As we enter into 2021, many tend to start the new year with resolutions that focus on health, home, or happiness... but not many people think of how they can work on their mental health. I believe we can all agree that 2020 has been a crap year with the pandemic, protests in the streets after the death of George Floyd, the toilet paper shortage, murder hornets, and the loss of so many loved ones... just to name a few events that shaped the past year.
There's so much uncertainty and anxiety in everyday life that it's hard not to think about your mental health. In a recent report from the CDC, anxiety and depression symptoms have risen 17.4% and 17.8%, respectively, from 2019. The rise in these mental health symptoms has led to the escalation of substance abuse (one in ten) and suicidal ideation (doubled from 2019). So what can we do??
A wise woman (Tracy McCoy of The Georgia Mountain Laurel magazine) once told me, "When you fly on a plane, the flight attendant gives a safety demonstration, and tells you that you must put on your oxygen mask first before helping those around you... because you are no use to anyone until you helped yourself first." So before you help others, you need to evaluate where you are, mentally and emotionally.
There's often a stigma attached to mental health- if you need a therapist, then obviously, you are batshit crazy! This can't be further from the truth, and as an advocate for therapy, I can personally attest to the strength and clarity I get from each session. Not only does my therapist offer me clarity, but she is my unbiased sounding board and suggests a new perspective that often speaks a truth into my life. But finding a therapist can be difficult in these isolating times, so I am linking two local mental health services in the Rabun Area.
If you live in the state of Georgia, you can click here for the Georgia Crisis and Access line for any mental health emergencies.
If you know anyone who is suffering with depression, suicidal thoughts, or just going through a rough time, but they're not ready for a therapy session, you can click here for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255.
Make 2021 your best year by taking care of yourself and your mental health!