Health Wise: Is Now The Time to Recommit to Healing?
Have you ever spent hours shoveling snow, only to wake up the next day and see a fresh, new layer covering your driveway? Or written a marvelous paper and forgotten to save your work? How about when your plate of freshly baked cookies goes missing and your dog has a guilty look on their face? You might feel frustration, sadness, helplessness, or ask yourself, “was my work a waste of time?” For many people navigating through or recovering from mental health struggles before the Covid-19 pandemic, these are familiar feelings.
If you feel bummed that you did a lot of work to regulate emotions and learn new skills, only to face new challenges, you aren’t alone. As the days get colder, darker, and for some, more socially isolated, many are struggling with mental health setbacks and increased symptoms (fatigue, irritability, negative thoughts, ruminating, sleep issues, and more). The truth is: Many of us are going through a time of increased stress due to changes in our environment. The good news is: No, you did not waste your time working through these issues in the past. You set yourself up for success against your next challenge.
If you’re noticing changes in your mood, habits, and overall mental health, it simply means that it might be time to recommit to healing. If negative thinking is taking up significant time in your day, or holding you back from enjoying activities you once loved, it might be time for a refresher course on the work you’ve done before. Don’t worry – you won’t be starting from scratch!
If you have already looked inward and worked to change your thinking, it’s likely those skills are already built into your brain. You might look back on previous exercises, handouts, or skills you learned in therapy or support groups. Meditation can help soothe your mind and remain mindful of your surroundings. If connecting with a professional and talking about your experiences was helpful in the past, it may help you again in this new season of life. In other words, your therapist may be able to help you recover that paper you forgot to save earlier!
Healing isn’t linear – it might look more like a roller coaster, and that is okay. Whether you’re experiencing mental health setbacks for the first time, or if this is a recurring battle, there are resources and help available for you. With the New Year, it is a great time to start or continue your mental health journey. The Still Waters team is here for you! If we can’t help you for some reason, we will refer you to someone who can.
In addition, please check out the multiple free Covid-19 Mental Health resources:
*Written by guest author and fellow Still Waters Counseling therapist Carolyn Robbins, LLMSW