June is a month filled with sunshine and joy for many of us. The days are longer and the weather is better. Students, parents and teachers excitedly start the countdown to summer vacation. At the same time, the corporate culture at offices around the country shift into a slightly more relaxed mode with stuffy board room meetings exchanged for company gatherings at outdoor cafes.
As we try to wrap our minds around “outside being open”, we’re still trying to reconcile what coming out of quarantine will look like for each of us. Will we be wearing masks in the dead of summer? Gloves at the beach? Is it safe? Should I allow my kids to play with friends? What if “it” comes back again?
These are all very valid concerns. Many of us are experiencing the same angst. To be completely honest, no one can offer definitive answers at this time. That, in itself, is scary. When things feel as if they are getting out of control, it’s important to try to remain grounded; which is easier said than done.
Do you need to seek immediate mental health care? If so, the following may be helpful:
- If you believe you are having a mental emergency, call 9-1-1;
- If you’re not having an emergency and you have a mental health provider, please contact him/her to schedule a teletherapy session;
- If you don’t have a mental health provider, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
If you believe that you don’t need the assistance of a mental health provider, practicing self-care can provide prospective and relief.
- Step away from the situation temporarily, if you can. Change the routine so that you can come back and reassess the situation through a different lens. Watch a favorite movie, take a long drive or a soothing bath.
- Do something physical. Take a walk or run to clear your mind. Download a workout app such as the Nike Training Club on iOS or on Android.
- Come to terms with the reality of the situation. Control what you can. Ask yourself questions. Can I realistically control my situation? If not, what can I control. How do I break this into smaller pieces so that I can handle things piece-by-piece?
According to NAMI:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
These statistics have undoubtedly increased by the current pandemic.
As human beings, we find comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Reach out. Call a trusted friend. Oftentimes, sharing personal thoughts and feelings aloud allows one to hear things differently. Carrying the burden alone is tiresome and unhealthy. Share it with someone you trust.
Although the summer months are upon us, some of our family, friends, co-workers or neighbors are feeling dark and gloomy. Check in with your loved ones and be open to reaching out if you find that you are not okay.