Disruption of routines causes anxiety and loneliness

Photo of woman in face mask scrolling on her phone.

By Daniella Castro
Pulse Staff Reporter

Photo of woman in face mask scrolling on her phone.We’ve all been met with a sudden halt to our everyday lives. From the terrifying news to the stressful grocery store visits, the future of regular life has become anxiety-inducing. 

Just like many others, the coronavirus has impacted my life more than I ever expected. I am an essential worker at Family Dollar, but I am currently quarantined by choice to not risk endangering my family. This has put a bit more stress on me since I no longer have a regular income. My dad recently lost his long-time job, and he has become one of the millions to apply for unemployment. My mom is also an essential worker, but her hours have changed to only three days every other week. My older sister is an elementary school teacher, and she has had to adapt to online learning with her students.

 As a college student, my schooling has been majorly affected, as well. All my classes have transitioned to online learning. Although I usually don’t have trouble learning outside the classroom, I’ve learned that some subjects are harder than others this way. It’s difficult to adapt to a sudden change in daily occurrences for me. I went from work to school to hanging out with friends to staying stuck at home every day. I’ve always been an introverted homebody, but I’ve realized that I feel more productive and positive when having a routine and schedule every day. I’ve noticed an increase in feelings, such as loneliness and sadness, and even the feeling of guilt from not being productive. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one to have unexpected changes in mental health during this time.  

My friend, James Morales, a student at Texas A&M San-Antonio, said, “The worst part of quarantine is the complete shift in daily routine, which I had based my life around for the past year or so. Being stuck at home in the same space and interacting with the same people is a bit draining.”  

He explained how he’s easily forgotten his educational responsibilities and has felt like the value of his schoolwork has decreased. 

Having conversations with family members gave me more insight into how others have felt emotionally and mentally while self-isolating. Some experiences were negative while others had a more positive outlook. 

My sister said, “I have more time with my son and more time to clean my house and just breathe.” 

My dad said it’s given him more time to do side projects he enjoys, such as gardening and building. My Aunt Sandra said she could relate to my feelings of loneliness and mentioned the stress and anxiety she’s dealt with from constantly keeping updated with the news.

The drastic changes in our lives have taken a huge toll on how we think and live, and I believe the differences in mental states can depend on our home environments and personal experiences.         

Adapting to a global pandemic is something we never thought we’d have to do. It’s important to remind ourselves that although right now the world seems to be a scary place, the end of this virus will eventually come, as long as we continue working together in taking precautionary measures.

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