It is a trying time for everyone in the world right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the world is on lockdown. You would think the chronically ill would be great at isolating themselves, since that is what we do in normal circumstances.
The problem is, when we are feeling well enough we would normally try to keep plans and meet up with people, but with the current situation that is just not possible.
We have a great online community of people with chronic illness, which gives us an advantage. We still communicate with others when we are house or bed bound, whereas others are unused to this idea. They long to meet up in person. Well now they finally know how it feels to be away from others despite wanting to see them.
I find myself dreading watching the news, but I am still on social media a lot. That’s because I have found more positivity than negativity on there recently. Yes I have unfollowed certain companies and people to help my mental health and that is okay.
Because I am not working, my pain is less than normal. In the UK we are still allowed out for one bit of exercise a day and luckily I have a garden. I am upping my exercise a little each day in whatever ways I can. I do a fast paced walk and have started up hula hooping again after years and I’m keeping as fit as possible.
However my mental health is very up and down as is everyone’s. Some days I wake up and I just don’t see the point of getting up. I feel miserable and constantly want to cry. Those days I still force myself up and I try to find at least 1 useful thing to achieve in a day.
Hobbies are vital at this time. I have starting editing a book I havent had the time to sort out properly. I have also started an online course in British Sign Language which I have always wanted to do but never had the time to focus on it. (There are many online companies offering crazy discounts right now. My course cost £29 compared to nearly £200 usually.) I also bought a Nintendo Switch recently and am playing Animal Crossing as it is very relaxing and been found to reduce stress.
I have enough hobbies to always find something to do each day. But it is also okay if all you achieve today is to get up, or have a Disney+ marathon (because I would never do an actual marathon I make this an achievement as good as if I ran a marathon. The end result is the same…)
It is also okay to cry all day as long as you promise yourself tomorrow will be better. There is nothing worse than trying to hold in your feelings as eventually you will explode with them.
We had a holiday booked which I would have been on right now with my family. Of course, I completely understand that I cannot go, but we really needed this holiday. Unfortunately our lovely dog, Dolly, was put down a few weeks ago and a close family member had some health issues over the last few months but luckily that is behind us now. A few days ago, a family friend also passed away. So now we have to confront the emotions of the past few months without much to look forward to. But as soon as this is over, hopefully we can book another holiday and make it even better than it would have been. This crisis really does out things into perspective.
I understand I am very lucky as I still live with my parents. There are a lot of people completely alone right now. However living with family does come with it’s own challenges. I sometimes have to walk away and shut myself in my room to avoid an argument at the moment as we just get on top of each other. But it is also really nice to have my parents around, for us to support and help each other in these difficult times.
I am worried about family and friends who live far away, but there are a lot of kind people out there. My grandma lives away from the rest of the family but her friend goes shopping for her and delivers to her door, and even sends us photos of grandma to help us rest assured she is okay. Once this is over, she will be receiving some gifts from us as a massive thank you for looking after grandma while we haven’t been able to.
It really makes you appreciate what you have and that you are still alive. Yes I am terrified of getting this virus but it is important to be as safe as possible, staying home as much as possible and taking precautions when going out.
Please remember, this will pass eventually, but will things ever be the same?
2 thoughts on “Staying Strong during Isolation”
I’m so sorry about your family friend and Dolly, and the holiday you’ve had to miss out on. It’s a tough time in the world without all of the extra stuff on top. There’s so much and so many to worry about, and without an end in sight it can become very bleak. I think those distractions and hobbies are really important. I definitely need to work on the hobbies part. For the positives, you’re with your parents and I hope you can all stay safe and well (as well as usual, at least considering those of us with chronic illness are never ‘well’ to begin with!) and it’s good your grandma is doing okay and getting support with the shopping. Hang in there, Bethan, and take good care of yourself ♥
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Thanks Caz and to you too xx
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