Life Suspended Indefinitely: A Mental Health Nightmare

Mental Health and Coronavirus

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An article recently flashed across my screen: Outbreak begins to upend life across the US. That is putting it mildly. From cancellations to postponements and everything in between, life as we know it is suspended indefinitely. I am tired of the actual terms that have led to this, so I am going to ‘protect’ them from further discussion. We all know what I am talking about and I am worried it will create a mental health nightmare!

Cancellations Postponements Life Suspended Indefinitely

What are we supposed to do? Insanity is starting to ensue and sadly, it is not surprising. From the lack of necessities on store shelves to the hoarding of nonessential items, the fear is out of control. If and when this all subsides, I do believe mental health will come to the forefront. Counselors and doctors will be treating patients that have lost themselves because of this crisis, pandemic, downward spiral, chaos, emergency, etc. What other words have you heard to describe this nightmare?

“The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

Kathryn Kinmond, a psychotherapist in Staffordshire and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy


Amidst this chaos, I have been worried about how my own mental health will be and very concerned for others who suffer from depression and anxiety. With all the cancellations of major events such as parades and marathons, national sports, college classes, theater productions, etc., what is one to do?

As of today (see publish date) the lovely state of New York has stated all social gatherings and venues with occupancy rates of 500 or more must be cancelled. In addition, venues with rates under 500, have been cut in half until further notice. Churches are cancelling services. Businesses are temporarily closing and before you know it, we won’t be allowed to go anywhere because nothing will be open or better yet, the police will be arresting people for violating the rules! Gosh, that is extreme, but it feels like we are trending that way!

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My Story

This is in no way an attempt to get anyone to feel sorry for me. Instead, I am telling you my story to give insight as to how this pandemic nightmare is affecting someone who has depression and anxiety. There are so many people with issues, and everyone has their own background story. I am going to tell you mine.

Working in human resources for over 16 years has afforded me lots of opportunities. When my job was eliminated in 2017, I started to focus on my well-being and how to enjoy working in HR again. In addition to landing a flexible role as a destination services consultant (this is where I was found for that role), I was also lucky to start working as an HR Consultant, what I affectionately call an HR Pro-to-go.

My Dream Role

My dream role working on various projects lasted for about 18 months-all with one company going through some major changes. I thought, “this is what I was born to do” and my part-time schedule together with my hourly rate was more than I had every made previously-a lot more. That ended 6/2019. Right after that, I decided it was time to work on this blog full-time with the goal of making it a source of income. After all, I started it in September of 2017 and casually created content when I started consulting.

I have been working on my blog and all of the social media frenzy involved with it every single day since then…258 days to be exact. Have I reaped the benefits? Sure, I have grown my social media follows (not as much as others but they trend upward every month), a few more subscribers, and have received some (very tiny) commissions. That is all? What am I doing wrong? I follow all the suggestions and spend so much time on it! My niche is different – very different. However, through all of this, I may have found a new direction, a supplement to my blog – podcast?

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Remaining Positive?

I try to remain positive, but it is so difficult and not reality. I am not sure our financial downward spiral can continue at this point in my life. You see, the first 2.5 months of 2020 have yielded me less than $500 if you will. My husband has a great job but to be honest, we really need 2 steady incomes to stop bleeding through savings. So, I have decided to refocus my energies on getting back into the corporate world in some capacity or at least I am trying to.

I have been looking for a new HR role since November and December 2019. Yes, I know, not the best time to start but that was ok. Tweaking resumes, looking at job postings and reading company reviews is important to me – culture! However, what I was not prepared for is the lack of response, emails, phone calls, etc. when applying to positions. I am not used to being ignored in the job applicant space. Appling to several positions and hearing nothing back even after your resume has been reviewed and tweaked by several experts has really put me in a fragile state. I work in the HR space, I know how to tailor my resume to the position, I have spent a lot of time recruiting, I’ve been through several applicant tracking system transitions…what is wrong with me?


I feel ghosted in every sense of the word because of the lack of response to various job applications. Outreaches to my fellow HR recruiters, professionals, and consultants haven’t yielded anything but great relationships so far. My site has not gained the popularity needed to be successful and to top it all off, I have major writers’ block. It has been difficult to come up with blog site content because my mind is swirling with everything going on today, Here are some additional things, that helps to keep me sane, but has helped make everything worse:

  • NHL hockey season postponed (I have season tickets and look forward to a night out often.)
  • Running vacations and races cancelled and/or postponed – That does not help stress relief! (Two race-related vacations scheduled – one cancelled so far.)
  • My beloved NKOTB Cruise – if you know me, you know that I have been on this cruise for 4 years. The next cruise is scheduled for the end of April – so far they are ‘monitoring the situation’. I am pretty sure this will be CANCELLED and not rescheduled. My heart breaks just thinking about it. Please reschedule, please!
  • Local races – they are being cancelled left and right!
  • Church – at a time when some people need it the most, also cancelled.


Everyone is going through this crisis, pandemic, downward spiral, chaos, emergency. It truly is upending life for everyone and regardless if this is what many are referring to as ‘steps necessary to stop the outbreak’ let’s be cognizant of those with mental health issues and how they will be affected during this time.

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Some people believe this crisis is being handled properly and they are just fine. For others, the anxiety and depression that is happening, as a result, can be unbearable. Some may be reacting in a way they don’t understand and perhaps they need help. With everything that is going on with it, everyone’s reaction is different. There have been suggestions made to read a book, listen to music, spend time with family. I don’t know about you but reading a book puts me to sleep! Music helps.

When all is said and done, I believe mental health issues will be on the rise. I am trying to be strong enough to get through this. However, I am worried about others. This suspension of life indefinitely will most likely create a mental health nightmare for those with issues and caregivers alike. I am worried.

To learn more about mental health during these trying times, please visit the following sites:  800-273-TALK (8255)

all the best *judean*

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  1. It’s such a tough time. Almost as if our mental health is going to be a primary focus because we have physically slowed down so much.

  2. These are for sure hard times it can be difficult being patient. Mainly because of the just not knowing what is going to happen. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I definitely think it is important to consider the effects on so many different types of people and be considerate of how it is affecting them. From small business owners, people in a service industry, high schoolers seniors, parents that work full time and people that struggle with anxiety or depression. I pray for compassion and understanding at such a delicate time.

  4. These times are incredibly stressful and difficult in so many ways. The mental health impact the world is going to see is surely going to be devastating! It is scary that things are slowly getting worse…with no end in sight. The best thing to do is face head-on with a plan for coping! <3

  5. It is such an unsettling time. I find removing myself (not just social distancing) but also removing the negativity of all the news coverage has helped. That and just learning to breathe…breathe deeply.

  6. I can certainly relate to much of this. So much frustration, fear, uncertainty, and disappointment. It wears on me. I nearly broke my alcohol free pledge last Friday night after having 3 really special events go down the proverbial drain with all of these cancellations. Thankfully the wine just didn’t smell good so I re-gained my wits and put it back.

    1. Kendra – so glad it smelled bad for you so you can keep on. I usually socially drink…so maybe a will lose weight since everything is closed! Trying to think of positives!

  7. We are all struggling to understand what is going on around us? It feels so strange and bizarre! It can’t really be happening…right? It is! I can feel my anxiety increase day by day… thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Thank you Heather – it seems that mental health is at the forefront of many things lately and I believe in the last several days, it has been talked about.

  8. Unfortunately, I think you are correct about the rise of MH issues. Along with that will be more DV & child abuse with the kids out of school. My hope is that people will take care of each other and remember that “This Too Shall Pass.”

  9. Hope you make it through ok! I am focusing on staying light about the subject, knowing that I have no power over it and all I can do is all I can do. Try to stay positive!

  10. Everyone is feeling the struggle in their own way, and sharing the stories make us more connected in a social distancing atmosphere. Thank you for putting this out there.

  11. I feel ya on the blogging! I have found it much more difficult than expected. You have made more than me.

    I am a teacher. I had a student ask me if I was worried about the stock market. In this time of unknown, I get people are worried. I have somehow created a mindset that everything will work out. You can’t stress over things you cannot change. I tell my two kids Akuna matata often and sing don’t worry, be happy often as well. My no worry attitude holds off stress although it can get me into trouble as well. Anyways good luck on your job search.

  12. I’m so sorry. I have been struggling on and off too. I am thankful for friends who have uplifted me when I have been down. It is the craziest thing I have ever lived through. Yes, first it was groups of 500, then, 50, now 10! I feel like things are changing so fast, and it’s hard to keep up and adjust mentally. Our church is small and was meeting, but now they are going to online church or FB Live. I’m so sorry. I understand some of what you are going through. We are here for you. Please reach out to us if you need to. It seems a lot of us have anxiety. I know it’s hard to get a blog going. I’m struggling with the same thing. My husband just had a project get canceled this morning, because of everything that’s been going on. Praying for you, and praying that we are all over this soon!

    1. Thank you Noelle. It is so surreal what is happening and while we should take this opportunity to perhaps get things done around the house or get back on track, all I feel like doing is sleeping! I guess we are all in this together.

  13. I totally am fearful of how the lockdown (which I’m expecting to come across the country within a matter of days) will affect everyone. Luckily we live in a time of Telehealth therapy services, so if you or someone you know is in need, reach out. I am getting credentialed with MDLive, so if you haven’t heard of them, they may be worth looking up. I recently wrote a post on the silver lining of quarantine, and I think it’s a necessity to work on our mindset and control the factors within our control in order to make it out the other side as unscathed as possible.

    1. Thank you Christina! I know this is temporary and we will all get through – will need to look into MDLive and also read your post. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Hoping we all make it through this together – it is a scary time but all we can do is lean on others for support.

  15. I am going through the same thing today. I just feel out of sorts. I thought this would be a time to get articles knocked out for a new site but nada. I am not anxious or depressed, just stuck.

  16. All you can do is take things one day at a time and accept that it is what it is. I don’t mean to sound uncaring, but being flexible helps. My family lived through the Joplin tornado and the weeks afterward. You just have to adjust to a new normal.

  17. I think your honesty and transparency will help many! I believe there are more of us than not, that put an insane amount of time into our work without always getting paid. I’m a travel blogger and a Realtor so I know this all too well. Keep your great sense of humor that we all enjoy and hang in there, knowing you are not alone!

    1. Thank you Debbie! We will all get through this together. Right now…the majority of people aren’t working so it will be interesting to see how this all filters out.

  18. In an effort to take care of my own mental health recently, I quit my job after being out sick for over a week because I wanted to take time to just be. Now that this is going on, I really feel like I dodged a bullet and saved my mental health because I worked in a call center for guided vacations! They’re some of the busiest people right now, which makes me appreciate this break so much more.

    1. Eva- I do believe everything happens for a reason. We all need time to just be. Right now almost everyone at once has this time. We shall see how this all pans out.

  19. I 100% agree that is is causing much more stress and hurt than what it probably should. I hope we all recover from all this soon. Stay strong!

  20. This is a hard time. I am double dosing on my positive thinking podcasts, mental health tools, lots and lots of prayer, and meditation. We will all get through this. I am trying to think about how this might be the change to bring our country back together…or what more I can do to be the change and offer as much comfort, compassion, calmness that I can. My heart aches for all those around me. Let’s not forget one another. Sending love and constant prayers out almost every minute now. 🙂 Keep smiling. This too will pass…let’s just pray for it to be faster. lol

  21. Personally, I think people need a little perspective on this. It is indeed a pandemic but it is not the Black Plague taking lives like in the Dark Ages. It has a 98% survival rate and we lose more people from the plain old flu every year. Our lives too have been upended but I think its a real opportunity to learn and pivot to what truly is important as well as a chance to look at where and how we get our news and how we choose to react. I agree with you that mental health issue are likely on the rise but my hope is people will take a deep breath and look at what is real and what is self (or media) created.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. However, with constant updates and press conferences, it is very difficult to ignore all of the stats as well as additional shutdowns, closures, etc. This is how and where individuals start feeling uncomfortable.

  22. I am so sorry you are struggling, or emotional well-being is so important! I’m keeping you in my positive thoughts and prayers and hope that you reach out for help if you need it!

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