Nina Roehl: Mental Health

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It’s New Year's Eve and 2020 is finally coming to an end. For YR Media’s Nina Roehl this challenging year has helped her learn more about her mental health and find ways to cope.

This year has been nothing less than stressful. Before COVID-19, I was enjoying being a college student. I was living on-campus with my friends and having fun. Now, I’m back at my childhood home and adjusting has been difficult.

At first, living with my parents felt like a setback. Ending my life at school unexpectedly, took a toll on me. I went through restless nights. I felt unmotivated, lonely and bored. I was irritable, anxious and my self-esteem plummeted. It was a dark time.

My boyfriend asked me multiple times how he could help. While I really appreciated his concern for me, I didn’t have an answer for him. I didn’t know how to put what I was feeling into words.

I knew things had to change, so I turned to self-care. First, I cut back on social media. I turned off all notifications from Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and I moved all those apps to the last page of my phone. I would also put my phone on “do not disturb” for a couple of hours to disconnect.


I started reading again for enjoyment. It feels good to peel your eyes away from a screen and feel the real pages of a book in your hands. I also began to meditate daily. I plug my earphones in, choose a guided meditation, lay down and close my eyes. For those 10-20 minutes, everything disappears. This is my alone time for nothing but myself.

While this healing process has been slow, I have more good days than bad.

As 2020 comes to an end, I’m trying to stay optimistic about the new year. Many people, myself included, tend to set high and sometimes unrealistic expectations and resolutions this time of year. But let’s face it, that just causes unnecessary pressure and stress. Even the resolutions I made at the beginning of COVID and lockdown quickly crumbled despite my aspirations to do things like exercise more.

For this new year, I’m going to prioritize my mental health and continue practicing self-care. The start of a new year is still a great way to reset and reflect without being overly ambitious.

With a Perspective, I’m Nina Roehl

Nina Roehl is 20 years old and lives in Oakland. Her Perspective comes to us from YR Media.