This is a really special Chinese New Year. Like most of us who’s living in China, I was isolated for quarantine at home alone for more than 1 month now due to the Coronavirus Outbreak.
For 3 weeks, the longest distance I went out was the supermarket 200 meters away from my apartment, which was the only place that opened on the street during that time.
This big noisy city I’m living in suddenly became so quiet. People started to stock can goods and Instant noodles…made me feel a bit like some scenes on The Walking Dead TV show.
Before this crisis, I decided not to go home for CNY this year. I didn’t want to feel the big pressure from my parents and thought it was a good decision because I reduced the chance to get the virus, but now I realized that the biggest challenge is actually not the virus.
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had pretty bad insomnia and severe anxiety that has overwhelmed me and took me by surprise.
My trip to Australia got canceled, I was stuck in the apartment all by myself, far away from all my friends and family.
Life has left me with just the internet to connect with the world. I couldn’t help but scroll down on depressing news and rumours and negative comments on social media day by day.
Then one thing led to another, laziness kicked in, I stopped getting up early, I stopped exercising, I even stopped reading books……I’ve lost all the motivation I had all of a sudden.
But 3 weeks ago I was really productive. In fact, I was kind of killing it since I started hustle on my business. I was working out consistently, reading a lot of books and getting my work done according to my schedule full of creativity.
So what happened?! I asked myself.
Well, a survey from the Chinese Psychology Society found that nearly 50% of us tested positive for having anxiety related to this epidemic.
Despite efforts by people in the front line and our government to battle this inevitable coronavirus crisis, we may not be prepared to handle a mental health crisis caused by it.
A lot of people in China report depression during this time, which I can totally relate to. Because for a short period of time, I was one of them.
It’s something I’m still working on to get it all over with. But I’ve seen some good progress finally recently.
So if you are anything like me, you are going through a similar situation, I want to let you know there are some steps you can take to make you feel a lot better.
And I want to share with you a powerful guide to how I’ve been dealing with anxiety and trying to get myself out of this depressive circumstance and mindset. Here it goes:
Strategy #1 Realize that you are not the only one who’s struggling
It was such a blessing that after noticed my depression I decided to do something to trick myself into believing that everything will be better soon and stop overthinking…then I started just by listening podcast over and over.
I was listening to this channel called On Purpose by Jay Shetty. He said: when you are going through a problem/challenge, the biggest mistake you can make is thinking you are the only one to go through it. When you think you’re the only one to go through it, no one can help you and you can’t even help yourself.
When you realized that you have a common challenge, common problem, it means you can go to someone who’s been through it before, It may not be exactly the same situation, but it has similarities.
Which means you can at least allow someone to help you or talk with someone who’s being through the same situation. So that you can easily stop the victim mentality.
Strategy #2 Do Something Small
As mentioned above, the first thing I did when I noticed my anxiety and depression was that I did something small by listening to podcast over and over.
According to Do Something Principle by Mark Manson “The conclusion is that if you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, then do something, anything really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself.”
When you are lacking inspiration and motivation to do anything, just find something really small to get yourself up, for example, you can start with brush your teeth or fold your clothes.
By doing these small things, you will get the momentum going and it will take you into further action, for example, after brushing your teeth, you might as well taking a shower or after folding your clothes, you might want to clean your whole apartment.
Strategy #3 Change Your Environment (if possible)
I know it may sound crazy but I think the biggest reason that got me so anxious in the first place was that the apartment I was staying during the worst period of time of coronavirus outbreak.
It was dark and cold (maybe because it was winter haha), I can barely see the sunlight in my room. So two days ago I moved again – I’ve moved 6 times in the past 2 years
Although they told me it’s not possible to move the apartment during this special situation. BUT I DID IT ANYWAY.
I felt so proud of myself afterwards, this whole moving thing lights up my mood and even led me to be more productive again.
Now I try to go out every day, whether if it’s walking around the neighbourhood or go to a park.
Study shows that “being outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure… etc.
But it is so true for me that spending time in forests, hiking in the mountains, or just being outside can lead to significant happiness in my life. Anyways I’m such a “nature person” that I think if I don’t go to nature for a while I might die…:P
So these are some powerful strategies I learned from the past two days, they helped me a lot to face this vulnerable moment and fight through my weakness.
I want to share this great inspiration in the book I’m reading: “Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.”
The circumstances can control our entire environment, but we can decide within ourselves how all of this is going to affect us.
It’s so true that “It is OUR WILLING PERMISSION, OUR CONSENT to what happens to us, that hurts us FAR MORE than what happens to us in the first place.”
Like many “failures” are only temporary setbacks, many bad situations are also only a temporary period of time.
If you don’t let them scare you and demoralize you, they can be turned into wins. Everything will be so good so soon, we just need to have a little faith and patience.