During these unprecedented times many of us are having some mental withdrawals because we are so distant from our loved ones and loved leisures. Though there has been an increase in virtual tools for us to communicate, how many of us have really taken the time to do so? I know many of you are still engaged with your friends, family and work cohorts via social media and zoom, but how many of you have gone beyond social to check on them personally?
Have you texted them “Hey I’m just thinking about you. Hope you’re ok.” Or “Hey I hope you and the family are ok over there. I’m sending my best/praying for you during this time.”
Now my dad would say, “Things can be lost in translation via text and we should pick up the phone to call folk (southern dialect).” Have you at least picked up the phone to call them? If not, this is the perfect time to do so.
We can tell from our government leaders wavering decisions that they don’t know exactly when this pandemic is going to end. Opening borders and businesses doesn’t determine their knowledge or doesn’t mean they have things under control. Let’s call a spade a spade.
According to the CDC, everyone’s coping method during the pandemic is different. They say elders, teens, healthcare providers and substance abusers are most likely to have higher stress levels during a crisis. Which is very true. Knowing that many of us have family members and loved ones in that demo, we should take it upon ourselves to do a weekly or biweekly mental health check on them. Also, ourselves.
During this time, I have tasked myself with checking on my family members and loved ones more frequently than I normally do. I have over 10 groupme chats, Facebook messenger groups, and iMessage group texts that I’m a part of with my family and friends. My conversations in those chats are pretty frequent especially when “tea” is being shared. Aside from that, once a week or biweekly I do a mental health check in those groups to make sure everyone is ok, wants to vent, need a good laugh, or just could use some words of wisdom.
I do a mental health check for myself as well. When I feel myself getting cabin fever or anxious, I take a walk in my neighborhood (I have my mask on of course). I also meditate for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times out of the week and create thankful moments throughout my day. I’m alive and healthy and that is the thing that matters the most. You can do the same for yourself and your loved ones. Implement this as a habit throughout your week.
These times are really making us value the moment of the present. You’ll never know how much a “Hey you good,” text can make someone else’s day.
Words by: Kinyana Mccoy