How to survive COVID-19 with other health conditions?

Posted by sundance6 @sundance6, Apr 15 4:04pm

To everyone out there who is probably suffering the same anxiety as I am over the status of the world, I read an article this week in the Albuquerque Journal.
It was written by a writer named Sunny Fitzgerald.

Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/productivity-coronavirus-pandemic-projects/2020/04/06/742edf54-76e4-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

Suffering through illness like many of us are, what is happening today just adds to our Stress and Anxiety Level! It explains much of what we are going through for the first time in our Lives!

I won’t go into details, LIKE I NORMALLY DO, LOL, but I really suggest it is a must read! I have taken out of the paper and read it everyday to understand that I am not alone in my thoughts and should not stress out in my thoughts and actions!!
Richard(Sundance)

@sundance6 Thank you for checking in and letting us have another source of research and support for what we all are going through right now!
There are several different discussions going on over in the COVID-19 group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/covid-19/

Of particular interest to you is
– A New Kind of Grief https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/a-new-kind-of-grief-in-these-times/
– How Are You Handling Anxiety in These Times? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anxiety-7/
– Isolation: how Do We Handle It? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/isolation-how-do-we-handle-it/

I would ask @colleenyoung to move your post to one of these existing discussions, so more members can be actively involved in your new thread.
Ginger

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@sundance Wonder if Sunny is a relative on my husbands . Fat chance but F Scott Fitzgerald was way back

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@gingerw

@sundance6 Thank you for checking in and letting us have another source of research and support for what we all are going through right now!
There are several different discussions going on over in the COVID-19 group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/covid-19/

Of particular interest to you is
– A New Kind of Grief https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/a-new-kind-of-grief-in-these-times/
– How Are You Handling Anxiety in These Times? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anxiety-7/
– Isolation: how Do We Handle It? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/isolation-how-do-we-handle-it/

I would ask @colleenyoung to move your post to one of these existing discussions, so more members can be actively involved in your new thread.
Ginger

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Thanks Ginger! Never even thought about that group! Shows you where my mind is.
Have been feeling worse than normal with my Lyme disease the last two days so I went and got tested. Hopefully everything is ok.
Thanks,
Richard
PS Colleen, If you read this could you please move it over to the Covid-19. Never occured to me!

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@sundance6

Thanks Ginger! Never even thought about that group! Shows you where my mind is.
Have been feeling worse than normal with my Lyme disease the last two days so I went and got tested. Hopefully everything is ok.
Thanks,
Richard
PS Colleen, If you read this could you please move it over to the Covid-19. Never occured to me!

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@sundance6 I moved your discussion to the COVID-19 group and added the link to the article your recommend by Sunny Fitzgerald to your original message and here:

– Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/productivity-coronavirus-pandemic-projects/2020/04/06/742edf54-76e4-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

I particularly like the tip "Don’t underestimate the power of doing absolutely nothing if the mood strikes you."

Richard, How has your condition flared up these days? What, in particular resonated with you in the article?

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Sadly the Washington post link only works if you subscribe
Sue

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@sueinmn

Sadly the Washington post link only works if you subscribe
Sue

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@sueinmn I had no problem getting the link to work. Hmmm, the internet gremlins at work, again? I am not a subscriber to Washington Post.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@sueinmn I had no problem getting the link to work. Hmmm, the internet gremlins at work, again? I am not a subscriber to Washington Post.
Ginger

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@gingerw, Same thing happened to me when I went to the article site….needed to subscribe for a fee.

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@colleenyoung

@sundance6 I moved your discussion to the COVID-19 group and added the link to the article your recommend by Sunny Fitzgerald to your original message and here:

– Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/productivity-coronavirus-pandemic-projects/2020/04/06/742edf54-76e4-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

I particularly like the tip "Don’t underestimate the power of doing absolutely nothing if the mood strikes you."

Richard, How has your condition flared up these days? What, in particular resonated with you in the article?

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@colleenyoung, Thank you for this SF link! I have always been a goal setter and aspiring achiever…note the aspiring..vbg. My goals lists used to filled pages…Eventually discovered what the author mentioned in the article. I started writing down three tasks, projects, "to dos" the night before. Waking up, no time spent "figuring what I'd do that day" No more than 3 for me. And of course, I heartily endorse and practice the "ok just do nothing" fairly often…ahemmm, as well!

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@sueinmn

Sadly the Washington post link only works if you subscribe
Sue

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@sueinmn– I think that you can get 5 free articles per month?

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@fiesty76

@colleenyoung, Thank you for this SF link! I have always been a goal setter and aspiring achiever…note the aspiring..vbg. My goals lists used to filled pages…Eventually discovered what the author mentioned in the article. I started writing down three tasks, projects, "to dos" the night before. Waking up, no time spent "figuring what I'd do that day" No more than 3 for me. And of course, I heartily endorse and practice the "ok just do nothing" fairly often…ahemmm, as well!

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@fiesty76– What a wonderful idea. Another thing is laying out clothes the night before, getting up and showering and starting your day with coffee and breakfast. I've been suffering from ennui- A feeling of being bored and mentally tired caused by having nothing interesting or a purpose or exciting to do. Yesterday was a very bad day for me, for no apparent reason. Nothing had changed. I might be doing some self-critical thinking and don't like some things (a lot?) that I see. So I did nothing but watch Netflix. I even went to bed at 8 and got a great night's sleep. When you do nothing, what do you do? (lol)

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Well – the vagaries of the internet – it works from my laptop – but not my tablet. Both running the same browser but different operating systems.
That said, it's a pretty accurate description of how things are going for me – one day I'm busy, productive, the next I have to force myself out the door for a walk, and can stare at the dustmop right next to me waiting to be used.
Hoping today is one of the former – need to prepare some boxes for my brother to take north for me in his car trailer, finish laundry & sew up scrub caps to mail to my duaghter…I guess that's my list of three – the dusting will have to wait!
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Well – the vagaries of the internet – it works from my laptop – but not my tablet. Both running the same browser but different operating systems.
That said, it's a pretty accurate description of how things are going for me – one day I'm busy, productive, the next I have to force myself out the door for a walk, and can stare at the dustmop right next to me waiting to be used.
Hoping today is one of the former – need to prepare some boxes for my brother to take north for me in his car trailer, finish laundry & sew up scrub caps to mail to my duaghter…I guess that's my list of three – the dusting will have to wait!
Sue

Jump to this post

Sue- Here is the article. It's a good one!
By Sunny Fitzgerald
April 6, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EDT

If you’ve found yourself trying to decide whether you should bake bread, join a meditation webinar, create a color-coded home-school schedule, or just curl up in a ball and cry, you’re not alone.

As we stay at home in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we are being inundated not only with a storm of anxiety-inducing news but also with an onslaught of suggestions for “making the most” of our (alleged) extra time. “There’s a huge push of people thinking that because we are home right now, we can be productive and that we’re all going to be able to stay as focused as we were a month or so ago,” says productivity expert Racheal Cook. “But that’s just not the case.”

Cook says there are a number of things working against the accomplishment of any tasks, so if you feel pulled in multiple directions and are having trouble focusing, it’s completely understandable.
It's difficult to be productive during a crisis

“We are going through a collective trauma experience,” Cook says, referring to the upheaval, fear and grief caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Anxiety is up, depression is up. From a productivity standpoint, it’s challenging, because we’re navigating these huge emotional hurdles with an uncertainty that most of us have never really experienced in our lifetime.”

Pandemic anxiety is making us sleepless, forgetful and angry. Here are tips for coping.

And the time and energy expended on adjusting our entire lives to this new normal — which may mean working from home while assuming the role of home-school teacher, caring for ill family members, sanitizing our groceries and dealing with the fallout of mass layoffs — are magnifying the intense emotions. “None of these things are setting us up for high productivity or high performance,” Cook says.

For some populations, additional stressors, such as job loss, discrimination and access to health care, may amplify anxiety even more, says Bukola Oladunni Salami, a registered nurse, expert on immigrant health and professor at the University of Alberta. “We’ve seen there are some immigrant communities experiencing backlash,” she says. People struggling to survive or afraid that accessing health care could lead to deportation aren’t looking for tips on reorganizing their spice drawers.

Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.

Because individual circumstances differ and people process difficult experiences in a variety of ways, psychotherapist Dana Dorfman says, “there’s no ‘right way’ [to get through this], other than allowing yourself to be your own way.”

You are not obligated to accept every live-stream yoga or virtual happy hour invitation. If you’re carrying any guilt about not producing your best work, writing a screenplay, learning to quilt or putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle, you have permission to let that go. Dorfman says if you “respect the range of coping styles and view people’s behavior as their way to manage their anxiety, you can feel less judgmental” — of yourself and others.

(If you are overwhelmed with negative emotions, and fear you might want to harm yourself or others, please visit the Disaster Distress Helpline website or call 800-985-5990.)
Being productive can be a coping mechanism

It’s also okay to dive into a household project, pick up a new hobby or sign up for an online course, if that’s what you’re drawn to. “In the throes of something that is so frightening and can be somewhat traumatic, people often funnel their anxiety into productivity,” Dorfman says.

Being productive can be therapeutic in turbulent times, but Dorfman warns that this coping mechanism can be maladaptive in excess. “Be careful not to overextend,” she says. “And do acknowledge what you’re feeling. That doesn’t mean you need to wallow in it, but labeling your feelings — recognizing you’re sad or overwhelmed in some moments — will allow you to function better.”

Although you might have a surge of creative inspiration to complete a Pinterest project and cook a gourmet meal today, don’t be surprised if you feel differently tomorrow. “You’re going to vary. This is a one-day-at-a-time kind of experience,” Dorfman says. “There are going to be days when you’re less focused and more overwhelmed. And that is okay. This is a very stressful time, and you shouldn’t be operating on all four cylinders all the time.”

We have a lot more time now. So why can’t we get anything done?

Both Dorfman and Cook recommend tempering your expectations for the time being. “Start with compassion for yourself,” Cook says, and then extend the same to others. It’s okay to lower the bar right now, “not because we don’t have high standards, but because we understand that during this period, we need to give ourselves a little grace.”

That may mean starting your day with a simple three-point to-do list. “Focus on getting those tasks done, and then give yourself permission for a break,” Cook says. If you’re feeling stuck, take some time to try something new. You don’t need to master everything, she adds; simply doing something different can “activate other parts of your brain and help you think more clearly when you sit back down to work.”
Doing nothing, if possible, is okay, too

Don’t underestimate the power of doing absolutely nothing if the mood strikes you.

“Everyone’s situation is different,” Cook says, “but if that’s an option for you — if you don’t have to work or you want to spend time with your family at home or if you can scale back and just take some pressure off a bit — go for it.”

This could help not just in the present, but also in the future. “We’re at a point where foundational self-care is one of the first things everybody could implement to ensure that when things settle down, when the rubble is cleared a bit, we are able to be productive because we didn’t try to just grind through this whole situation,” she says. “We need to be sure we’re doing things that will help us navigate this not just from a productivity standpoint but from a human standpoint.”

And in the downtime, don’t be afraid to find joy. “That has reverberating benefits as well,” Dorfman says. “When we feel good or nurtured or feel like we’re discovering things about our relationships or ourselves, that enhances us as human beings and extends to other people. Despite social distancing, we’re all very connected.”

Although there is a tremendous amount of heartbreak and fear right now, it’s okay to experience positive emotions; we probably need them now more than ever. “You can have two very different, seemingly competing feelings” at the same time, Dorfman says. “Enjoying certain moments does not deny that you are also sad, scared, worried or anxious. Allowing yourself some kind of pleasurable, compassionate, loving moments will replenish your emotional inventory, so you are also equipped to help others.”

As Dorfman puts it: “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” It may help to even think of this time as a relay; we don’t all have to be running at the same moment. Some people, such as health-care personnel, may need to put their heads down and work for a period, then process feelings later. “If that’s survival mode, that’s acceptable, too,” she says. “When the crisis subsides, when the dust settles a little bit and you find yourself left with the trauma,” it’s not too late to reach out for help or find ways to understand and channel your emotions.

If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to produce or contribute in some way, but you don’t have the bandwidth right now, there’s no need to push yourself. “There will be time and opportunities to offer support, to do work, to produce . . . not just in the eye of the storm, but in the reverberating experiences later on,” Dorfman says. “We just need to pace ourselves.”

REPLY
@gingerw

@sueinmn I had no problem getting the link to work. Hmmm, the internet gremlins at work, again? I am not a subscriber to Washington Post.
Ginger

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@sueinmn @gingerw I believe they let you see around 3 articles and then they cut you off unless you subscribe. It's the same with NYT. I have been cut off from both.
JK

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@contentandwell– All major news organizations are allowing free access to COVID-19 news. It might have been Sue's device.

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@merpreb

Sue- Here is the article. It's a good one!
By Sunny Fitzgerald
April 6, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EDT

If you’ve found yourself trying to decide whether you should bake bread, join a meditation webinar, create a color-coded home-school schedule, or just curl up in a ball and cry, you’re not alone.

As we stay at home in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we are being inundated not only with a storm of anxiety-inducing news but also with an onslaught of suggestions for “making the most” of our (alleged) extra time. “There’s a huge push of people thinking that because we are home right now, we can be productive and that we’re all going to be able to stay as focused as we were a month or so ago,” says productivity expert Racheal Cook. “But that’s just not the case.”

Cook says there are a number of things working against the accomplishment of any tasks, so if you feel pulled in multiple directions and are having trouble focusing, it’s completely understandable.
It's difficult to be productive during a crisis

“We are going through a collective trauma experience,” Cook says, referring to the upheaval, fear and grief caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Anxiety is up, depression is up. From a productivity standpoint, it’s challenging, because we’re navigating these huge emotional hurdles with an uncertainty that most of us have never really experienced in our lifetime.”

Pandemic anxiety is making us sleepless, forgetful and angry. Here are tips for coping.

And the time and energy expended on adjusting our entire lives to this new normal — which may mean working from home while assuming the role of home-school teacher, caring for ill family members, sanitizing our groceries and dealing with the fallout of mass layoffs — are magnifying the intense emotions. “None of these things are setting us up for high productivity or high performance,” Cook says.

For some populations, additional stressors, such as job loss, discrimination and access to health care, may amplify anxiety even more, says Bukola Oladunni Salami, a registered nurse, expert on immigrant health and professor at the University of Alberta. “We’ve seen there are some immigrant communities experiencing backlash,” she says. People struggling to survive or afraid that accessing health care could lead to deportation aren’t looking for tips on reorganizing their spice drawers.

Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.

Because individual circumstances differ and people process difficult experiences in a variety of ways, psychotherapist Dana Dorfman says, “there’s no ‘right way’ [to get through this], other than allowing yourself to be your own way.”

You are not obligated to accept every live-stream yoga or virtual happy hour invitation. If you’re carrying any guilt about not producing your best work, writing a screenplay, learning to quilt or putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle, you have permission to let that go. Dorfman says if you “respect the range of coping styles and view people’s behavior as their way to manage their anxiety, you can feel less judgmental” — of yourself and others.

(If you are overwhelmed with negative emotions, and fear you might want to harm yourself or others, please visit the Disaster Distress Helpline website or call 800-985-5990.)
Being productive can be a coping mechanism

It’s also okay to dive into a household project, pick up a new hobby or sign up for an online course, if that’s what you’re drawn to. “In the throes of something that is so frightening and can be somewhat traumatic, people often funnel their anxiety into productivity,” Dorfman says.

Being productive can be therapeutic in turbulent times, but Dorfman warns that this coping mechanism can be maladaptive in excess. “Be careful not to overextend,” she says. “And do acknowledge what you’re feeling. That doesn’t mean you need to wallow in it, but labeling your feelings — recognizing you’re sad or overwhelmed in some moments — will allow you to function better.”

Although you might have a surge of creative inspiration to complete a Pinterest project and cook a gourmet meal today, don’t be surprised if you feel differently tomorrow. “You’re going to vary. This is a one-day-at-a-time kind of experience,” Dorfman says. “There are going to be days when you’re less focused and more overwhelmed. And that is okay. This is a very stressful time, and you shouldn’t be operating on all four cylinders all the time.”

We have a lot more time now. So why can’t we get anything done?

Both Dorfman and Cook recommend tempering your expectations for the time being. “Start with compassion for yourself,” Cook says, and then extend the same to others. It’s okay to lower the bar right now, “not because we don’t have high standards, but because we understand that during this period, we need to give ourselves a little grace.”

That may mean starting your day with a simple three-point to-do list. “Focus on getting those tasks done, and then give yourself permission for a break,” Cook says. If you’re feeling stuck, take some time to try something new. You don’t need to master everything, she adds; simply doing something different can “activate other parts of your brain and help you think more clearly when you sit back down to work.”
Doing nothing, if possible, is okay, too

Don’t underestimate the power of doing absolutely nothing if the mood strikes you.

“Everyone’s situation is different,” Cook says, “but if that’s an option for you — if you don’t have to work or you want to spend time with your family at home or if you can scale back and just take some pressure off a bit — go for it.”

This could help not just in the present, but also in the future. “We’re at a point where foundational self-care is one of the first things everybody could implement to ensure that when things settle down, when the rubble is cleared a bit, we are able to be productive because we didn’t try to just grind through this whole situation,” she says. “We need to be sure we’re doing things that will help us navigate this not just from a productivity standpoint but from a human standpoint.”

And in the downtime, don’t be afraid to find joy. “That has reverberating benefits as well,” Dorfman says. “When we feel good or nurtured or feel like we’re discovering things about our relationships or ourselves, that enhances us as human beings and extends to other people. Despite social distancing, we’re all very connected.”

Although there is a tremendous amount of heartbreak and fear right now, it’s okay to experience positive emotions; we probably need them now more than ever. “You can have two very different, seemingly competing feelings” at the same time, Dorfman says. “Enjoying certain moments does not deny that you are also sad, scared, worried or anxious. Allowing yourself some kind of pleasurable, compassionate, loving moments will replenish your emotional inventory, so you are also equipped to help others.”

As Dorfman puts it: “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” It may help to even think of this time as a relay; we don’t all have to be running at the same moment. Some people, such as health-care personnel, may need to put their heads down and work for a period, then process feelings later. “If that’s survival mode, that’s acceptable, too,” she says. “When the crisis subsides, when the dust settles a little bit and you find yourself left with the trauma,” it’s not too late to reach out for help or find ways to understand and channel your emotions.

If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to produce or contribute in some way, but you don’t have the bandwidth right now, there’s no need to push yourself. “There will be time and opportunities to offer support, to do work, to produce . . . not just in the eye of the storm, but in the reverberating experiences later on,” Dorfman says. “We just need to pace ourselves.”

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@merry, How incredibly lovely of you to take the time to post this article in full! Thank You!!!

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