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Be Careful About Taking Up Too Many Hobbies Or Activities In Quarantine

Insomnia, headaches, and more may be subtle signs that your mental health is suffering.
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The modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the general community quarantine (GCQ) have eased restrictions in the country somewhat, but we cannot deny how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us. While some are coping well and adjusting to the new normal, others may be fighting worries and fears — even if they’re not aware of it.

6 subtle signs of coronavirus anxiety

Coronavirus anxiety is sneaky and we might be experiencing it without realizing it. “Becoming more hyperactive than usual, being very restless, or doing lots of big movements” may all be expressions of panic, according to Dr. Karina Therese Fernandez, executive director of Ateneo Bulatao Center, the research arm of Ateneo de Manila University’s Psychology department. It might also manifest oppositely, like being quieter, withdrawn, or choosing to isolate yourself.

Here are other subtle signs to watch out for if you think you or your family members are experiencing anxiety:

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1. You feel exhausted even if you don’t do much during the day.

If you are typically active or love exercising and suddenly feel like you have no energy at all, then it might be a red flag. It’s actually a common and confusing side effect of the pandemic, according to Kevin Gilliland, a U.S.-based clinical psychologist, in a HuffPost article. “All this stress and worry [start] to drain our battery in a hurry and by mid-afternoon, most people are on a slippery slope to the couch or bed,” he says.

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2. You can’t sleep.

If you’re feeling tired all the time, you’d think that it will be easier to go to sleep. But overthinking and stress can lead to insomnia, which is another trait seen in anxious people.

“Suddenly we are stripped of all the daily things that we do, and we have these 24 hours to ourselves, and we don’t know what to do with it,” says Dr. Cornelio Banaag, during The Medical City Psychiatry Department’s #MH (Mental Health) Talks webinar.

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To ease our worries and get more sleep, setting a routine helps. It will also keep you calm. “Wake up at a particular time, eat meals on a certain schedule,” Dr. Fernandez suggests. Try to stick to a consistent bedtime and avoid screens an hour or so before hitting the sack. If you love coffee, make sure to drink your last cup in the afternoon so it won’t affect your sleep cycle.

3. You’re taking up too many hobbies or activities.

There’s nothing wrong with learning a new skill or two (or more!) during the quarantine, but “excessive enthusiasm or extreme productivity might be your coping mechanism or how your anxiety is presenting,” according to HuffPost.

“People feel helpless because there are so many things that are out of their control,” Dr. Fernandez explains. Finding new things to do, like organizing the house, baking, or taking up online courses can certainly feel like an escape or it can put us back in control. But while it’s important to channel our mental energies into these things and lessen our stress, we should also make sure we’re getting enough rest and addressing our thoughts and feelings.

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4. You get a lot of headaches.

Anxiety can also have a physical manifestationheadaches, dizziness, stomachaches, heart palpitations, rashes, hand tremors, restlessness, and insomnia may all be symptoms.

5. You’re always angry.

If you find yourself getting angry — at yourself or at others — without a clear cause, it might be another sign of anxiety. “For people who feel that some important aspect of life is in danger — like their health or the health of loved ones — and that they have little control over the outcome, it is not unusual for them to become angry,” says Forrest Talley, a psychologist based in Folsom, California, to HuffPost. “The more one is used to feeling in control, the more likely one is to feel anger.”

6. You keep forgetting things.

You keep forgetting your to-dos or your mind suddenly goes blank while you’re in the middle of a task — forgetfulness is a cognitive symptom of anxiety. Your brain is stressed so you struggle with responsibilities and mental checklists that were easy to organize before.

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“Some may find themselves more absent-minded and forgetful. Their brain is overloaded with anxiety that distracts them, and depletes their ability to concentrate,” notes Talley.

How to overcome anxiety

While anxiety is sneaky, it can also be dealt with. Dr. Fernandez suggests connecting with others. Do video calls, download hang-out apps, and have a virtual party. “Social support is also important for mental health,” she says.

You can also try mindful, grounding meditation. “Focus your attention on the breath, for example. Your aim is not to fix your breathing, but simply notice the breathing, however it may be, as you inhale and exhale,” she shares. (Find more ways to cope here.)

If you continue to experience the symptoms mentioned above and it disrupts your daily life, it may be worth consulting a professional. (Click here for a list of centers offering free online consultations.) It’s important to take care of others during this trying time, but you should also remember to take care of yourself.

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This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender

Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.

Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.

It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.

Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"

Jayson Miranda 2 days ago
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