We’re Not OK—But We Can BeAug 30, 2020 05:34PM ● By Annalise Combs
As I began working on this month’s issue about emotional well-being, I pooh-poohed the notion of taking up this subject, as it seemed to be what everyone is talking about these days. “Aren’t we just jumping on the bandwagon?” I thought. “After all, I’m fine.” At the same time, on those occasions when I venture out, I’ve begun to notice some social encounters that belie calm and logic; in fact some folks seem to be looking for trouble. Then there’s the long-running craziness I’ve been experiencing with my insurance company and a local healthcare provider. The simple goal of trying to get a routine test feels like it’s taken on a living, breathing, obstinate life of its own—the most recent bad behavior being that after finally getting the test, I can’t get anyone to give me a written copy of the results, even after four calls and three personal visits. This situation, along with another recent experience where I felt overlooked and put upon, has been extremely vexing and consumed way too much of my emotional capital. They’ve led me to realize that I’m not as OK as I think I am, and certainly not as OK as I usually am.
I guess what the experts know, and what many of us are seeing, is that collectively we are not OK—that the fear, uncertainty, loss, grief and disappointment that we are all experiencing due to the pandemic and its effects on our world and our individual lives is taking a great toll, both seen and unseen. We often are unaware aware of this toll, which begins as emotional, but if left unchecked, experts say, inevitably manifests as mental and physical. I have to wonder what contribution this is making to our current social unrest, cultural upheaval and uptick in domestic violence.
So yes, yes and yes. We do need to talk about emotional well-being, starting with my own, with the hope that you’ll see yourselves in this place, too. In case you don’t, let me ask you—During these last three months, have you found yourself getting angry more often about things that wouldn’t have fazed you last year at this time? Or responding to the negativity, crudeness or unkindness of others when it would have just rolled off your back nine months ago? Or feeling marginalized or in despair about something that you would have chalked up to an understandable mistake six months ago?
If you don’t yet realize that concern for your own and our collective emotional well-being is not optional, Sandra Yeyati’s feature article, “Emotional Well-being in the Pandemic Age,” is a must-read. It’s also great if you’ve seen yourself in these words and want to find a path to more mindfulness and better emotional health. You can find advice along the same lines in Brad Aronson’s article, “Happiness Helpers.” A thread that runs through both, as well as this month’s editorial contributions by North Texas life coaches Lametra Off and Debra Rossi, is to wrap yourself in compassion. I’m learning from them that self-compassion is different from self-care. Self-compassion involves the inner soul work that we must not neglect. However, self-care is very important too, and to that end, we have articles focusing on things that God created to help us survive and thrive. It is amazing to think about all the natural antivirals at our disposal, including spices and herbs that have the power to heal or support health. To learn more, check out “Spice Up Your Health“ and “Natural Antivirals.”
It is our hope that you will find much in this month’s issue to encourage and support you through the pandemic, and to help you live your healthiest life on a healthy planet. Please let us know how we’re doing.
Blessings until next month.