New Year’s Emotional Healing

Over the last year, so many people in the U.S. have dealt with strife Particularly here in Iowa, the physical and financial challenges of the pandemic and then getting hit with derecho, followed by a series of rainy days that added insult to injury.

It’s no wonder that mental health concerns are top of mind for many families. One of the best things you can do is to seek help from a therapist, many of which are set up to conduct telehealth visits by phone or a secure video platform.

Along with professional mental health support, the American Psychology Association suggests the following selfcare steps to manage daily stress and turn the corner from trauma to healing:

  • Manage your priorities: You can’t do everything alone. Right now, we need to have grace with ourselves and each other. If you need help, accept it. If you can give help, give it. Commit only to what you can manage without adding substantial stress to your plate.

  • Make time for exercise and healthy eating: These foundational pieces of good health support mental and physical health - a double whammy in one of the most stressful years in recent memory.

  • Stay connected: Make time to write letters, make phone calls, and video chat with friends and family. But try to limit social media and newsfeeds. Doomscrolling (consuming endless negative news and comments) can make you feel worse.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for symptoms in yourself or others that might point to depression or anxiety. Sleepy a lot or never sleeping, unexplained irritation, frustration, or tearfulness, or withdraw from once enjoyable activities might be a sign that something more serious than the “2020 blues” is afoot. 

If you feel down more than up these days, seek help from a mental health professional. Your mental health is important, and there is absolutely no shame in getting the help you need.