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Anxiety and Covid-19 By: Ryleigh Wainwright

Updated: May 1, 2020

Observing the responses to this pandemic has left me in a whirlwind of emotions that seem to change everyday. At times I feel confident and hopeful that things will change soon. Other times I feel mentally defeated and scared with what tomorrow has to offer. With the continuous support and coaching from individuals near and dear to me I have slowly been able to get my mind in a more positive state. Staying focused with my goals, Disconnecting from the negativity, and Being ok with uncertainty are all key points I try to focus on everyday. It’s crucial to understand that even during our darkest moments we must remain hopeful.

Since the beginning of this year, I have made it a point to set three goals each month. With the help of these goals I have been able to structure my days in a more purpose driven approach. In making sure I complete these goals, these goals are designed in what I want to work on, not what I have to work on. Secondly, I make sure these goals are in a visible place. Hiding my goals will not get them accomplished. Lastly, I make sure these goals are fun and challenging. Be competitive with yourself. Once the month is complete I reflect and document on what went well and what didn’t go well. Incomplete goals are added on to the upcoming month in making sure I get the goal completed. For April’s goals, I had to look at it completely differently from the previous months. With the shutdown in place, I have structured my goals to be completed in the space of my own home. Just like the other months, April’s goal’s will still challenge me in a way that ensures educational and personal growth.

Disconnecting from negativity is hard, especially in times where it's the topic of discussion in every setting. It took a few conversations with some people to finally realize I was letting this pandemic take over my life completely. I felt my mood deteriorate completely and my anxiety was through the roof. Recognizing that this was not good for my health, I turned my social media off for a bit. I have gone on a social media detox before and it felt amazing. My mood shifted and my energy was focused on other things and not my phone. Going on this detox again shed light onto the things that were most important. Advice: Keep track with how much your emotions and fears are being driven by the media. I know we all want to stay up to date on everything, but sometimes too much information can shut us down. Stay consistent in finding positivity in these wild times.

Being OK with uncertainty has been the hardest for me, but staying in contact with loved ones and making sure I do not find myself constantly consuming negativity has definitely helped. The enforcement of self isolation has forced me to reflect on the activities I find peaceful and educational. Each day that passes by allows me to widen my understanding of who I am as an individual and how I value my life and community. I value my community and the opportunities it has to offer me everyday. Lately, I have been trying to view this pandemic as an opportunity. An opportunity to put my anxiety to the test and learn how to control it more day by day. An opportunity to learn more about viruses and global health and support.

And lastly, an opportunity to learn how to accept change.

Before I wrap this blog up, there is one more thing I want to highlight on and that is expressing gratitude. Going through my social media I have witnessed so much support that we are giving to each other in this time of need. Whether it's making homemade masks, sharing virtual support, checking in on our neighbors, or just simply saying thank you to those who are putting in extra hours, these acts of kindness truly go a long way in these dark moments.

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