I’m Struggling Right Now, and That’s Okay: COVID-19 and Anxiety

I’m no psychologist, but I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from some COVID-19-related anxiety.

COVID-19 AnxietyI woke myself up coughing the other night. In my half-asleep, half-dreaming haze, I remember whispering to myself in the dark “Guess I have the coronavirus. Awesome.”

I test myself for a sore throat throughout the day. I wonder if that headache that won’t go away is a sign of the virus. Is that shortness of breath I’m feeling? (No, I’m just out of breath from hiding the cookies in the closet before my son opened the door.)

I don’t know whether I should have a color-coded school schedule to keep my kids on a routine or let them relax and embrace the joy of being kids. The boys are screaming as they wrestle in the basement, my husband is shushing everyone for his conference call, my daughter currently hates me because I gave her math that’s “too hard”, and if Becky down the street posts ONE MORE PICTURE of her PERFECT FAMILY enjoying this AMAZING TIME TOGETHER, I might scream!

Anyone else? (Please tell me I’m not alone.)

There are lots of posts about staying positive and making this the best time of your life, and while I appreciate those posts, I just want to offer up a slightly different thought:

It’s okay to struggle, too.

Sometimes you just need to wallow in the worry, the fear, the frustration. Sometimes you need a walk around the block in the middle of the day with Metallica blaring, or a pillow to scream into.

And if it’s worse than that, it’s okay to admit you need help and reach out to a trusted friend or therapist.

In the end, we ARE all in this together. So check on your friends. Prod them when they say they’re “fine”. Set up some adult interaction (following social-distancing guidelines, of course!) Together, we can make it through.

Find all things COVID-19 here to help you through this unusual time!


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Valerie Earnest
Valerie grew up Naperville, Illinois, and is a Midwestern girl at heart even though she spent 16 years in Phoenix. She moved to Marion in 2016 with her husband, daughter (14), and two sons (12 and 9). Valerie graduated from BYU with a degree in Instrumental Music Education. She is a former band director, a current substitute teacher and accompanist, and an avid reader and crafter.