You can't type coronavirus into Google without getting an up-to-the-minute casualty count in Google. The statistics are right there in black and white, daunting us and stressing us out. As a result, many of us are struggling with anxiety. A mental health check-in during this global pandemic is imperative as we're all dealing with things we've never had to deal with before. We're all trying to navigate a new normal in our lives.
Recently on Tea Talk Thursday I sat down with counselor Tarinna Olley for a mental health check-in. During our talk, we discussed ways to better attend to our mental health and that of our family members. We chatted about how to cope and ways to work through our feelings during this difficult time. Tarinna shared her expert insight to help us through this challenging period of our lives.
We're All in This Together
Regardless of how friends or family are presenting their lives on social media, we're all struggling in some way right now. Some people are just better at shielding it from public view than others. Despite where we come from, our life circumstances or our background, we're all dealing with something during this global pandemic that is scary, new or unknown.
It's important to remember that when interacting online the everyone comes to everything from their own unique perspective. If an argument or disagreement occurs on social media, it's helpful to remember that often people are speaking from a place of fear or uncertainty. They can't know your lifestyle and background and similarly, you don't know theirs. All we can do during this difficult time is to extend grace and give people the benefit of the doubt.
Take a Step Back to Preserve Your Mental Health
Tarinna also reminds us to take a step back; she asks the important question, “How much are you consuming?” to those who may be struggling right now. With daily press conferences coming in from the White House and New York, it's important to know when to walk away. That's not to say that we want to stay uninformed, but for the sake of our mental health, check-in with yourself and your feelings to ensure you're not getting overwhelmed. She reminds us that the information is still going to be there, so it's ok to walk away for a while to ‘allow your body and mind to decompress.”
Reach Out and Initiate Real Conversations
Many of us grew up not talking about our feelings or emotions. As a result, we tend to have difficulty healing. This, for some, has carried over to the current coronavirus pandemic traces. Because we haven't healed from past trauma, we're carrying that pain over into dealing with the challenges of current events and it's bringing up a lot of emotion and turbulence.
In a time when we're meant to practice social distancing, let's try to encourage and promote connecting emotionally right now. Reach out to parents, elders and other family members to try to heal so that we can move forward after this pandemic is over without the burden of having fresh wounds that need to be nurtured.
Tarinna reminds us that, “Once you take that stigma away and realize we're all more alike than different, the shame and guilt falls away.” This is where true healing can begin.
The biggest takeaway when working through mental-health is that we need to be there for one another. Check-in on your friends and let them know that you're there. Whether they're ready to talk or not, just knowing that someone is looking out for them is one of the best things you can do to ensure we all get through this global pandemic as well as can be expected. Tarinna shared some practical things you can do right now to keep your mental health in check, and recognize your triggers, check out the Tea Talk Thursday episode to hear her ideas.