The first line of defense against COVID-19 in early 2020 was for local governments to put quarantine mandates into effect. These saw citizens sitting inside of their homes for most of their days, leaving only for essential activities.
This type of lifestyle took a toll on the mental health of many people, leading to a condition called quarantine anxiety. Living in quarantine led to thoughts about where we were headed in the wake of a global illness that had no end in sight. It had people questioning the meaning of their lives and the dire future caused by the virus.
Driving trends during COVID-19 saw the number of cars on the road decline drastically. This would seem to be a positive thing for those who don’t enjoy sitting in rush-hour traffic. But it also meant folks weren’t getting to go to their jobs and see the world outside their four walls at home.
We’ll cover all the ways that quarantine anxiety led to problems in people’s lives throughout those dark, early times of the pandemic. It’s important to give advice for every type of anxiety that cropped up from staying at home indefinitely.
Anxiety Over Staying With Your Family
Not everyone is fortunate enough to spend time with their relatives or immediate family. But in some cases, marital problems get worse when spending more time stuck in the house together. Parents and children can argue and create a toxic environment for the entire family. All kinds of conflict can arise when there is nowhere to go.
In some circumstances, the anxiety has led to incidents of domestic violence and other abuse. Intense mood swings are a mental health symptom that shouldn’t be ignored.
Marriage counseling is available for those who struggle with their relationship during these times. Talk to professionals who know the best psychological research into these problems.
If the relationship is beyond repair and the anxiety is due to being trapped with a physically abusive spouse, call 911. Report violence to the authorities and get protection. They can decide the best place for you and your kids to move to.
Anxiety Over the State of the World
During the pandemic, many people started to worry about the planet we live on. The virus felt like an existential event. A lot of people were alarmed at the way folks treated each other, and it reminded them of the selfish and careless nature of society.
This has put the political climate at a boiling point. People have strong opinions about vital topics like climate change and race relations. Everybody wants to talk, but nobody wants to listen. The worst parts of humanity were revealed during the pandemic, and people are still coping with their anxiety over the state of it all.
If you feel anxious over the state of the world, try to take action in your own way. Donate to charities that make you feel good. Vote for initiatives that will change the course of history. Go to a rally that inspires you and others.
Anxiety Over Your Future Job Prospects
We need to go back to the main reason the quarantine has continued to exist for many people, even after restrictions have been lifted. Folks lost their jobs at record rates, and many people found new ones that can be done from home. For many, job stress can impact longevity and mental health.
Many big companies have been forced to make many of their employees remote permanently. If you are in this position, or if you are still trying to find another job after getting laid off, there is certainly anxiety about the future of job prospects and careers all over the globe.
Many people tie their personal worth as a human to their job. This is fine when you have more control over your path in life, but the pandemic has put too many people in impossible employment situations. Some who have master’s degrees have been working minimum wage jobs until the job market gets better.
We need to get to a point where working is a small part of who we are. Yes, finding a great job is important so you can provide for your loved ones. And you need to build your resume to look attractive as an employable person. But there is no reason to feel so anxious about what your job says about you.
You are not your career. What you do is simply how you make money. It can be more, but society forces us to work long hours and think about our work on days off. This is beyond stressful. During the pandemic, it became clear just how much economic instability and poor financial conditions have ruined our self-worth.
If you need to talk to a professional about some of these issues, start with a career counselor. If this isn’t good enough, look into anxiety counseling.
Finding New Hobbies and Passions
We’ve established that staying home has led to poor interactions with family and despair over job prospects. But it also became a time to connect with our passions and find hobbies to entertain ourselves and inspire our creativity.
If you liked playing sports, the quarantine was a good time to decide whether you could add some low-key and calm activities to your schedule. It was hard to get outside. People weren’t on the streets as much, and the closing of businesses at earlier hours meant it was hard to spend a night on the town with friends.
Try to look at the bright side of these changes, though. Earlier closing times at restaurants meant you could eat dinner from the comfort of your home more. Less driving on the roads meant people’s insurance rates went down. Many insurance companies give discounts to drivers who don’t rack up many miles on a routine basis.
Channel your opportunity to stay home into new interests that will encourage better job opportunities. If you have always wanted to become a better cook, and you also have experience as a video blogger online, combine the two into a single entity. Exercise is a good hobby that also helps maintain your mental health.
You can either get frustrated at the unusual events of quarantine, or you can take advantage of the free time you don’t usually have. Finding a new hobby or passion will lead to so many other valuable things in your life.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, and when we help one another, the world becomes a more encouraging place. We can explore things we’ve always been afraid to, and we know we can lean on others for support. That’s what makes tough times a little bit brighter.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. He wants to help others through the pandemic with the best information on cars and insurance.