294 Days of Lockdown in South Africa and I Have Realised That It's Okay Not To Be Okay
Photo Cred: Mental Health and Wellness

It’s been almost 300 days of the lockdown in South Africa, and one of my biggest realisations is that it’s okay not to be okay.


Johannesburg, South Africa (14 January 2021) – Not going to lie, I’ve been in a really bad space the last two days. I woke up on the 10th anniversary of my Dad’s tragic death after contracting Malaria, thinking I was okay, and then as the day progressed the weight of the world felt so heavy in my arms. I spiralled into a really dark place.

Good grief, what we are going through is absolutely tragic. This thing can feel so overwhelming and incredibly traumatic. The last 294 days have been filled with so much grief. We have lost loved ones, businesses, incomes, health, faith in our leaders and every ounce of what we used to call normal.

There is so much going on all the time… and somehow we just keep going. There is this constant fear of the unknown, this relentless impending illness we might get with no real understanding of what it might do to our own bodies, and then there is the fact that there is no actual end date. We’re all dealing with something so unprecedented and incredibly complex, all while trying to keep ourselves and each other healthy and our businesses healthy too.

It’s like we are in a race we never agreed to be part of, and we’re always ten steps behind. It can feel like its all too much.

So I took a couple of days off… spent some time on my mental wellness! I stayed in bed just a little longer than usual. I didn’t log onto the news or social media. And I didn’t check the Coronavirus “worldometer” numbers. I played PlayStation, listened to music that made me feel the good vibes, had lots of puppy cuddles, I ate all (LIKE ALL) the comfort food, and just hung out with my guy.

I filled up my own cup, and today I woke up so incredibly grateful to be here, ready to take on whatever the world throws at me… knowing that today is going to be a flipping good day.

I was not okay, but today I am. My cup is spilling over.

Remember that it is okay not to be okay and sometimes you need to take a time out, or reach out, or do whatever you need to protect yourself. Mental health and wellness is so important, especially right now during this global pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Keep checking in with yourself. Look after you.

Hang in there. Or reach out if you need too.

And please remember to be kinder than necessary, purposefully with yourself.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

If you need to reach out, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) on the details below:

  • For a suicidal Emergency contact us on 0800 567 567
  • 24hr Helpline 0800 456 789
  • For counselling queries e-mail: zane@sadag.org
  • To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday,
    Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182

Sources: Brent Lindeque | It’s okay not to be okay.
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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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