’ll feel lonely and alone. The people around you will not know how to deal with your mental illness if you don’t make them understand what you’re going through.

Build a support system with your loved ones by educating them about your mental illness and let them know how they can help you cope during this time. Remember that support doesn’t mean that you should see someone face to face, you can keep in touch online and make a habit of updating your support system about your symptoms/feelings.

Continue with your treatment

Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still important for you to keep up with your treatment. The thought of going out, especially at a health facility, is scary because of the fear of contracting COVID-19, and the fake news that health facilities only attend to COVID-19 patients. Contact your doctor/nurse and ask them about how you can continue your treatment at this time.

Your treatment can help you cope and manage your mental illness, especially during this time because of the increased stress and worry.

Stay positive

Remind yourself that it won’t stay like this forever and that this virus will one day be a thing of the past. When things get overwhelming for you, think of all the things that you want to do when things go back to ‘normal’. Having hope can help you cope better with your mental illness, especially now during this time of uncertainty.

Have a schedule

Things might not be the same as before, but it’s important for you to try and stick to a routine. This way you’ll feel like you’re in control of your life, instead of allowing the current state of hopelessness consume you and make you lose control over your life. A routine can be as simple as waking up and bathing every day at a certain time, exercising, and scheduling activities for each day in advance.

Keep busy

It’s easy to be consumed by news about COVID-19, and this can only cause you more stress and anxiety. Try not to watch a lot of news and limit the COVID-19 content on your social media pages. Find something you can focus on, like a new hobby, so that you can get your mind away from what is happening for a bit.

Remember to reach out and talk to someone if you feel like things are too much for you to handle. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but make sure that you share this with someone so that you can get help. If you need to speak to someone you can DM me or you can contact the Cipla 24 Hour Mental Health Helpline on 0800 456 789 or you can send them a WhatsApp message on 076 882 2775.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).