The question is not if. It’s when.
Because we — and a most collective we — are going to beat this giant global pandemic which has gripped us by our very core, pausing most of our daily actives. And while updates flash across computers and handheld device screens with latest updates of COVID-19 continuing its unpredictable course, we have to believe the end of the spread is, in fact, a foregone conclusion.
We have to fully subscribe to that optimism. If we don’t, perhaps we will never pick up where we left off once pause buttons are reset.
We have to believe that. For our friends. For our families. Most importantly, for ourselves.
The world is changing. Things will never be the same once the World Health Organization has — and, it will — given the all-clear sign.
It will be a challenge for us to pick up the pieces. We need to be ready, and our mental toughness has to be prepared in uncharacteristic ways.
We must, absolutely, take physical precautions and engage in such behaviour to help prevent us from getting COVID-19. But we also must consider staying mentally healthy.
Fear and uncertainty can overwhelm us, and consume us.
So many questions. Is my family safe, are my friends going to be OK, is my job safe, do I have enough money saved up for between jobs or retirement. If I have to be a messenger of rough news, how will the person receiving it react, and, if I get rough news, how will I handle it?
Such questions do not have definitive answers, causing anxiety to run extremely high.
We could, however, have a soft landing. In the past several years, the importance of mental health has been a welcomed topic in everyday conversation.
Programs and services have emerged to meet increasing needs of people with mental health issues.
The common denominator? Talking about it. Openly discussing our fears and worries is the best prescription to treat mental health.
We need to be cognizant of that. Especially these days.
In-person interaction is not recommended, obviously, because of the potential spread of the coronavirus. People are encouraged to work, and study, from home.
And while in-person conversations are always best in expressing our fears, we live in a world with multiple ways of communication … to let people not only know when we are hurting, but to check in on others.
I know — I live with mental health issues. Expressing myself is the cursor to proper treatment when I need it.
These are most unsettling times. Let’s make sure we utilize all the physical and mental help we can. Because we will get back to our routines. Let’s make sure we are ready when that day comes.