In these uncertain times, self-care is a necessity, not a luxury

‘For those with mental health issues before the pandemic, things have become even more challenging’

Kevin J. Sabo

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

The year 2020 is definitely one that historians will be writing about for years to come.

From COVID-19 to Murder Hornets, the headlines haven’t ceased coming, often times becoming more and more bizarre as the year has carried on.

Despite the memorable headlines, people will remember the year for a variety of other reasons as well. The pandemic has reduced the economy to tatters, and many people are left without work, and without hope. Mental health issues have been on the rise.

For myself, my anxiety has increased somewhat, particularly when I’m in crowds, though to be honest, I wasn’t particularly fond of crowds before the pandemic.

While I’m fortunate that my work hasn’t completely dried up, its format has changed with the majority of it moving online to portals like Skype and Zoom.

Still, despite everything, I feel that I am doing better than expected for a variety of reasons.

The first is, despite my increased time at home, I have succeeded in keeping myself busy. I’ve worked on a university course, learned Photoshop, and kept my mind engaged in addition to work.

Second, I’ve made self-care a priority.

I’ve begun making time for myself, whether that is taking an hour and playing Playstation, reading some good fiction, or something else every day.

Third also relates to self-care.

Despite taking a couple weeks off due to injury, I’ve been making myself exercise regularly. I was working out an hour a day before the injury, and I am slowly working my way back to that point. The physical fitness has been a game changer as far as my mental health goes.

Fourth, I see my therapist regularly.

She’s been following me every three weeks since just before my last hospital admission, and that frequency seems to be working, though we are aiming to start spreading that out in the New Year, once we get past the stress of the holidays.

In these uncertain times, self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.

By taking the time out to look after yourself, and those closest to you, you stand a much better chance of making it through what’s left of this mess of a year.

Personally, because I have worked so hard on my mental health during this time, I’ve been able to get through 2020 in stride. That said, I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve 2020, so as to show this year the door.

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