Updated: May 30
Before May comes to a close, let’s not exit Mental Health Awareness Month without a mental health check-in, as all of our lives are markedly impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has drastically shaken our entire existence, changing how we operate in our day-to-day lives when shopping, dining, exercising, and socializing. Jobs have been affected; several have been lost, and many are struggling to hang on. Healthcare is impacted; many have fallen ill, and a significant number of people have lost their lives. Many young people have missed out on momentous events, such as walking the stage at graduation, attending prom, participating in school sporting events, and completing the academic year with their friends.
Naturally, there is a heavy focus on protecting and maintaining good physical health while combating this highly transmittable virus, but it is equally as crucial to take care of your mental health as well. Affects of the pandemic have resulted in spikes in depression, anxiety, and suicide; people battling addictions can’t attend support groups, and stay-at-home orders are forcing many significant others and children to remain in close quarters with their abusers.
As each of us are affected in different ways, there isn’t one solution to apply to everyone’s specific experience or situation. The best suggestion that comes to mind that can be widely applied in caring for your mental, is to refrain from comparing yourself or situation to anyone else’s. To make it through this, it’s important to acknowledge your individual struggles during this time, focusing on what you can do for you, in the best way that you can do it.
We are in a time of high uncertainty, which understandably produces high anxiety. As someone who’s had battles with depression and anxiety, I understand that treating it isn’t as simple as finding a hobby or a project. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to, to give you a fresh perspective, or provide you with the proper tools to get you started on the path to emotional healing and wellness. During this time, while we are practicing social distancing, there are numerous resources available for virtual counseling, including here at Pretty 2 Me, with founder Keyonna Monroe (for more info, please visit www.Pretty2Me.org/book-online).
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, etc., have online meetings available for members, and information can be found on the organizations’ websites. People want to help others. Reach out. Resources are available; seek them out, utilize them. There are also meditation resources available through apps such as Calm and Headspace, and you can locate free guided meditations on platforms such as YouTube and Audible.
In these times, remember that we are in this together. We will get through this.