Everyone now has an idea of the severity of COVID-19: the pandemic of the new decade. Many have had classes and work moved remotely, and haven’t been able to see loved ones like they used to. You have to wear a mask all of the time and remain distant in order to protect yourself and others. We know almost everything we need to do to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe physically, but very little on how to keep ourselves sane and centered during a time that is making history.
Maintaining a healthy mind and having a decent amount of emotional capacity is necessary for living a healthy life overall. Being able to express yourself, manage your responsibilities well and behave in certain situations appropriately is hard, but almost attainable with the right resources and practices. But with so much occurring around us, this can very easily no longer be a priority. Consequently, this lack of attention towards your own mental well being will spill into other areas of your life and before you know it, you find yourself in a mess.
Having spent so much time by myself these past few months, I had to learn pretty quickly how to be content being alone or enjoying the small company that is around me. Being alone makes my days feel much longer, and not in a good way either. The lack of human interaction is more draining than being around people all day. However, having this much time for yourself can also be beneficial.
Introspection is hard to make time for in a busy society, but being forced to be with yourself all the time gives you the opportunity to. This is the time to realign yourself with your goals and find ways to better yourself. I had forgotten I had even created resolutions for myself this year until I came across it in my planner. I’ve picked up hobbies and learned to do things I never thought I would, such as penny boarding. Finding comfort in being alone is difficult, but I’ll be ending the year a completely different person.
Once I was able to appreciate being alone and became okay with not enjoying some of my favorite activities, the stress of the whole pandemic began to lighten. I could now focus on staying healthy and getting my work done versus having to do those things on top of feeling depressed. And once you’re able to focus on other things, life doesn’t seem as scary and difficult and unpredictable because you’re clearly able to comprehend and take in everything around you. You’re able to really enjoy being around friends and doing things that you love without a looming cloud of anxiety.
This isn’t meant to invalidate those who may suffer from these feelings clinically, but its an example of how putting your mental health and wellbeing up there with your other priorities can help to alleviate the additional stress that a pandemic is putting on all aspects of our lives.