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By: Taylor Carmack

Having a chronic illness can cause anxiety for anyone, but adding in being stuck in the house due to a global pandemic can cause anyone to freak out.

I know how it feels, because I’m someone with a chronic illness, an ostomy, anxiety and I’m suck in the house.

I have some tips that I remind myself of everyday that might be useful if you’re feeling the same way I am.

  1. Let’s face it, these days are awful for control freaks like me. When I feel like everything is out of my control, I take a step back and breathe. This helps me remember that there’s really nothing I can control about this situation except how I feel about it. I can’t control the outside world, but I can control my feelings, so I breathe and try to relax.

2. When I find myself spiraling about when this all will end and what if I have to go to the hospital during this time, I try to find something to do. I, for some reason unbeknownst to me, picked painting all of my baseboards and door frames. This was something big that I continued to do throughout the weeks. My normal life is non-stop moving, running, dancing and never sitting still, so to have a job to do around the house that I wanted to finish, really helped me get out of bed each morning.

3. I normally see my therapist every other week and I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to see her now when I probably need her more than ever. Thankfully she is offering telehealth sessions via a secure video chat. I was so thankful to be able to talk to her about what I was worried about with the pandemic and everyday life. If you normally see someone to talk to, DON’T STOP! Mental health is so important every day and this is no joke. See your therapist, be honest, and get the help you need to feel like yourself again.

4. I’m quarantined with the love of my life. He’s the most handsome, caring, loving person in the world but I’d be lying to you if I told you I didn’t want to punch him every day. We make it a point every day to get away from each other. Whether he’s downstairs working and I’m upstairs watching a TV show, or one of us takes the dogs out for a walk by themselves, we separate. No matter how much you love the person you’re stuck inside with, you’re going to get on each other’s nerves. Try to squash the yelling fights by getting away from each other because you don’t need any more added stress at this time.

5. When this all started, I was nervous about my ostomy supplies, and still am. I know that I shouldn’t panic buy my supplies, but I need to be mindful of how many bags I have left. Shipping times might take a little longer than expected, I may order my supplies a little sooner than I normally would, but I won’t buy more than I need. If everyone is buying more than they need, then manufacturers start to sell out. We don’t ever want to not have supplies so be smart and mindful about it. Order what you need in enough time for it to get to you.

I hope these tips help you stay calm during these times and remember the way you are feeling is totally valid. Don’t feel bad about how you feel because these are stressful times. Breathe, talk to someone if you need it and remember, we’re all in this together.