What a year, right? Once upon a time, a year ago in a galaxy not so far away, a vicious virus attack called Covid-19 descended on earth. Fear struck the world with pain and death, lockdowns appeared; it was something no one could prepare for. We know everyone struggled through this, so we at Networthpick decided to open up and share our experiences with you so you know you’re never alone.
The magazine’s business executive, Toni, said her mental health throughout the pandemic was “a rollercoaster to say the least”. She would definitely say the first lockdown “I struggled with really badly” because she had to move back home from uni and really missed some form of “independence and privacy”. Toni also openly spoke about how she has really bad anxiety and finds it hard to open up fully to people. However, she said, “I kinda discovered myself more during the pandemic, because I had so much free time, I didn’t really have a choice”. Some of the great things she accomplished through lockdown such as being able to manage her emotions better which shows real motivations and inner strength. Social media gets a mixture of opinions however Toni said that “music really helped & Netflix, also I have to say TikTok over the past month has become a holy grail”.
Try This: Get a speaker and blast out your favourite show tunes when you need to, it’s ok to eat the ice cream in the freezer that you’ve been thinking about all day.
“It’s ok, to not be ok. Just don’t give up”
Ben, our Social Media Executive said, “I suppose the main thing that kept me going during the pandemic was recreating the things I could no longer do out and about from home and giving myself something to look forward to during the long weeks”. How did he do this? Examples included ordering some takeaway beer on a Friday night when he would’ve normally gone out with mates or finding a new tv series or film to watch rather than go out to the cinema. Ben said, “so I’d say I just made the best out of a strange situation to protect my mental health”.
Try This: Think outside the box, don’t be afraid to try something new or different you may just surprise yourself.
“One small crack does not me your broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart”
Chloe is one of the content creators for the magazine and she said “since the first lockdown I went from living with all my friends at university, to now having not seen them in over a year and that has been hard”. Last year was particularly difficult when there was no end in sight for when life would start going back to normal. It was hard to stay positive about life with nothing to do and nowhere to go for a year. However, Chloe said “but now with the vaccines and everything it has given everyone hope and I was able to see my grandparents recently who I hadn’t seen for over a year”. She also added “living with family and also having pets helps massively, especially my dog who is always happy to see me and has been extra happy having everyone home again”. Chloe best described her experience as “overall the pandemic may have negatively affected my mental health but there have been some good things to come out of it and I always try to stay positive”.
Try This: The tip that Chloe used is to keep busy around the house, especially with things that didn’t involve being on phones, computers and other electronics.
“There is hope even when your brain tells you there isn’t”
Our Graphic Designer Jack said, “through the pandemic, I think my mental health was affected by my sense of self-esteem”. Where everywhere was shut and there were limitations on how to take care of yourself e.g. hairdressers, Jack said his self-esteem started to go down. He believed “the cause of that was also the feeling of being unproductive”. Jack said he “became more productive during lockdown than I ever have been, however you spend so much time doing nothing that it definitely made me feel useless”.
Try This: Work on yourself into a mindset of realising the amount you’ve achieved instead of focusing on wasted time.
“You’re not the first to go through it and you’re not the last, if we stand as one we can win”
Toyin is the web designer and said his mental health pandemic experience has mostly been unconventional from the norm he said, “I guess because my social life wasn’t that much different from before the pandemic”. One thing he could say that made his mental health worse during the pandemic is job hunting because “it was bad enough before the pandemic but during the pandemic, when unemployment was getting higher and you were really reminded of your economic status, that made my mental health bad”. Toyin said another thing that negatively impacted his mental health in 2020 was the police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests.
Try This: Every time you have anxiety/depression write the thought down and then throw it away.
“Don’t feed your fears”
Alex, the account manager, believed the best way to describe her pandemic experience was “challenging but lucky”. She has struggled with mental health since she was 12 but always fought through it, refusing to give up and “being consumed by such negativity”. She also considers herself “lucky” through the Pandemic as she has a big family that all live in the same house and always appreciated the fact that she didn’t lose precious time and memories with her family. However even though there were challenges of missing her social life, friends she has always said “family is my number one priority and having niece and nephews and an autistic brother, the decision to keep them safe wasn’t even a question”. Alex had to stop working and be at home all day, every day which was a challenge as she describes herself as someone who “is a hard worker and has a passion for working and meeting new people”. One thing she did see as a positive was that she got to spend more quality time with her family, especially her niece and nephews. She said that “things in life are not easy but it’s not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up” and with the support of her family she has kept fighting. As restrictions have eased there is sunshine appearing through the clouds. She now works from home doing a job she loves, has created new friendships, has worked on herself and feels more confident and stronger than ever. Alex said that “it’s not about where you’re going in life but how you get there”. She said “this has been a hell of an experience” but she is more appreciative of her life more than ever and grateful for all the opportunities that have come her way.
Try This: Make a list of all the things that make you happy. Read the list when you’re feeling low.
“Rise and Slay”
Our Digital marketing manager Cameron said, “For me, my life started to suck before quarantine, like hard”. He qualified as an electrician only to suffer a back injury a couple of months later that would prevent him from continuing work in that field. Cameron said “I lost my job, had no income. My back prevented me from doing all the activities I enjoyed and used as outlets”. It also prevented him from sleeping, walking or even going to the toilet at times. He said “I lost weight, got skinny and started to hate myself because of how I looked and felt, both emotionally and physically. So when quarantine hit, closing hospitals prevented me from getting the help I needed, which only added to my anxiety as I wasn’t sure as to when I could get my back fixed”. More things took place in 2020 during quarantine that added to his depression and anxiety. By the end of it he felt drained and described it as “like life had pumped me full of spicy food and laxatives with no toilet insight”. However, don’t worry as he did find relief later down the line. Cameron took some time out to do that and focus on himself, His needs and worth as everything he had worked towards was gone along with his self-esteem. Having done that, Cameron re-established his faith, got a new job he can do from anywhere there’s internet access and it’s teaching him new skills and he gets to work alongside good people. Cameron’s back still gives him trouble and he is looking into options to fix it, but for now he’s back to the gym, rollerblading, bike riding, going for long walks and enjoying himself where he can.
Try This: Focus on yourself, your needs, who and where you want to be. Increase your value.
“Learning to love myself and enjoy my own company”
The team at Networthpick wants to remind you that you are beautiful, you are brilliant, you are brave and to remember to keep smiling keep dancing and keep living every day because you deserve happiness.
“Happiness doesn’t come to you, you create it”
Other tips that you could try to help you with your mental health are…
Get into a strict routine:
Cut out anything or anyone that can distract you and possibly become your main focus. Delete any negative social media and only stay in contact with those absolutely necessary. Spend some time doing the same things day in and day out. This will reduce anxiety as you know what to expect and establish good habits that you need to progress.
Connect with yourself spiritually:
If you’re religious, focus on establishing or re-establishing your principles and beliefs. Doing this will make you reflect on the person you are and want to be, giving you comfort, purpose and goals when you feel aimless, lost or alone. (If you’re not religious, self-reflection and meditation can still be done)
Build your mind:
Educate yourself and learn new skills. The power of self-education is phenomenal and will open new doors, perspectives and possibilities to take advantage of.
Build yourself physically:
Look good, feel good. Bring the internal progress to the surface. Exercise and healthy eating will make you feel physically better but also boost your confidence when you look in the mirror and even more so when others begin to notice.