I’m losing it. I did OK for a few months in quarantine, but now I’m falling apart. Lockdown was fun at first, a challenge after that, and well, now I need help.
At my age and with a complicating medical condition, I’ve basically been on COVID house arrest for six months. I walk, I Zoom and I cook, but even as some people find ways to justify getting out more recently, I don’t feel safe enough to join them.
Hell, at this point, I don’t feel sane enough to join them either. One of my creeping fears is that I will be too far gone by the time it’s safe to return to society. Like, they’ll find my body huddled, unbathed with the remote clutched in one hand and a box of Valentine candy in the other.
What can I do while I wait for the all-clear?
The struggle is real, so take heart that you are not alone. Therapists, gurus and liquor stores are working overtime to stem the tides of depression, loneliness and cabin fever.
Still, not being alone in the battle doesn’t solve your immediate problems. The American Psychological Association offers self-care tips and tricks, and we share them here with hopes all of us can just make it to 2021.
Prioritize.Pick one bite-size thing that matters most, and do it. If it’s to take a shower today, get that under your belt.
Pivot.When something is too hard, move on to something you can accomplish and reward yourself for getting it done.
Find a Routineand stick to it. Use it as a guide when you feel lost.
Create a Separate Workspace.Don't binge shows and eat where you create and focus.
Exercise.Even if it’s light movement, do it not because you have to, but becauseyou deserve it.
Check In.Reach out to colleagues and friends who also may be struggling. Helping them can help you.
Limit News Consumption.Set a time, place and parameters. This includes social media. Then stop. It will be there tomorrow.
Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation.Purposely carve out time every day for meditation, prayer or centering.
Learn Something New.Engage the brain, and prep for a future when you can put your newfound knowledge and skills to use.
Cut Yourself Some Slack.Because you're human, not a superhero. Expectations are yours alone, and they are within your power to adjust.
The Q is for entertainment and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs tomike@theQatl.com.
Illustration by Brad Gibson