Friday, May 22, 2020

Anxiety Check: Back to the Real Life

Hey there, stranger. 

It's Mental Health Awareness Week and I wanted to check back on you about how you're doing with all this COVID-19 situation. I believe that the excess of information that the media has been bombing us for more than two months is not only confusing the population but putting us all at risk.
Today, citizens are unable to interpret themselves about what type of mask is the most suitable to use, how and when to go outside or how de-escalation works. And it seems that nobody understands the fact that we are facing a new, unique situation that has not happened before.


It frustrates and generates a lot of anxiety to see people not keeping safe distances. Here in the Netherlands, there has been an "intelligent lockdown", but I have seen from the beginning many, many inconsistencies and reckless behaviour that, of course, politicians will deny.

I am aware that this situation is not only confusing here but in more countries such as Spain (where I am from), Belgium, UK, Germany, Finland or Japan, places where I have good friends with whom I speak quite often.

And while chaos continues to prevail, how can we cope with the anxiety that loss of control generates in people with anxiety and mood disorders?

In my personal case, I have already returned to work and I have to take public transport frequently. In addition, after weeks of "calm", the shops in Alkmaar have also reopened and it is common to find the streets of the city centre crowded with people walking carefree. I have seen people bypass the safety rules of establishments, enter without any protection and without disinfecting their hands, etc. This has generated me some peaks of anxiety that I did not expect since impotence and frustration are quite palpable.

How do I deal with all this? Well, trying to follow the safety rules as closely as possible. I try to go shopping alone and in quieter hours, I try to always carry disinfectant liquid and gloves just in case, I try not to touch many things in stores and I'm sewing masks for myself and Thijs (since from June 1 it will be mandatory to wear them on public transport). But perhaps most importantly, I constantly repeat to myself that the unconsciousness of others is not my responsibility, and I try to focus all that anxiety and stress on "being safe" by choosing certain schedules or certain routes when running errands.

I wish I could explain to everyone that this is a problem that affects EVERYONE, not just a few and that we must act effectively to counter the effects. Also, I would like people to understand how this whole situation affects people with mental health problems like mine, perhaps in order to generate a little extra empathy and everyone to be more careful.  

"Normality", as we knew it, is gone; And I don't think it's a good idea to go back since it was a very unsustainable normality. But it is in everyone's hands to create a new normality that is beneficial to all, a normality in which we are all included and in which it is easier for us to live.

Hopefully they understand soon, that the only way out of this is kindness. Being kind to everyone (especially the ones in need) and to ourselves.  

There is no way back.

 Please, take care and stay safe.



  1. First of all, your outfit is gorgeous!!!
    The covid situation in Brazil is kinda out of control. While people are sewing masks and even bandits and drug dealers are making hand sanitizer for poor people, the president doesn't want us to be isolated, so besides the pandemic, we have a political crisis right now while he is fighting with the state government, who want us to be in social isolation. Also, many old people are not even wearing a mask, they walk around like if it wasn't happening anything. It is very hard to see it, live here this situation and stay calm. Yesterday we hit the 20,000 deaths. I am trying to not pay attention, or do not watch tv news, because if I do I stay crazy. Also everyone at my mom's house are in the risk group. I am very afraid of what can happen from now on.

    1. Oh my, Ana, I am so sorry to hear that. I must say that here als old people is not taking the health measures that they should and that really stress me a lot, but at the end and like I said, we need to focus on us and the ones we love. I hope you and your family stay safe and also that the political situation gets better (I've been following on the news too and guys, you need to remove that dude from power ASAP!).
      Take care, sweetheart, and thanks for your comment!


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