As we work through this month there are many celebrations such as graduations, Mother’s Day, weddings and many other milestones. How are you doing at celebrating this year? It may be different from last year, or it may be very similar. During National Mental Health Month, I would like to share some information to help those cope that may be having some difficulty and also bring to light that we all need to pay attention to our Mental Health, just as we do for our physical health.
Vaccinations appear to be helping some families begin to see each other again and feel more confident because they are protected. I am finding that not all families are agreeing with how to move forward, though. Some spouses disagree with the right protocol to follow. I encourage those spouses to continue to discuss the pros and cons for each viewpoint. Not everyone gets comfortable and adjusts at the same speed. Continue to talk until you reach an agreement. It may not be 100% your way or the other person’s way but collaborate and find a way to make everyone feel as comfortable as they can be. If you are not able to do that, a counselor may be able to help.
I have seen so much creativity with celebrations this year as well. Combining Zoom with ‘in person’ gatherings can be a great solution. I have seen outdoor gatherings begin to feel more comfortable for individuals, so that is always an option. I encourage you to accept your loved ones for where they are at. Moving too quickly in a direction could be harmful. Don’t make someone go into a restaurant if they are not ready. Work through the anxiety by talking about it and doing some research on what the current facts are. Use reputable sources for that information as well, not just what Aunt Betty told you yesterday.
COVID has caused a large majority of the population to suffer from depression and feelings of isolation and loneliness. You are truly not alone. Even though many counselors are doing virtual counseling and not in-person counseling, studies show it is almost as effective for many clinical situations. The virtual aspect of counseling has assisted families in making sessions more doable due to not needing babysitters or needing to travel to get help. These benefits will most likely be here for good. I hope to be back in the office soon a couple of days a week, while accommodating those who prefer the virtual counseling from the comfort of my own home.
Please take a few moments sometime this month to take stock of your mental health. How are you doing….really? Are you comfortable with your new work situation or your family situation? Is adjusting to a New Normal difficult? Are you or someone you know going through challenges that you are not sure how to fix? Please reach out to a specialist for help if you are struggling. Your mental health is so important to the other aspects of life. Please take your mental health seriously. You are worth the effort.
Thank you for your trust in me. Be safe and be well.
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Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT
305 Miron Drive
Southlake, TX 76092