As I scroll through Instagram, my feed is starting to fill up with a plethora of creative graduation posts, from tossing graduation hats to making nostalgic videos of old schools. Similar to my Instagram feed, my mind is starting to fill up too. I am so overjoyed to see my friends succeeding and smiling and I’m curious as to what everyone’s future plans and goals are. It is sad to feel some FOMO, both within myself for not being able to physically congratulate those who I love, and for others who may not be able to attend in-person ceremonies. But I am also anxious, frequently wondering, “will everything be okay?”
Like many people, I struggled with my mental health through quarantine. I was very unproductive and was constantly distracting myself with my phone. I developed bad physical and mental habits. I felt angry over quarantine at myself and the people around me. I was afraid to express this anger and my feeling of anxiety and stress because I knew my family members and friends were dealing with their own problems.
I can confidently say the best years of my life have been in college. I need the structure, the crumbs of responsibility, the freedom from paying health insurance. So when people remind me that there are two more days of classes, I don’t even feel anything. No emotion, because my brain can’t understand that this period is closing.
Now that we can (hopefully) see the soon to be light at the end of the tunnel for the quarantine and the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, I want to make sure we continue to check-in with ourselves and our own mental health. Things are starting to open up again after over a year and things will slowly begin to work their way closer to “normal.”
I was at a plant warehouse sale a few days ago. We had to wait in line for about an hour before going in. Lucky for us, it was nice out that morning. The sun was beating down on us, a cool breeze was blowing, and there was a food truck selling biscuits and coffee. I was standing there taking it all in. I felt like this was the first Saturday that I actually went out and did something planned in so long — since the fall at the very earliest.
As we enter the sixth month of quarantine, you might be feeling stale, exhausted, stressed, and most likely all of the above. At this point, transition is almost a point of everyday routine, with the new information about the virus and corresponding regulations coming in and workplaces and schools constantly shifting how they go about things.
According to Calm Clinic, a mental health information site, travel anxiety varies greatly in causes and its impacts on people. In an article on travel anxiety, the website states that, “Many people have travel anxiety their entire lives. Others may develop the anxiety because of past experiences relating to travel which were anxiety provoking; and some seem to have travel anxiety for no apparent reason at all.”