Quarantine Blues

Quarantine Blues

I think a lot of us can say that we went through a lot of ups and downs throughout this quarantine. I know for me, in the start I was doing good: staying productive, reading, and doing some much needed self care. As the weeks passed by, however, I started to feel more and more upset by everything that was going on in the world. It was so unusual to see how everything changed within a matter of days.

Over the months, I have tried a lot of things to stay sane and feel happy. I went through a good amount of periods where I wasn’t feeling too good about myself and my life, coming out of those phases really taught me a lot about how to be mentally strong and healthy.

I think the most important thing I have learnt is that whenever I feel a low mood coming on I don’t try to change how I’m feeling. In the past whenever I had days where I felt sad and demotivated I would try my best to put on a happy face and just ‘push through’ the day. What would end up happening later is that all those neglected feelings would come back in the form of a breakdown where I would cry for hours and hours on end and end up feeling worse. I find that when I just accept that I am having a bad day and try to not be too harsh on myself, I feel that I can easily move on from those feelings and feel better.

Talking about how I’m feeling whether it be with a friend or a family member also helps so so much. It took me a lot of time to finally learn that it was okay for me to talk about how I was feeling, rather than bottling up all my emotions. This is another reason why I recommend seeing a therapist because my mental health has improved substantially ever since I began my journey with therapy.

Meditating is definitely the best thing that I started to include in my routine this year. I’ve been feeling more calm and happy and my anxiety has reduced a lot just by setting aside 5-10 minutes everyday to meditate.

As some of the restrictions are starting to lift off, meeting up with friends is a good idea and is something I am definitely looking forward to. I recently took a long drive to see my friend who lives in another city. It was so good to see a close friend after a very long time and I definitely came back home feeling happy and relaxed.

In the end, it’s important to remember that a lot of us are experiencing loneliness and difficulty with our mental health during this uncertain time – you are not alone. It’s essential to always take care of ourselves and make time to talk to our family and friends, whether it be through text, a video call, or even in person. Working on our hobbies and having a list of things to do in the day are some of the things that we should try to do daily just to be busy and not feel bored and unhappy.

Anorexia

Anorexia

10th Grade

I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that something was wrong with me. My body was changing – for the worse, yet the only thing that mattered to me was the number on the scale. I paid no mind to the fact that I was starting to feel less and less energetic as the days passed along, everything seemed tiring and dull, even talking seemed like such a weary activity that I would just be silent and never actually participate in a conversation. I was in the worst stage of my eating disorder at the age of fifteen. I would walk down the hallway in school and get stares from everyone because I was so sickeningly skinny. People were coming to my friends and asking them if I was okay.

I wasn’t.

Many times I would think about how I could actually improve – start eating like a normal person and not worry about the way I looked. These thoughts would come and go and, sometimes, I would act upon those thoughts and take an action. I would go out and eat an actual meal…but then the guilt would consume me and I’d start to feel terrible. I would think of myself as a failure “how could I have done that to myself?” and for the next few days I would be even more strict with myself. I was trapped and I didn’t know how I could get out of the damaging cycle.

Lying seemed so easy then and I was getting better at it day by day. I was lying to my best friends, lying to my parents, lying to my teachers; they were all so concerned about me but I just couldn’t stop myself from going down the wrong path. I was frustrated and tired and I even though I wanted to change the voice inside my head would always win and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of helplessness.

Overtime things only seemed to get worse and I was unaware of how badly I was harming myself. As my weight continued to go down, I began to lose all of my strength. My skin was pale and dry, my hair was falling out, my nails were brittle and I didn’t look anything like a 15 year old. I was starting to become more and more irritable and bitter as the days went by and I was no longer the bubbly, happy person that everyone knew me as.

As the time of my GCSEs came around, I decided to make a change and I began to eat more food simply because I wanted to do well on my exams. I was still eating very little for a girl of my age, but it was certainly a huge improvement for me. I was beginning to get some colour back on my skin and my energy levels started to increase. I was on the right path.

I knew I had to make this change for myself because I didn’t want my scores to be affected as a result of my eating disorder since it had already harmed every other area of my life: I didn’t have any energy or strength and so I performed worse than ever in my golf tournaments, I was bitter and mean to all my friends and family since the topic of each of our conversations always revolved around how sick I had become, and I was no longer interested in any of my hobbies as the only thing that was of importance to me was food. I knew that if I didn’t perform well in my exams, my future would be harmed and I wasn’t willing to take that risk. Something switched during that period of time and I was no longer concerned about food as much as I was about writing the biggest exams of my life yet.

And that is how my journey through recovery began.

Glowing Up During Quarantine

Glowing Up During Quarantine

Glowing up is the act of working on your physical and mental self to show up as an improved and happier person. You essentially dedicate a number of days, weeks, months, or even years to solely focus on yourself and your needs. Whether it be reading more, meditating, working out, eating healthy – glowing up is when you take good care of yourself and prioritize your needs and wants.

Since we’re in lockdown now and have so much free time in our hands, it makes sense that we dedicate our time and energy on doing things that we’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. It’s the best time to focus on taking care of ourselves and work on our physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Working Out

One of the most important things you could do to improve not only your physical but also your mental health is moving your body every day. You’ll feel better about your body, be less stressed, and feel more accomplished at the end of the day. Instead of focusing on the physical benefits of working out, I try to focus on the mental satisfaction that I get at the end of a good workout.

Drinking Water

It’s good for your skin, your organs, your brain, and it also helps improve your mood.

Sleeping Enough

Getting a good night’s sleep is necessary so that you don’t wake up tired and groggy the next day. Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours helps improve concentration and productivity and also helps prevent depression.1

Meditating

It’s important to take care of your mind during this uncertain time. Meditating everyday even for just 5 minutes makes a lot of difference and over time you’ll be able to notice how mentally strong you’ve become.

Reading Books

Reading books is one of the best habits a person can have. It helps stimulate the brain, reduce stress, and also helps improve your memory. Not to mention also the fact that you’re learning new words and new ways of thinking and also gaining more knowledge about the way our world works.

Self Care

Using face masks, hair treatments, and taking supplements is going to make such a big difference in your appearance. When I was in college last year, I had a phase where I wasn’t really taking care of myself. I’d forget to do my daily skin care, take my supplements, and I was just generally not putting in much effort to take care of myself. As a result, my appearance worsened and I was looking dull and tired all the time.

When I got back home I realised just how poorly I was treating myself and decided to never make the same mistake again.

In the end, we should think about how lucky we are to be able to use this time to grow, improve, and better ourselves. It’s all about being kind to our bodies and minds and doing something to live a happy, more fulfilling life everyday.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25133759/

Being Okay With Who I Am

Being Okay With Who I Am

Recently, I’ve been feeling okay about who I am as a person. Throughout the last few years, I criticised myself about the tiniest things – the way I look, how I act, how different I am. I was not okay with who I was as a person. I was constantly looking for ways to change myself: change the way my body looks, change how I talk, change the way I dress. There was something wrong about me and I had to change.

I know that change can be good. If you’re extremely unhappy with yourself, it’s good to want to improve in healthy and manageable ways…but when the need to change comes from a place of self-hatred – when you develop unhealthy habits and patterns that are doing you more harm than good – it’s not okay.

The way I think about myself has changed drastically in the last year. I look back at pictures of myself and actually think I look good – and this is shocking cause at the time I would hate the way I looked. I’m starting to value myself and my thoughts, because that is what I deserve. I deserve to love myself.

Growing up, I heard a lot of hateful things that were directed at me.

You’re not good enough, you’re not worth it, you’re not special.

And for a while, I started to believe those things. I did not love myself or take care of myself – I was unhappy, anxious, and angry. I would stop myself from doing things like joining clubs and teams, making friends, and going out.

However, as I started to grow older and perform better in school and sports – I realised that all of those things that were said to me were lies. I was free to be whoever I wanted to be. I could do whatever I want. I was worth it.

Over time, my confidence improved. I was no longer the shy, quiet girl who would just do whatever was asked from her. I became a person who was happy in her own skin, someone who stopped believing all the lies that were thrown at her, someone who started to work for herself and her future. Because she knew she was better than that, because she knew she deserved better.