Sonya  Gankina

Sonya Gankina, May 25 2020

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected My Mental Health

I wake up and c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶m̶p̶l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶e̶x̶i̶s̶t̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶e̶i̶l̶i̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶n̶  ̶p̶o̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ w̶e̶a̶r̶ get ready, buy a coffee on my way to work, maybe grab lunch during my break, notice the nature changing around me, then get home after the day is done. 

Now, all of that is simply no more. I work a couple of jobs from home, and dedicate a big chunk of time to my wellbeing. For many of us, the pandemic brought a massive lifestyle change. Especially if you enjoy the company of other people and are extraverted (I am neither of those things). 

Now, many of us are inside with our roommates, partners, pets, and families. Maybe you hate it, maybe you love it, the truth is the pandemic is (re) shaping our society and economy in so many different ways.

Today, I thought I'd share the two things that have been my answer to everything. And I mean everything - depression, heartbreak, sickness, unfortunate events. These two things are:

 1. Consistency and
2. A healthy lifestyle.

Try to become an artist without practicing everyday. Try to become an athlete without stretching and doing exercises everyday. Try to get any long-lasting results or impacts without consistency and practice, and you will simply be beginning new projects always. I am very familiar with that. Consistency is hard for our brains because we perceive change as scary and immediately get thoughts like "what if my art is bad", "who even cares", and "I don't need to do this."

Then, try to be a functioning human being without getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. Try to be productive while you are dehydrated or eating shitty food all the time. Try to get out of a bad mental health spot if you are iron deficient or lacking vitamins and hormones that you may need. It all starts with taking care of your body physically, so you can take care of it mentally too. 

Here are the things I do in social distancing while I am at home everyday that have helped me immensely:

Honestly, I'm very content with my pandemic life and don't crave going out or seeing a lot of people. The transition "back to normal" is not existent because we will have a new normal. The question is how to move forward.

Written by

Sonya Gankina

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