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Thursday 21 May 2020

I think what has happened more since the beginning of the lockdown, has been the misunderstanding we now have to pay attention to the pandemic instead of paying attention to us. Indeed, I sometimes feel my problems are not to be talked about because they are not important. But this is not necessarily true.

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder a month ago. I asked the student hub for help because I was not well, they provided support for me and also referred me to specialised support at St. Marys Hospital. My treatment was meant to start two weeks after, but I had to leave the country… and leave something I wanted behind. And I cannot tell you how afraid I am, if you have anxiety, even if it’s a mild one, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Whilst I can’t access the hospital treatment, the student hub at Solent University has continued to support me every step of the way.

Something else that is keeping me going is that I still have university assessments to work on. I am studying English and Creative Writing, and I am glad this course doesn’t feel like work to me – because I love it.

Sometimes I look through the window, and feel like I see nothing. There is just a hidden world, and emotions fail to express whether it will be alright at the end. We are all dealing with something we have never seen in our lifetime. We are scared, we want to rest but we can’t because we still have a degree to finish and on top of that we feel like we need to be healthy and exercise, and sometimes the expectation to achieve all of this can just get too much.

Don’t think for a slight second you need to be better than you are today after all of this is gone. That’s wrong. You are sentencing your mind and body to something you don’t even know how to start. You are anxious - and it’s okay. Remember, it’s always okay to not be okay.

Instead of stressing about exercising every day, and stop eating those carbs, focus on what really matters: yourself - because that will change everything. For example, I stopped stressing about how my body looks and about doing workouts, and my assessments have been looking better than ever. I care so much about people in the world and I decided to stop focussing on the negativity in the media – yes, it’s sad, but I can help by staying at home – and I have begun to feel positive about the people who are getting out of the hospital in good health.

Focus on the best things, focus now on how the world is looking; happier, healthier. Your mental health still counts. More than ever. Treat it right. Be kind to yourself.

Marina