I am pretty sure you have come across multiple similar posts like this. I have too. But, the reason why I wanted to address this is because the majority of the posts that I read didn’t resonate well with me. Our thoughts are our own and I feel every single post about “overcoming negative thoughts” during self-isolation is all written from personal experience.
But, I am a trend follower and someone who struggles with mental health issues. The two don’t go together, now, do they? You might be thinking, “What even does the two have in common?”
Well, it means that I wanted to write an article on this topic (trend) and I wanted to address how I have been dealing with negative thoughts during this time of crisis (mental health issue).
Do you get it now?
Even if you don’t, I wanted to share some of the tips that have worked for me during these hard times.
In a study conducted back in 2018 by Cigna, it reported that around half of 20,000 US adults complained about feeling alone. Out of all the participants, 40% reported that they sometimes feel like their relationships are not meaningful anymore.
This study was conducted two years back when self-isolation was not mandatory.
Now that we have to practice social distancing and self-isolate ourselves during the pandemic, it isn’t surprising that people have a bigger burden on their chests.
And that burden is the “Burden of negativity.”
What do you mean by “Burden of negativity”?
Well, I am glad you asked.
Every single one of us has negative thoughts from time to time. But, while we are in the middle of a pandemic trying to protect ourselves, the lack of certainty around the situation is what is driving those walls of negativity up high.
The constantly rising number of confirmed cases and deaths across the world makes you believe that this is likely never going to end. That is where negativity stems.
When you are constantly fighting your thoughts, making them understand that “this too shall pass” and then you open the news channel and all your hopes come crashing down.
It is common to have doubts. It is common to have negative thoughts. It is pretty common to question your mere existence at this point.
I have been there too. I am still there, to be honest.
But, let’s be honest, every sunset comes with the sunrise the next day. And, while I am not trying to tell you to suppress what you are feeling at this point, I am asking you to attenuate it with positivity.
Because let’s be real, there’s only so much negativity that one’s mind can bear.
How to overcome negative thoughts during self-isolation?
Before we proceed further, the one thing that I would like to tell you is that the tips I am about to share are the ones that have personally worked for me.
While some might work for you, some might now.
I didn’t necessarily eat “very bad” even before isolation but now that we are stuck at home, I am finding time to focus on my diet.
And, I know, you must be wondering about the connection between food and negative thoughts, right? Well, I eat to distract at times.
I am a person of habit and food has always been an escape for me. So, whenever I have something negative on my mind or something is troubling me, I try to find solace in the kitchen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
From a very young age, I have found healthy outlets for all my mixed emotions. I am not expressive but I like to express my thoughts through my writings. One of the best ways that help me cope with my negative thoughts is writing poetry.
I find this a healthy way to channel my negativity and make something creative out of it. I know that it might not work for every single person, which is why I have the next tip for you.
Keep yourself informed
I have had many people come and suggest me not to watch the news or keep track of the rising number of confirmed cases. I did that for a few days. I tried to not peek into the unnecessary news and I didn’t even check the official toll of the Covid-19 spread in my country.
I found myself getting even more anxious.
I realized at that moment that keeping myself informed helped me cope better with the situation. When I knew what was happening, it let me prepare myself for what’s to come (mentally). Not knowing anything and trying to be oblivious might help some people but at the end of the day, it is something that’s happening and is not going to end anytime soon.
I mean, if distancing yourself from the news keeps you sane, you do you, boo-boo!
Sleep it off
There’s nothing that a nap can’t fix. I believe in that and it works for me. For someone who struggles with anxiety, trust me, this is a miracle in my life. It lets me disconnect with the world and just focus on my mental health. Sleeping it off doesn’t mean that I am trying to run away from the situation, it means that my mind needs a buffer and you bet that I going to provide with that buffer.
To be honest, likely, I will still wake up anxious after a nap but for the most part, it helps calm down the racing thoughts that I had in the beginning.
During this phase of self-isolation, accept the changes that you are undergoing – both physically and mentally. Understand that things are not the same anymore and that this is our “new normal”. Negative thoughts are going to infiltrate your mind but at the end of the day, you need to take charge and overthrow them.