Mental health and Self-care during COVID-19

Individuals with anxiety disorders experience repeated, extreme, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often anxiety disorders involve continual episodes of impulsive feelings of intense fear that can last for varying lengths of time. According to the National Mental Health Association, anxiety and depression are more common in women. Women who birth children may experience postpartum depression and other maternal mental health challenges that can affect the development of their child.

The impact of COVID-19 has only exacerbated the conditions that breed depression and anxiety. The social distancing necessary to survive this pandemic has forced many into isolation that makes worry worse, particularly for women who live alone. Overwhelming thoughts like “How long will this last?  Is my family being safe? Will I stay healthy?”,  are constantly at the forefront of the minds of many. Those thoughts are met with the task of processing around the clock news coverage, headlines, and social media clickbait about the threat of the pandemic and the impact it is having. Another issue is having to sort through the facts from the rumors and misinformation.  Many individuals report an increase in stress, fear, loneliness, and sadness as a result of the pandemic.

For those overthinkers and individuals with anxiety or depression, these super-uncertain times are really taking a toll. Now more than ever it is important that individuals and communities prioritize mental health. What does that mean?

Quarantine increases isolation, and for folks with anxiety or depression that can be a recipe for disaster. In a recent Facebook poll, we heard from several women about their routine which included:

  • Refusing to engage in conversations that heighten your anxiety
  • Limiting the interactions with individuals who want to talk only about fatalities
  • Getting fresh air every day
  • Taking up crafts or home projects to calm thoughts
  • Praying and meditating
  • Exercising
  • Playing games with children
  • Scheduling virtual dates with friends and family


What are the things that work for you?

What should be included in local governments’ post-COVID plan to address mental health and promote evidence-based services?


EVENT: Listening Session to Discuss NC’s Changing Feminist Policy Landscape

Police violence against black and brown bodies and the global pandemic are parallel plagues across this nation. For many of us, working at the intersections of multiple crises is not a new task. However, these new and more uncertain times have exposed the fault lines of just how broken things are, leaving so many questions to consider. It also exposes how ready we are for change.

What is the role of the feminist movement in addressing structural and institutional racism? What are the vulnerabilities in our diverse community of NC women? Why is front line work so gendered? What does it mean if childcare fails? The Atlantic has described this pandemic as a “disaster for feminism” and we agree that this public health crisis has had a significant impact on family life, especially for women. Additionally, the pandemic has exposed, for the first time for many folks, the reality of what Mikki Kendall calls “Hood Feminism”, the feminism of women for whom there is a constant thought and effort to secure safe and sustainable housing, decent available food, good schools, and equitable instruction.

These are the musings of my mind; we want to know what’s on yours. What are your NCWU member organizations seeing as the impacts of the pandemic and public health crisis on your stakeholders? What would a women’s agenda for NC’s COVID recovery look like? Other states are starting to publish similar recommendations–see the Hawaii Women’s Commission proposal or this op-ed from California’s Rep. Jackie Speier. We’re interested in compiling a similar effort for our state. Ideally, this would be a reflection of your evolving policy priorities for the legislature as you are witnessing and experiencing the impacts of the pandemic on your stakeholders. This could either take the form of an addendum to our 2019-2020 legislative agenda, or a discrete product such as the Hawaii example. Please share your ideas and reactions with our policy director Lyric Thompson at, which she will curate in a running list that we can discuss as an NCWU community on a Zoom call on June 23rd at 4 p.m.

Register for the Zoom Call

P.S. Read our new blog post and take our survey! We want to hear from you!