How can I stay mentally healthy as someone with existing anxiety and mental health conditions?
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Being intentional about managing your mental heath will be really important during this time.
If you have worked with a therapist in the past, make sure to continue to utilize any tools and strategies that have helped you to manage your conditions.
I also recommend creating routines. Given that going to work naturally provides a lot of routine, if you are newly working from home, you will lose some of that structure. Make sure to schedule activities that will help you to manage your mental health (i.e. exercise, meditation, connecting with others, etc).
Also, try to keep things in perspective. Although the numbers that we are hearing about are scary, remember that most people who contract Covid-19 will only experience mild symptoms. Yes, we do need to take precautions so that we can limit its spread, but only considering the worst case scenario is likely to make your anxiety worse.
You’ll also want to limit your media consumption and make sure that the information you are getting is accurate. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation going around. Double-check any information that you do get against reputable sources like the CDC website and WHO.
Finally, if you are really struggling, make sure to get help. Many psychologists are providing virtual services, and can support you to cope if you find yourself getting too overwhelmed.
Dr. Patricia Thompson