It’s National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Here are Three Ways You Can Make an Impact
It’s National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Here are Three Ways You Can Make an Impact.
By James E. “Jed” Foster, Jr., MA, LMFT
Coronavirus Anxiety. COVID Phobia. Pandemic Pandemonium. Everyone is feeling it. The heaviness. The loneliness. The fear. For many, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may be a new experience brought on by the pandemic; but for millions of others, struggling with the effects of mental illness has been a daily part of life for years…and this crisis has made things worse. Here are three ways that you can make things a little bit better:
1.) Reach out:
You’ve got friends and family that are struggling with depression, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and more. Let them know you’re there. Send a text or an email, a funny meme, or give them a call just to say hello. Open the door to communication and see where it leads. The simple act of checking in on someone lets them know you care and that you’re thinking about them.
2.) Talk about it:
While the stigma around mental illness is getting better, there is still a long way to go. If you’ve found ways to manage your own mental illness, share! It has been incredibly inspiring to see celebrations of sobriety all over Facebook and Instagram in the last few days. The comments and discussions going on in people’s feeds shows an ever-growing community of love and support that is more and more accessible to all.
3.) Give Yourself Permission to be Human:
The extent of the changes we’re all dealing with in our lives due to the pandemic is extraordinary. As a result, the level of dysfunction and discomfort can be seen all around us, coming out sideways as irritability, increased substance use, stress, illness, anxiety, depression, fear, and more. You are likely experiencing at least one of the things on this list yourself, and you know what? That’s perfectly normal. It’s to be expected. 2020 has been a stiff right to the jaw for a great many of us, right? It stands to reason that we may be a little wobbly. Give yourself a break. You’re human. If you need to hit the pause button to check in on your own mental health, then do so. Find someone to talk to. Chances are anyone you choose may be struggling with some of the very things that have you feeling less and less like yourself. Sometimes simply opening up to another human being can start the healing process.
Jed is a licensed psychotherapist that continues to be both amazed by and drawn to the mind-body connection. Check in on his blogs and video logs for news, information, tips, and commentary on topics related to – but not limited to – the mind-gut connection, behavioral therapy, gut-directed hypnotherapy, weight management, positive psychology, stress reduction, anxiety, depression, overall well-being, and anything else he feels patients will benefit from learning. Jed is actively accepting new patients. Call 224.407.4400 today and begin your journey to better health and enhanced overall well-being.
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