While going through intense lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many discovered a decline in mental health. Over the summer of 2020, many began to have hope again as some lockdowns started lifting. However, this newfound freedom quickly came to a halt in multiple countries as cases began to rise again. As the U.K. especially found themselves in an ongoing lockdown, citizens once again found their mental health declining as their road to normalcy seemed to be unending. While lockdowns are meant to keep us healthy, they have actually had a number of devastating effects on many individuals’ well-being.
Loss of Motivation
While the first round of lockdowns inspired people to indulge in new hobbies or to be more intentional in the time they spend with their families, this quickly wore off as the return to normalcy became much longer. What once started as a great way to become less busy quickly led to individuals becoming restless. Additionally, it led to people losing motivation for their jobs and hobbies. Losing motivation often leads to people feeling depressed.
The continual lockdowns have filled many individuals with intense anxiety surrounding the timeline of the pandemic and whether a return to normalcy will ever happen. Being placed in lockdown with little to do other than look at the latest covid-related news has proven to increase anxiety levels in the vast majority. Each time a lockdown gets extended, individuals grow more anxious about the circumstances, especially if it has impacted a family’s income or educational conditions.
Having lockdowns inevitably leads to loneliness. Having a community is a large part of boosting serotonin and getting your mind off of life’s troubles. When people are deprived of the very thing that brings them peace, it is difficult to keep from getting depressed. Even though there are multiple ways to stay in touch with friends and family digitally, there is still nothing quite like being together in person. This overwhelming feeling of loneliness has been a massive burden on many people’s mental health.
Stress from Loss of Freedom
Lastly, many individuals have been struggling with the loss of freedom they’ve experienced throughout lockdowns. This has felt extremely authoritarian to many individuals and has led to them feeling suffocated. Even if it is for a good reason, feeling controlled is never good for one’s mental health.
Even though the lockdowns began with good intentions, they have negatively impacted the well-being of many individuals. It is essential to be aware of the adverse effects these lockdowns have had on mental health. Thankfully, as the summer approaches again, lockdowns are slowly beginning to lift. The combination of looser restrictions and warmer temperatures will be the positive change needed for many individuals.