I think we would all agree that this past year has been a mental and emotional struggle. I’ve tried to stay away from the pandemic as a topic in general, but this past weeks conversations with my kids has highlighted the toll its taken on us all.
The lack of physical connection compounded by the ongoing lockdowns and the potential life threatening impacts has weighed heavily on us all. 🤗
This is particularly true for Zach and Sam, just like its been for the vast majority of their cohort. The early 20’s is an important chapter in everyone’s life.
They’ve been unable to socialize at a time in their lives when connecting with others, travel and experiencing all that life has to offer in a carefree way was standard.
As a parent, it’s been very difficult to stand by and watch and not be able to do anything to help the situation. 🙁
No graduations, no proms, no opportunity to celebrate their right of passage into adulthood…
I understand we’re all in the same boat, but it’s one thing for us to experience it and another to see our kids go through this…
I feel very fortunate that I’m in Australia given that we have no active community cases of Covid. But I have a deep sense of guilt for leaving Zach and Sam while the pandemic is still raging in Canada. They are in the depths of their fourth full lockdown….
It seems like it will never end. 🙁
They have assured me they are both playing it safe. However, being stuck in isolation for months on end is not good for your mental health.
One thing that has become evident over the last year and that is how vulnerable our mental health really is. It’s not only our kids, but I would content that every one of us has struggled at some point with the feelings of despair and isolation.
We’ve all had to get used to a different form of connectedness, via technology versus in person. Although this has helped to a degree its definitely not the same as an in person get together.
I know I’ve missed physical touch and the ability to hug and hold someone. I’m guessing I’m not alone…. 🤗
This combination of mental anguish along with the lack of physical touch that have exacerbated our overall sense of isolation.
On a planet of over 7 billion people its hard believe that this combination has wrought havoc on our general health and wellbeing almost as much as Covid itself.
It will be interesting to understand the long term effects on this generation…
There is no easy answer to mitigating the ongoing risks of the pandemic this except for finishing the global vaccination rollout. Although this will likely take the remainder of 2021 to complete and get back to some form of normalcy.
The new travel norm will most likely be a vaccination certificate. Yep, no certificate no travel.
As well, It will be easier for the wealthier countries to access the vaccine and get it out into the public. Unfortunately the less well off countries will have a very long road ahead.
Will we able to recognize a world where we can be social and gather again? How long will it take for people’s reticence to touch take to change?
Time will tell. One thing I do know, and that is that we will definitely feel the effects of the pandemic for years to come.
So how do we shake the shackles of despair and isolation?
- Reach out to friends and family – especially those that are alone and connect. Not just once but on an ongoing basis. If you’re alone, reach out and say hi to others.
- Don’t be shy – ask them how they’re doing? The same goes for you. Be honest when someone asks you how you’re doing. Having “real” conversations is so important at times like this.
- Organize a dinner or drinks with friends via a teleconference tool. It’s much nicer to see someone’s smiling face and have a chat.
- Endeavour to be physically active. Now that it’s the Spring in the Northern hemisphere and the weather is getting better and much easier to get outside and go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Even if it’s first thing in the morning when no one else is about. This may also help calm your anxiety with regard to going outside.
- Keep your mind active. Whether it’s with puzzles or maybe planning your post pandemic vacation it’s important to keep your mind from dwelling on the here and now.
- Identify something to look forward to and work your way mentally toward that goal.
These are some of the tactics that I’ve used with some success, but realize that each of us are different and what works for one does not necessarily work for another…. ❤️
However, the one thing I think is important is recognizing how you’re feeling and endeavouring to manage your ongoing mental health.
As I said before, we are in this together. So if you need someone to connect with or if you just want to reach out and say hi (firstname.lastname@example.org) I’m here for you. We’d be helping each other!
Sending you all a huge virtual hug! 🤗
Until next week.