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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

i know places like twitter can mute words and hashtags - try muting some terms for a week, a month, as long as you need to. or if you've been following specific covid accounts making it hard for you its okay to unfollow them, or even block them so its harder to see their content anymore - social media is all what you want to make it yknow?

another alternative is picking One person you trust (maybe someone trained in medicine/epidemiology) and getting your info from them instead of a whole collection. i know ive seen suggestions about only checking at a specific time of day for this long but i wouldn't know if that would be that effective for you if you anxiety disorder overrides that. hanna recommended abc journalist and doctor norman swan, his twit is @normanswan and he also manages coronacast - 10 minute podcasts that explore one topic about the pandemic that updates on weekdays. most of the accounts i follow is a big mess of separate doctors and scientists rather than anything concrete so i wouldn't have much other recs because i'm going to overwhelm you more than they already have lol

Sashenka
Community Member

I'm glad forums like this exist to try and share coping strategies in this difficult time for those of us who found life challenging on mental health before any of this madness started.

I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and I'm normally used to trying to convince myself that my worries are unwarranted but right now it feels like the world is pressing the panic button not myself this time.

I'm not too concerned with getting the virus but the 24/7 information bombardment has been completely overwhelming. From supermarkets to loud speakers at train stations, overhearing conversations, even the visibility of so many masks. I've today deleted most social media apps off my phone and I'm trying to not check Facebook for the next month. But it is incredibly hard to escape and also hard to resist the need to feel informed at all times. Even all my emails seem to be coronavirus related. Every single business or service I have used or shopped at seems to feel the need to keep everyone updated on their 'virus position', normally nothing more than the hygiene practices they should already be doing or that they are keeping up to date with government advice.

I really rely on routine and being out and about to keep my mental health in check. Not even two weeks ago the virus seemed confined at its worst to Italy and China. Now in Australia, all my classes are online, I'm unsure if I'll keep my cinema job of 5 years, all social events I had booked or was looking forward to are postponed indefinitely and I'm still trying to recover money from a Europe holiday that will now almost certainly not go ahead in July.

For now I will be drinking tea, relaxing with candles and sticking to updates from the government, WHO and my university and not the media about what is going on.

Hanna3
Community Member

Hi Ellelee & everyone else here,

I get talking to people while I am out taking my dog for a walk, and it seems that everybody I talk to is having these feelings that it all seems surreal and like it can't really be happening - so it's not just people with MH/anxiety issues, every single person I talk to is having trouble taking it all in! Hence the panic buying as well I guess - and Australians have had a very stressful, frightening summer with all the fires, so don't forget we have all been under stress for months already with bushfires, dust storms, hazardous smoke in the air, breathing problems, constantly seeing the devastation on the television and news, and heatwaves... and now just when all that seems to be settling down at last (except for those poor people who have lost their homes & communities) - now we have the virus outbreak!

So let's not be hard on ourselves for feeing pretty rattled - pretty much everybody is, world wide! We haven't been through anything like this pandemic before so it's new and frightening for us all. It feels quite unreal to me too!

I think it's really important to take breaks from the media and reports about it and do normal everyday things - go for a walk, watch a movie or a funny TV show, do some cooking or housework or gardening, mow the lawn, anything that is normal and gets you away from thinking about it all for a while.

Also maybe think a bit about how you would fill in the time if you are locked down for a fortnight at least - I think it helps to have a few ideas of how you might occupy yourself and not feel too cut off and isolated. I've been thinking what books I might read, what clothing I could go through and cull out, reline the kitchen drawers, whatever. This might help you feel a bit less worried if/when a lockdown happens. Can you organise with friends to phone each other? Things like that...

It makes me feel less weird when I realize that everybody I talk to is feeing the same way - one young guy I got chatting to today walking his dog said he just couldn't seem to take in that it was real - and I heard another young man on his mobile talking to a friend saying "can you believe this is happening?" So we're all feeling the same! I think it's very normal to be feeling abnormal at the moment!

randomx
Community Member

No def' not hanna , all the panic buying for example isn't us , that's just the general public out there.

Even me l've never even taken any notice of any of the others , ever, but this one yeah , it is all very very strange to everyone l think , how could it not be .

l think l'll have to stop watching updates and news bits , it's all starting to mess with me.

eight
Community Member

mama's convinced we're going into quarantine by next fortnight and keeps outlining what she wants to do with us. she's been trying to stock up a little even while the shelves are stripped and we have some cake mix bc my brother wants to make more even if its storebought stuff and she says We're Not Making Any until lockdown hits. she wants me to help with her ironing and i'm personally thinking of my reading list and maybe a backlog of games. animal crossing comes out on friday and i remember playing like. new leaf and city folk and how incredibly calming it is. oh to escape a stressful hustle and bustle life to a deserted island with a tanuki and his nephews if only

i know places online, like discordapp was one that came to mind where they increased screensharing and videochat capacity from 10 to 50 in the wake of covid and more people relying on online. i think of that tweet where op asked their 14 year old why she was staying up until midnight working on a project and she and her friends organised a session where they made powerpoints about their passions and shared them over zoom. speaking of zoom i've seen another tweet from online classes where they're told "students are required to wear clothes during zoom meetings" and you know what they say about how there's always something that has to happen for laws to be made? right??

i feel like everyone's sort of spooked over this; its so sudden and especially with our modern innovations of airlines and easy travel and not having severe symptoms that could slip under the radar or single vector (zika being spread by a few specific species of mosquito. okay i'm not sure if this is the right wording it escapes me now but it wasn't human to human, i think that's what i'm trying to communicate. you can find a contagious human anywhere) coronavirus became a pandemic easily. we haven't lived in anything as wide reaching in any of our lifetimes. we had h1n1 in '09 but this sure is wildly different, innit? i keep reflecting on how we're basically in a History Textbook moment and im coming to terms to maybe crisises years ago were probably a lot less exciting than they sound because i'm in one and i'm like, worrying about my hand-in task due tomorrow and vacuuming the dog hair off the tiles. it's surreal mate. we're all out of whack!

CraftDee
Community Member

I actually found the "you have no idea what's coming" the most destructive and demoralising thing about the whole virus.

I believe we need to promote good hygeine habits and sensible approach to public health, but hearing -while already feeling overwhelmed and that keeping going is not worth the struggle - that what I am experiencing is "nothing" compared with what is to come has made me suicidal

Mir
Community Member

I am feeling so depressed about the state of the world at the moment. The virus is affecting my family (my daughter has lost her job), my business as I have almost no customers and all activities I enjoy have been banned or canceled. All the activities my teen aged daughters are involved in have been canceled, including school and university classes. There's just nothing left to enjoy in life, and this is just the beginning.

I have started drinking again as a way to dull the stress of all this doom and gloom.

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone to has posted, it is good to hear people's ideas. If you have a chance read some ideas written here by others,

Mir welcome to the forum.

I am sorry that the virus has affected you and your families life. It is sad you feel there is nothing left to enjoy.

I understand how it seems like that . I suppose at these times we have to be flexible and hopefully you will find another activity that brings you joy. It is difficult when your life suddenly changes.

This happened to me this year when a suffered great loss in the fires. My life has changed. I am living away from my community. Like you things that gave me joy are no longer available.

I am now closer to my family and I see that a positive.

I think by reading this thread you may find some ideas. I am now reading more and writing more.

Restricting what news programs I watch or listen too has helped me.

things wont be the same for us all but it hopefully there is room for a little joy,

Craftdee thanks for your post with sensible ideas

Eight I hope things go well for you. Surreal is right

Hanna Thanks for your advice.

I think it's really important to take breaks from the media and reports about it and do normal everyday things - go for a walk, watch a movie or a funny TV show, do some cooking or housework or gardening, mow the lawn, anything that is normal and gets you away from thinking about it all for a while.

Sashenka,

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your post. This advice is a way of selfcaring and coping.

For now I will be drinking tea, relaxing with candles and sticking to updates from the government, WHO and my university and not the media about what is going on.

Some great words their Quirky!

These are trying times not only as Australians but as global citizens. Together we band as one, although we may be physically isolated. Continue to offer support, continue to offer ideas as to how to occupy time during quarantine or isolation, continue to offer hope and continue to be positive.

Just as society has survived previous pandemics, wars and natural disasters, we will ride this out.

Ever wanted to learn to draw? To learn a new subject? YouTube and other websites give you this opportunity. Buy a new book. Develop a home exercise routine. Learn to meditate. We can collectively turn this negative in to a positive in some form or another. Don’t despair but show some care. Develop yourself and your loved ones.
take care 🙂

SapereAude I loved your post. Thank you.

I've been low even before all the chaos here started and things here haven't been good so I've had to cope however I can.

To others my self care might seem ridiculous but I've taken SapereAude's approach... Find the opportunities to feel good.

My son has been sick and his school has a policy of ANY symptoms and the whole family stays clear, whatever it is. So Mr 6, Miss 5 and I have been home for a week now. At first I felt scared and worried about my kids missing important content. Then I decided to take it as an opportunity to rest and have fun. I'm grateful to the school for having a firm stance. It felt worse not knowing what to do.

We sleep in. Then do some school work. Then a craft activity. We watch bits of documentaries about animals. Play dress ups. Do gardening. Listen to kids CDs with maths rhymes etc. Read. Paint. Cook. Today I got out the dehydrator and the kids will try drying fruit.

Hubby took us all on an adventure yesterday in the bush near home. We took a four hour bush walk, collected all sorts of rocks (and got lost until I used good old Google maps to get us home). We got rained on and had hot porridge for dinner.

I can't remember the last time I have felt free to just do as I like. No school run, lunch prep, after school activities and sports etc. We don't have tv coverage so I don't see the news. Told hubby I don't want to know either. It isn't healthy for me to be anxious constantly.

We're lucky to not live in the city. I feel so sorry for people being bombarded and scared at every opportunity.

I have a suppressed immune system. But I told hubby I refuse to worry unless I'm sick. Even then there is something like a 90% chance I will be absolutely fine. I get worried for my kids and hubby reminds me the virus doesn't seem to affect kids as much. I'm very glad for that.

Sorry for the waffle. I hope that everyone here who has posted feeling afraid can turn off the tv/phone/internet and find one thing today to do that makes them feel good.

It will be ok. It's hard to be positive when it feels chaotic. There's nothing wrong with choosing to block out the drama for a little while. It helps me anyway.

❤ Nat