Since last month, many of us have been working solely from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this has proved that many jobs can be done remotely, there's one major mental health issue that office-goers are facing today: depression.
When we can help others and earn their gratitude and appreciation, it can also help us build and maintain healthy self-esteem. Strong self-esteem comes from believing in our value as a person. One way to feel that we are worthy of self-respect is to be there for others in need.
Negative emotions can be a real problem in bipolar disorder (and, really, in any mental illness). And right now, many people are finding the negative emotions associated with bipolar disorder are heightened due to this incredibly taxing pandemic we're all living through right now. Between the COVID-19 anxiety and the stress of losing your bipolar routine, it's no surprise that bipolar symptoms are worsening for so many people. And for me, the worsening bipolar is coming in the form of negative emotions today. Negative emotions and negative self-talk are plaguing me right now.
My usual routines for self-care are failing while I'm in quarantine, and my self-esteem is suffering because I feel unproductive. Healthy self-esteem allows us to take care of ourselves and love ourselves because we believe we are worth the effort. The last few weeks have been difficult as I struggle to adapt to the restrictions placed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic. After I spent one week doing nothing to take care of myself, I created a Quarantine Routine to help me get back to feeling productive and rebuild my flagging self-esteem.
Long before I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), I was able to hold a pencil with my hand. It was only then that I realized that I could transport myself to anywhere my imagination could take me. I would spend literally hours in my bedroom, doodling and doing anything I could to get away from the trauma of my household.
I've been in confinement at home in Barcelona for over a month, and my cravings are driving me crazy. My body and mind feel like a battleground. I´m in a constant struggle with myself over food.
I'm not sure who has it worse: folks who are isolated in quarantine or those of us who are couped up 24 hours a day with our loved ones. All in all, I'm glad my boyfriend and I left our Brooklyn apartment before the state of emergency was declared in order to quarantine upstate with my parents. The downside? I'm now quarantined upstate with my parents, my boyfriend, and our one-year-old dog, and there's no end in sight. To make things worse, I have three, mental illness struggles that have developed alongside my Behcet's Disease, the chronic autoimmune disease that I was born with, that I feel like I'm unloading into their laps. Here's how I'm making it work:
No one wants a mental health emergency at any time, but having a mental health emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic showed me how neither I or the emergency room hospital staff were prepared to deal with a mental crisis in this unsettling--and downright terrifying--time.
Mental resistance is something we all experience, but for a long time, I didn't realize there was actually a name for it or a reason it happened besides me being lazy and horrible and bad. Mental resistance is that feeling where you know you should do something, you want to do something, but for some reason, you're just . . . stuck.
Let's face it, it is hard not to experience stress and anxiety these days. I had planned to write this article about something else regarding anxiety, but I felt as though I would be remiss if I talked about anything other than what we are all going through right now and how it is affecting me since it is continuously a major part of my thoughts throughout the day.