The Riverdale actress spoke with Flaunt magazine on Monday, Jan. 25, about one of the most challenging years of her life and her own personal journey since the partners split after three years together.
"My mental health was at an all time low," Petsch said. "Every day was definitely a challenge and therapy was absolutely key for me to keep sane."
In addition to therapy, the 26 year old turned to friends, reading and other creative outlets for emotional support.
"My best friend moved in with me and that was a huge game changer for my mental health," Petsch continued. "I found ways to be creative while staying positive and reading books. I read this book called Vibrate Higher Daily, and it's basically about how to radiate positivity. And I found more books to help me navigate."
The star, best known for portraying the fierce Cheryl Blossom, explained that it took her about five months into the pandemic before she got "back to an okay mental state."
She added, "I had a lot of anxiety over quarantine, and I felt like without my job and without Riverdale, I didn't know what my identity was. I'm saying this because I don't want anyone to feel like they're alone. I'm in the same boat and I feel it, and I'm right there with them."
As time went on, she found solace in phone calls with mom, along with meditation and writing in her Five Minute Journal. "Even though there are days where I was really struggling, just to remember three things that I was grateful for—whether that be the roof over my head, or the food in my mouth—to start and end the day with really changed my mindset," Petsch said.
Before the breakup, she was candid about wanting to keep her relationship with the musician private, noting, "I realize that it's so much more special and safe if I don't share a lot of it."
Actress Lili Reinhart expressed her resistance to starting up again in the midst of the pandemic, telling Nylon, "I genuinely feel like a prisoner, going back to work, because I cannot leave Canada... No one can come visit you unless they quarantine for two weeks. It just feels f--ked."
Cami and KJ Apa later took fans behind the scenes to show what the "new normal" of filming during the coronavirus pandemic is really like, as they revealed their step-by-step process of gargling with mouth wash before an on-screen kiss.
Despite the difficulties of the past year, Petsch has made it known that her co-stars support each other in trying times. As she told Nylon in 2019, "Mental health is incredibly important to me, and I'm so happy that I'm part of a group of women with the [Riverdale] cast that all speak so vocally about it."