How I Started Practicing Mental Health During a Pandemic

It’s no surprise that this year has left its mark in history from the obstacles of the pandemic, however, the mark it has left on individual lives is a process still being felt even as 2020 dies down. Lockdowns, riots, and a dramatic presidential election have shifted the way I have lived my life, and this is a summary of all that has gotten me to this point.

Spring Break 2020 was going to be one for the books. I had plans to go to New York City and get the internship of my dreams. However, when the virus broke out, at first, my mom told me not to go. Not knowing how much this thing was going to explode, I adhered to her wishes and just came back home. A few skiing trips and hikes later, my spring break turned into a quarantine.

In the beginning, I found myself mainly struggling and having to adapt to online learning. I was visiting Colorado at the time so I had to deal with time change as well as completely replan how I was going to graduate. But for the most part, I was happy to see my friends and hang out back home; life felt like an extended spring break until lockdown went into full effect.

There were no places to go eat or hangout, the streets were empty, and the world was running out of toilet paper. The news seemed to be getting a lot more interesting and I was spending overdue quality time with my family. My father was lucky enough to still be working from home and I had the spring semester to finish up before summer school so everyone in the house worked together to make life a little easier until things were back to normal (We weren’t expecting things to last this long as they have).

Then the George Floyd riots and conversations about inequality around the world were being had. This was around the time I saw an opportunity to focus on my mental, physical, and spiritual health. The everyday news became filled with negative stories and seeing people that looked just like me die innocently from police brutality affected my well-being. This, combined with being confined to one place, pushed me to form new habits and practices that were easy and benefited my daily mood.

Around that point, I decided that my extended spring break was over and got to work on myself. I was reading books, having meaningful conversations with family, working out, meditating, and expressing my creativity through writing and web design.

I even got involved in the BLM movement by donating money and participating in multiple peaceful protests. All of these new-formed habits started to help me feel like I was not locked in or frozen in my progress because of the circumstances that have occurred.

By the end of the summer, I had a completely different outlook and perspective on my place in society and created some great habits along the way.

I have brought everything I have learned from this pandemic back to school with me and now more than ever I can feel myself adapting and thriving in this virus-infected digital age we came into.

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