For years, I never truly knew what mental health was. It was something that we talked about in school from time to time, but it always confused me how our mental health could be so different from our physical health. It wasn’t until I got to my junior year in high school that I actually started to see the detrimental effects of mental health diseases such as anxiety and depression.
Everyone always says that junior year is the hardest, and boy, were they right. I watched so many people go through their own mental health struggles, including some of my closest friends. That was all before Covid hit, but little did I know that March 13th would change the way I view mental health forever.
“…little did I know that March 13th would change the way I view mental health forever.”
Even with all the changes in our society, I still never thought that my mental health would be affected the way it has been. As the weeks of isolation went by I could see the changes in my mental health, and they weren’t good. I was very anxious about school work, but at the same time, I had zero motivation to do it. Through all those newfound struggles, there were others not school-related. Relationships within my family were also struggling, and I was forced to adapt to even more changes in my life. I felt like I did not have the support system that I was used to, and felt very alone in a time when I needed people the most.
While I of course was still able to talk to people over the phone, I wasn’t able to just sit down with my best friends and talk to them about the things that I was struggling with. I started seeing a few more people outside of family members, and that really seemed to help me relieve my stress, and was a good way for me to get outside and spend time with new people.
As soon as I started openly talking about my feelings and frustrations, I could see an improvement in my mental state. It’s not perfect, and there are still things that I struggle with, but I think that the most important thing to note is that that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay all the time, but is still something that should be worked on.
“As soon as I started openly talking about my feelings and frustrations, I could see an improvement in my mental state.”
While I was able to improve my mental health just by opening up about my struggles and feelings, that might not work for everyone. There are many ways to improve mental health such as finding ways to relieve stress through hobbies, talking to a professional, or even working out. All of these have worked for people that I know, but might not work for everyone. Find the one thing that never fails to make you happy, and make sure that you find time to do that. Life can be overwhelming, and I know the feeling. Don’t be afraid to confront your feelings, and if you have any concerns about your own or someone else’s, talk to someone. There are many people willing, and wanting to help you, all you have to do is ask.
“There are many people willing and wanting to help you, all you have to do is ask.”