When the pandemic hit, many of us didn’t acknowledge our own emotions. We were too busy writing content, checking accounts, working on the crisis communication team to even check-in with others, let alone ourselves. It took almost two months for the panic to calm down and the reality of working from home to hit us. It’s one thing for our every day “norm” to change, but it’s a different situation when you realize you’re living through a world-wide pandemic. Now that the dust has settled, we’ve been able to stop and process our thoughts that have accumulated over the past couple of months. The conclusion – we aren’t okay.
Gone are the days of mental health awareness being taboo. We now live in a world where talking about your mental health journey is openly accepted. Scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, I see many influencers talking about their emotional state. Because of this, other people have joined in and have started to share their personal experiences and struggles with mental health. There is something refreshing about knowing you aren’t alone in something. When the idea of conducting a mental health survey among social media managers in higher education was proposed, I was really excited, but also apprehensive. How I deal with my stress is very different than how others may deal with theirs. I am one of the first people to openly express myself when it comes to mental health. I’ve lived with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder for most of my life and I’ve developed several coping mechanisms to handle the low times. I wasn’t sure if others would be as open with how they are feeling, especially towards their supervisors. It became evident after reading over the results that the people taking the survey were at their breaking point and looking for a place to shout their frustrations. I know that point all too well, so I understand the importance of finding an outlet to manage my mental health.