We all know it, we all experience it. A seemingly endless period of quarantine in lockdown does not seem to help, at all.
It is easy to pretend that all is fine and good, when you really are not feeling that well. When it gets increasingly harder to get out of bed in the morning and make something out of the day that lies ahead of you.
So many things are easier said than done, so maybe we just shouldn’t say them then?
I don’t believe in that. There is this stigma around losing your happiness, losing yourself. On one hand we all tend to keep the picture alive that we manage the whole situation; with a smile on our faces, we say that we’re okay. I do believe that drowning in self-pity does not offer a solution, though the expression of true emotions should not be made more difficult. On the other hand, now more than ever, people speak up in public about mental health and depression amongst youth in particular (just like I am doing today). You would say this creates a more inclusive atmosphere in which nothing has to be held back. Sadly, I myself notice that this is not happening enough. Having the idea that you need to stay strong or at least appear strong for others (to ensure that you do not let them down) can be a tiring and eventually impossible task. I chose to talk and let it all out.
One moment I am all smiles and laughs, the next I feel extremely lonely and misunderstood. From what I have heard and seen, I am not the only person dealing with mood swings, trying to suppress the funks when you feel the end of happiness approach; it is a constant cycle of uncertainty that really has its effects on you. I catch myself seeing some people and just assuming that their lives are perfect, later I found out these people had struggles, ups and downs as well. Sharing my experience, something I only tell very few people, comes with the intention to hopefully make others feel understood; I wish I didn’t have to tell you, but we really are in this altogether.
I am lucky to have people to talk to and discuss these personal lows with; talking and sharing experiences really has been extremely helpful for me. But then again, moving on from the lows and actively pursuing a better state of mind is a step that should follow immediately after the talking phase.
The past few weeks I have found my outlet in reading, art, music, going on hikes, eating foods I enjoy and appreciating the smaller things. I know that “appreciating the small things in life” is most likely the most disgustingly cliché phrase you can imagine, but taking the time to enjoy your morning coffee, watching the clouds pass by, seeing the colors of the sky change as the sun moves below the horizon, really listen (instead of just hearing) to music and taking a few minutes out of your day to hug your family members has significantly improved the way I appreciate life during lockdown.
Apart from that, seeing friends (when possible and obviously taking the safety measures into account) has been wonderful. Being with others takes the focus off of your inner misery that you might experience and provides you with new perspectives. Though over-socialising might become a pitfall too, it is crucial to find the balance and also appreciate being alone without feeling lonely, just to restore and to make sure that you are also enough on your own.
Writing has been extremely helpful as well. Just being able to release all of the emotions and tensions I am feeling by focussing on words and forming texts that grasp my mood is really therapeutic. I always write, even if I seem inactive on Styles by Sophie, hardly ever a few days go by in which I haven’t created anything. Crafting these feelings into texts, or even pieces of art if you will, might have a very positive effect on you, like it had on me.
This blog also serves as a bit of a psychological rant for myself, as a way to express that I will be back after my creativity reached undesirable low levels (as a consequence of the way I was feeling) and hopefully as a way to show whoever needs it that we are experiencing this together and that sunshine always comes after rain.
I refuse to believe that the rest of this year will be like 2020. The situation we are in might seem endless, but deep down we know that it is not. It can’t be. This might be a thin string to hold onto, but it is something. Until the change we will have to find some sort of comfort in the uncomfortable knowing it won’t last.
Sending you love and light.