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Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Staying well / Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Topic: Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

  1. Nurse Jenn
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    18 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Matchy69,

    That really is tough to have to go through. I have been speaking to some of the people I work with and trying to prepare them for this event as it could really happen anywhere. Anyone of us could receive a call from a public health office and be asked to self isolate due to a reported exposure. It is called 'contact tracing' and it is done to try to stop the virus from spreading further. If you are asked to self isolate, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will contract the virus, it is precautionary.

    There are a lot of strategies listed here to help if you are requested to self isolate and coming to the forum may be a good place to talk about how your are feeling. I hope you continue to share if you feel comfortable.

    If you want to read a bit about what to do and who to call, you can have a look here:

    https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

    4 people found this helpful
  2. blondguy
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    18 March 2020 in reply to Harry Lime

    Hey everyone...and welcome to all the new members that have posted too!

    Today means a lot me as its one less day we have to go through during this difficult time

    my kind thoughts always

    Paul

    5 people found this helpful
  3. Nurse Jenn
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    410 posts
    18 March 2020

    Hi everyone,

    This is an incredibly tough time. Australia has just lived through one of its biggest bushfire crisis only finishing a month ago. It was the global spotlight with an outpouring of charity and sympathy to the Crisis. So many people across the country are have only just begun working through the trauma experienced after the fires, finding a place to live, talking wth insurance companies, building their community, etc. etc. etc. Making sense of the impact of the bushfires at a personal, community, environmental and ecological level has still not been fully realised. And now this.

    "Wow". That is the one word I would post if needed to describe how I was feeling and I am not even sure it is a word). I wonder if you have a word (or more) you would like to share?

    This thread is growing everyday with so many people needing an outlet, a place, a virtual sanctuary where people can share their challenges and worry, their comfort and support. It is so great to see the conversation flowing on this forum. Please reach out if you need to. Even if it is only one word.... we are listening.

    Nurse Jenn

    2 people found this helpful
  4. PatienceBay
    PatienceBay avatar
    85 posts
    18 March 2020 in reply to Haether
    I did my first tele-consultation with my therapist today. It was fantastic.
    3 people found this helpful
  5. Matchy69
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    18 March 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    Hi Nurse Jen thank you for those comments and link.I will keep you all updated on what the outcome of this is.My daughter is coping really well.I thought she might be scared but she is happy she dosnt have to go to school.Today just bought out the reality that it can happen to anyone.I usually dont go out much but when you are told you cant leave your house it really does hit you the severity of it all.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. PatienceBay
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    85 posts
    18 March 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    In hard times, I find it helpful to name my emotions. This seems to take some of their power away.

    It helps me remember I can stand aside and observe my emotions; I don't need to be 'in' them all the time.

    So here's a grab-bag of my emotions over the last weeks (they didn't necessarily occur in exactly this order):

    *Intellectual curiosity, compulsive greed for information, adrenaline

    *Comprehension, insight, awakening, horror, pity, guilt, distress

    *Abject fear and revolsion

    *Confusion, uncertainty, feeling crazy, social, rejection, frustration, disbelief, desperation.

    *Betrayal, loss of faith, rudderless at sea.

    *Frustration, fury, hatred, violent anger, bloody revenge.

    *Gloating, ego, 'I-told-you-so.'

    *Powerlessness, helplessness.

    *victimhood, passivity, resignation, resentment.

    *Denial, bargaining, regret, gallows / black humour, martyrdom.

    *Physical symptoms of extreme distress (nearly a panic attack)

    *Lack, fear. So much fear and helplessness :-(

    *Morbid fascination, sheer thrill, and anticipation (not proud of it, but there it is).

    *Strength, resolution, determination, courage, self-assurance, self-esteem.

    *Self restraint and self discipline

    *Kindness, compassion, willingness.

    *Intellectual curiosity and excitement

    *Inspiration, hope.

    Without getting too caught up in the thinking 'story', what other raw emotions have you noticed?

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Nurse Jenn
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    410 posts
    18 March 2020 in reply to Abbie121

    Hi Abbie121,

    I was just having a conversation with my Pilates instructor today (it was my last lesson we think for a while) and she has advised me that she will be doing video (virtual) classes starting this week. I have also noticed a few other sites in my town doing the same thing. It might be worth looking into and seeing if there are some exercise / fitness classes around that you are able to access. Many people use exercise and fitness regularly for not only the health benefits, but also the social benefits. I suspect there will be many virtual classes occurring during this time which may help keeping connected. There are also many free YouTube exercise videos from Yoga to High Intensity Training. It took a while to find what I liked the best on YouTube but it was an interesting process to search though them all.

    Sending you best on your question towards virtual fitness and connection.

    Nurse Jenn

    1 person found this helpful
  8. quirkywords
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    18 March 2020 in reply to abcdefghi

    abcdefghi

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for writing your post and reaching out.

    If you read the posts on this thread you will see you are not alone.

    It must be hard being at school with all this uncertainty.

    Can you talk to your friends about how you are feeling.? Is there a school counsellor or a year 12 advisor.

    Sophie and Nurse Jenn have written helpful suggestion and provide links on beyondblue.

    Keep posting if you want to and reading here.

    Is there any thing that you find calming like music or exercise or singing or doing craft or cooking?

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Quirky

  9. quirkywords
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    18 March 2020 in reply to quince

    Hello all

    Quince, thanks for answering the questions and giving us helpful suggestions.

    Patience I like the way you have named your feelings. I am sure many can relate to some of them.

    I think being open about our feelings will help us all.

    Nurse Jenn, I discovered fitness workouts for my age group on youtube last year.

    my problem is remembering to do some each day and be motivated and not eat while I do the exercises!!

    I feel everyone here has gone through so much in our lives, struggles with mental illnesses and we have developed ways to cope so we will deal with this virus.

    This is a way we can keep connected if we are self isolating or social distancing.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Aunt Jobiska
    Aunt Jobiska avatar
    22 posts
    18 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    I'm angry and upset. I have an illness with a 10-15% suicide rate, so I'm far more likely to die from suicide than coronavirus, so the government is trashing my health in order to benefit someone else - I've pretty much lost all my social support, and will for the forseeable future. That's a huge cost in managing an illness. I rely on close friends and family to notice early symptoms, and I won't have that safety net anymore. I loathe online forums like this one, I loathe Facebook, and I don't have family nearby. I always met up with my friends, I didn't phone them. The infectious disease doctors couldn't care less about my mental health, I couldn't care less about their disease. I'm not sufficiently knitted into the community to want to sacrifice myself for others - I'm too stigmatised for my illness. I'm far to concerned about maintaining my stability to care about anybody else's wellbeing. Nobody is offering to pay any kind of cost to support my wellbeing. Unpopular but true.
    2 people found this helpful
  11. blondguy
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    18 March 2020 in reply to Aunt Jobiska

    Hi Aunt Jobiska

    Im sorry that you have an illness that you have to contend with especially during this awful time in our lives..With all respect can I ask why you loathe forums like this one?

    I am only a humble volunteer with my own mental illness yet I can feel your pain and anguish where being angry and upset is concerned..

    we are listening Aunt Jobiska and we dont bite!

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Peppermintbach
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    18 March 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Sigh, surely, it can’t just be me who‘s feeling low grade “cabin fever”...

    I am sick of being (mostly) at home. I’m already feeling claustrophobic, on edge, & trapped...

    I understand, adhere to, & respect the need for social distancing, but it’s really affecting my mental state. Much more than I would have anticipated, so even I’m surprised...

    Just take care of yourselves and look out for each other as best you can, and as the situation evolves...

    Kindness & care to all,

    Pepper

    3 people found this helpful
  13. blondguy
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    18 March 2020 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi Pepper

    I hear you loud and clear re the claustrophobic feeling....ugh!

    Its been a 'good day' for myself as we are one day closer to be rid of this awful pathogen

    Im surprised at myself too Pepper....My health professional mentioned today that I have 38 years of experience coping with mental health issues and "all he knows is the theory without the experience"

    Me thinks that you are included in that comment too Pepper :-)

    always great to see you

    Paul

    4 people found this helpful
  14. Matchy69
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    19 March 2020 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi pepper I completely understand where you are coming from.I have no choice in the matter as i am required by law to stay at home until further notice.Their has been a good post going around on facebook that says Are grandparents were forced to shoulder arms and go to war and all we have to do is sit on our backside and watch tv.I think grandfather who went to ww1 and what he had to deal with being stuck in a muddy trench for weeks.It is all perspective.

    Stay strong,

    Take care,

    Mark.

    3 people found this helpful
  15. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    6022 posts
    19 March 2020

    I read this following statement just now. And it just got me thinking is all..

    "We are in the midst of a pandemic. But despite what they are saying on the news, COVID-19 is not the pandemic...
    The pandemic is fear."

    (Source : Super caring, health conscious Chris Wark)

    6 people found this helpful
  16. Peppermintbach
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    19 March 2020

    Hi everyone,

    It’s lovely to see everyone sharing, opening up & supporting each other here.

    I hope it’s okay for me to just reply to some people who addressed me directly (waves to all):

    Abbie: thank you, yes, I empathise with your feelings when it comes to the emotional toll of social distancing. Not being able to see my friends & family is hard.

    But, I agree that this is a good space to connect & mutually support :)

    Paul: thank you so much for the gentle encouragement & yes, I’m hopeful that containment &/or a cure or vaccine is on its way.

    I like your mindset of “one day closer”...I’ll keep telling myself that...

    I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling claustrophobic too, but I suppose at least we know that we aren’t alone in feeling this way...

    Thanks again, & I hope you’re taking good care of yourself.

    Thanks for all that you do on the forums. You are appreciated & respected :)

    Matchy: that sounds very intense. Self isolation sounds full-on, as I know that demands complete isolation...at least with social distancing, you can still go out but we’re meant to limit it to only essential movement e.g. not being able to work from home.

    True, that is a good reminder about perspective. Even though our feelings are valid, & unpleasant as it may be, people have been through worst things and survived. Thank you...

    I suppose that I just have to remember, the more people who practise social distancing, the more we will be able to slow the spread & protect higher risk groups.

    Thanks again :)

    Kindness and care,

    Pepper

    2 people found this helpful
  17. quirkywords
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    19 March 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Hello everyone,

    Shell, that is so true the pandemic is the fear. The virus didn't cause all the shortages at the supermarket.

    he various links on Beyond Blue are trying to promote calm and reason and focus on what we can do.

    It is often said it is not what happens to us it is how re respond to things.

    Pepper,

    sorry you are feeling like you have cabin fever and self isolation is affecting your mental health.

    Maybe I am confused but I think we can still see friends if they are healthy maybe one at a time and practice social distancing.

    Thanks for your helpful responses to people.

    I find shopping very stressful and only go when I need necessary items. As I don't drive I must walk there and back so I don't buy much.

    I saw a show on tv where people were making up games to play at home. Anyone know any good ones to play alone or with another?

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Juju1234
    Juju1234 avatar
    1 posts
    19 March 2020

    Thank you all for sharing, it's nice to know I am not alone in my feelings of anxiety and fear with everything that is happening. Here is my experience:

    As a generally anxious person who has struggled with mental health issues my whole life, this is really taken a much greater toll on me than I could have anticipated. The greatest thing impacting me is that I am living with 3 other people in our house. Two of which are practically in denial about what is happening. "It's just a flu. You just need to stop stressing out so much" is dismissive and unhelpful. I have been waking up in the middle of the night due to panic attacks in my sleep. It's not something I am consciously controlling. If I could just magically switch off my anxiety like a light, I would.

    Although I feel angry at my family for not being more supportive, I am also trying not to blame them because that might just be their coping mechanism and they are probably going through a whole lot of emotions themselves right now and I can't expect them to understand what I am experiencing. Sometimes, people just don't understand what you are going through, and in my experience, it's often the ones I love who just don't get it.

    I have been doing my best to start implementing my self-care strategies like: taking 'time out' to check in with feelings and emotions and to dissociate from unhelpful thoughts and emotions.

    Watching funny shows on TV, going out into the backyard garden and listening to the ambient sounds, connecting with my friends through chat, avoiding social media (although it's hard because of the compulsive need to stay informed) and doing some yoga and mindful breathing exercises.

    I feel terrified, ashamed (for feeling so scared), alone, lost and heartbroken for those who are being affected. But I am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel and remain hopeful for the future.

    Thank you for letting me share. :) It helps

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Moonstruck
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    3286 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone.....my situation is..let's see.....I am feeling fine health-wise, so are my family. I am not afraid of catching the virus....my life has gone on much the same...except for as from now, some of my precious activities are now cancelled (due to the gatherings of more than 100) etc...and others that are shutting down ...just because...because why?

    My mental health isn't at risk from the virus...it's at risk from the "fear and panic" ; the hysteria and constant bombardment from "THE MEDIA" that predicts the worst case scenarios they can muster up....huge headlines of disaster, spreading FEAR 24/7.....and then we watch our friends, neighbours and society in general "reacting" to that fear...(that should be "over reacting") and that fear is contagious in itself!!

    People's reactions and media's incessant publishing photos of "empty shelves" promote more fear and panic buying. If there were no panic buying, there'd be no shortage....can't people see that?

    No I am not afraid of the virus......it's the spreading gloom and doom, panic and FEAR that is the most dangerous virus......

    6 people found this helpful
  20. quirkywords
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    19 March 2020 in reply to Juju1234

    welcome to everyone reading or thinking of posting or are posting,

    juju welcome to the forum and this thread. As you know you are not alone here.

    Thanks for honestly sharing your story and for giving us some tips that help ypu.

    I agree funny shows on tv help so I avoid anything very dark and sad.

    Please do not feel ashamed for feeling like many do.

    If you want keep posting here as that's what this thread is for.

    I think with all the social media and conflicting reports it can be so confusing.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  21. dak.0ta
    dak.0ta avatar
    3 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to Pinkjules1984

    Hi,

    I've found that avoiding dodgy sites and talking to people really help- I also struggle with a lot of anxiety and depression. In my opinion, the media is exaggerating, and while yes, the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading throughout the world, China's numbers have slowly started to decrease after some countermeasures such as social distancing. If you're scared of contracting the virus, just practice good personal hygiene and think of the virus as a type of flu. The reason why so many doctors and health officials are worried is due to the rate that people can contract the disease as well as the fact that it is a novel virus, meaning we have little to no information regarding it and it's a new strain of this type of disease. On the bright side, the University of Queensland have begun to test their vaccine- while it may be a little longer until they can produce it, it's a big step in combating the virus. Also, while the WHO have stated that the death rate is 3.4%, it is most likely lower as only a select number of people who fit the criteria for testing have been tested.I really hope that your wedding will go ahead as planned, stay safe.

    -Dakota

    P.S. panic buying is also not advised

    3 people found this helpful
  22. Honey B
    Honey B avatar
    1 posts
    19 March 2020

    I work in healthcare communications so avoiding the media is virtually impossible for me...but the media saturation of COVID-19 is really heightening my anxiety.

    I’m trying to talk to my friends everyday, and video conferencing my colleagues really helps.

    But the social distancing and self isolation isn’t helping my depression..it’s giving me another excuse to avoid social situations / anything that usually makes me feel better.

    Any small tips on what you are doing to keep positive during this weird time is much appreciated.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Gwenyth
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    19 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Quirky words, thanks for your post. I think social media has a lot to answer for is spreading misinformation. I watched the National Press Club on ABC iview yesterday and it had a panel of three of Australia’s top medical science people who are the ones managing the coved virus here and I found it quite reassuring. I think if we follow their advice to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between us and sanitise our hands frequently we should be reasonably safe. I don’t want all social opportunities to be shut down because I would get really down if I couldn’t catch up with friends from time to time.
  24. Gwenyth
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    2 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Moonstruck, I know what you mean. I live in an over 50s community and we have been told to limit activities to 20 people. The Government says 100. I am trying to make sure we can still go to Happy Hour in the clubhouse as long as we follow the Government advice on gatherings. If I couldn’t see people at least once a week I would go crazy. I don’t think it’s necessary to be home 100% of the time unless you are required to isolate yourself. It’s the panic that is creating more social isolation.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Hanna3
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    1399 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to Gwenyth

    Hi everyone here,

    I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is a very experienced GP. He said the biggest problem is not simply the virus but also people panicking as a result of it and also stock hoarding.

    This virus may be with us for quite a long time. The problem is that as it is a new virus, we do not have any immunity to it. It may be quite some time before a vaccine is available. In the meantime all that is being asked of you all is that you take reasonable and sensible precautions to help avoid spreading the virus to others, and to avoid catching it yourself. The fewer people who catch it the more chance it gives our hospitals to cope with the patient load.

    Young and healthy people as I understand it often only get very mild symptoms, but anyone who has an underlying problem such as heart disease, immune problems, diabetes, or is older can become very sick. This means our heath care system will be overloaded unless you all help by doing what is asked of you, which is simply:

    Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and use a hand sanitizer if you can. But soap and warm water is good!

    Try to use spatial distancing, ie. stand or sit about 6 feet - or 1.5 metres - from another person. This is to help stop transfer of the virus via droplets.

    Avoid large gatherings of over 100 people

    Do work from home if you can, and avoid very crowded places, and yes you can go to the supermarket & go shopping but please only buy what you need.

    If you think you are ill please phone your local doctor for advice and stay at home.

    It is good to go out for a walk, eat healthy food, and not fret or panic. This is likely to be the new normal for some time.

    I am going to my book club tonight, that is about ten people, that is fine. I am avoiding crowded cafes - instead I get a take away coffee - and if I buy say an ice cream I have it outdoors.

    I understand people's anxiety, but it is important that you do your best to keep your spirits up and help others. Life throws up challenges and this is one of those times. So we need to boost our resilience by calming ourselves down, thinking more positively, avoiding over-exposure to the media. We are all in this together, world-wide, and we need to help lift each other's spirits and support each other and above all, stay calm. We will get through this much better if we all do.

    2 people found this helpful
  26. quirkywords
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    19 March 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Moon and everyone did you see this quote shell found.

    "We are in the midst of a pandemic. But despite what they are saying on the news, COVID-19 is not the pandemic...
    The pandemi(Source :

    Super caring, health conscious Chris Wark) c is fear."

    Moon I think the quote says it all. I can handle not having all the food I usually eat(as long as I have enough Tim Tams) but I find the way people fight over the last flour or packet of rice.

    I suppose when we can not handle uncertainty as a society we start to panic and stockpile items.

    Dakota thanks for your informative post.

    Honey B if you read many of the posts on this thread you will find many positive ideas. People have mentioned music, watching a program you find funny, listening to sounds outside, also limiting news and social media reports, walking, staying in contact with people.

    Gwenyth I think making sure that the virus does not spread and allowing us enough social interaction to help our mental health and not affect our physical health.

    Hanna Thanks for your ideas. I think these sentences explains well what we need to do.

    We are all in this together, world-wide, and we need to help lift each other's spirits and support each other and above all, stay calm. We will get through this much better if we all do.

    Thanks everyone for your contributions.

    As Hanna said we will get through this much better if we all stay calm.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Star_gaze
    Star_gaze avatar
    2 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to Juju1234

    Hi Juju1234, you're not alone. I feel the same anxiety and shame for being afraid, it even made me feel physically ill this morning.

    I'm trying my best not to get upset, or anxious, and returned back to my daily meditation routine, which I had neglected in recent times due to having to work really long hours and having to dedicate the rest of my available time to sorting out other health issues. But now I find, more than ever, mental health is key. I know meditation takes practice, so it is not an overnight solution, so I'm also trying to read more books, watch movies that I enjoy, keep active, and reduce work stress and long hours. I am more mindful of my mental struggles than ever before, I know I worry about my family's health, and it is normal to worry about that, especially when my own immune system is low, and I would never ever want to pass anything to them. I have thought about moving out and isolating myself completely...but I know that's also only going to mean I won't be there to help and support them and in times like these we need to be with the ones we love, wherever possible. If my mind is well, my body too will respond in kind. And while we need to social distance, and hugs aren't encouraged, I
    guess I'm settling for virtual hugs while my immune system gets boosted back to normal.

    Follow expert advice. Look after your loved ones always.

    I am trying not to burden my family with my anxiety, so I find myself at times in my room just wanting to cry, and I curl up in a ball trying to stop the fear from coursing through me... But reading comments on this forum, makes me realise it is okay to feel what I feel, and I pray all of us will get through this. Thanks for sharing your feelings, and thanks to Beyond blue for providing this forum as an outlet. I already feel better just writing down how I feel. I will continue to work on finding new routines and outlets for stress.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    440 posts
    19 March 2020

    I keep saying to myself

    'These are unprecedented times'

    'we are in this together - we will get through this'

    'things will get better'

    I do get kinda anxious at the thought of having to isolate/quarantine. I fully understand why etc and I am prepared for it. I try to avoid the media as its only adding fuel to the fire.

    But mostly I get upset at all of the hoarding people are doing and seeing people not able to get things. I'm trying to steer clear of all that and just read about the random acts of kindness people are doing for each other.

    We'll get through this!

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Bellana
    Bellana avatar
    1 posts
    19 March 2020
    I am keeping up to date with info, following all the recommendations and helpful advice found on forums like this. There is just one issue for me - sleep! All my life I have had issues getting to sleep and have done all the usual relaxation techniques etc. Normally it is not such an issue, but today, after 5 days of only 5 hours sleep per night I found myself in panicky mode. I have an underlying anxiety condition (treated with medication) but this morning caught me off guard. I was unable to go to work as a result. Are there ways of avoiding sleep deprivation symptoms when actual hours of sleep are low or is this an oxymoron? Thank you
  30. randomx
    randomx avatar
    1354 posts
    19 March 2020 in reply to Bellana

    lt's all the strangest situation l've ever lived that is for sure.

    l'm sort of no worries where l am as far as any house boundness goes because l could at least walk for miles especially at night bc this towns all been inside this wk hardly see a soul but then the shear stillness makes it all just weird if you do go out for a walk.

    yesterday my daughter and l went into our main small city that normally bussels away but very very quiet for sure add the vibe around my town , all very very strange isn't it. Guy next door was up on his roof hammering away all day though so that was damn nice , a bit of normal.

    l feel bad for any of us living alone right now l must admit myself included , would be so nice to have some company in this .

    rx

    4 people found this helpful

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