To the chagrin of some, for the last month I've been focusing on mental health and depression and loss and suicide. I totally get that these are not sexy topics. I get that these are not comfortable topics. I get that we are already shouldering a lot with respect to the weightiness of Coronavirus and the multiplicity of ways it is impacting us. It is a lot . . . to say the least. We want it all to go away . . . right now. We're tired of hearing about it. We're tired of watching the daily death toll rise. We're over being away from the people we love and are used to seeing on a regular basis. I get it. My sons (who are my best friends in the whole world) are in Maryland. We are 2,800 miles apart. It is kicking my butt to be away from them. We talk or FaceTime every day, but it still doesn't seem to be enough. Life is different for me. Life is different for you. The ground beneath our feet has shifted.
As a result of the shifting, some of us are doing pretty good. Some of us are just okay. And then there all those who aren't doing well at all. The tools needed to make it through this pandemic are either rusty or non-existent, which means people cannot use tools they do not have. Another probability is the tools people may have been previously using are not adequate for the magnitude of the heavy lift this is COVID-19 with all of its complexities. Whatever the case may be, it saddens me that to get from under the pain or to clear the burden away, people are choosing to end their lives.
There are so many other options to dealing with pain than suicide. There are so many other ways to manage stress than suicide. There are resources. There is help. I am committed to reminding people about the help that's available. I am committed to being a voice of hope for as long as I have breath in my body.
Speaking of help, here are three things (there are many more) we can all do right now to manage our mental health.
1. Do a family check-in. It doesn't have to be anything formal. Simply come together as a family and take everyone's emotional temperature. Be empathetic. Don't judge. Listen. Affirm.
2. Do a self check-in. Get honest about how you're feeling and what you need. Stop trying to be strong for everyone else at the expense of your own well being. Your feelings matter, too.
3. Commit to a Daily Practice of Self Care. This cannot be optional or negotiable. You need to have at three things in your self preservation arsenal that you do every single day (religiously, if you will) to help keep your psyche in tact.
10 Self Actualization Tips:
1. Secrets change us.
2. Isolation is a death trap.
3. There is always someone who will listen.
4. Replaying the negativity loop of how bad it is only make things worse.
5. Every challenge passes.
6. We only heal when we commit to the healing work.
7. No one is in a position to judge you about anything.
8. What you have left after loss is always, always enough to start over.
9. Being loved right is way better than just being loved.
10. Sometimes what we think we need is very different than what we actually need.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
With Overflowing Gratitude,