How COVID Affected My Mental Health – and How I’ve Learned To Accept It

It’s been quite a few months since I last wrote anything, which is truly an accurate summary of how COVID-19 affected me this year. Recently, I reread a personal journal entry on what I envisioned for myself for the year of 2020. I had so many goals I was excited to accomplish and big plans scheduled, and just like that, it’s December of 2020 and I have done nothing. Well, I wouldn’t say nothing, but…not what I had planned to do. My personal and professional life had come to a standstill and, as a result, my mental health has taken a few steps back.

Looking back on the beginning of 2020, I was in a really good place. I had figured out my antidepressants to help control my anxiety and depression and I was feeling optimistic about where I envisioned myself heading this year. I had set a lot of goals for myself and was excited to work towards achieving them. Then, COVID happened. We started working from home. We went into lockdown. Months passed and here we are in December, working from home in yet another lockdown. To be able to complain about the superficial consequences of a global pandemic is actually a blessing, as I thankfully haven’t lost anyone I know to the virus. COVID has hit everyone in different ways, but perhaps one we share is the underlying damage it has caused to our mental health.

In a nutshell, I’ve become more paranoid about germs and extremely dependent on my comfort zone (my home). I’ve experienced phases of complete fatigue and periods of relentless restlessness. My anxiety has both mellowed out and hit its peak. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this year has had undeniable effects on my mental health. In fact, I know I’m not. The lack of accessibility to our normal habits and routines has disrupted us all; the isolation from our friends and family is enough to drive anyone into a depression.

This was not the 2020 I was hoping for, but this is the 2020 we got. Instead of throwing a pity party because things didn’t go my way, I’ve recently decided to just accept it. What else can we do? When life throws you a global pandemic, you wear your mask and carry on. Yes, I spent quite a few months playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons all day long. I binge watched multiple series like it was no one’s business. There were days when I didn’t see the point in getting out of bed just to sit on the couch and write my emails. Yes, that all happened. Just because we are still in lockdown and just because COVID is still a thing does not mean my life must remain at a standstill.

To my readers out there who have already found their way out of their bed or others who have yet to leave it, I see you and I’m proud of you either way. Blame it on 2020. We definitely weren’t prepared for something of this magnitude and that’s okay. It’s not on us to cure COVID, but it is on us to continue on with our lives as best as we can.

Sending you all my love. I’m so happy to be back.

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