Have you checked in with yourself lately?
We have all been encouraged and reminded lately to check in with each other—neighbors, family, friends, coworkers, others in our communities—to be sure those we hold dear are coping with the changes that we are all facing. Quarantine, physical distancing, sudden unemployment, working in a newly classified front-line or essential worker job, distance schooling, telecommuting, and unrest are all are taking a toll on our well-being and levels of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Checking in with others is important. Sometimes we are the one connection, the one lifeline for another person needing a listening ear, a kind heart, a supportive statement, or a referral to a helpful resource. Be that positive interaction in someone’s life.
While you are checking on others, please be sure you are checking on yourself. If you find you need conversation, are unsure of how you feel, or concerned with what you are thinking, reach out. Reach out to a friend, to a loved one, to your doctor. Talk about what is on your mind and in your heart.
Consider taking part in an activity—take a walk, work a puzzle, watch a funny movie, listen to music, write/journal, volunteer. And know it is okay to reach out to mental health and well-being resources. After all, that is why they exist.
While we cannot possibly list all resources, here are a few.
• Your doctor
• Your employer’s Employee Assistance Program
• Your medical insurance program
• Your university’s counseling department
• Your state’s Department of Health counseling resources
• Online resources available in the United States such as:
o National Safety Council – NSC – National Safety Month
o Centers for Disease Control – CDC
• Includes an option to locate mental health services and resources in your area searching by zip code
• Managing Stress and Anxiety
o National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide Prevention
o National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging – Aging and Mental Health
o Veteran’s administration – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
o Mental Health America – Mental Health Awareness
To be there for others, you must take care of yourself first. So, check in with yourself. Encourage yourself. Support yourself. Believe in yourself. Reach out if you need help.
You are not alone.