Vet Voices

It’s time to ask ‘How are we doing?’ as we trek on into 2021

Ohio County

A Mental Health Advocate warns: Let’s not end up with a secondary problem as a result of COVID-19.

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Some say another health crisis is on the rise as we continue to put the pandemic at the forefront… It starts with the question: How are you doing? 

As we near the end of the year, for the sake of our mental health, some of us have been holding on to the concept of ‘back to normal life’ come 2021… But for most of us, already, our mental health is suffering. 

The problem: We can’t hold our breath for 10 months and counting.

Natural disasters of some kind; maybe a fire or things like that. They typically have a beginning and endpoint. And what we’re experiencing as a traumatic event is a total disruption in life without a real known endpoint.

Amy Gamble, Mental Health Advocate

 I think most of us have been guilty of checking WebMD for COVID symptoms, or thinking about the constant bad news these days… Anxiety is through the roof throughout the country – Some symptoms similar to that of the virus we’ve heard too much about. 

Maybe racing thoughts, interruption in sleep, irrational thoughts, maybe excessive thinking. Having problems digestively, shaking arms. Those will be symptoms of anxiety; at least some of them. Shortness of breath; that could be the signs of a panic attack.

Amy Gamble, Mental Health Advocate

With these stressors, this is when we turn to *something* as lifeline. Maybe a friend… or substances. 

A state of wellbeing is defined as an individual who can realize thier potential and cope with normal stresses of life. Losing a job, or working extra hours, high school students ping-ponging between online verses in-person class…. Nothing about this year is ‘normal’…. 

7NEWS Reporter Stephanie Grindley: “The new normal. Some people don’t want to accept that idea…I don’t want to accept that idea because it’s uncomfortable how we’ve had to live in these past months…” Gamble: “It could be masks for the next two years wearing everywhere… it could be a lot of change. And when you think of change in general, a lot of people make a new year’s resolution, but actually keeping that change is hard. It’s very natural and normal to not want to change behaviors.” 

So… maybe don’t dwell on that phrase aforementioned.. But there is a way to embrace a change in yourself. 

This mental health advocate encourages you to first look back, on the things in your life that seemed like hurdles but you overcame…. There’s a power in that. And, then? Look forward. Like the changing of the river’s current, this pandemic, too, will pass. 

There are resources out there to turn to, like Amy’s blogpost. Head here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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