Moving beyond COVID is hard, but is necessary for mental health


Graphic by Nizhoni Ward

This past year our lives have been mainly focused on the Coronavirus. However, it’s beginning to come to an end, which means we have to focus on ourselves once again. 

Many people’s mental health–including my own–have been extremely affected as Covid-19 took a lot of things away from us. Such things as being social, getting to see family, travelling and going to social events have been taken away. Also, having to stay at home most of the time which led to being alone and in isolation.

Our mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It all has to do with how we feel, act and think, either positively or negatively. It’s up to us for how we cope and handle our mental health as everyone has one. Mental health is as much as self care as eating healthy and having good hygiene is. 

All of these things can account for our mental health and the decline of it. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. As of July 2020, many adults are reporting a difficulty in sleep by 36%, eating by 32%, increases in alcohol consumption or substance use by 12% and worsening chronic conditions by 12%. This is all in the United States.

Summer will be a huge break for a lot of us. From school and work, we get to give ourselves that relaxation we need. I know I definitely need a break from how stressful and exhausting this year was.

Even if you won’t be getting a break throughout summer, simple things such as journaling, taking a walk, meditating, or exercise will help your mental health tremendously. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you’ve fallen behind on something or didn’t get as much as you wanted done. Remember this was a difficult time for all of us as being in this pandemic is new. 

Your mental health is very important for now as well as your future. You should reach out to someone if you need help such as a parent, friend, or trusted adult. Some websites you can look at to get more information about mental health are American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, National Institute of Mental Health and National Mental Health Association. These are just a few of the many that are out there to choose from.