By Bethan Dadson

Being quarantined has its ups and downs. The pros are that I am saving money, working and finishing the many projects that I’ve started, whilst also having lie-ins. But the one con that is consuming me the most is the fact that my mental health has hit rock bottom. It has rapidly deteriorated over the last month and all I can think about is being able to go back outside, get back into a routine, and see my friends for the first time since my birthday. 

I’ve become so mentally exhausted that I spend most of my days in bed, thinking about every negative thing that has happened to me within the past three years. In 2017, my mental health was at its worst, going through a rough break-up and finishing uni without knowing if I’ll get a job in my field anytime soon. On top of that, things at home werereally bad and it all took a toll on me. As time went on I kept on telling myself “this feeling won’t last forever. You’ll be in a better place in a years’ time.” 

I am an avid believer of speaking things into existence, and it definitely worked… – or so I thought. I never really healed from any past trauma, and instead I just learnt how to distract myself better,whether it was picking up new hobbies, the gym, drinking, events, holidays. – People really thought I was ‘living the life’ because of what I would post online. Hell, so did I.

I’ve always seen myself as a happy person and I hate showing emotions that would convey me as weak or vulnerable. Even though it’s such a stupid way to think, it’s really all I know. I grew up in a household where showing emotions would be ignored and nullified. So I would always put on a brave face and continue with my day. But since being quarantined, it’s almost as if it’s forcing me to relive traumas that I have buried far in my subconscious. 

Everyday when I wake up, I feel this massive cloud of negativity leering over me, which just makes me want to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I stare at the ceiling thinking “what if I just never existed.” Sometimes I will be in and out of sleep all day. Some days are worse than others, but ultimately it’s gotten to a point where I’ve become so antisocial that I barely want to even pick up my phone to talk to people. As a graphic designer, I’ve been blessed with getting a stronger clientele during lockdown, but there’s days where I have 0 motivation to even start on any work.

But this isn’t the end of the road for me. I’ve decided that I am stronger than this and I can come out on the other side. I won’t let this take over my life. Being indoors all day can really make you lose motivation to even live but I’m taking small steps at a time, starting with a daily routine. Even the smallest thing like taking a 10 minute brisk walk can go a long way for me. I’ve started to note down everything in my head, as I feel like there’s too many things going on at once. In the most un-cliche way as possible, organisation IS key! Because once I’ve noted down what I need to do for the day on one page and then how I’m feeling on another page, I instantly feel better. Keeping everything bottled inside doesn’t do me any favours and it’s a learning process but I’m trying to better myself and my mental health so that I can finally start to heal.