Mental Health Stages in Lockdown

Five Stages of Lockdown

The current situation right now is putting everyone into panic
mode worldwide. No matter what stage you’re at in dealing with
uncertainty, we will get through this together.

Here are the stages that you are likely going through. And as
time passes, this will start to make sense to you. I hope this
article gives you a heads up on what's to expect even though it
might not feel like it right now.

Stage 1: Denial
When chaos first arises, we don't want to believe that this is
happening. We are in denial. This is too surreal. We don’t want to
believe that the prediction someone forecasts is going to
happen. It's like your worst nightmare has come true. You
continue living life as normal because you don’t want to believe
that a massive change is coming.

Stage 2: Believe & Panic
Now you start to believe that the massive change is coming. 
Something that looks like what we’ve seen in movies is happening
in real life. Panic starts settling in. What is this change going to
look like? How should I prepare for this? Am I going to be okay?
You might rush out to buy 6 months worth of toilet paper (just
kidding!). You look around and everyone is in panic mode.

Stage 3: Anxious
Your panic calms down and you are now silently anxious instead.
What is going to happen in the near future? Am I going to lose
my job? Are businesses going to be okay? Why does everything
seem so bad? OMG more bad news!
When you’re in this stage, you might feel like thoughts are going
around in circles. You go to bed feeling stressed. You wake up feeling drained. This is because your worries keep you up at night and you don’t get enough sleep. You read the news and feel more anxious. You talk to friends and see Facebook posts of those who are in the same stage and you feel even worse. It’s exhausting.

Stage 4: Accept & Let Go
After being in the anxious stage for a few weeks, you start to
accept that this change is here to stay. The negative news is
here to stay. Being anxious doesn’t make anything better but
drives you insane and affects your mental health day in and day
out. You realize that you can’t keep living in this state of fear.
So you decide to slowly remove yourself from the negatives -
from anything that provokes negative emotions within you. Once
you do that, you realize that you start to feel better. You don’t
wake up feeling drained and anxious anymore. You feel better by
carrying on with your life and your daily routines.

Stage 5: Adjust 
Besides sadness and loss which we all need some time to grieve
over, change brings about the restructuring of things -
restructuring of the ways things have been done, restructuring
of systems, restructuring of patterns. 
Change is scary because you don’t know what’s coming with that
change. But if you know what will come out of that change, you

may feel better. And that’s something we can prepare for. 
The most certain thing in life is uncertainty.
And the best we can do is prepare our minds to be equipped
with tools to deal with uncertainty. 
This means we have to prepare our minds by practicing dealing
with uncertainty and change over and over even when everything
is stable in life. This is so that when a sudden change happens, it
doesn’t shock us or drive us into paralysis. 
Change becomes easier when we never let ourselves be “too
comfortable” with anything - when we constantly remind
ourselves that change can come any minute; when we
continuously stay afloat; when we practice staying in the now. 
Whatever stage you’re in right now in dealing with the current
situation, I want you to know that this too shall pass. If you’re in
the Anxious stage right now, you might feel sensitive to
everything around you. Everything around you annoys you. The
message in this newsletter might even annoy you. But when you
get past this stage and move over to the Acceptance stage, you
will start to understand the key point of this message. You will
feel more okay.
I hope that you’re taking care of your mental health as much as
you do of your physical health. I hope that you and your loved
ones are safe and healthy. I hope that you are able to enjoy your
time at home.

Sometimes we can drive ourselves crazy just by repeatedly
watching and reading the news. 

Eat well. Take your vitamins. Don't forget to practice gratitude every day!

This blog post was originally written by Mo Seetubtim, and has been reposted here. 


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