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Mental health during and after pandemic – it is completely fine if you are not fine

It is completely fine if you are still not fine and not feeling ready to go back to the ‘’real world’’.  You are maybe still struggling with adapting to the new world, but you are still bombarded with aggressive social media campaigns that you need to remain fit and productive even though the world is […]

It is completely fine if you are still not fine and not feeling ready to go back to the ‘’real world’’. 

You are maybe still struggling with adapting to the new world, but you are still bombarded with aggressive social media campaigns that you need to remain fit and productive even though the world is changing tremendously before our eyes. 

You are maybe feeling nauseous when thinking about going back to work, you are feeling slightly agoraphobic when you think about a crowd of people outside and bothered with things you haven’t even noticed before. We all enjoy loud music and laughing out loud with our friends –  but what if you feel overwhelmed suddenly? 

What we all experienced was and still is a collective trauma. Everyone was basically a hostage in their own homes due to coronavirus pandemic. It does sound pretty harsh when we put it that way, but feeling trapped inside your own home was everything but cozy. 

Also, add that uneasy feeling how the invisible enemy is lurking everywhere – from doorknobs, corners, and other surfaces that you never thought could ever harm you.

It was and it still is a really overwhelming period for all of us. The entire world needed to stop for a brief moment in time for both introverts and extroverts.

For anxious people, depressed people, people worried sick about what comes next – it was the time of quick adaptation, self-introspection, and in times crippling anxiety. 

It is not unusual if you still have a hard time struggling to catch your breath, worried about your job, worried about keeping your family safe, and ironically feeling like everything is standing still. 

Survival of the fittest… on Instagram

And the worst part of this is when you see the other people on the social media handling it with such ease, riding that wave of danger with such confidence, seeing this as their time to take the spotlight. 

Never in the entire known history, we had such insights of how others are living – their lush homes, their workout routine, their healthy meals, their lush manes of hair looking fabulous even though the hairdressers are not working. 

And then, on top of everything you find yourself feeling guilty. All these people are sharing motivational posters to their stories about becoming an overachiever, going out of this pandemic like some sort of superhero or demigod with a perfectly shaped sixpack, improved project management skills, and fluently speaking Mandarin.

You are probably asking why are you not feeling this way?

You are maybe feeling guilty because you haven’t really lost any weight, learned a new skill, you probably haven’t had a will to get up from your bed. 

The truth is that being fit, having a pitch-perfect life, and eating freshly picked fruit from fancy bowls doesn’t really equal happiness.

It is just a sign of other people coping with collective grief over the world we know disappearing and evolving into something completely different… and a sign of magnificent Photoshop skills.

Mental health at a test for all personality types

Extroverts finally had a chance to catch a glimpse of how it was like to be introverted. Introverts, on the other hand, experienced a completely different type of problem. 

Suddenly, everyone is at home, everyone is feeling talkative and your social media apps are going wild with notifications. This was indeed a period of introspection for all of us. We tested our limits, our weaknesses, our strengths, and our mental health was affected in so many ways.

You are probably asking yourself what I can do? 

The best thing is – you can do nothing if you want to. That beautiful simplicity. Take your time to prepare but keep your own pace. That is your own choice to make. 

You don’t need to feel rushed because everyone else is doing something. No. Think about your own wellbeing. Your own timing. You don’t own an explanation to the world for pressing a pause button when you needed it.

Simply enjoy spending quality time with your family, not trying to beat some imaginary race online. Don’t feel guilty if you are afraid of the disease and losing your job. If you are not in your best shape.

If you want just to sit inside your room with all the noise from the outside isolated, quietly listening to your thoughts. If you are not feeling productive. 

It is completely fine not to be fine.

The worst thing is that you finally set your limits straight and then you push and exhaust yourself. 

Listen to your inner voice and try to go with it. Talk with the ones who you trust. Your parents, your therapist, your partner. Write your thoughts down in your diary. 

Try not to talk with the ones that absorb your energy and turn it into discontent. 

This crisis could give you unique insights about people you are surrounded with, some things you probably didn’t notice before could become more amplified. And maybe you realize that you are not on the same page with these people.

And that is completely fine. We all grow. We all change. Especially when the situation is extreme like this.

Back to life, back to reality

We know how people are constantly writing about how they want for everything to be over soon to get more social. 

If you are not feeling like this, take a step by step approach. You don’t need to attend the first party or BBQ going on after COVID-19 crisis is over. If you need to get back to work, talk with your boss or human resources manager about your conflicting feelings and how it will need more time to get you on track.

If you lost your job – this is an ideal time to think about where you want to go next. Don’t feel pressured to grab the first job. Be selective – your journey unfolds just the way it should be.

Glitz and glam are just a filter nowadays, what lies underneath the surface counts. It is a sign that you are a fully functioning adult if you admit to yourself that you are not an almighty action hero but a human being with complex set of emotions.

 Accept them and accept your own pace. Don’t do social distancing from yourself.

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