We can all joke about the pandemic making us crazy, and a bit like Kevin Bacon, the closer in degrees you are to me, the more likely you are to fit that description. I seem to attract crazy people (and I’m okay with that)!
It’s been a hard year, and for some of us, a clinical diagnosis of a mental illness has really happened. For others, trying to determine if professional help is needed is difficult. There is an incredible stigma that goes with mental health, and one way to combat that stigma is to start having discussions about your mental health. No, not just discussions with the people who share space in your head! Actual discussions with friends and family about stress, struggles, sleep (or lack of it), and coping skills.
I have a friend who prepares me for her own unburdening. Before going into a big rant about something and asking my opinion, she first asks if I have mental space to deal with her issue. I love her consideration, and even more, it makes me think about whether I’m at a place to listen or not. Her approach is as unique as she is. However, like most of us, if you were woefully unprepared for all the stress of this pandemic, it’s time to assess where you are and where you can make improvements.
A simple way to start is through a mental health assessment. Mental Health America offers some screening tools that you might find beneficial. Word of warning though: there are a lot of them, so if you get stressed by having too many options and not being able to make a decision, prepare yourself mentally before clicking the link!
These easy, online assessments can help you evaluate if professional help is needed and help you locate appropriate health care providers. It’s just a small step to improving your mental health.