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A Mental Health Moment: Living That COVID Life in 2021

By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPC, NCC, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
The Truth Contributor

    As each new year begins, we often decide to list resolutions, things we promise ourselves will be different such as weight loss, improved income and even treating ourselves and others better.  Ringing in the new 2021 year, life as we knew it has changed tremendously. 

     We lost more than we could ever imagine but we also gained new insight and coping mechanisms.  We learned to better care for ourselves whether we wanted to or not.  We learned that living with fear can greatly influence our perspective and outlook on both life and death. 

Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPC, NCC,
Licensed Mental Health Therapist

     Resolutions and goals for this new year still have us all scratching our heads because we do not know what can happen day to day, yet even before this deadly pandemic that was still a truth.  None of us know what will happen tomorrow or the new day or the next month.  We have held on to faith and hope in meeting our needs and wants but much more this year than ever before in our lives. 

       For those of my readers who have come to follow me and my monthly writings, you know that I am an enormous fan of humor and comedy as a way to overcome hard times, coping with that which is out of our control and even defeating depression.  One glorious component of our human existence is the chemicals released upon laughing, smiling and having fun.  Its free and one does not need a prescription to laugh to release this wonderful endorphin to relieve heartfelt pain and challenging times.

     I myself have relied upon much humor and kind words from mentors and colleagues who work closely with those affected by COVID.  One of those such persons who wished to remain anonymous is a previous classmate from undergraduate days of college.  We were both following the path of pre-med, I majored in psychology and he in biology.  Over the years, we have remained in contact keeping up-to-date on our chosen career paths.  He is now a physician at a hospital system in the Maryland area.  Once COVID became more deadly, we spoke more often exchanging stories on how we have lost so many clients and patients and how it affected us personally. 

While I assist clients grieving over the loss of loved ones, he experiences the death of patient’s daily working 14 – 16 hours a day.  We discussed choices such as: if during our undergraduate studies we would have known that COVID would one day greatly affect us in our chosen career paths, would we have changed our course of study? I am positive these sorts of discussions are between many a colleague in careers so closely related in our present day. 

     Take a mental health moment to discuss with others and most importantly yourself, what does COVID life look like in 2021 for you.  There is no acting as if it does not exist, there is no magical cure if the thought does not exist but there are steps you can take for your new year.  1 – Don’t be in denial, 2 – Take the best measures and steps you can to remain safe and keep those around you safe, 3 – Understand time, nothing lasts forever not your feelings, emotions nor perspective, 4 – Change with the change, while we cannot at this time enjoy social entertainment there are alternative ways to enjoy yourself (don’t isolate), and 5 – Utilize this time to slow down, think, take a step back, and ask for help (counseling is not just for deep seated depression, it is there to help you find insight and think outside of the box for a better you.) 

    “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”   Barack Obama


           Bernadette Graham is a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist.  Provide feedback or reach out at graham.bernadette@gmail.com  For appointment information please call 419.409.4929 (Telehealth is available for ongoing and new clients at this time as well as in person appointments available on Tuesdays and Fridays only). Office location is 3454 Oak Alley Ct. Suite 300 Toledo, OH 43606 www.bjgrahamcounseling.com




Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/06/21 09:49:17 -0500.

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