Mental Health, Walking on a Tightrope

BY: CLAIRE KIM

As COVID-19 approaches a second wave, the effects of, once again, quarantine, social distancing, and isolation are bound to proliferate worsening mental health for many individuals. The idea of having to be careful, but also be alone for another few months is daunting, and it almost feels like we are compelled to walk on a tight-rope to maintain our sanity.

If we don’t balance our behaviors and interests, we might fall… and when we crash with the ground, we have essentially made ourselves vulnerable to whatever external or internal pressures that are present in our environment.

The feeling of walking on this tightrope is constantly stress-inducing. There are no bars or handrails to hold onto whilst completing this challenge; it’s all on you to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. And while the CDC gives you guidelines to follow, there are no guidelines set to help you approach the side-effects of quarantine, further perpetuating this ideal of feeling alone and isolated physically and ignored and neglected mentally.

Calling for help is limited as well. Digital platforms such as Crisis Text Line and Talkspace can only do so much as to comfort you from a distance, a distance that when walking on this tightrope seems so distant you can barely immerse yourself in tranquility.

What probably makes this tightrope journey all the more frustrating is the one-way aspect of completing it. While our lives tend to provide multiple opportunities in overcoming situations, the challenge of maintaining a healthy mindset, especially during a time of COVID-19, is that there’s not much one can do except to be patient when it’s worsening as time passes by. Yes, we can reach out to online resources or counseling via facetime calls as mentioned above, but the truth is that you’re on your own; and the only way for you to potentially succeed in your quest for happiness and optimism is to finish the tightrope. This feat requires persistence and courage.

And it’s definitely not easy.

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