Over the last 3 days I have been striving to maintain a positive attitude. I’ve focused on what we can do to perk up. My patients and friends are suffering from severe cabin fever and growing anxiety. Loving couples are starting to get sick of each other. Parents of young children are running out of things to keep their children occupied and happy.
I’m going to make a prediction. The next shortage is going to be in providing psychiatric care. I don’t know anyone who has not been affected. I know I’m at my wits end. I’ve struggled all day to find something positive to write. One of my good friends gave me a great theme, “Never waste a good disaster.” In other words, make something good come out of something bad.
I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to make something good come out of Covid. At first, I thought that, by closing America, families would spend more quality time doing things together. Pictures of my son and grandson fishing and camping out in the back yard seemed to back up that premise. But as the quarantine goes on, the anxiety, depression, and economic stressors seem to be draining people’s energy to the extent that they become incapable of enjoying anything.
Facebook jokes revolve around not bathing, not shaving, not dressing and not going out. The nation, as a whole, appears depressed. I know I am. So, what can we do? Number one on the list is stop listening to the news. Pictures of refrigerator trucks filled with corpses are not going to lift your spirits.
Number two is to reestablish a schedule. Set the alarm every day for the same time. Get up, shower, prep and dress. Go to work finding something positive to do. Take an online course. Work on a crossword puzzle, learn to play bridge or hone your business skill set so when this is over, you’re ready to go back to work. Exercise! Hug someone! Hum or sing a song!
Look for anything that puts a smile on your face. My neighbor just called to see if I needed anything at the grocery store. That single act of kindness made my day!
“Never waste a good disaster.” Make something good come out of it. Then share your idea with everyone else!
Remember, it’s appropriate to be depressed and anxious at this time but, if those feelings become overwhelming, get professional help. The National Suicide Hotline is 800-273-8255.