Over the past 2 months what I have been observing and have been discussing with family, friends and colleagues is why the media and the medical community do not seem to place that much emphasis on the psychological and emotional impact this pandemic has and will have on us both collectively and individually. Yes, there have been some coverage of people finding ways to create hope and positivism. I am thinking about the hand clapping at dusk , or the hand drawn rainbows placed in windows of our homes. These are compassionate displays of how we make our way to rise above the gravity of all that surrounds us today. We need more of this and we need a deeper dive into ourselves.
It would be insensitive and perhaps even misleading to NOT acknowledge and report on the effects this profound biological event is having upon our physical health and well being. But where are the articles and media coverage on ways people are finding coping practices to help mitigate both physical and emotional stress?. Would it not be important to show how; when we are dealing with our physical health; we must not forget ways to bolster our psychological and emotional ( mental) health? They are not separate but equal. Our mental health often dictates physical health outcomes. We know this because it is hard science not wishful thinking. We have evidence that how we approach an event emotionally and psychologically can guide, to a certain degree, the path we take to feel better and fully recover from an illness. We all know the importance of support for a person who is in an emotional or physical crisis. We know that favorable outcomes are more likely when one believes they have the support they desire and need. Right now we have an opportunity to ramp up the importance of our mental health both individually as well as a society. We need to hear more about and to share the minutia of our day to day positive changes we are trying out making to help our families in our homes and within our communities. To share what helps one cope and get through the days in a more balanced and compassionate way. This will help bolster our immune system which in turn helps in recovery in every one of us because we know positive emotions help counterbalance stressful events.
This global extraordinary blueprint for the way out needs a more balanced perspective. The way out of the woods is one step at a time. The way we will recover and retrieve a
balance in our lives again will take ordinary, small but profoundly important changes in every person's life . There are countless ways to help shift and incorporate small changes that result in huge personal gains. Our emotional and psychological health matters. It matters on every level. It will determine how we treat ourselves and how we will treat others during, and especially after, we get through this pandemic and begin rebuilding a new normal. My hope is whatever is established for each of us does not get lost when we resume our busy incredibly fast paced lives. Who would not benefit from daily ( or at the very least weekly) established new routines to help squeeze out the stress inherent in our world? This can really be a time to find a true north for yourself. Finding what helps you keep an emotional and psychological sense of balance and perspective will impact your physical health . And it will not be the grand sweeping changes in lifestyles that re-balance us ; rather the small yet significant ones.