If you're having trouble concentrating and focusing on your tasks during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. The American Psychiatric Association reports that 24 percent of Americans are having trouble concentrating. The pessimist in me says that the other 76 percent of survey takers didn’t make it to the question.
Mental Health COVID-19 Statistics
48 percent of Americans are extremely concerned about contracting COVID-19
40 percent are extremely concerned about becoming seriously ill and/or dying from the virus
62 percent of Americans are concerned about a family member or loved one contracting the virus
36 percent of Americans are experiencing mental health issues due to COVID-19
57 percent are worried about their financial viability
68 percent are worried about the long-lasting effects to the economy
68 percent of Americans feel like they are well-informed about protecting themselves against the spread of the virus
39 percent feel like people are overreacting to the virus
39 percent also feel like people are not overreacting to the virus
33 percent of Americans are worried about a lack of testing and the availability of medical treatments if they become sick
Anxiety Is the Driving Cause of Mental Issues in Most Age Brackets for COVID-19
It’s important to understand that few alive today remember a situation like COVID-19. There was the 1918 Spanish Flu, and the 1957 Asian Flu. While there are more pandemics throughout history, those two are the most recent and the most widespread. Now, we have COVID-19, and there are few coping skills for this. The major problem aside from the fear of catching this highly contagious virus is that it’s impacted our daily lives. Many of us are no longer going to work. We can’t go to the gym. We can’t sit down in a restaurant and eat. The public venues are closed. Travel has been restricted to essential only, meaning you can go to purchase food and medicine, and you can visit a doctor if needed. If you are employed at an essential job, you can go to work, but you probably don’t want to due to fear of catching the virus.
Secondary is that fact that the supply chain has been severely impacted. If you attempt to order items or go to the store, many items on your shopping list aren’t available. This primarily affects paper products, cleaning chemicals and sanitizers. However, food is also affected. When I placed an order about a week ago, I ordered 6 kleenex. I received 2. There was no toilet paper available. The canned goods were virtually sold out. The frozen pulled chicken that I normally order was not available, and most of the frozen pizzas were gone. This pandemic diet has caused me to lose 12 pounds in 3 weeks. While I need to lose a few pounds, weight loss at that rate is not medically recommended, and if this lasts long enough, I could find myself underweight on the back end of this. While having to gain weight is not heavy on my mind, it does add to my concern.
What Can You Do to Help Alleviate Your Anxiety
If you have a mental health professional, you can talk to them over the phone and via video chat. If you don’t have a mental health professional, you can make an effort to find one. They may be able to help. In addition to utilizing professionals, you can also:
Find a new daily routine
Remember to eat
Turn off the news and stop obsessively looking at Cornavirus articles and statistics (Yes, I know how hard this is.)
Exercise. Pace your house. Use canned food as weights. Walk your neighborhood. Order that gym equipment from Amazon
Find a hobby or rediscover your old hobbies. I broke out the yarn the other day.
Get into gaming. Maybe you played Mario Brothers for 14 hours a day as a kid. It may be time to rediscover that habit.
Read fiction and get lost in a world someone else created.
Read non-fiction and learn something
Find an online class or two. Many colleges have put certain classes online for free
No matter how you feel today, this shall pass eventually. The goal right now is to manage yourself, manage your risk and keep your mind occupied.
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