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A year later--what do you wish you'd done for your mental health?

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A year later--what do you wish you'd done for your mental health?
Old 03-02-2021, 03:18 PM
  #1

If a year ago you had known that the pandemic was still going to be around and affecting life so profoundly,
what advice would you have given your past self?

I don't mean things like wearing a mask or visiting loved ones or vacationing before March 2020. I more mean coping mechanisms that you think would have helped you.

I'm having a lot of ponderings as the year mark approaches.

I'm not sure how I would answer my own question. I think I would have told myself to mentally pace myself for the long haul, and not to think that measures I was taking were temporary.


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Old 03-02-2021, 03:22 PM
  #2

Great question! Part of me would have liked to be prepared for the long haul. I might have started some of the self-care sooner. Another part of me knows I would have freaked out if I knew how long it would really be.

I do wish I had spent more of my free time last spring/summer (no free time now with school!) to do more reading and faith-building activities.

At the same time, I've put a lot of effort into surviving! Sure, I could have eaten healthier, but just making it through was more of a priority - not enough mental energy to take that on.

I made it through without having a major breakdown (although I had a lot of smaller ones! ) and I'm pretty darn proud of that.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:23 PM
  #3

I wouldnít have sat my BFA on the couch, watched tv and eaten nonstop. I would have gotten into a routine of walking the dogs 1-2 times a day. The sedentary lifestyle is killing me. And now Iím having a terrible time breaking that habit.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:30 PM
  #4

I think the one thing that I am missing the most is regular contact with good friends. I would have made a better effort to create meaningful distanced activities.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:33 PM
  #5

I have coped very well during this time and have actually not been bothered by staying home and other necessary adjustments.

The only thing I regret is that I used a lot of time at home watching tv instead of being creative and productive with various projects.

The one thing I have done right is spent a good part of every day working out and eating right. I am in great shape and have maintained the 60 pound loss that I achieved just before the pandemic started.


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Old 03-02-2021, 03:33 PM
  #6

I knit with a group of friends in Zoom. I asked them last Saturday if anyone knew when we started it last year. Iím sure it was around Easter.

Zoom knitting is probably one of the best things Iíve done. Even though Iím in Florida I am able to stay connected with the group. I always feel better after our meeting.

I guess the advice I would give myself is to knit more.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:51 PM
  #7

I wish I wouldn't have gained weight over the summer. I ate way too much ice cream and treats. Now I just have to take those pounds off.
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A year of mental health
Old 03-02-2021, 03:51 PM
  #8

Good question to ponder. I would have told myself to get a good therapist now cause your going to need one in a few months.

Overall, I have managed. Looking back, the hardest months were August through November. Lots of anxiety. The new therapist helped me wrap my head around this massive life changing event.

I took advantage of the periods when restaurants and hairdressers were opened . In one year I managed to visit with two very, very dear friends several times.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:02 PM
  #9

If I knew that my DH and DD would be working from home so long, I would have set up their work area much better. The way it is, I canít get around to do much cleaning and it blocks the piano.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:05 PM
  #10

Quote:
I think the one thing that I am missing the most is regular contact with good friends. I would have made a better effort to create meaningful distanced activities.
This is what I was thinking too. The only social activity I've really kept up with is my book club. I love my book club and I'm so grateful for them, but that's only 1x per month.

Quote:
Another part of me knows I would have freaked out if I knew how long it would really be.
I would have definitely been freaked out. I think the "boiling the frog" approach worked better for me . I remember when they first sent us home from school and we were told there would basically be a 2 week "lock down." I was so freaked out because I live alone and I was like a whole two weeks with nowhere to go and no one to talk to, nothing to do? 2 weeks! HA!

That said, I had a flight booked to see my family during spring break, which was in early March and right when everything was sort of ramping up. I went back and forth and ended up cancelling it, thinking I'd see them in the summer. Well, now it's been since Christmas 2019. That March flight was probably the safest time we've had- chances would have been incredibly low that I would have been exposed at that time. Knowing what I know now, I would have taken that trip.


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Old 03-02-2021, 04:21 PM
  #11

I would have stuck to my guns and established more strict routines for me and my kids.
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Past self
Old 03-02-2021, 04:39 PM
  #12

I would tell me in March 2020 to buy a home office chair and desk because the price is going to go up. Or take my office chair from my classroom home. It probably got surplussed.

I have been remote this whole time. I taught in the spring and summer at my kitchen table.

Having a dedicated room with a desk and a door I can close has been a big game changer for me.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:40 PM
  #13

Had I known how long the pandemic would last:
*I would have maintained healthier eating habits.
*I would have listened only to experts and not those exclaiming the sky is falling (I have a very large supply of TP)
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:43 PM
  #14

I would have distanced myself long ago from online stresses and toxicity.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:46 PM
  #15

I am probably one of the few people who hasn't really minded the "at home" effects of the pandemic. I am a total homebody. I have kept in close contact with dear friends through phone, text, FB, FaceTime, Zoom and walking outside (with masks).
I have LOVED online ordering with curbside pickup.
I'm not sure that I would have prepared more. One thing I had done was to order at-home fitness equipment at the very start.
But if I were an "investing" person (which I am most certainly NOT), I would have invested in Amazon, toilet paper companies as well as antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizer companies.
My mental health has not been greatly impacted and for this I should be very grateful. I think it is because I truly enjoy my quiet time (which can often be similar to self-isolation).
My husband on the other hand...
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:23 PM
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:52 PM
  #16

I'm with Greyhound Girl. Got into some bad habits - even had to buy bigger clothes, and it's sooo hard to change the bad habits!

Building a better healthy habit would have lead to better emotional health, and more energy to do more. I know it, I need it, and it's darn hard to change.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:04 PM
  #17

Like many, I wish I wouldn't have gone all "pandemic snacks!" on my own BFA. I wish I would have been more productive with the gift of time.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:53 PM
  #18

I just want to oust this out there. It isnít too late to do something about 5hose bad habits some fell not. Get off the couch... start walking, riding, weight lifting.. whatever it is that intrigues you. Make it happen now before another year goes by.



That said... I wouldnít change much. I had started a new eating regime that did well until fall when I started stressing about life. We had just purchased new bikes that we both had a great time riding until the colder winter weather. We took a socially isolated vacation that was very enjoyable. I started strong with chores and maintenance things. Once again, those things fell off when the weather got colder and I started stressing about things. I am back into a routine now, and hopefully will continue. Like others, I enjoy alone time and like doing outdoor, isolated activities so this was up my alley. I did not like feeling guilty when I went places... and I am totally and pleasantly surprised by how well my dh and I have gotten along with all the together time. We have never spent this much time together without regular breaks like work trips. I am hopeful for the future!
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:10 PM
  #19

If I could go back to March 2020 knowing what I know now, I'd have relaxed! I'd have enjoyed the time out of the classroom and the summer knowing no one in my family would get COVID, knowing the food and TP supplies would be just fine. Pretty much anything I worried about did not come true.
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:16 PM
  #20

I will also say I cherish the time I was able to spend with Mason before he passed. And, Iím also a homebody so I enjoyed the ďme timeĒ. But I know my friend and my mom, who are total extroverts have struggled.
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:18 PM
  #21

What do I wish I'd done?

Honestly, nothing. I'm still pretty much the same mentally. I'm just as cautious now as I was on day 1 when everything first shut down on March 19, 2020.

I'm trying my best to make the best of this life AS ALWAYS pre-COVID. Most recently, my fiance' and I just ordered e-bikes as in electric bikes yesterday, so they should be coming in about a week. We just wanted to add a little more fun to our lives.

I got a Roku a few months ago and signed up for a couple of streaming services, just for 6 mos and a year.

I got some things for the house to make my living more enjoyable (mattress topper, essential oils,

Other than that I go walking in the parks (and will soon be bike riding), going on drives, and grocery shopping, which I always loved anyway. I stroll the mall sometimes, but there's not much to actually buy anymore these days. I did pretty much online ordering in the last year. Watching TV/movies, YouTube, and eating good food are simple pleasures.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:54 AM
  #22

I wish I'd known to mentally prepare myself for how long it was going to be.
I think overall I did decently. Spent a lot of time reading last summer/spring. I wish I'd gotten a year pass to the Shenandoah National Park and done more hiking there last spring/summer.
I did a good job of building up with distance with walking the dog. I ended up gaining some weight initially but have lost more than 30 pounds between July and now.
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