How is everyone holding up? In March I wrote a post about taking care of your mental health in the times of COVID-19. It’s been 7 months since I wrote that post and wow, have things changed since then. While we know more about COVID, there are still so many unknowns and uncertainties. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I definitely hit the six-month wall where the gravity of the situation definitely set in.
As a mental health provider, I have seen articles about the looming mental health crisis due to the pandemic. It has been an all-new learning experience as I provide therapy to individuals while simultaneously going through the exact situation as they are. As some professions are seeing a decline, I am seeing an uptick of clients needing therapy services.
Some of you may have even heard the term, “collective trauma” being thrown in some articles you are seeing pop up on your Facebook feed. Collective trauma is simply a trauma that impacts and affects a large group of people, communities, and societies. Its effects alter the entire fabric of a community. However, the individual impact and experiences can vary greatly from one person to the next.
It may seem dramatic or over-exaggerated, or maybe you aren’t sure what you are going through is “bad” enough to call a trauma. Part of coping with a trauma is recognizing the impact of the trauma, extending yourself grace, understanding, and honoring your unique experience.
Oh, and doing that all on top of being a mom, wife, employee, friend, etc. etc. It can seem overwhelming and scary because it IS. This feels hard because it IS hard. Friends- we are ALL in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that is shaping and changing US right here, right now. So, if you find yourself less patient, perusing your refrigerator late at night, or haven’t showered for a few days- remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, extend yourself grace, and even if you might have had to buy a size bigger in your jeans (it’s me), it’s all completely OK. Really, I promise!
But while recognizing the impact of the pandemic is the first step, recognizing when it might be time to reach out for support, is the next important step.
I’ve talked to so many people who wonder when they should reach out for support, asking if their depression is simply depression or “Covid” depression? I’d say the “why” doesn’t matter. If it’s impacting your ability to function, it’s a problem and worth checking out by a professional.
And of course, I can’t leave you with all gloom and doom. What we know about trauma is that yes, it can be detrimental to health and it can have devastating effects, but it also can bring about change, growth, and resiliency. I know without a doubt this generation of kids will be incredibly resilient. And their computer skills? ON point.
And what about us, moms? Individually we all have different experiences in how this pandemic has affected us, our families, and our homes. Yet one thing threads and binds us together. It’s our grit and strength in showing up over and over again. It doesn’t matter if we’re going through a worldwide pandemic. One thing that has been highlighted during this time is women and moms truly are the fabric woven into our homes, our families, and communities making them stronger than ever before.