COVID-19 turned out to be a silent and slow killer in many ways. In addition to being a terrible virus that has taken the lives of many, it’s also killed our economy, slayed our plans, slashed our dreams, and trampled on our spirits. We had no idea what sort of butterfly effect it would have, when we just started hearing whispers of something called the coronavirus. And we had no idea what a hideous butterfly it would be. Then, slowly but surely, your favorite coffee shop shut down. Then the restaurants. The concert you had tickets to, got canceled. Everything shut down and then, perhaps, you shut down.
I recently heard someone put what we’re going through so well: we’re trying to run an old operating system on new technology. And it just doesn’t work. Let’s just do a quick exercise and list the things we would typically do when we were feeling a bit down, or even the things we did to maintain mental health. We would make plans. We would see friends. We would experience new things and go to new places. We would make strides towards our career goals. Now…we can’t really do much of that. We have to social distance. The places we’d like to visit and experience are closed. We don’t know when any of that will be over, so we can’t even make plans for when this is done. There’s no such date yet! When your brain attempts all of its usual methods of cheering up and they all fail…it’s only normal you can feel down.
It is important to be aware if this pandemic has affected your mental health, so you can take steps to maintain it. As is the case with every sort of health, it’s much easier to keep it in good standing than to save it from a bad place. Here are signs the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your mental health.
You don’t want to talk to friends
Talking to friends has started to feel like a chore. They reach out, trying to schedule a FaceTime date, and it feels so inconvenient. You feel as if you won’t have time between sleeping, eating, and watching TV. Speaking to friends seems like something that takes energy out of you, rather than gives you energy.