I am sad to inform you that the planet is on fire and there’s a global pandemic that goes on and on and takes more and more from us. Haiti has been decimated once again and Afghanistan is looking doomed and last week some scientists said some pretty depressing stuff about our planet.”
~ Nadia Bolz-Weber, August, 2021
Friends, as I write I wonder how you are doing. Yes, you, the person reading this: how are you doing?
On days when I find myself most tired, it helps to put on my boots or snowshoes and meander through the pines, even for a few minutes. Connecting with nature is a well-being practice for me, so I am reminded how grateful I’d be if I went outside. At the same time another part of me tries hard to give me permission to relax and do nothing. Sometimes they get in a bit of an argument in my head.
We are responding to so much these days. As we enter year three of the pandemic the same questions flood our minds: Which mask to wear? Where are the surges? What are the hours at my favorite coffee shop that are always changing due to a lack of staffing? Should I book a flight to see my parents? Visit grandma in the nursing home? And the news…no wonder we are running on empty.
We are living in a time never before experienced by those of us alive on this planet. Anxiety is high, grief is even higher. We have only so much reserve: all of this impacts our mental health. There is reason it can feel as if we can no longer bare it.
If you find yourself grouchier than usual, lacking patience or focus… if you are eating more or eating less…being more talkative, or quiet…if you want to put your head under a blanket or find yourself deciding not to care about any of it…these sensations and many more can emerge from grief and loss.
It is ok to not be ok.
It is normal to have times when you don’t want to care about anything, but deeply care about everything. We are pulled and pushed in multiple directions and if honest, what we want is peace.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Pay attention to changes you notice in your life. Remember grief shows up in many forms. (See above)
- Grief and loss are part of life and are a normal human experience. Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Offer yourself generosity and compassion.
- Be honest with a loved one about how you are feeling. We live in a culture which reminds us (daily) to look good on the outside, even if we feel like a train wreck on the inside. As tempting as it may be, don’t buy into that mantra. Share what is going on inside you with someone you trust. We are ALL feeling these things.
- Don’t go it alone. Community comes in the form of friends, family (by birth or by choice), or one of the phone numbers below.
Most importantly: you are loved. You are enough. And if you forget, we are here to tell you again and again. Be kind to yourself and take care of each other.
Mental Health Phone numbers
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800 273-TALK (8255)
RAINN, Rape Assault Incest National Network 1-800- 656-4673
COPE (when experiencing a mental health crisis) 612-596-1223
Mental Health Connect 612-312-3377
Relate Counseling Center 952-932-7277
NAMI Minnesota 651-645-2948
Mental Health Crisis by Minnesota Metro County:
Hennepin – Adults 612-596-1223
Children – 612 348-2233
Wright – 1-800-635-8008