Coping with COVID-19: 6 Mental Health Tips for When You’re Sick
When you’re alone, keep an eye out for indicators of sadness.
It’s natural to experience fear, concern, and sadness after being diagnosed with a medical illness, and this is especially true if you test positive for COVID-19 or are thought to be positive.
If your symptoms aren’t severe and you can heal at home, you’ll be isolated until it’s safe to be around other people without potentially transmitting the virus.
Isolation keeps others from becoming ill, but for the sick individual, it may seem like adding stress to an already difficult situation.
“Being unwell is not only difficult for your physical health, but it may also have a huge influence on your emotional health.” Recovering from an illness can cause worry, anxiety, and sadness, all of which can impede your recovery. Taking care of your emotional health is critical at this time,” says psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD.
Here are some strategies to keep worried and depression at bay when recovering from COVID-19:
Concentrate on what you can know and control
You may have no idea how you became infected or how long it will take to heal. Instead of dwelling on regrets or what-ifs, focus on what you can accomplish. Your goal now is to take care of yourself, get well, and keep the virus from spreading to others.
Make use of your support system
Request that loved ones contact you on a regular basis through phone, email, or video chat. Discuss your feelings with them. If you’re concerned about caring for children, pets, or household responsibilities while you’re unwell, find family members, friends, or community members who aren’t part of a high-risk demographic and may be able to assist.
Eat well, remain hydrated, and meditate
When your appetite allows, feed your body nutritional meals (rather than comfort food) and remain hydrated. Take deep breaths, meditate, or stretch if you can to help calm your body.
Engage in things that you like and find calming
Keep yourself busy to avoid worrying, brooding, or catastrophizing. Read a book, watch a movie, or solve a puzzle. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on work while they are sick. Try listening to soothing music. According to Dr. Albers, it can help you relax and occupy your attention.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Allow yourself to simply relax. You are not required to perform or achieve anything other than taking care of yourself. Now is not the time to binge-watch a new program till 3 a.m.
Take a break from the news and social media
The internet talk might make you feel even more irritated and overwhelmed. “Slowly browse through your social media stream or simply ignore it.” Seeing what other people are doing around you all the time might make you feel like you’re missing out or upset about your own position. “Keep in mind that this will pass,” Dr. Albers advises.
Being socially isolated might raise your chances of developing sadness and anxiety. While you’re recuperating, keep an eye out for the following typical red flags:
- Feelings of inadequacy, pessimism, or remorse
- Appetite changes that are unrelated to your sickness or symptoms
- Having difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Having difficulty focusing.
- Suffering from suicidal ideation.
According to Dr. Albers, many behavioral health practitioners are still seeing patients electronically, so if you can’t manage to control your negative thoughts or have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to someone.