Personal Column: Anxiety and COVID

Personal Column: Anxiety and COVID

Quarantine has everyone struggling in one way or another, but starting school has been the hardest thing for me this year. Dealing with COVID alone is hard enough, but battling mental health alongside that has definitely proven to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.

Anxiety is something that I’ve been really struggling with recently. Thinking about the uncertainty my life has especially right now can be pretty scary and intimidating, especially since there is no set plan for school and it’s those small thoughts that can cause an anxiety attack. For example, we do not know when COVID will be gone and a thing of the past, so organizing school and keeping up with assignments has been difficult for me. Basic everyday activities can help many people cope, like going for a walk or even cleaning up around the house. 

The uncertainty of COVID has completely consumed my thoughts and I feel like until there is certainty again, these unwarranted thoughts and feelings won’t leave. Mental health is something I’ve dealt with for a while now, but never to this degree, sometimes I even find it difficult to breathe. It’s almost like the weight of 2020 has all been placed on my chest and I’m barely able to keep it up with small breaths, almost like I’m walking around eggshells to keep my composure. This is a whole new, scary experience for all of us, but we don’t have to go through this alone. 

Although dealing with anxiety this year has been difficult, there are so many things I do to help me cope. For instance, listening to music is relaxing and helps to calm me down and, since it’s something I already do a lot, it is my go-to thing to do when I find myself getting nervous. I also rely on my friends because some of them deal with the same issues, so it doesn’t feel like this is something that I’m going through alone and helps to lift a lot of the weight I feel. Lastly, I like to paint. Coming up with different concepts and sketches and seeing it all come together on a canvas is therapeutic because you are able to control what goes on that canvas, contrasting the current situation of not having much control over our lives.

This being said, it is okay to struggle. There are ways you can cope and I’m going to try to make the most I can out of this awful situation and I hope you do too.