Due to COVID 19 the discussion of mental health has become more prevalent. Numerous articles can be found on the internet and everywhere. It appears that COVID 19 has given “permission” for us to talk about our mental health without stigma or retribution. As I said, that’s how it appears.
As a Counseling Psychologist I’m pleased when societal shifts cause public discussions surrounding mental health. When mental health concerns are viewed as something that most of us have dealt with, it assists in removing the stigma. It also helps us to openly discuss and address mental health issues without the fear of being stigmatized. Mrs. Michelle Obama recently shared that she has been “feeling low” and further elaborated on how all that is going on in the world is taking its toll on her sense of well being. Given all that has more recently transpired, and with all that continues to spiral, it is imperative for each of us to engage in self care activities. Self care activities are very individual, truly not a one size fits all. The key is finding what activity, etc. brings peace, joy, happiness and calmness to your life when you engage in it. This could be exercise, bingeing on (upbeat) Netflix, baking, spending time with your BFF, listening to music, attending concerts, movies, etc., virtually for now and possibly in person, once we are able to again. Find what works for you, and schedule appointments with yourself to partake of your self care activity. When you have a scheduled appointment, you will not be as prone to put it off, and it also sends a message that it is important. Staying connected with others is also very important particularly during these trying times. Lastly, I encourage everyone to be kind and gentle with themselves, no expectations, no pressure. The goal is to engage in self care as a priority on a regular basis ( weekly, monthly, etc.) The world is crazy enough, we don’t need to be hard on ourselves and continue to perpetuate the craziness that is unfortunately alive and thriving these days.
Take real good care of yourselves and each other, be well.
About Dr. Kelsie N. Foster
With over 20 years experience, Dr. Foster has worked in a variety of settings including university and college counseling centers as well as residential and outpatient treatment facilities in New York City. Dr. Foster provides consultation to athletic coaches and their staffs to support the mental health and wellness of their student athletes. She’s also worked directly with student athletes, assisting them with emotional issues affecting both their academic and athletic performance.