COVID-19 and Mental Health: Part 3 (Interview with Gail)
What are some of the ways you are coping with the self-isolation?
I use my computer to connect with family and friends via the Internet, phone calls and Facetime. I am finding Facetime with my grandchildren [which is] wonderful. I’m also using my computer to access a large number of photographs I have from past excursions or celebrations with my family. Each day, I choose a variety of television shows to watch on various interests.
Do you feel frustrated with the restrictions? If yes, what are some of the strategies you are using to have mental peace?
I feel frustrated with the limitations put on my lifestyle, but I understand the reasons and I am abiding by them. The strategies I am using to have mental peace are similar to the above answer. I am continually reinforcing my belief that things will get better and life will return to normal for the world. Speaking with people in my life that have optimism and believe in a better future for everyone has been helpful. Trying to keep myself mentally occupied with things of interest such as: genealogy, photos and other memorabilia. I’m doing everything I can think of: trying to be positive and trying to connect with people, but then I still feel like I’m spiralling down. It’s just not the same.
How has this COVID isolation changed your ability to manage the symptoms of your mental health condition?
It has made it much tougher. Not being able to physically connect with my family has been very hard. A hug from a grandchild can always brighten my spirits and right now I can’t have that. I struggle to control my anxiety and depression in regards to my health and my family’s health. I usually turn to nature to help manage my symptoms, such as looking at the flowers, and right now that is just not possible.
According to you, what measures can be taken by friends and family to support and maintain a connection with individuals in self-quarantine?
The biggest thing is for them to continue to contact me. This can occur either through phone calls, a card in the mail or video conferencing such as Facetime. Doing some uplifting activities [like] playing Uno on Facetime with my grandchildren is also wonderful. I think it’s important to remember that the little things do count.