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Dealing With Anxiety During This Time

momo2x2018momo2x2018 1042 replies60 threads Senior Member
How do you cope?

Almost a week into self 'isolation', I am OK most of the time, but I do have transitory moments of panic or terror (as I am sure almost everybody here does). I am trying not to obsess too much on the news, I don't look at the stock market, the 401K or my 529s, although I confess I have had a few moments of weakness that has made my anxiety worse.

I am trying to get out at least once a day to walk or hike, although today I didn't feel like it so I walked to the baker and bought everything that will give me the Quarantine 15!
I talk with friends on the 'phone, I cook, I garden, I read, I've started knitting, but there are only so many socially distancing activities I can do. I am vey social by nature and have a very active social life - I try to get out at least once a day while maintaining social distance, but still...I feel utterly helpless and afraid for what our collective future looks like.

Please share your tips and strategies...
96 replies
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Replies to: Dealing With Anxiety During This Time

  • compmomcompmom 11548 replies81 threads Senior Member
    @momo2x2018 I agree that exercise is helpful. Going outside and also things like online tai chi or yoga. I think it is crucial to step outside once a day, as long as it is sae, which it usually is. Netflix is helpful!

    The real issue is how long this is going to be. I think that is settling in a bit.

    Are you alone? One of my kids is alone, across the country, and I worry..

    Here I am with one of my kids. I am not sure which is harder, isolation or dealing with risk brought by another person around. I would feel more control if I were alone but am glad to be company for my kid.

    Our emotions are going to evolve with this.
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 1042 replies60 threads Senior Member
    edited March 19
    compmom wrote: »
    Are you alone? One of my kids is alone, across the country, and I worry..

    I am not alone; my H is here, but my S is at college across the country and I am worried sick about him. That said, I've finally convinced him to come home, so he'll be here this weekend. I may have to send him to a B&B for a week or so to isolate; my H has many underlying conditions and I don't want to compromise him.

    edited March 19
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  • elena13elena13 1062 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I think this article about strategies for dealing with coronavirus anxiety is pretty good.
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  • shellfellshellfell 3730 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I skim the WaPo, not reading everything in detail. I watch CNN some, but no news on TV or online after 7pm.

    I sometimes get concerned about leaving the house at all, but find I do feel better after I've gone for a walk.

    Getting photos and videos of my grandkids always helps.

    Watching movies and TV shows gets my mind off what's going on.

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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 590 replies6 threads Member
    edited March 19
    I like thinking about the numbers regarding corona to relieve stress. Our immediate family is in a moderate to low risk group (early 50s parents with no major health issues, teenage kids). Even in a virus sweep of 40% of the population the joint probability of both of us parents dying is vanishingly small. My best guess as to one dying? Less than 0.1%. Kids' probabilities are much lower in my opinion. All that is comforting to me. I'll take those odds, especially as i really have no choice in the matter :)

    I do not fixate on potentially serious but not fatal outcomes. I feel confident that we can survive and we have no fear of discomfort and pain. Life is too short to stress about what cannot be controlled anyway.

    It occurs to me that catching the virus right now ironically might be the best thing. On the very small chance that one or both of us parents need hospitalization, it is probably better to need it quickly, rather than later when the curve begins to ramp up. I have seen the stats. A 0.5% infection rate at any given time will overwhelm the hospital system in the United States in the medium term. I assume that will happen, so that removes an unknown for me that I would otherwise worry about. I waste no time believing that the curve can be flattened to avoid this outcome, but remain open to the happy possibility that I will be proven wrong.

    Catching the virus early could also have social benefits, as any of our family who catches it and survives will be contributing to the necessary herd immunity that must be achieved because i very much doubt that vaccines or highly effective treatments will be available any time soon.

    Of course, my biggest anxiety concerns our elderly parents, two in their early 80s and two in their early nineties, one with significant health challenges. Nevertheless, all of them have similar philosophies regarding pain and suffering, and are not anxious in the least about all this. Each is comforted by the idea that he or she has been extremely lucky to have lived such a full and long life, and that nothing was promised at birth. At least each says some variation of, "If this kills me off, that's life."

    All that being said, even given their ages, based on the information coming out of Italy (which is likely worse than what we would experience here), it is hard to see a greater than 10% chance of death from corona for those of our parents without significant health issues, maybe 30% chance for the one with them. There are so many unknowns of course, and this assumes US fatality rates in an overwhelmed system (such as that of Italy) of maybe 15% for the elderly and a US virus sweep of 40% of the population. Those estimates are likely biased upwards because of better resources in the US.

    Even typing all this out is helping to ease any stress, including that associated with financial dislocations due to what is truly an unprecedentedly fast collapse in the economic aggregates. Just a few ideas that others may find could help. If not, just ignore.
    edited March 19
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  • ChillDadChillDad 268 replies20 threads Junior Member
    My suggestion - Go on youtube and escape into classic 80's music videos. The perfect elixir for these crazy times, even if it's only a brief respite.
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 1042 replies60 threads Senior Member
    edited March 19
    Sorry, I'm just coming back to this thread - I've been very busy today, obsessing!
    And, as if my anxiety is not already sky high - CA now has a statewide 'safer at home' order; well, now I really have plenty of time on my hands!

    I think I'll ask one of the local teens for some Xanax! (joking!)
    edited March 19
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  • psychmommapsychmomma 3287 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Sky high anxiety. I haven't fallen asleep before 3am for over a week. I really need to fix that so I can stay healthy.

    Worried about keeping my elderly mother safe. (She lives with us and has dementia, is frail, has other issues, so is vulnerable.) We are around 60, so need to be cautious with our own health.

    One kid is across the country in a shelter-at-home state. One stayed at school over break and for the rest of the semester. He was already stressed about grades this semester. Third kid is far away and working from home. She said she wants to save her vacation/sick days in case she is needed here to help us. (That made me cry.)

    I've been sorting through the basement boxes of kids' papers, old house paperwork, and my own personal memorabilia box. I will say, going through my grade school/middle school/high school/college things was a great distraction! I was able to revisit some really great memories, and think of people I hadn't thought of in years.

    Exercise would be smart. I need to get back to that.

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  • melvin123melvin123 1750 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I stopped reading the Coronavirus thread and only check the news once a day.

    I’m going with trying to boost my immunity by:
    -taking the following vitamins: B, C, & D
    - going for a walk every day, and trying to get some sun then
    - eating my way healthy: lots of veggies and fruit, and rainbow

    I’m reducing my caffeine intake

    I’ve come to peace that I can’t control my parents or adult kids to force them to isolate. The only person I can control is myself.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6926 replies121 threads Super Moderator
    My kids and I watched the “The Gang Gets Quarantined” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia this afternoon. It’s very juvenile, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but watching Danny DeVito slither around in a pool of hand sanitizer made me laugh.
    (Season 9, episode 7)
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  • conmamaconmama 4919 replies347 threads Senior Member
    edited March 20
    I feel like you do, OP,switching from being anxious to not. My S has been home this week isolating with us since last Friday. He’s going a bit bonkers and wants to head back to his college town with his roommate on Monday for awhile. (They are in an apartment).

    I reminded him nothing is open, nobody there. I think he just needs a different venue. I reminded him that his roommate could have it and when he comes gone he could have it and give it to us,,,,and vice versa. He cares, but you know the young. Nothing bad will ever happen.

    I know he will be back home when he starts going bonkers there...and that makes me nervous.

    I’m just really watching Netflix and reading my iPad too much. Exercising in my basement. I hate the cold and it’s been cold here. I think I’ll bundle up anyway and go for a walk....and take S.

    I told him we need to play a board game today, so I’ll make us. Both he and I aren’t really big into that, but I think this one is fun...Sequence.

    Been emailing and messengering with my friends to not feel so isolated from them.
    edited March 20
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  • NhatrangNhatrang 1167 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I decided to cancel and decline all my meetings today and turn on my OOO auto reply. I don’t feel like working and I need to sleep in. That hasn’t been successful bc I work up early. However I am still in bed on my iPad.

    I need to get up, shower, and go for a walk with my dog.

    Later we will play board game as soon as DH’s last meeting is over. Kids been asking to play but we have been so busy even with working from home. Both kids are sore losers so this will be a good test of how on edge I am with the crisis. I told them if either one of them cheat or complain then game over 😂
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  • MarilynMarilyn 4170 replies140 threads Senior Member
    It would help if we could get some of that iconic San Diego weather instead of the incessant rain. The periods of sunshine really makes a mood difference.

    I did have one minor breakdown; got the shakes. My husband is not good at comforting but he did talk me out of it. I know we’re lucky; retired so no work issues, no aging parents left to worry about, one single son who’s been working from home for three weeks and is ultra cautious, no money troubles, friends to talk to.

    I’m still obsessively checking my temperature, especially whenever I cough and now when my stomach is upset.

    I’m exercising with my old Wii Fit and trying to remember the Ji Gong (Tai Chi) exercises from the class I was taking. Plenty of online books to read, working on a paint-by-number, and may get out my beginning piano book and go through it again then get volume 2 and keep going. I originally got it for a class a few years ago that I took to refresh my childhood skills,

    Last night I was thinking this is a really good time to get my weight down, and also go through earlier physical therapy maintenance exercises to strengthen various muscles and stay limber. Silver lining.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 672 replies1 threads Member
    edited March 20
    CDC has suggestions via the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA
    Toll-Free: 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727)
    For example,
    ƒ Relax your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, wash your face and hands, or engage in pleasurable hobbies.
    ƒ Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do a fun thing after a hard task.
    ƒ Use time off to relax—eat a good meal, read, listen to music, take a bath, or talk to family.
    ƒ Talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often.
    See four page guide
    edited March 20
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