It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people in a variety of ways. Jobs have been lost, we’ve gone into lockdown, and many of us have gone a long time without seeing many of our friends and family. COVID-19 has impacted many different people emotionally, physically, and mentally. There are a variety of ways your mental health may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and here are a few that you or someone you love may relate to:
Anxiety through the Roof
It’s no surprise a lot of anxiety arose due to isolation and the fear of ensuing pandemic. The virus developed swiftly and so did many people’s anxiety. Having to worry about your safety and the safety of your loved ones was a constant worry throughout the pandemic, and there was a mass panic when it came to a shortage of supplies and how contagious the virus was. For many of us, these nagging thoughts caused huge waves of anxiety to develop.
Loss of A Loved One
Many people lost their lives to COVID-19. It is something that will affect their loved ones for years, and not something that should be pushed away or taken lightly. If you were one of the lucky ones who did not lose a loved one during this time, but know a friend who did, make sure to reach out and let them know you are here for them. We can’t bring back their loved ones, but we can make sure to let them know that we are here to support and love them during their healing. As things start to go back to some degree of normal, get together with friends who may be grieving (if they are up for it of course) and talk, enjoy a meal together, be a presence in their life that brings them joy and comfort. If you have lost a loved one, then honor them, honor your grief for them, reminisce on fond memories you have of them, and reach out to someone you love if you feel like the grief is too strong.
For many people who were already managing depression, the ongoing pandemic definitely brought forth symptoms. The isolation, the hopelessness, and even just being with our own negative thoughts brought forth by the news and other media can be enough to cause distress, but many people may have had depression symptoms that were once more controlled let loose. It is important to speak to a professional if you feel like your symptoms are cutting into your daily routine. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you may need extra help or to speak to someone, and you’ll be back on track to bettering your mental health!
With COVID-19, many of us found ourselves out of work and school, our typical daily routines completely turned upside down. A disruption in our established routine, whether it be with schoolwork or going to the office, was enough to cause many anxiety. Surveys show that a large number of adults had greater anxiety and depression symptoms during the pandemic than adults who took these types of surveys done before the pandemic. With our routines going back to ‘normal’, you may feel nerves and greater anxiety when it comes to going back into the office, interacting with coworkers and other people again, as well as trying to find a new routine that feels adaptable. You’re not alone!
Separation and Turmoil
During the pandemic, there was a lot of turmoil between people who wanted to go on lockdown and people who found the need to go into lockdown unnecessary. Since the rollout of vaccines started, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding getting vaccinated or not. Many people think the vaccines were created too quickly, and they do not trust the ingredients the COVID-19 vaccines may contain. This brought on more separation and disagreements between people and their close relatives, as well as friends. When talking to someone who is adamant in their opinions on the vaccine, it’s best to just let them talk, and then offer your own opinion. If you feel like the conversation is getting nowhere, it’s ok to remove yourself from the interaction, for the sake of your own peace.
COVID-19 brought mental turmoil to a variety of people. From the need to isolate, to loss of loved ones, to a disruption of your daily routine, it’s normal to feel mentally drained at this point. However, know there are many other people who also suffered a hit to their mental health during this pandemic. It’s ok to take the first step if you feel you need to talk to someone. There are many resources to turn to when it comes to mental health, including:
Sources used: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/mental-health-covid-19/art-20482731