The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for some, if not everyone, with new schedules and social distancing in place.

I recently started a new routine myself working at my apartment. Some days are easy and other days it feels as if I can’t stop screaming at my computer or crying tears of frustration, wishing things would go back to normal.

When I pitched a story idea about mental illness amid the coronavirus outbreak, I didn’t expect my bosses would want me to write about my own journey. I am not diagnosed with any mental illnesses, but I have friends and loved ones who are. I don’t want to take away from anyone else’s experiences. This is just my own.

I’ve been stressed about finding the time to get my work done, call family and friends, take care of my dog, do house chores, etc. All of these things I had to do before, but now trying to manage it all from home has amplified the stress and anxiety. 

It seems as if I have less hours in the day instead of more, more worries, and less time to take my mind of things by getting out and seeing friends.

After speaking with a psychiatrist with the University of Texas Health Science Center psychologist, he told me the best way to help with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression is to create a new routine.

“I would schedule out the time when I’m waking up in the morning, my morning cleaning routine, full preparation, if I have children in school they’re schedule for the day in terms of homeschooling, also schedule leisure time,” said Dr. Ushimbra Buford.

I also spoke to a psychologist and she recommended the same thing.

“I think that's really the core of it, like trying to keep you know, some stability and structure control over the things that we can in this very uncertain time,” explained Megan Mooney, president of the Texas Psychological Association.

This is my day to process and starting tomorrow, I’ll be following the professional’s advice to manage my mental health with a new schedule.

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