Navigating Unprecedented Times and Murky Waters:
We are living during unprecedented times as new scientific understandings about the novel coronavirus are being constantly pursued. No other time in recent history has there been such an accelerated rate of continuous studies to understand this new virus, to prevent this virus from overwhelming our medical systems and keep our societies functioning. In light of all these effects on our human society as a whole, no other time in recent history has there been such a widespread effect on not only the physical/medical effect of the virus but also the economic, social, and mental effects on humans as a whole, although perhaps these effects go hand in hand in supporting each other, mostly in profoundly negative ways. The increasing stresses of these systems that guide our everyday life have been challenged, magnified, and even questioned during this continuously evolving pandemic situation the world is facing. Some countries are weathering the pandemic storm while others are challenging the pandemic storm. Still, other countries are struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic storm and even still, other countries are continuing to face the pandemic storm every day. It is such a challenging time in human history that there is no wonder that humans are struggling with their mental health now more than ever!
I am one of many who find themselves struggling with their mental health due to the pandemic’s impacts. I guess I’m coining the term “enigma” to the pandemic because it is still a point of inquiry for us all as a human race. There are continuous understandings about the virus that are constantly evolving each day, week by week and even hour by hour. You can immerse yourself in seemingly endless modes of information about the virus and the pandemic. “Surfing” through this ocean of information can be a daunting and everchanging landscape of information, some true and others false, but as an average individual, how can you tell between fact or fiction? It is extremely difficult to navigate all these sources of information and at some point, it becomes nearly impossible because again, the understandings about this virus and the pandemic are continuously changing. Our governments and societal structures are constantly “pivoting” to adhere to new understandings about this novel coronavirus too. There have been periods of joy such as the news of vaccinations but there have also been many competing views about how to best manage the pandemic situation, both from a macroscopic and microscopic level. There are competing interests, opinions and views from everyone across the spectrum of understandings about the virus from scientific, political, religious, medical and so on. What an unprecedented time we are living in!
Three Suggestions For Mental Wellness During the Pandemic:
Despite the challenges of living during a pandemic, I have to remind myself that on an individual level, I have to find some solace and control during such a complex and perplexing period of time. This is where our mental health comes in because as an individual, we have little control over the macroscopic world engines that will continue to churn, although differently and at varying paces during this pandemic. Even so, I’d like to believe that on a microscopic/individual level, we do however have some control over how we can keep our focus and manage our mental health during these trying times.
1. Reaching out to your supports such as family, friends and co-workers can help us “weather the pandemic storm,” as we can feel that at least “we are all in the same boat,” excuse the pun, although I believe it may be highly relevant in this circumstance.
2. Reaching out to professionals such as support groups led by psychologists and counsellors and if available to you, a psychiatrist to help you “weather the pandemic storm” on an even more individualized level. Check with your employer or government agencies for support to see a professional. These supports are becoming more available and important as the pandemic has proven the importance of mental health supports.
3. A third, highly personal but yet very effective way of weathering the pandemic storm would be practicing mindfulness and meditation. These are ways we can keep our mind calm, despite the “pandemic storm” that is brewing all around us. Perhaps with these tools, we can “weather the storm” and look forward to “sunnier skies ahead.” Here are some free resources to help you on your meditation and mindfulness journey!
Feel free to comment below and get this important conversation going.
Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only. This information is not advice and should not be treated as professional advice. You must not rely on the information in this blog as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider.
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Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only.