Happy Take Care Tuesday!
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Given that our position and program considers emotions as the biggest driver of success, we're joining the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Now more than ever, it's important that no one feels alone. With all of the physical distancing and the uncertainty (here's looking at you COVID-19), the climate is ripe for having big feels that can overwhelm even the most grounded person.
Almost 450 million people worldwide live with a mental illness, yet only a third of these people seek treatment. A huge stigma associated with mental health exists. Some of our tips before this one (healthy routines, connecting with others, helping others, finding the positive) help to increase a person's resiliency, especially during COVID-19. But even when using all of these tools, emotions can still feel big and overwhelming, causing distress and feeling powerless.
If you are feeling distressed, take a moment to identify what you're feeling. Label it. Give it a name. Try to use words other than "good, bad, ok, or fine." If you're having trouble with generating more words, brainstorming and journaling can help. Give the feeling the attention it deserves vs. ignoring it or pushing it away. At Odyssey, we feel so strongly about identifying and attending to emotions, that a big chunk of our curriculum is dedicated to this skill.
After you've attended to how you feel and labeled it, ask yourself what you need. Even if you don't know for sure, know that it's ok to reach out to trusted friends or family members or to seek professional help. Maybe, all you need is a break, to get a different perspective, or to share your worries with a friend. If you do decide that professional help is the way to go, finding a mental health professional doesn't have to be daunting and many therapists have pivoted to support people remotely (telehealth), especially during the COVID-19 restrictions. It's important to remember that everyone needs help and this is ok.
Ultimately, know that your feelings are real, that you are valuable, and that you aren't alone. If you want additional support, check out Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Council for Behavioral Health. If you are interested in finding a licensed and vetted therapist that you can see on your digital device, check out Talk Space.
Take good care of yourself!