The Coronavirus Shutdown and My Mental Health

Treating mental health seriously should be a given even if it doesn’t affect you directly. Often, individuals tend to brush it to the side or under the rug. In my opinion, that is by far unacceptable. No matter your occupation, salary, marital status, age, ethnicity, etc., everyone’s mental health matters! Everyone deserves some peace of mind with stress-free worries or concerns. We don’t always get that, but we still deserve it.

Mental health can be affected by one’s work-life: complicating bosses and coworkers, change or increase in duties, excessive shift hours, the stress of goals and quotas, and much more. Mental health can also be affected by one’s personal life: various relationship scenarios, self-esteem, health, hygiene, sleep, abuse or trauma, etc. Those are just to name a few; there are so many more factors within mental health.

During the beginning of the pandemic, I’m sure those who suffer from mental health issues or illnesses panicked—especially with the “Stay-at-Home” orders continuously extending. I’ll be one of the first to say, I worried about losing my job in the process but was also relieved about not having to work. Being furloughed mid-March is probably one of the best things that happened to me. Yes, I know it was a struggle for many, but I was more fortunate within this worldwide pandemic, and I’m beyond grateful for it.

I’m grateful because I was able to take a break from my hour and a half (sometimes more than two hours) commute. With that, I was able to save a drastic fortune on gas alone. Before the trails, parks, and beaches closed, I was able to enjoy a few fantastic hiking expeditions. People definitely weren’t walking or hiking before because they packed the trails, which is something that wasn’t usual. They had nothing else better to do, but it was good to see people actually out being active with their families and not being lazy. Hiking is excellent for my mental health because although it can be challenging, it is also refreshing. Plus, I love the views and taking billions of pictures with my lovely iPhone.

Once everything was officially closed, I had to get creative with how I spent my time. Sitting around and being lazy all day was not an option for me. More so because I would have been in pain, ridiculously depressed, and would have lost my damn mind. Sleeping in late happened a few days- long overdue and well needed. More sleep was so satisfying; I enjoyed that so much!

Besides sleeping in, I crafted and stayed active at all times. I worked on improving my body and health the most because that is a factor within my personal life that I often stress. I believed that if my eating habits were cleaner, I would lose more weight and boost my depression decline. I’m pleased to announce that helped out tremendously, the weight loss plus having a break from work.

Work played a significant role in my depression. I’ve been under the impression my boss has been acting discriminatory towards me pretty much since I relocated to California. The discrimination was either due to my mental health illnesses or sadly, the color of my skin. The crazy part, I addressed my concerns with our Human Resources department, and they brushed it under the rug. Complete bullshit if you ask me but hey, that’s just the way the ”cookie crumbles” with corporate businesses. It was just a coincidence all of the “Black Lives Matter” movements happened during the midst of the pandemic. And now the company is just recently addressing diversity and inclusion (black employees) like black people “just came out.” Miss me with the BS honestly. They didn’t care before and still don’t now.

Why do I stay with my employer?

It’s an easy and straightforward job most of the time. The pay is pretty decent, and there’s no cap on our commissions. Although I feel like I pay too much on health insurance per month- we’re offered all benefits. We receive amazing deals on hotels, amusement parks, concerts, etc. Plus, we’re nationwide so I can pretty much transfer to any state I please whenever I’m ready to relocate. Those perks alone are enough to stay somewhere and hope things will eventually improve.

Since I’ve been back to work for about three weeks, my spirits have lifted. I don’t feel as much pressure as before, and my anxiety has been low (for now). I hope to keep it that way, but we shall see. A reset button is the best way to describe my positive return to work; I’m thankful for that. Of course, if anything changes, you all will be the first to know! Haha. In the meantime, I’m doing everything in my power to keep the good vibes.

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