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Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator

We recognise that many of us here in the community are feeling scared, worried and overwhelmed about the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak.

Just as we have come together here during other difficult times, we encourage those wanting to share or seek helpful support to do so here in this space.

What are you doing to look after your wellbeing during this time? Sharing is one of the most helpful ways we can support one other – our community is also here to support you if you’d simply like to share how you’re feeling.

It is important we maintain perspective and support each other as best as we can, everyone here at Beyond Blue would like to remind our community that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au. There is a dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response, that is also is now open on 1800 512 348.

Beyond Blue’s existing support service will continue to operate alongside the new service. The Beyond Blue Support Service is available via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses within 24 hours).

There are some other helpful discussions taking place here within our forum community that you may find helpful to read or participate in: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/hi-there-i-only-just-joined-and...

As a community, let’s help one another through sharing and connecting and showing our support.

3,205 Replies 3,205

eight
Community Member

we are not in italy yes that is true but if we act like public health and sanitation is overreacting and ridiculous all because we don't live in Country With Scary Headlines we will be on track to becoming something like it. italy went from having so little cases that they could give every patient as much care as they need to in a week bodies piling in and being so overrun. if changing and overpreparing (i'm not endorsing panic buying. i'm talking about preventative measures and keeping hygiene) means we can prevent deaths especially of our high risk ones

a good twitter thread to read re: italy's management is @JasonYanowitz's "to the rest of the world, you have no idea what's coming" thread describing this. i think it's his pinned. the washington post has been praised for its sim that explores these methods (Stevens, H. (2020, March 14). Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”. they tell me i don't need to cite apa until university but every other system looks weak as shit)

Abbie121
Community Member

Hi all

Hope you're all going okay at this stressful time. Some great tips here. I worry a bit about increased isolation and loneliness, as I feel it a bit during normal times anyway.. I live alone and I am now working from home, so may be quite long periods without any face to face contact. I know many people are in the same boat. Without my usual weekly exercise classes too that usually keep me happy and healthy. I will make an effort to call friends and family, and meditate, read and walk.. if anyone has any other tips for this I'd love to hear them.

Take care x

Hanna3
Community Member
I'm with you eight, unpleasant though it will be I think we just need to lockdown now and try to get this virus to slow down... for everyone's sake.

Peppermintbach
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi everyone,

Maybe it sounds odd, but on a personal level, I’m actually not that scared of the virus itself, because I’m in one of the lower risk groups. What worries me more is the emotional toll of the actual social distancing itself, as well as the implications for higher risk groups, such as some of my relatives...

I of course understand that we need to practice social distancing to help “flatten the curve”, & I’m trying to do my part. But that doesn’t make it easy mentally...

I don’t know what to do for emotional support, as social distancing means my usual forms of support are now out of reach...literally...

Normally, I have a steady support network that I see in person. But now I have to limit direct contact with them for an indefinite period...

I know we have phones, online options, apps, etc but it’s obviously not a substitute for a hug from a friend or going to an event with friends or chatting in person with my relatives...

I miss that...

Yes, I’m keeping in touch with my friends & family, but at a physical distance and that is hard...

At the moment, I still have to go to work, but that is subject to change as we may shift increasingly to work-from-home arrangements. Being able to actually go to work is keeping me somewhat sane for now...

Busy city streets that are normally bustling with people & activity are like ghost towns lately (relatively speaking). It gives me an eerie feeling...

On the upside, seeing as I can’t really go anywhere except for work & other essential purposes, I suppose that I can spend more time on my creative passions...

On a more constructive note, my suggestions to cope might be:

  • Turn to evidence-based research & medical professionals when looking for information about the virus.
  • Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean complete disconnection; it just means limiting face-to-face contact. It’s not the same (I know) but we have phones & internet to keep in touch.
  • Don’t forget to still try to fit in exercise & some time in nature, but maybe just try to avoid crowds.
  • Meditation/grounding/breathing exercises might be good for managing heightened anxiety.
  • Consider discussing the possibility of online appointments with your mental health team if necessary e.g. Skype.
  • Stay informed about covid-19, but set boundaries e.g. checking once or twice daily, but not every hour.
  • Have conversations about things unrelated to the virus with loved ones

Quirky: thank you for your kind words of support to me 🙂

Kindness and care,

Pepper

ELLELEE
Community Member
Hi everyone!

I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder but mostly struggle with health anxiety as a part of this.

Apart from feeling totally overwhelmed with the world right now, there are a couple of things I'd like to put to you and if anyone can help in any way I'd really appreciate it.

I know I shouldn't (the rational part of my brain knows) read all the posts and articles on social media about COVID19 but I get almost like a compulsion to read them. I spend any spare time on social media just reading every article (good or bad). I feel like if I don't read all the info and stats that I will miss something important or life-saving. Any tips apart from staying off social media altogether (I think this would make me anxious too!) for how to stop having to read and know all the info?

Also - I feel like I switch from being in denial that this is real (what's going on in the world right now with sickness and lockdowns) where it feels surreal and I don't believe it to feeling like it's the apocalypse and we're all going to die. I feel stuck and almost like I'm having trouble making out reality. I'm so confused! Any tips or anyone feeling the same?

Thanks

Abbie121
Community Member

Thank you for your words and thoughts Pepper. I feel the same, the emotional distance is what will be hard. This is also a good spot to reach out and connect, we need to do that any way we can. Your words are always wise and comforting. 🙂

Elle, I know what you mean about feeling the strange sense of reality/unreality as this is all so different and rapid and uncertain. I just try to tell myself that this isn't reality forever - there will be an end to this, so keep sight of that. I also get into compulsive reading and scrolling and have to work hard to avoid the news and social media all the time. I'm really trying to focus more on books and podcasts (and chatting to loved ones) and breathe through the compulsive feelings.

x

Idgie
Community Member
Hello, I’ve never posted anything here before (and to be honest I’m not even sure if I’m doing it right!). But I am finding the panic buying to be really overwhelming. I haven’t stockpiled anything myself, but going to the shops and seeing so many empty shelves and hearing people talking about what has sold out etc is making me feel very scared. Does anyone have any tips on how to manage this? Thank you

Idgie
Community Member

Hi Ellelee

Im not sure if this will help or if you have already tried this, but I have started “snoozing” some news pages on Facebook for 30 days as I find the constant articles and updates about coronavirus too overwhelming.

Haether
Community Member
Geoff - there is no need to fret about psych appointments. If I'm unwell, or my psychiatrist is unwell, he'll do phone appointments, and all psychiatrists have the capacity to do that. Cheers.

OllieB
Community Member

Thank you for this thread it is very helpful I myself am not too worried about the virus or getting it. It is the panic and people that are heightening my anxiety, I stuggle to do grocery shopping at the best of times and now the supermarkets are busy and I feel like everyone judges you for what you buy which is making me very self conscious. I also was trying to do some exposure therapy for social anxiety, but as my university has stopped classes it is now very hard to continue that and I feel like social distancing is going to make my anxiety worse in the long run. Hope you are all staying safe and healthy

- ollieb