COVID-19 has changed our world. From isolation from friends and family, to not being able to shop or travel, or attend big events we once enjoyed, we had to adapt to a new way of life quickly at the expense of normalcy.
COVID-19 has proven to be quite stressful for many people as it has a drastically altered everyone’s lives. Thousands of businesses have been forced to close indefinitely, while millions have been furloughed or terminated from jobs.
For some, it took a long time to finally collect unemployment. Others still have yet to receive it. This has led to some scrambling to work multiple part time jobs, like at grocery stores or any place that is deemed “essential,” in order to bring in some kind of income to their homes.
Many haven’t experienced this level of stress in their lives, and stressing mental health has become a focal point over the past year as we live through these unprecedented times.
In June 2020, the CDC conducted a nationwide survey andfound that 40 percent reported feeling more anxious ordepressed recently. It also reported that 10 percent said they hadconsidered seriously harming or taking their own lives in the past 30 days.
Other studies have shown that substance abuse is on the rise, and recovering addicts are relapsing due to their inability to attend support group meetings.
Kutztown student Ryan Poust said he has experienced stress brought on by the pandemic.
“I’ve found it especially stressful dealing with deadlines and sometimes overwhelming projects, and can’t fully devote time to them because of having other other important things such as my family and job,” Poust said. “Life is less focused on extracurricular activities and more on things needed to do to complete your college degree.”
Though staying home while juggling multiple responsibilities can be very stress-inducing, some students have found multiple ways to practice self-care in these times.
Discovering a new hobby has become commonplace. Ryan Woodman, Temple University student, is working out and staying on the healthier side. “I’m just trying to stay focused on getting healthier and kind of chill with the drinking. I’ve found that I really like cooking and going to the gym,” he said.
Many people also said that going outdoors and getting exercise while socially distanced is a good way to deal with stress and depression. Several streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu have gained popularity with people seeking to escape the unfortunate reality of being holed up in their homes.