Lockdown is tough to say the very least. It’s taking its emotional toll on many of us, and those of us with pre-existing mental illnesses are no doubt all doing our best to remain as stable as possible. That’s easier said than done.
I’ve recently written posts on ways to cope and how I’ve been coping with my bipolar disorder during lockdown, but today I wanted to write about the things that I’m finding the toughest and which are impacting my mental health the most.
1. The unknown
One of the biggest things affecting me is the unknown. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, how things are going to change or when. Usually when I’m worried or anxious, knowing as much as possible about the situation helps me to feel more in control and calmer. Right now, things being so up in the air and unknown is contributing to my anxiety being heightened.
2. Worrying about loved ones
Of course, I’m worried about my loved ones and their health, both physical in direct relation to the pandemic, and mentally in how they’re coping with lockdown. I live many miles away from most of my loved ones and of course, we’re not allowed to travel right now or meet up with family and friends. Not being able to see people I love face to face is stressful, as I know it is for many people during this tough time.
3. Difficulty sleeping
All of the anxiety and tension is making it much more difficult for me to sleep. Living with bipolar disorder, a regular sleep schedule is so important to keeping my mood stable. If I don’t sleep, I’m at much higher risk for hypomania, and at times it can lead to depression.
4. The change in routine
Routine is another way I manage my bipolar disorder. Like everyone else, my routine has changed since lockdown and my brain seems to be finding that hard to adjust to.
5. Not being able to go to the countryside hiking
Possibly the thing I am struggling the most with at the moment is not being able to go to the countryside nearby and go hiking. That may sound silly to some, but going hiking each night in the countryside with my husband and my dogs is my happy place. It’s where I go to relax, to ground myself, to release stress and unwind. Although we can do walks from our door, we’re in the city and it simply doesn’t have the same effect. I am finding this is having a significant negative effect on my mental health.
I know that there are many of us struggling right now. Feel free to share in the comments what you are struggling with the most during the lockdown. I’m sending love to all of you. Stay safe.