Sunday, October 10th is WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
From the World Health Organization:
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted. Yet there is cause for optimism. During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. And some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations.
Watch The COVID-19 Pandemic and Mental Health from the WHO to learn how people around the world are coping. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2021#
What do you personally do to take care of your mental health? How have you been coping with the continued pandemic? I find the current situation with the pandemic to be more difficult. In 2020, we were told to social distance, isolate physically from others., businesses went online, restaurants offered only curbside. Now with vaccines, it is not so cut and dried. So many are still not vaccinated. Younger children cannot get vaccinated, and older adults are still at risk. Masks are not mandated in most places, and it is business as usual for many. Plus, we are getting to the time period of 6 to 8 months where the benefits of the vaccine may start to “wear off”. If we are not older or at high risk, we cannot get the booster.
I am still not comfortable going into large group settings. I wear a mask in the grocery store. I still order online and do pickup from some stores. Not so much due to the virus, but because it saves time. Just this week, I found out four people that I know, all vaccinated, have COVID. It worries me. Some days I feel like a bit of a hermit, but I’m also ok with that. However, I still struggle with seeing others getting “back to normal” while I am still cautious. It does wear on my mental health some days. I know there are so many who are at high risk, even with the vaccine. Many are my Parkinson’s and Senior clients with chronic conditions. Some days, it seems like no one cares about others, only themselves. This affects me emotionally. I cannot make someone care about others. I’m learning in this process to control what I can control and let go of what I cannot. Honestly, that is not easy for me. As someone who has always been independent, a business owner, and very organized, I like control. I have realized that trying to control things that are out of my control, like how others handle safety in the pandemic, the misinformation on social media, or partisan politicians who want to drive a wedge between friends, families, and neighbors, is not mentally or emotionally healthy. If it isn’t mentally or emotionally healthy, it will affect me physically. As difficult as it is, I have to let go. This is one of the reasons I have left Facebook and Instagram.
Let’s make taking care of our mental health a priority. Identify what you can control and what you cannot control. Let go of what is out of your hands. Work on what you can. You may not be able to change the way a politician acts or the division they are sowing. However, you might be able to make a donation to their opponent if they are up for re-election. You can write a letter or email to let them know how you feel. It may not change them, but it is therapeutic for you to voice your opinion. You cannot force others to wear a mask in the grocery store, but you can do your part to be safe and keep your family safe by wearing a mask, washing your hands, getting the COVID vaccine if you haven’t, and getting a flu shot. Take care of YOU and make a difference.
As John F. Kennedy said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”