How COVID-related work changes affected my mental health

Like most people, my mental health was severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only did I have to get accustomed to a new way of living - wearing masks, constant hand washing, social distancing - but I was also one of the lucky many who got laid off from their jobs. 

I have found a new job that I truly enjoy, but I also realized that getting laid off from my previous job had really taken a toll on my mental health. It was the job position I thought that I’d be working in for possibly the rest of my life, afterall. As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, my anxiety made me feel like it was somehow my fault that I lost my job. Obviously, this was not the case, and I needed to find a way to make my worries subside. 

It got to the point where I had so much trouble concentrating on my work, even though I absolutely love the work that I do. It was hard enough to concentrate on my copy editing, but my writer’s block was even more awful. The nagging thoughts that I’m a failure and that I should just give up were constant. Because the obsessive worries started to affect my work, I finally decided to talk about it with my therapist. 

After spilling my guts in our session, my therapist asked me one simple question: “Do you have a space in your new home that’s just for work?” I realized no, I do not. See, this year, my boyfriend and I had to move into a new place. With the inflated rental prices right now, the new place is a lot smaller and I no longer have an office to work in. For work I’ve just been sitting in my recliner with my computer in my lap right in front of where the TV sits. 

While I think creating a space that’s only for work should have been an obvious solution to begin with, for some reason it just didn’t come to me. Sometimes I need someone (like a therapist) to suggest ideas. It might not be the only solution to my newfound work problems, but at least it’s a start. 

Shaping My Workspace 

There’s a little book nook I made in the corner of the living room after my boyfriend and I moved into our new home. After talking to my therapist, I thought this would be the perfect spot to work, if only I had a table for my laptop to sit on. I placed a small dinosaur lamp that I’d had in storage on top of the bookshelf and made sure that all of my notebooks and writing utensils were also there. 

I even called my mom to tell her about the plan. Shortly after, she came over to drop off a little, quaint table she had picked out for me. (Thanks, mom)! So, I set up my new workspace and voila! Now, here I sit, typing my new blog post with the inspiration flowing and the words just coming to me. 

Seeking A Therapist 

Therapy can be really helpful, even if you think you don’t need it. Sometimes a different perspective is all it takes and the professionals have lots of solutions to offer that your friends and family might not have thought of. Psychology Today has an easy way to narrow down the list of therapists in your area by insurance, types of therapy, price, mental health disorders and more. Click on Find A Therapist at the top of the homepage and type in your city or zip code to begin your search. 


Caitlin Renton is a copy editor and writer from Michigan. She owns and manages the website with the latest technology news happening in the Rust Belt area. In her downtime, she likes to curl up with a good horror novel while cuddling with her cats.

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