Coronavirus is hitting everyone hard, but it hits those with mental health conditions x 100.

I am currently self-isolating as I have medication for my arthritis – this means my immune system is compromised.

My fears are many and multi-fold: my mum is 82 and at home, as she is currently having chemo for ovarian cancer, my boyfriend is in Surrey while I live in London, so I keep thinking will he forget me the longer this social distancing is enforced?

Work is on hold, as I currently don’t have any remote access facilities, so at the moment I don’t know if I’m even being paid.

All this on top on of worrying about catching the virus and accessing food in the current panic buying phenomena – it’s been difficult to stay focused and positive!

I told myself that over the years I’ve had bad anxiety and this means I tend to catastrophise – if it’s a small thing it tends to become as big as a mountain, so let’s see if I can utilise all the skills I’ve normally used to manage my condition to deal with COVID-19.

First of all it’s keeping busy. I’ve been ‘Stickering' – paint-by-numbers, but with adhesive stickers, and I've been reading all the books I’ve not had time to previously, including self-help literature.
Even though I’m on my own, I’m spending time investing in self-care such as painting my nails and putting on face masks.

Meditation is key and I do it on a daily basis, and I've been putting on an oil burner with essential oils (Vetiver is great for anxious feelings).

Also I’ve discovered the 3-way video call on WhatsApp to have a chat to my mum and sister, with lots of laughs.

I’ve been doing online Pilates classes and I am looking at participating in an online meditation class next week.

The main thing that helps is humour in times like these – I’ve had a giggle to myself that I won’t be in the predicament of contacting lots of friends when I’m ‘high’ and then having to cancel when I’m feeling a little ‘low’, thinking of a myriad of excuses to get out of a meeting! Now I can call friends without the fear of overbooking.

I’ve laughed that I will go grey and long haired as I can’t go to the hairdressers for the next few months, I’ll unleash my full Schofield!

I’m watching silly viral videos, and listening to comedians' podcasts, like Russell Brand’s.

Those living with bipolar know we’ve been through some dark times and we will get through this – together.



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