We are beyond year #2 in this thing. This COVID-19 Pandemic where we had to put on masks everywhere we went to stay safe, miss funerals we never imagined we'd miss, plan funerals we never thought we would have to plan so soon, postpone or social distance major life events like weddings, baby showers, graduations & so much more.
We thought we wanted to work from home, until the social isolation, and higher expectations creeped in...until home and work weren't separate places anymore.
I'm aware as anyone that working from home has it's perks, however...
I feel for those parents with the children at home, doing virtual classes! The chores staring you in the face.
And as a new mom who did postpartum in this thing! How scary was it with the hospital, looking like the walking dead!? I can't even begin to tell you.
Then us parents working from home with adventurous toddlers, or other caregivers responsible for elder parents or special needs loved ones.
And I think we will all collectively be done with ZOOM MEETINGS as soon as we can.
The loneliness and isolation of doing major holidays differently, traveling cautiously (or not at all), to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, all has our heads spinning.
The GREAT loss we all experienced collectively was a normal 2020, and parts of 2021 so far.
Not to mention the backdrop to our lovely 20-21, the election, the racism, the revolution, the loss of some greats in Pop Culture, on top of whatever you had going on personally.
I make light of it all with these memes and GIFS...but this was actually a dark time period, that will go down in history.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is coined "The Great Depression II"
Speaking of which, Anxiety and depression rates are up across the nation. The job loss, the detriment, the displacement. The desPAIR.
People are lonelier than ever, learning things about their friendships that they never knew, spending way too much time with their partners, and some are becoming agoraphobic, too petrified to leave their homes. Many are struggling financially also. Some are struggling physically to regain their health after contracting Covid-19.
Not only have we (are we), surviving the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, we are surviving the mental health toll that it has taken on so many.
Even if some of the things I mentioned don't affect you personally, as a mental health professional and humanitarian at heart, I know, that if it affects one of us, it affects us all as a collective.
Whether we like it or not, this is OUR shared reality.
I do think that collectively, we can heal over time. We can make mental health care more accessible, less stigmatized, and provide more education on the ways that it can help support you through dark times such as these.
People have been scared for their lives and/or the lives of their loved ones during this time. Essential workers, elderly, people with pre-existing conditions.
Others have been fighting for their sanity, going to the store anxiously, trying to avoid imbecilic comments about how this thing isn't real, when they knew others fighting for their lives, or knew people who lost battles with COVID, and/or struggled with it themselves.
Having seen it up close, I know that it is very real, and nothing to play with.
I also know that our mental health is very real and nothing to play with.
Now is not the time to tough it out, ONLY pray about it, ONLY charge your crystals & burn your sage. Even your ancestors, or whomever you pray to, will likely tell you to get some extra support during these times. This is not normal and you've never had to deal with anything like this.
I do think that we can take from this that the world will never be the same, and neither should we.
We should be a lot more grateful, more often.
More intentional about our happiness, and letting others know how we truly feel about them.
More present and less in our electronics.
More loving, but also less tolerant of things that dishonor us.
Take that trip. Call OFF.
Set those Boundaries.
& For the love of God, Book that therapy session.
You can do hard things. & If you are reading this, you've survived your worst days already.
Share with us how the pandemic affected you in the comments. Allow us to wrap our arms around you, virtually of course.