Coronavirus Anxiety + 10 Zebra Approved Ways to Pass the Time

HI AMIGAS!

Another post because I am gonna crush this blog stuff! Today, I’m gonna talk about anxiety because it it literally my base state and is now exacerbated due to Coronavirus Pandemic.

While I have had anxiety my entire life, I didn’t know what it was or that I had it until I moved out to Colorado. I have ADHD so I am constantly bouncing my knee or rocking back and forth, which I only realized I did after multiple people asked why I was always rocking or shaking. I also didn’t realize that the reason I liked being busy was because that was my way of escaping my anxiety.

Now that I’ve seen multiple counselor’s, I’ve learned that I hate quiet because that’s when those “voices” come back. Now I know they say if you hear voices your crazy, but that’s how mine manifests. There’s my normal voice, my depressed voice, my mother’s voice, and then segments of conversations that overwhelm my senses. When I’m calm or still, then it’s like a pop up add and I’m hearing or seeing a conversation and something about that sets me off. I exit out of that pop up ad, but then another one pop’s up, and it continues until my ‘screen’ is filled with comments about me not being good enough, valued, loved, smart, or any number of things.

So you can imagine how losing my job, and a Stay-At-Home Order inflames those thoughts, thus causing my mental care to go all over the place.

In the previous week, my emotions have literally been all over the place and it’s honestly impressive how many things I can be anxious about at once. Sure that’s not a great consolidation prize but silver linings, right?

With the Coronavirus Pandemic, it feels like that for once we are all united in our anxiety levels. No one knows what is going on, how this will affect us, or what the world will look like in a day or a week. We are all just trying to survive and prepare for the worst, and this causes conflict because we all handle stress differently. My anxious ass went immediately catatonic, once I was able to move then it was just sit in silence and smoke. I then spent two days under the covers, pretty much only leaving my room to go to the bathroom. Now, I honestly don’t know how I’m doing. Every hour seems to last two and I have four moods in that one hour.

If you have been watching the news constantly, (because you already binged most of Netflix) this might cause you to feel worse. I found that the longer I go without the news, the more I’m able to ‘forget’ about everything. As a politically minded person, I really don’t like feeling out of touch, but I need to because at this moment there’s not much I can do to help. Funds are tight so donating has decreased, I don’t have any power to change the views of Senate etc, and when you receive that much negative information, with no ability to help, it can take you to the worst-place. So here is your permission to step back, to just focus on self care, because you need to nurture yourself before you can help others.

Since we are in this Quarantine together here are some idea’s for passing the time!

  1. Get some sun – Your body needs that D! Vitamin D that is.

You can sit near a window, go on a walk (while maintaining 6 feet of space), if you can exercise outside go for it, or smoke a joint! Make sure to be smart and use SPF. If you can, make a little sitting area outside! Ours currently consists of a chair, a table, and a step stool that acts as a chair.

2. Play board or card games with the family.

Most people have a small collection of games, or at the very least a couple decks of cards. Play speed or war with kids to get them quickly entertained, this also works when you are trying to entertain a large family. Teach the kids about blackjack or poker and you can bet chores! Be careful my zebras, you will feel sore if you laugh and have too much fun, but I think it’s worth it!

4. Try out new crafts or learn a new skill!

Crafts will save you and some can be done fairly cheaply. Plus thanks you YouTube and Google you can learn pretty much anything online. Crochet and Knitting are fairly easy and require little physicality, if you have hand issues you may want to pass or only practice once a week. Painting can also be done in a multitude of ways, water painting to spray paint. I am gonna learn to make Pom poms and tassels to use for home decoration. Peruse Pinterest for some craft ideas or other suggestions

5. Catch up on your favorite musicians!

No, you don’t have to watch their Instagram Lives, unless you want; you know do you boo. Listen to their newest album or listen to one of your favorites. Maybe look up the lyrics and sing along, you could even turn it into a karaoke night! The other benefit is you can introduce other family members to the songs you love and expand your musical horizons.

6. Read a book, magazine, or blog.

In Olden Times, reading books was THE thing to do. I purchased some magazines a while back but never had the chance to read them. Some libraries are closed, but there are resources for books. If you have a library card, you can access online books and audiobooks on OverDrive. Due to coronavirus, more places are offering free access to books if you need more. If you can work out a way to maintain Social Distancing and swap books with friends then go for it!

7. Where all on the Podcast Train now!

I have been trying for years not to listen to podcasts! I know it’s silly but I just didn’t want to because literally everyone was listening and I wanted to rebel. Desperate Times = Desperate Measures. There are so many podcasts that it’s pretty intimidating. Thankfully you probably already know or have heard about Podcasts because again everyone is already doing this so we are fashionably late to the party! You can also search by interest, so I have found podcasts about weed and mindfulness. Podcasts are now the friends we need!

8. Call somebody!

Most of us have a phone so you can call, FaceTime, Google Duo, or Skype someone and catch up. It could be a friend or a family member, you could literally talk for hours or just a few minutes. Maybe go the extra mile and schedule a call, so you can have as much time as possible to connect

9. Schedule your day, even if you have nothing to do!

I don’t have much going on, but I have still created a schedule so that I feel productive. Now that I’ve gotten a handle on my mental health, I am scheduling study time and blogging time. Aren’t you proud of me? By creating a schedule I am keeping myself accountable; since there are still things that need to be maintained and jobs that need done around the house. I also have my husband to help keep me on a schedule, if you live alone maybe make a pack with a friend and then you can also schedule daily or weekly friend calls! You can also schedule a nap because these are the CoronaDaze.

10. Take an online class!

You can learn to code, take Harvard Classes, or learn an instrument. Expanding your mind and skill set will give you something to take up the front page of your mind. I love learning new things because it’s a whole new experience and I usually obsess about it for a couple weeks. This is exactly the time we need to obsess about anything else. Take this moment to better yourself, because it’s the only thing we can do at this moment. As for me I’m gonna learn more about blogging and website design.

What are you gonna do to occupy the time?

Coping with Depression

Today’s post is about depression and tools about dealing with Depression with a Chronic Illness

For the sake of honesty, I will admit I have suffered with depression most of my life, at least since 9 or 10 years old. Once I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, my depression came roaring back with a vengeance.

When I was diagnosed, I was in the best shape of my life. I had overworked my body which then caused my symptoms to come to the front. I went into a depression spiral that went something like this: working out and being healthy is pointless, but I need to be healthy and lose weight to decrease my pain, but working out is what made this worse, continue forever.

Ehlers-Danlos didn’t make my depression worse, it just gave me more reasons. Over the last five years, I have been working on my mental health. Especially related to EDS, the primary thing is changing how I view EDS. At first it was an unfair challenge, something that would weigh me down forever. Now I’ve seen how I have handled the surprising challenges due to EDS.

First, do whatever you can to get a counselor or therapist. We have made paying for mental healthcare is critical and essential. If I didn’t have my current therapist, I don’t think I would have been able to to fight the depression of losing my job. I have also experienced that I tend to carry my stress which makes my EDS worse; it also liberates my mind so that I can just focus on the EDS. As for financing it, things will depend on your situation. I didn’t want to deal with insurance and also wanted the option to try multiple therapists so I chose Betterhelp. I pay monthly and will “text” her throughout the day, and can schedule video or phone calls. I chose this route for so many reasons but the primary benefit is being able to choose my therapist. I can be quite closed off and wanted a therapist who would feel like a friend so I could actually open up to them. I liked being able to change my therapist with no judgement, and ended up meeting my current counselor who has been amazing!

I will write another post about organizing and purging but this is a crucial step in my everyday well being. About three times a year I go through and purge my house of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. I found that by decluttering I felt less stressed and also don’t have to clean as much. By having less clothes and things in general, I don’t feel overwhelmed and life just seems a little simpler so I can just care for my mental or physical health without feeling guilty for self care.

Little tip!

Create some flare up outfits, this has helped me so much. I have these super fun flare yoga pants that are all spandex so its like wearing a dress. I pair it with a black tank top, and if it’s cold I throw my favorite cardigan over it. I also have some cute and warm slippers that I wear around the house and then sandals or in the summer.

My next outfit is the classic sweatshirt with some jeggings! Yes, I know people make fun of these but I have found some that are wonderful. More durable texture like a jean but still soft and comfy. The extra thickness makes it look just like jeans so you feel cute. The sweatshirt is nice and warm and super lazy. Bonus it holds multiple vape pens and snacks! I’ve been using a scrunchie with a bow in my hair to make it look more pulled together.

For flares I keep my hair in a low ponytail or a braid. My hair is pretty wavy so keeping it braided prevents knotting up my hair while I sleep or recline. If my shoulders hurt more, or don’t have the desire to do my hair then it goes into a loose low bun. Sometimes I have meetings that I can’t reschedule, an\ I don’t like to do make up when I have a flare up. I found glasses and bangs allow me to get away with minimal makeup. I just straighten my bangs, apply a red or ruby lipstick, and put on some hoops. If you want to apply a foundation, I would recommend a BB cream or tinted moisturizer product.

All of these little things have made things better! I also try to put things where they make sense, so my pills go on my bedside table because I need to take them no matter how sore or tired I am. I have a tall cube organizer and place all my other personal care item at the top so I don’t have to bend over.

These are just a few examples of how I have streamlined my life since being diagnosed. What about you zebras out there? How do you cope with depression and chronic illness? Any tips you can share that have helped you with your day-to-day?