We started the year 2021 with high hopes that things will get better. Goodbye to lockdowns, goodbye to COVID-19, and hello to the vaccines that will hopefully put an end to this pandemic. Families who were separated because of the lockdown were united, employees began reporting back to work instead of working from home, people started going out and were finally able to enjoy summer–at the beach, out of town, spending time under the sun after being cooped up at home for so long.
But unfortunately, some people started ignoring safety protocols and took the situation for granted. Things ultimately took a turn for the worst when the Delta variant began to spread once again, forcing us into another wave of lockdown. This came as a surprise as most people thought that things would go back to ‘normal.’
This pandemic has brought upon us not just financial or medical worries, but has led us to struggle mentally and emotionally. It has not been an easy year. A lot of people have lost their jobs, closed down their businesses, stopped school, lost loved ones, and gotten sick themselves.
We are still in an adjustment period despite being more than a year into the new normal, because this pandemic is something we never saw coming. When we are not worrying about COVID, we worry about: our loved ones, our jobs, putting food on the table, paying bills, making ends meet, staying safe, and most importantly, staying sane.
In the past year, the number of individuals with depressive, anxious, and suicidal tendencies rose as people struggled to cope with the COVID pandemic. We hope to shed light on the importance of everyone’s mental health and well-being during this truly difficult time, to be able to remind everyone to be there for each other and give each other the support they need.
Sometimes, simply asking others the question: “How are you doing? Are you alright?” is enough to make someone feel better. Knowing that someone truly cares despite the challenges and difficulties we are facing helps us be able to acknowledge where we are in terms of coping and dealing with the situation. Being aware of how we feel is the first step to admitting that we are not okay, and sometimes, not being okay is perfectly okay.
A lot of people feel like this past year has been a competition about who has lost more weight, who has done more work, who has binge watched more movies, who has found the perfect skincare regime, when in reality this pandemic has given us time to be able to ponder on ourselves. We all cope differently, and just because we see other people doing great while we’re struggling, doesn’t mean they’re better than us or that they’re not struggling too.
In these difficult times, and in the coming months, I hope to remind everyone that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to have a hard time dealing with everything that’s going on and just take a break. This pandemic may not end soon and things might not change for a while. But when you change your mindset and prioritize yourself and your needs, you’re trying, and that’s what matters.