If you asked me what I’d be doing around this time six months ago, I’d tell you that I’d be preparing for college, becoming more excited for the summer, and finishing off my junior year with my friends who were about to graduate. I’m someone who loves change, but does not like when things do not go as planned.
Prior to COVID-19, I felt as though I was making progress with my anxiety and depression. I was establishing my coping skills and learning what improves my mental health. I feel like many others may have felt a setback in their mental health progress during this time, and I wanted to share some ideas that have helped me:
- You are not the only one who is experiencing challenges with their mental health at this time. If you do normally struggle with your mental health but quarantine has not negatively impacted you, that is also okay. Social distancing affects everyone differently. Some may feel that this is a perfect time to regroup and use the time given, while others may feel overwhelmed with uncertainty and worry. Both are valid.
- You do not need to do anything special with this time; it is reasonable to just simply exist. We are experiencing a global challenge. Having spare time does not mean you need to do something amazing or occupy all of your time otherwise.
- You DO need to be gentle with yourself during this time. Much of the consistency within our lives has gone away. You are learning a new routine and a new way of living. You are doing what you can and despite what anyone says, that is more than enough.
- Progress of any kind has its ups and downs. The struggles you may be having now do not discredit your previous progress. Your mental health may not be the best right now, but simply working through this situation is progress.
This is a reminder that struggling and doing what you can right now is okay. If you can’t stick to a routine, start with completing one small task at a time. If you find yourself struggling to get out of bed, do something that makes you feel happy while being compassionate with yourself. Reach for your notebook or do some stretching in your bed. This is far from a normal time, so any small action you take to help feel a bit better is enough.
Take care. x
What are some challenges that you’ve felt like you’ve been facing with yourself mentally? What are small things you can, or you are doing, for yourself for self-care?