Prioritizing Your Mental Health During Quarantine 

Thanks to COVID-19, many are feeling cooped up, stressed, exhausted, anxious, and vulnerable. With the current orders to stay at home, it can be difficult to prioritize your mental health, particularly since some of the things you used to do to take care of yourself are completely off-limits. While some people are stepping up to help out and support their community, this is not the case with everyone. Periods of high stress and fear can bring out some unnecessary judgemental shaming. Social media posts can leave people feeling judged for leaving the house to buy seeds to plant or even for going to talk to a friend from a safe distance. In this unprecedented and critical time, it is vital that you prioritize your mental health. You can be socially responsible and do this all safely while making sure that you are taking care of mental health. 

What is essential? 

Social media platforms, neighbors, and people hiding behind the anonymity of the internet have been quite vocal about their opinions of what should be deemed “essential.” The reality of this situation, though, is that no one can tell you what is and is not essential for you. Only you can decide this for yourself. It’s really easy to judge other people’s situations from the outside, but we never see them clearly from this point of view. If you need to do something for your mental health and can do it safely, please do it. 

Although rec centers, libraries, most retail shops, and restaurants are still closed to dining in, there are still ways to connect. If you deem something essential for your mental health, it’s okay to do it. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, painting a room you’ve been meaning to paint, or starting that garden you’ve always wanted to plant, make sure you are still doing what you need to do for yourself. 

Don’t let other people’s judgement stop you

The reality is that people don’t know what you’re doing. And the most important part of this is this: it doesn’t matter. What other people think, and other people’s vocal judgement has no bearing on what is actually happening in your life, your actual mental health state, and what you actually need to do to take care of yourself, your family, and your community. Sometimes, this means venturing out into the world to do something that other people deem “non-essential.” Just because someone else thinks that what you need to do isn’t essential doesn’t mean it’s true. No one gets to decide what you need except you. And, frankly, no one actually knows what you’re doing or where you’re going, and if they don’t need to know, it’s none of their business. 

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