Pandemic Taking a Steep Emotional Toll on Young People
By Abby Corado
Studies have shown that along with the economic status plummeting, so has mental health. With having to quarantine ourselves, social distance, and adapt to the pandemic’s lifestyle, our general well-being has been compromised in doing so.
In Dr. Ronald W. Pies’ article “Is the Country Experiencing a Mental Health Pandemic?” at the Psychiatric Times, he observes that, “The prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms were substantially higher than reported in 2019.” The age group of those are around the age of 18 and below are deemed to be more likely in experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder, trauma stressor-related disorder (due to the pandemic), and depression. Because of this pandemic, an increase in mental illnesses has occurred, and those that experienced these mental illnesses prior to the pandemic seem to have their symptoms heightened.
I can easily attest to being affected by these substantial standards and say that I’ve found my easy-going and social nature to be reduced down from extrovertedness to being a hermit. Life before the pandemic–in which I was my most outgoing self–held instances where I was willing to try new things and just be my loud self. At school, I would randomly talk to people without worrying about if they found me weird just in hopes of making new friends. Now, I often find my already-present anxiety enhanced when performing simple tasks in public such as asking a Walmart employee where the toilet paper is or even ordering my food.
To simplify, I, like many of you, find difficulty in basic tasks that involve little-to-no human interaction and find safety and comfort in my room.
Mental health should be one of your top priorities in order to be able to feel nourished and fulfilled with what you do in life. Now that it’s a new year, I wanted to officially create habits that are everlasting in regards to my mental well-being and have decided to research ways that will further support your psychiatric sanity. It affects how you make decisions, how you perceive certain topics, and how you handle high-stress situations.
So you may be asking yourself, “What can I do in order to replenish and nourish my mental health under all these circumstances?” There are plenty of ways that you can treat and take care of yourself. In “Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health | University Health Service” the University of Michigan provides 10 helpful tips on ways that you can start prioritizing yourself and your mental well-being. Some habits that have helped me through this pandemic would be getting out of my room and giving myself time away from technology–just basking in the sun’s warmth–making sure that I try to keep my room clean, and not being so hard on myself while leaving room to make mistakes.
Though mental illnesses in its entirety can be difficult to cope with and easily become a burden to your lifestyle, you can start by doing easy tasks such as making your bed in the morning or drinking the right amount of water in order to feel more accomplished and motivated to continue doing better for yourself.