Let’s not kid ourselves, 2020 was pretty shitty!
As a Canadian, I consider myself lucky to have lived a worldwide pandemic in the world’s safest and greatest country. I know many countries in which I’ve travelled in the past couple of years that have suffered far worse than we can imagine.
However, let’s not trivialize the pain, hurt and suffering that a lot of Canadians have gone through. The fact that the world and our reality shifted one day to another and suddenly, we were left with scary news talking about a deadly virus, immediate isolation in our homes, lockdowns, loss of our jobs, thousands of people lost their businesses and above all, in my opinion, people are suffering with their mental health more than ever.
Mental health is one of these issues that is so misunderstood by so many and so “taboo” still in our society. This pandemic has tested a lot of people and they have to suddenly adapt and learn to be happy or at least feel comfortable alone in their homes for long periods at a time. A lot of people can’t cope with solitude and that’s why they’re often workaholics, they’re often in toxic relationships or only in a relationship for the company and not much else. They’re often people that need to be around individuals all the time, so they work a lot, go out a lot, etc. There’s nothing wrong with a hardworking person, nor a social being; however, there’s a problem when you’re struggling to spend an hour alone at home with your thoughts. Yet, as bad as this pandemic is, it’s a great test for a lot of people that never acknowledged their mental health weaknesses and that were tested mentally with all the loneliness and boredom that followed the strict rules and lockdowns in Canada. Meanwhile, almost a year later, we appear to be in a status quo situation since we’re once again, in Quebec, in a strict lockdown where we’re not even allowed to be out after 8 p.m. and where everything nonessential is closed. Where is the hope then? How can we be optimistic?
I feel that boredom and solitude matched together, with some mental health fragility to begin with, can be a very dangerous combination. I went through all these phases and experienced it alone in my own reality around five years ago (without a pandemic) after a serious car accident and so, I’ve gotten better at making myself feel better and be happy in my solitude.
If you don’t work because your job is on pause or you lost it because of Covid19, but you still got money coming in, then your biggest problem is to cope with your unhappiness or boredom. It’s already great news on a financial level. What can you do then? It’s a great time get some self-awareness which will take some time to develop since it’s basically to get to know yourself better. Therefore, get hungry and strive to learn more and be the best version of yourself through these difficult times.
- Buy some great non-fiction books (self-help, psychology, business, etc.)
- Listen to great podcasts to have some brilliant minds share their insights and knowledge with you (for free).
- Enroll yourself in a class on coursera.org for example and learn a subject you’ve always wanted to (Ex: cooking, finance, nutrition, engineering, etc.)
- Learn to be happy by yourself and add some perspective in your attitude. If your monkey mind is racing and annoying you, sit down 10-20 min and concentrate on your breath to meditate and relax (or use an app like calm or headspace).
- Work on a project you couldn’t before and now you finally have that extra time.
- LEARN A LANGUAGE! This could potentially be the best use of your down time with this pandemic.
I learned Spanish on my own and this was one of the best investments I’ve ever made! Here’s what I did: 1. Download an app like DUO Lingo and do all the exercises on the app.
2. Write them down and create a book with it (I wrote a 606-page book on my computer)
3. Practice with Spanish-speaking people, since you’ll have learned thousands of words and you’ll need to practice.
I went and travelled the world to practice it before Covid19. However, you can find Spanish-speaking people on the internet easily. There are apps to speak to foreigners, there are Facebook groups, online classes, etc.
In life, we control our actions and our reactions. Put simply, we have no control on that worldwide pandemic that brings a whole lot of uncertainties and negativity and that just makes our life pretty boring in general. However, we do have control over how we’re going to react, on what actions we’re going to take, on what mindset we’re going to adopt and on how we want to use our time and energy despite the adversity that the planet is going through. Are you going to be negative, always complain and get drunk to forget this whole thing while inevitably worsening your mental health with these choices?
Or are you going to adopt a positive mindset, challenge yourself, learn new things, be an inspiration for yourself and for the people around you, get or stay in shape and thus, take great care of your mental health in the process?
Our health is the most important thing we have and our mental health is so often neglected when it should be prioritized. I choose this mindset every day and do my best to take care of my mental health while also working out and staying sober for now more than two years. I can’t begin to tell you how much sobriety has helped me in my life.
Get moving, challenge yourself, workout, learn something new, go to work, start a side hustle, go back to school, be positive and happy and ironically, life get so much more enjoyable with the right methods and habits in place.
I wish you all a great day and encourage you to persevere when it gets tough, because I promise you that with enough time, EVERYTHING gets better.