Community / Opinion

Quarantine’s effect on my mental health

Quarantine has been hard on a lot of people, and we talk about the stress of it all, but we don’t recognize how this affects our mental health. I should know, I have been on a mental health journey throughout quarantine. 

In my personal experience during quarantine, my mental health slowly started to worsen. My mother had to continue working on weekdays, and I was left by myself every day. I tried to busy myself by working out and picking up new hobbies which, unfortunately, didn’t last. 

It became a routine for me to wake up at around 11AM and not get up for the next two hours because I didn’t see a reason to. I wouldn’t open the curtains when I eventually got up, and I would miss breakfast because of waking up so late, and I would end up skipping lunch as well. I didn’t know if this was because I didn’t have motivation to eat, or if I was procrastinating about it. When it came to dinner, I would mainly eat a snack or I’d only take a few bites of my food before feeling that I didn’t want to eat anymore. 

My days became an endless cycle of binge-watching Netflix while slowly closing myself off to others. I would stay up until 1 in the morning watching Netflix or overthinking. I had messed up my sleep schedule so badly to the point that I started to have sleep paralysis and was waking up in the middle of the night with hallucinations, and continued to stay up until morning. I had no energy throughout the day and was so sluggish due to the lack of sleep and food.

My mom offered many times to take me out on rides on the weekends or after she got back from work, but I didn’t feel like going outside. I stopped reaching out to my friends because I felt like I would be bothering them if I tried to speak with them. I didn’t allow myself to realize how bad I was getting, and continued thinking I was fine and that I could keep this to myself. 

My mom noticed my drastic change in behavior in the evenings when she came back home from work and had my doctor give both of us some advice. My doctor seemed concerned when I went for my check up. He saw how tired and fidgety I was, and he asked me a few questions about what a day in quarantine is like for me. He gave me advice on how to take better care of myself and my health. 

He told me to force myself to get up earlier, and to get ready for the day. Even if it’s only a Zoom class, change as if you were getting ready to go somewhere instead of opting for pajamas. He also told me to go outside and take a walk a few days out of the week to get some sunlight and fresh air.

My mom suggested that I started getting in touch with my friends. I was a bit nervous at first because I didn’t think that they would want to talk to me, but once I did, they were so understanding and welcoming. They reassured me and made sure that I knew that I could always talk to them. I also started to do the things I loved to do such as horse riding and baking. 

Quarantine definitely took a toll on me as well as everyone else. I know that I also dealt with a lot of stress at home, and even more so when I went back to school. I constantly made myself believe that I was overreacting about my mental health and undermined my own feelings. 

After this experience, the best piece of advice that I can give after struggling with taking care of myself is that telling someone that you trust about your feelings and concerns with your mental health is really good for you. You are getting it off your chest as well as not allowing it to get even worse. It can be hard, especially when you are in a low place, but once you do, you can find resources so that you don’t have to deal with it alone.

If you need support, the Dana Hall guidance counselors are always here for you and can help you further understand what you might be feeling.

Dr. Slater, Director of Counseling:

Ms. Saunders, Upper School Counselor:

Ms. Sharp, Upper School Counselor:

Dr. Platt, Middle School Counselor:

Comments are closed.