Mental Health and Quarantine: My Experience

We can all agree that quarantine has affected us in many ways, good and bad. Our government had to create a line for people with mental disorders. I think it speaks for itself. I had my fair share of struggles during this time, especially back in March, when everything was unknown. Here is how I dealt with my mental health during this time. 

I would first like to preface that you do not need to have a diagnostic to be struggling. Everyone has a mental health, and everyone struggles with it in different ways. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was young, which means I have constant mental health struggles. It never stops and it never will. That is the slight difference between someone who has a diagnostic and a person who does not. However, this does not mean one is more important than the other. I think I got lucky. I was able to get the help I needed, which is not the case for many people. That being said, this year has been the biggest test my mental health has had to face. 

 

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I am a person who needs to get out of the house and socialize. If I don’t, then I get too anxious and stay in bed. Forcing myself to go out and have a routine is one of the ways I control my anxiety. Staying home has never been good for my mental health. However, that  changed with quarantine. When I first heard I had to stay home for an undetermined amount of time, I started to have small anxiety attacks. The idea of having to stay home with my thoughts scared me. I am lucky that I still live with my parents, so I was not alone, but it was still a frightening thought. I knew right away that I needed to find ways to keep myself busy, so my sister and I made what we called a “Quarantine Schedule.” We went on walks as many times as we could, we tried new activities every day, we gave ourselves projects and tried to keep busy. It wasn’t easy at first, but it helped quite a bit. 

 

About two weeks into quarantine, I started to struggle with my anxiety. I had a hard time getting out of bed, I had no motivation to do anything, I stopped going outside, and I was starting to get a little depressed, which happens to me if I’m not busy enough. Around this time was when I got the email saying that classes were resuming. I never thought I would be that excited to take classes, but I was so desperate to keep myself busy that this was the best news. I was so motivated to finish the semester strong. I studied for hours every day and was slowly getting out of this slump. After the semester was over, I had about a month before I started my summer job, so I decided to take a spring intensive class. I had so much fun. Online school is  not my ideal way of getting my education, but the fact that it was offered to me , I was very grateful for. 

By the end of May, restrictions were starting to get a little less strict and I could get out of the house a little more. This was when I realized how tense and anxious I had been for the past two months. Quarantine was  not the best for my anxiety, but it challenged me to face it by myself, which I had never done before. I had never been more mentally challenged, and I know that I am not the only one. I hope people understand that it’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to take a day to stay in bed. But most importantly, it’s ok to ask for help. 

girl standing in field of flowers Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash