The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people, especially those already living with BPD. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen to you and your loved ones can be overwhelming and cause you to feel scare, worried, anxious or upset. Social distancing can also make people feel isolated and lonely, and can increase stress and anxiety.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can sometimes cause the following:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones;
- Worries about your financial situation or job;
- Worry about the mental health support services you rely on;
- Changes in your eating patterns;
- Difficulty falling or staying sleeping;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Worsening of chronic health problems;
- Worsening of mental health conditions;
- Increased use of alcohol or substance abuse.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations
Everybody reacts differently to stress, so whatever you are feeling, it’s important to realise that it’s ok to feel that way.
Healthy ways to cope
- Know what to do if you are ill and are concerned about COVID-19;
- Know where and how to get mental health support;
- Take care of your emotional health, this will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your loved one;
- Take time out from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media – repeated exposure to the situation can be distressing;
- Take care of your body
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate;
- Try to eat regular, healthy meals;
- Get some fresh air (where possible) and exercise;
- Try to get a regular sleep pattern established;
- Avoid excessive substance use (alcohol, drugs).
- Make time to relax – try to do some activities you find enjoyable;
- Connect with others – even if it’s only over the phone or online;
- Connect with any communities you are part of – religious groups, hobby clubs, etc.
Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important if you are staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19). There are many things you can do to help your mental health during these difficult times, here are links to some top tips: