The COVID-19 pandemic has made navigating the many aspects of life difficult. Especially navigating one’s mental health. Paloma Santana-Viera was in the early stages of their mental health journey when the pandemic hit. Making it that much more difficult to manage their mental health.
Santana-Viera has only just recently taken their mental health seriously. For many years they were cruising through life not really understanding what it meant to be affected by trauma.
“I went through a bad time in high school but I never really knew I was going through a bad time. It was more like other people telling me I was going through a bad time and I was like what are you talking about I’m fine,” says Santana-Viera.
As they entered college they began to realize just how much they were effected by the certain traumas they had experienced. On top of the stress of school they had to balance coming to terms with this new part of their identity.
“I had responsibilities that couldn’t get done as I was trying to take care of myself,” says Santana-Viera.
As time went on the more Santana-Viera knew the amount of work they needed in order to feel better. Santana-Viera allowed themselves to be vulnerable around the people they felt most comfortable around.
“The first time I opened up to someone was when I told Heidi. Telling her felt so good. To get that validation was so nice” says Santana-Viera.
Although feel good about the changes they were making, the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on Santana-Viera’s progress. The pandemic heightened their stress and anxiety.
“That’s so frustrating. The world can’t get it together, so I can’t get it together,” says Santana-Viera.
Through the Pandemic however, Santana- Viera still pushes through. They do there best because like many people it is all they can do during these trying times.