COLUMN: Dear Everyone, I’m proud of you


Katja Benz

Katja Benz, Columnist

Since the pandemic hit two years ago, I’ve noticed that I’ve been a lot more down. Down as in I’m not really feeling myself and I miss the pre-pandemic world.

I’m sure other people are feeling the same way. We all miss the world where we could live freely and without worry about getting a virus that could kill us.

In essence, the COVID-19 pandemic gave me, and I’m sure other people, anxiety.

The World Health Organization said “In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%, according to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.”

The article later said that the mental health of both young people and women were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

An article by the Mayo Clinic agrees: “Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia during the pandemic, compared with surveys before the pandemic.”

I myself know that I’m really busy and don’t necessarily have time for self-care. Between two jobs, 16 credits, homework and social obligations, self-care is usually bottom of the list for me.

And it shouldn’t be that way.

So, in order to keep myself sane, I’ve tried to remind myself that I’m proud of myself everyday. That was also in order to practice self-care, and it didn’t end up going so well.

I usually forgot to do it, meaning that if I’m too busy for that, I probably wouldn’t have time for much else.

And that’s what scares me. If I’m so down, but so busy, then how am I supposed to take care of myself mentally?

I then realized that I’ve been doing self-care that may not be considered self-care.

Self-care may be considered a face mask or something to that effect. I’ve never done one of those; they’re not really my thing and they cause me stress if I forget to take them off or something.

However, I’ve noticed that I’ve done these things in attempt to take care of myself:

1. Gotten lunch or dinner with friends. I find that socializing with others makes my day.

2. Gotten coffee. I love coffee (the Java employees have my order memorized) and I like doing my homework there while drinking it.

3. Taken a good nap. I, like lots of people, love sleep, so taking a good 30-minute nap helps me get back to normal before getting back to work.

4. Spent some time by myself. While I’m an extrovert, I do need some time by myself.

While balancing stuff in college is hard, taking time for yourself is vital. I hope that we all finish strong; in fact, I know we will.

Katja Benz is a junior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].