Breaking Through Our Mental Health Barriers During COVID


Brianna Matthews, PaperClip Staff/Writer

Without a doubt, everyone can agree that this year has definitely been a year we won’t forget. Living through a pandemic has not only changed our everyday lives, but for many it has impacted their mental health. Of course many people already experienced mental health issues before Covid-19, but now many people have realized that their mental health has only worsened since the pandemic started. 

When asking multiple students if they thought Corona has impacted their mental health, every single one of the students answered saying that it had negatively impacted their mental health in some way. “I’m struggling to even see a glimpse of the future getting better. This pandemic has made me more on edge with everything I do and touch. I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)  and the pandemic has increased my tendencies to have repeated motions and overthink,” answered Gwen Peters, a senior here at PHS. 

Many students have been finding that having to be isolated and away from friends has put a damper on their mental health as well. Marci Blanchette, a student assistance counselor here at PHS agreed and added “Since the pandemic originated we have witnessed an increase in depressive symptoms and symptoms related to anxiety. The social isolation makes it extremely difficult to find life balance and even more difficult to access services that were taxed prior to the pandemic.” 

Isolation was also mentioned when asking students why they believed that Corona had made an impact on their mental health. “Corona has impacted me negatively mostly because I can’t work or see my friends at school like normal,” Jordan Gaudie expressed, another senior here at Portsmouth High. 

It’s important in these times for us to take a step back and focus on ourselves. Though many of us are tackling jobs, homework, college applications, etc, it is still important that we keep ourselves happy. A couple fellow students expressed what things that they do to cope or pick themselves up like Jayla Rivera, a fellow senior here at Portsmouth High School, who shared “I do breathing exercises and listen to music”. These are just some examples of things that you can also do, but there are so many other options.

If you or someone else is struggling with mental health, here are some other things that you can do to try and improve it! Don’t forget that there are also people that you can reach out to like your friends, family, a trusted adult, and counselor’s here at school. You’re cared about and we all need a little support sometimes.

10 things that you can do to improve your mental health:

  1. Start a journal
  2. Make an uplifting playlist
  3. Do some yoga
  4. Paint/Draw
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Watch a funny movie
  7. Try something new
  8. Step away from social media
  9. Do something nice for someone else
  10. Meditate