This pandemic has made us realize a lot of things in life. We continue to learn and adapt day by day as we deal with our current situation. This could be anything from keeping our jobs, spending time with family at home, and maintaining our sanity despite feeling stuck in life or being stuck literally.
It is with all honesty that my mental health has been tested many times this past year. There were days that I felt very worried and anxious. Everything that has happened is unexpected and unprecedented. Nobody knows what to do in these situations as this is a first for all of us.
Luckily for the world now, several vaccines are being developed and distributed to some countries. Others have even started vaccinating their citizens. Finally, now we can see a little ray of light from a once very dark tunnel. There is hope, at last.
Unpredicted changes were made and lives changed drastically in a year. Millions lost their lives due to the coronavirus, some were left behind by loved ones and jobs were unavailable to many people worldwide. Heartaches, disappointments, and stress are sadly the common theme.
There were nights when I’m all alone on my bed looking through my window staring at the stars and moon that sometimes I would feel so down I wanted to cry. Okay, maybe I cried one time. But just because it felt easier to let all the emotions out than to keep them all inside. It helped, crying help.
After that night, I felt much lighter. Not very happy but not worse too. I am okay.
While I learn to appreciate the simple things in life which I think I have been doing ever since anyway, I discovered my hate for feeling stuck in life. I mean, who does like to feel stuck? No one. Maybe, a few would say yes, only for a short while. But the majority, I’m certain would like to have their lives going again.
Before all this pandemic, I had exciting plans I was looking forward to for my life. I had a million things I would like to do, places to go, people to socialize with. I was very excited about the future. But then, the coronavirus happened, my once colorful reachable future became dark and unknown.
Truthfully though, who knows when this is going to be over? No one. This could take another year or two, or a decade or more before it will be completely over.
Stuck in One Place
The hardest thing of all is when freedom is taken away from us. Left and right, there are restrictions we need to obey. Going anywhere in my town, for instance, we need to have our temperature checked. Oftentimes, we need to fill out a contact tracing form. Even just staying at a friend’s condo in the city, a medical confirmation is required before entering the place. What has the world gone into now? It is very different.
Every day for months, my life operates in a mundane routine of waking up, working, eating, exercising (sometimes), sleeping and repeat. This goes on and on for almost four months now. I am lucky, however, to have found work, although non-nursing related. Work gives me a reason to get up, not waste the time by doing nothing. Regardless of how tempting ‘doing nothing’ sounds.
Inside a Bubble
I feel like I am inside a very small bubble blocking my movements and activities. I guess that a few people are also feeling this way. Many times, I have looked through photos of my fun adventures before this coronavirus started. I agree with what people say, we do not appreciate things or people until they are gone.
I miss being able to fly without having to be quarantined for 14 days. That when we go outside of our homes, women can apply lipstick as colorful as the rainbow. Those days after work or during our days off when we hang out with friends or colleagues dining, drinking, or singing karaoke. I miss those days.
Being stuck physically or feeling stuck in life sucks. It’s mentally stressful and depressing.
On the contrary somehow, what I am doing is helping me get through those negative emotions. I do not feel as down as before. It is a process but at least there is slow progress day after day. So, here is what works for me. Maybe it could help you too.
1. Talk with someone about it.
You will be surprised to know that it is not only you struggling with those emotions. When you share it with someone such as your family or friends, they may feel the same way too. And knowing that you are not alone could be all the support you need. Furthermore, talking with others about it will enable you to discuss effective ways on how to handle the situation better.
2. Focus on something else.
Keep yourself busy. Work, clean your house, play with your kids. Direct your focus into activities that will keep your mind occupied. When you are doing nothing is the time you get to think about your circumstance and the future. Let’s be honest, the future is still not very bright for the world at the moment. Therefore, your mind would likely be pulled towards negative thoughts.
3. Stay hopeful.
During my chats with my friends, we would always end with reminders about being hopeful. That everything will get better. Those simple reminders as long as it gives us hope are always better than not having any.
When my Kuya passed away, I set my iPad’s wallpaper with a saying I found online about hanging on. I thought that I could change it when I feel much better. Three years later, it was never changed. I’m going to share it here so we all get reminded to hold tight as everything will get better soon.