How Covid-19 impacted my mental health

OCTOBER has been declared mental health awareness month to educate the public about mental health. Let's meet Rorisang Mathe an IIE RC alumni as she shares her journey on how covid-19 impacted her mental health, also get some tips on how to deal with depression in this pandemic.

"When President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will be on lockdown for 21 days in 2020, I thought finally I had the opportunity to work from home and not wake up every morning at 4 am to go to work, little did I know that the pandemic was going to affect my livelihood."

I was thriving in my career, working for a leading luxury car brand, and making enough money to (not just survive but to) live and enjoy - what we youngsters would call - "ubusha bami" (my youth). 21 days turned into 2 more months, which led our company to cut down and lay off staff.

Unfortunately, I was one of the people to get retrenched from the company. I had just moved out of home and debt lined up (thankfully it wasn't that high) but I later suffered the implications of missing out on debit order dates.

Let's be honest, surviving depression and anxiety during a pandemic can be impossible. One, you can't even go out to interact with the people you love, you are confined to a small space with limited movements – you are isolated. I lived far away from home and couldn't even travel to see my family. Two, you're not the only one going through the most – almost everyone is - so it will be hard for you to cheer each other up.

I gathered the last pieces of my dignity and tried looking for a new job. Whatever job there was I was going to take it. With companies downsizing you can't get what you want or had on your vision board. You'd have to settle for what was given to you – I parked my ambition, know that COVID 19 was going to be part of our lives for a long time. I had lost so much, at some point was even homeless, and had a mental breakdown while I was trying to pick myself up. I battled a lot with my thought.

Call me back