Let’s Talk About Feelings During the Pandemic

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This article was originally published in The Jewish Observer.
May 25, 2020

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The isolation during quarantine may leave you feeling as if you have little to no control over the situation. This is a very frustrating and powerless feeling. You might feel cut off from your community and family; and may not be able to perform your usual tasks or routines. Feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, lowered immunity, depressive symptoms and impaired mental and physical health.

Some examples of feelings you may be having:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Numbness
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Symptoms of Depression
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Irritability
  • Exhaustion

It is important to know that during this time these feelings are normal. It is also especially important that you take steps to care for yourself and address these feelings before they become bigger issues.

What are some ways to deal with stress and anxiety right now?

  • Communicate. Stay connected with loved ones and friends. Not only does it help with boredom, it also lessens the sense of isolation. Reach out to others or join groups on social media to feel connected.
  • Establish a Routine. The disruption in your daily habits can be so frustrating in quarantine. If you are working from home, it might be helpful to structure your day. If you are taking care of children, it might be helpful to create a daily schedule even if you don’t always stick to it.
  • Be active in some way. Short times of physical activity can improve your health both mentally and physically. You can also exercise your mind with a game or puzzle.
  • Take a break from the news. You might experience more anxiety when you watch TV or stay connected to the news for extended periods of time. Stay informed with trusted news source is such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). Limit your time spent watching the news each day. Find a good series or movie to watch instead.
  • Find gratitude in each day. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the negativity we see in our world during this situation. Expressing gratitude even during quarantine helps us focus on better things and think of other people.
  • Take care of your mental health. If you feel that you need to reach out for help, Jewish Family Service is here for you.

It’s very important to recognize and acknowledge when our feelings go past the point of normal into concerning behavior.

  • Several days in a row of insomnia.
  • Feeling hopeless or having thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Staying in the bed for days in a row
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Intense depressive symptoms (excessive crying, hopeless, numb, no desire to do anything)

At this point, you should reach out for help. Jewish Family Service is here to assist with counseling and helping you find the resources you need. Please call us at 615-356-4234.

Ashley Franklin, LMSW
Social Worker, Jewish Family Service