Though we celebrate Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Mental Health Awareness Month during the month of May, many of us miss our loved ones who have transitioned. Losses and other hardships cause us to struggle to cope with stress and other mental health challenges throughout the year. Additionally, we are living in a very triggering environment. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, reported more than 3.5 million deaths as of May 2021 due to the health pandemic, the Coronavirus. We understand what it is like to be stressed, depressed and to grieve while feeling that you are all alone and that you have to do everything on your own. We want you to know that #YouAreNotAlone.
Our team here at Affinity Health Affairs wants to give you three ways to cope with stress and other mental health challenges in a healthy way during these challenging times within such a triggering environmental.
Here are 3 Cool Ways to Cope with Stress and Other Mental Health Challenges
This means embrace your feelings and emotions. Oftentimes, people are so busy trying to avoid the pain of bereavement. While it may seem counterintuitive, avoidance only delays the acceptance of the loss or losses you are experiencing. It is when we grow into embracing our current emotional state of affairs, such as sadness, anger, confusion, and frustration, that we can really start our healing journey.
Grant yourself a ‘get out of jail free’ pass
This gives yourself permission to do something that you love. This may be for 30 minutes, an hour, or a day. Overburdened with guilt, we start to deny ourselves the pleasures of life. This can be as small as taking a walk and breathing in fresh air or as big as a vacation out of the country or anything in the middle of these. Know that you do have the right to some lightness and laughter. Do what makes you smile, even if for just a little while.
Reach out for professional help
There are a lot of myths about the costs of seeking professional help. Many of us believe that it is “too expensive.” Some of us think it is too expensive financially, when in fact, there are some free options available such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in most corporations. With EAP, you and those in your household are entitled to usually between two and eight confidential sessions with a licensed therapist at no charge to you. Others of us anticipate the worst case scenarios of the emotional costs of seeking help. We think to ourselves, “It will be more painful to admit to someone else those experiences that left us traumatized or hurt.” In the words of one of our clients:
I wish I would have come to therapy a long time ago. I feel so much better.Deobrah S. from Washington, DC
We encourage you to write out a list of pros and cons to seeking professional and objective help. We know that the payoff of emotional rescue is priceless. Find out for yourself.
Stop Suffering in Silence
In closing, please stop suffering in silence and use at least one of these 3 ways to cope with stress in such heated times. Too often people are ashamed of how they feel. Some of us even have family and friends who try to deny us our rights to not be okay. Instead, they tell us to be grateful for what we have. Such comments can be internalized as insensitive, condescending, and invalidating. In fact, they can do more damage than good in many cases, especially for those with suicidal ideology. Why? Because this reinforces the myth that no one understands what we are going through.
We are here to let you know that is simply not true. You are not alone and there are people who are and have experienced similar things as you. We all cope in different ways, sometimes in unhealthy ways. Rather than covering it up with alcohol or drugs, let’s decide to do somethings that will not further drive us into a crisis situation. Contact us for help today at Montrella@Affinity411.com.