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Sharing – Our mental health crashed in 2020. Recovery could take years

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The article below gets into a lot more of the details of how different groups have been affected in a variety of ways, but the thing that I found myself nodding along to was this idea. This is not going to go away this Summer. People you know who have struggled, and have anxiety about things opening back up again, or are dealing with grief and depression, or the aftermath of all of the trauma that we’ve borne witness to over the last couple of years, are not going to just be “back to normal” and ready to hit happy hour like nothing happened.

We’re not there. We’re not going to be there for awhile. Give those people, and yourself if that describes you, some grace and patience.

Most of all, don’t stigmatize anyone for not being OK for a bit. We’ve all been dealing with different levels of trauma and anxiety, and you likely don’t even know half of how much people around you have been dealing with.

So, just be kind, OK?… Read More

Sharing – Lean on Your Support System When You’re Anxious

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It’s grounding. It doesn’t solve the thing I’m anxious about, but it stops the cycling, and allows me to focus on the reality of the situation, which is usually not nearly as bad as I’ve made it out to be.

But, it also assumes that I have someone to talk to about it. This is really the challenge for far too many people, who don’t have anyone to talk to.

Can you be the person who just listens? I’m willing to bet someone in your life could really use that.… Read More

Sharing – Are you okay? The power of storytelling in mental health

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As I mentioned, in the workplace this is true. Very few people are going to feel safe talking about their own struggles if the leaders in the company never open up about their own at some level. But, it’s also true in our relationships as well.

How many of us wish the people in our lives, spouses, kids, siblings, friends and loved ones, would feel comfortable talking to us about their struggles, yet we never share our own? How would they know that you are a safe person to talk to if you appear to never have any struggles?

Let me give you a prime example from my own life. As many of you know, I worked from home before the pandemic started, and continued to do so all the way through 2020. It had very little impact beyond some lack of socializing, on my life, and so when I compared that to what many others were going through in 2020, I didn’t really want to complain about the things I was struggling with. Most people I did talk to, didn’t really talk about their own struggles either. Finally, however, when I wrote a post about not being OK right now, and shared it across my social media profiles, including LinkedIn, I got notes and messages from a ton of people, some who I haven’t even been in touch with in awhile, telling me about their struggles as well.

I attribute that to two things. One, I know a lot of amazing people who see someone struggling and immediately set out to make sure I knew I wasn’t alone, and two, by sharing my own difficulties, I also provided them a safe place to share their own struggles.

Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

So, what are you struggling with that you have been hiding? What good is hiding doing for you?… Read More

Sharing – Mental health advocacy doesn’t equal visibility for everyone

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Carter is writing about mental health in Canada, but I think this really applies everywhere. When we talk about Mental Health Awareness, there’s a lot of focus on people struggling with Anxiety and Depression to seek help, and let them know they aren’t alone. That’s important, but it’s just part of the story:… Read More

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