TODAY WITH JENAE: Adapting to Mental Health Impact of COVID-19

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Posted April 8, 2020

By JENAE CAREY, CSU Public Relations Intern

Hello friends! My name is Jenae and I am a Public Relations Intern at the Communications Office in the CSU. I’m a senior graduating in May, studying Mass Media with an emphasis on Public relations and communications.

I wanted to start a blog that addresses things that you, as a student, can relate to. Being in my fourth year of college, I feel I have some helpful insight to offer. This will be a weekly blog post, so sit back, sip on some coffee, and let’s chat!

It’s not secret that COVID-19 is affecting the world greatly. If you’ve been following along with the news, you know how scared people are about contracting the virus. However, people are also scared about their mental wellness during these unprecedented times. People who don’t normally struggle with mental health are struggling…

When it comes to victims of anxiety, depression, OCD, or many other mental illnesses, being stuck at home is a recipe for disaster.

“She said ‘Jenae, this is part of YOUR story. Someday when you have kids in college, you’ll tell them about the COVID-19 outbreak and how you had to adapt.'”

In my previous blog post, I touched on the four stages of quarantine. In this blog post, I will be touching on my own personal story in regards to struggling with anxiety during these “stay at home” orders.

As previously mentioned in my last blog post, at first I thought I could do this whole stay at home thing forever. For us so-called introverts out there, this is a dream come true, right?

Not so much after a month…

Personally, I have found that I am very unmotivated. I want to lay around and binge-watch Netflix all day, sleep in ’til noon and watch Tik Toks. I have found a whole new level of procrastination when it comes to schoolwork.

I sat down and really tried to figure out why? Why am I so unmotivated? How is this contributing to my anxiety? And most of all, how can I stop this?

I’m at home in my safe spot, I should be able to get the most work done here. That hasn’t been the case at all. I will clean my entire apartment, sort my socks, do every single piece of laundry and call every distant cousin if it means procrastinating what I know I should be doing.

Feeling trapped is a common trigger for us anxiety folks. I can’t speak for other mental illnesses out there, however, I know a lot of other people are feeling this way during the stay at home order as well. The feeling of being trapped in your home and not being able to follow your daily routine throws everyone off.

With all of that being said, I want to share an interesting conversation I had with my step-mom the other day.

I was having a tough day, stuck in Mankato working at a group home, scared, and overall just wanting to get back to my normal life. She said something that really stuck out to me.

She said “Jenae, this is part of YOUR story. This is something that isn’t normal but it makes your story interesting. Someday when you have kids in college, you’ll tell them about the COVID-19 outbreak and how you had to adapt.”

I never thought of this. I encourage you to think of the ruined plans, uncommon routine, and isolation as part of YOUR story. It’s unique to you, and how you adapted to something tough is quite amazing.

Use this time to focus on what you can improve on and adapt to situations that aren’t so easy to adapt to.

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