How many of you come through for everybody else except yourself? You might come through for your kids and significant others, or you may come through for people you work with, or your friends, family, or anybody you associate with that might need your help. It’s easy to do and hard to break. Sometimes we all need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of everybody else. Mental health has become such a hot topic because we’re all finding that we deal more with our mental health than ever before. I think we’ve all endured more in the last couple of years than most people realize because we’ve all been shut-in for an extended period. We’ve had loved ones die or gotten sick, or perhaps even been faced with it ourselves, and we’ve had a ton of emotions that have flowed thru it like a lousy drink that never ends.
I know my job has pushed me to the limit because we worked at least in my career we worked through the pandemic. We didn’t acquire additional money or resources, and people expected us to come through for everyone except ourselves. And then the company decided to raise prices, and we had to deal with all those people who were feeling the pinch, and it was tough. People used us as a verbal punching bag, and we had to deal with our expenses getting bigger and bigger and bigger with less income to go around. There was the prospect of so many people losing their homes and having to downsize. Landlords had to evict them due to loss of jobs and income. After a while, all of those issues began to take a toll.
The churches I work with and attend struggle because so many people were left sitting at home. . People found themselves forced to quarantine and had no way to have a social life. Video streaming had to occur in aspects not previously done for some of those churches. Everybody has had to re-adjust and rebrand themselves based on what the world has morphed into over the last couple of years. Sometimes that takes a psychological toll because living with close people for long periods can strain any relationship. After a very tough year and a half, I saw people I knew divorcing because quarantines made them too uncomfortable and brought out issues they never dealt with in their relationship.
I’ve watched families, and friends divide themselves over the vaccine mandates. I watched pastors belittle others for not getting the vaccines and calling others selfish when in reality, many of those people had valid concerns and reasons for not getting those vaccines. I’ve also watched as people I never thought would be judgmental and prejudicial turn on each other and accuse others because they supported candidates they don’t like. I’ve even witnessed friendships imploding because of religious reasons. Some of the same people criticizing what others do are the ones who are just as guilty of it, if not more so. I don’t overly care, except these are people in professional roles that are supposed to have enough credentials within counseling, and yet they are the same ones bullying the people who are struggling. Go figure.
I have friends that have lost children, and their lives have changed. One minute you watch your child grow up, and the next minute life takes them from you – no explanation, no warning, no anything. One of my closest friends lost her mom, and her son was sent away to serve a prison sentence for several years. The prison will do one of two things: it will either make him better or become angrier and a better criminal than when he went in the first place.
The bottom line is is that we’ve all experienced things that would be enough to tax our mentality. We’re all pushing on levels that people don’t understand. If you’re one of the executives, you’re trying so hard to deal with people’s jobs; money, lives, power, prestige, and responsibilities. The average Joe Schmo may not understand all the sacrifices you have to make. And suppose you’re on the bottom trying to get up the corporate ladder or even higher than where you currently are in life. In that case, you may be worried about money or about other relationships or something else that may be plaguing you, and not know how to address the situation at hand
I know that taking care of my health became a priority after I kept gasping for air in the middle of the night. Now that I’ve had the surgery to lose the weight, I’m getting my life back, but that also means I’m focusing more on my mental health to stay healthy. I don’t want to fall into a pattern of letting the depression take over my life again. I’ve gotten my confidence level back up to the point where I can see who I am and what I’m worth. But I’m not necessarily talking in dollars and cents because life isn’t all about money. It’s about balance. If we can’t find a way to balance our lives and live a full, happy, healthy, and productive life, we will forever be looking for ways to get better.
I know my diet has dramatically improved, and my sleep regiment has improved. I’m walking a lot, but I haven’t received the green light yet to do a lot of exercising because they’re still afraid the stitches will come out. But one of the things that the doctor did say is to make sure I eat well, exercise, and get good sleep. Also, I have to watch the alcohol that I drink. I usually only have a glass or two a week. I rarely drink alcohol a lot.
We have to practice good hygiene more than ever in today’s world because of covid. We must keep our hands washed and stay clean because there are so many variants and strains out there to deal with that covid’s not going away.
If you can meet with your friends, try to get together with them fairly regularly. If that means once a week, then make it once a week. If that’s once a month, try to make it once a month, but whatever you do have time for you and your friends. And if you’ve alienated your friends, you can do 1 of 2 things: either try to mend the bridges or create new friendships with people you usually would not have spoken to for different reasons. Either way, be OK with yourself enough to say I’m taking care of myself for a change.
And then the next tip that I have would be this do something that you enjoy every day. In my case, I enjoy talking to my friends, reading, and writing. It’s cathartic, and it helps me focus. My biggest hurdle with all of this is finding the time to do what I love to do. But I’m still taking the time to do them. I haven’t mentioned school lately because, quite honestly, I’ve been taking care of some other things before I go back to the books. But I’m not finished with the classes. My goal is on February 1st to take up where I left off and finish.
Finally, make time to relax. When your kids hang onto every moment you have, and your significant others are doing the same, sometimes it’s hard to make that time for you. The bottom line is that you have to have some time to relax.
It’s Hump Day so let’s all try to find ways to get through the rest of the week and enjoy this time. Every day is starting to feel like it’s a challenge. But it’s one that we can all rise to because we are acutely aware of the things that we face. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Many people are facing the same battles that you are. They may not have the same names, but the scenarios are similar. Take time for yourself to take care of yourself. Once you do that, taking care of everything else gets a lot easier. Have a great day, everyone.