Covid’s toll on mental health

It’s been almost two years since the Coronavirus started. The last time I went to my university building was more than 23 months ago. I’m still enlisted at university and I’m still paying for it every month, but it doesn’t quite feel the same. Progress at getting my degree seems to have come to a halt and I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. I’ve talked about it a few times before, but the previous school year I still had my internship, which was an enormous blessing. Being able to teach every week, as much energy as it cost me, helped give my life some rhythm. Sure, I work at the mail five days a week now, and I like my job, but it’s not what I want to do with my life, nor is it where I want to be in the future. And that sucks. It feels like I’m wasting my twenties. I’ve felt like I wasted a lot of my life already, because mental health kept getting in my way. In high school I was miserable, university I was miserable a lot. The few years leading up to Covid were some of my best years and right around that time I was “graduating” from requiring therapy. Now I no longer have therapy, covid is rampaging through the world, and I’m once again miserable.

I’m not one to downplay the physical effects of Covid. I’ve been very adamant about keeping to the rules, wearing masks, distancing and staying at home. I’ve gotten all my vaccinations, including the booster which I picked up just today. I’ve made sure my direct family members got their vaccinations as well so I could feel safe around them and not worry about getting them ill. I’ve done everything right in the past two years. And I’m still miserable. So how do we fix this? The short answer is; I don’t know. Distracting myself with going somewhere isn’t an option. Therapy has ended, and to be fair I think there wasn’t much more I could have learned from cognitive behavioral therapy anymore. I know all the tips and tricks, I’m just not well regardless. My stress has been causing me physical issues as well over the past year and it’s been taxing. I’m currently working on a few university assignments and if I can get those done I’ll be able to do my final internship next year and hopefully get my degree. But right now it doesn’t feel at all like I’m progressing towards them. It’s super hard to get anything done and to sit down to work. 

I’ve been trying the little things. I’m eating nice lunches which always cheers me up a little bit. I’ve been hanging out with my cat, but she seems to be unwell right now. Hopefully nothing serious, but I might go to the vet this week if it keeps up. Great, another source of stress. She’s probably fine, but the less good my mental health already is, the more stress something like this will pile on top of it. I just want my pets to be healthy and happy since they bring me so much joy. 

I’ve been trying to actively write. This is the 23rd day in a row I’m trying to write 1000 words a day and it has been successful so far.
I’ve been trying to watch some fun videos that make me happy, lay down in bed late in the evening and just relax.
All these things help get me through the day or week, but none of it solves the problem at hand. And that is that Covid seems to be here to stay.

I’m not great at long-term thinking. No matter what I think about the long-term, it’s almost always severely pessimistic. I think it stems from having very little faith in my own abilities and thus having very little faith in others. My brother is an optimist, and I envy that sometimes. He thinks people can do great things, I’m not so sure. I’m probably wrong, but I still can’t shake the pessimism. As for Covid. I hope it goes away soon. Or it mellows out enough that we no longer have to worry about it. Life is stressful enough without a global pandemic that constantly bombards you with fear.

I’ve also tried to cut down on news intake. I stopped watching Hasanabi, even though I both love and hate the content. It’s great and interesting but it also depresses me. I’m trying to be on reddit less, but it’s not successful. It’s one of those things where you know it’ll only be better for your mental health but you can’t seem to commit to it. I have been enjoying Black Desert a lot, the MMO I’ve played for years, but it’s a real time consumer and I’m borderline obsessive about things sometimes so it can also be stressful.

I don’t really have a good point to end this story on. I tend to ramble on for a while and not write a good conclusion. I wonder if that’s where my dislike of writing endings to stories comes from, I tend to just let them keep going. I did write an ending to the first book of The Hesitant Hero already, so check out the first two chapters. There will be a new chapter every Thursday for as long as I can keep up with the schedule. I just want those of you whose mental health has plummeted during this pandemic to know that you’re not alone on this. I struggle with it, some of my friends struggle with it and across the world many people struggle with it. Take care of yourself and even if you’re like me and you can’t just fix your problems by toughening up, treat yourself well. Get something nice for yourself. Treat yourself to some good food, watch a movie you like, read a good book (or my blog). It’s a depressing world out there and mental health problems are still not taken as seriously as they should. But have hope, because more and more people seem to realize that those of us with mental health issues aren’t lazy or incompetent. We just need a little bit of space and soon we’ll excel and shine brighter than anyone else. So keep fighting the good fight out there. We’ll get through this pandemic alone but together. And on the other side is a better world. I’m already looking forward to summer. We got a brand new lounge set last year that I didn’t use much because I wasn’t feeling well but this year I’ll be lounging all day every day. I hope that I managed to brighten someone’s day out there just a little bit. And know that just by reading this, and perhaps even leaving a like and a comment, you’re making my day much, much brighter. Thanks for reading!

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