Welcome to #UNMUTEDSTORIES, where real people unmute by sharing their real and raw stories. Today we asked, "How are you feeling during COVID-19, really?"
I had a great routine and was finally settling into LA after moving back in the last year before COVID hit. It felt like this pandemic had derailed all structure and any career aspirations for me in the last couple of months. As someone who deals with immense anxiety, I found the ambiguity of it all to be even more anxiety inducing. I thrive in structure, so my greatest challenge has been coming face to face with the unknown.
With time, however, I found myself creating pockets of routine for myself, in my eating habits, in my workday, and even in my workout routine. I've come to realize that yes, most parts of the world have come to a screeching halt, but that doesn't mean that my personal growth and happiness need to follow suit. I found a great therapist through Unmute. I've made it a point to connect with the people I love. And I try to find beauty in my surroundings, which I don't often have time to stop and do!
-Daphne, 23, Los Angeles
"As someone who was looking forward to moving to a new city, having a fresh start, and exploring new places, having it shut down shortly after moving was not fun. The week before everything closed and people started working from home, I’d spent hours researching
leagues to join, meetups to go to, weekly pick up games at parks on the weekends, etc. All of a sudden, everything was either closed or cancelled. I’d created rigid plans of what I hoped to accomplish this year personally and professionally, and all of a sudden they were all derailed.
Although there were a couple stressful/boring/uncertain months, the lesson has been to try not to stress about things you can’t control. Yes, the cornhole league at the bar downtown probably would’ve been a great way to meet people, but no matter how much you dwell on that, the bar is still going to be closed. And in the end, after a couple unmemorable months, things ended up working out anyway and at this point there’s not a whole lot I’d change."
- Ty, 23, Austin
I've struggled with anxiety since college and over the years I've learned how to cope with my symptoms and triggers. I really felt like I had my anxiousness under control - but the world had other plans. Corona shook my world and my anxiety was back in full force. ⠀
So much was going on and I had little control. I was constantly worrying about the large issues in the world. I was low - unemployed and unmotivated. It’s so easy to blame your unhappiness on the uncontrollables. I was stuck pitying myself and my situation. I realized I needed to challenge these thoughts and focus on the things I can control. ⠀
My mom and I bought kayaks in April. We both agreed we needed an “escape” from our days and the world. It would be a great physical activity for us to do! Little did we know it would actually help our mental health too. Kayaking has been therapeutic for me. I feel under control when I’m in that boat- going in whatever direction I want and however fast I want to go! It has helped me stay present, calmed my mind and enjoy the little things in life - like the wind blowing on my face or the sun shining against the water. ⠀
There are so many bad thoughts your mind can be clogged up with. But when you focus on the little things and feel grateful for small moments - that’s what life is all about.
- Maura, 23, Boston