Many of us feel as if we are walking a tightrope at present, trying to manage our overloaded plates while teetering on the edge of uncertainty, upheaval and loss. Harnessing the energy that comes from creating purpose can provide us with balance, along with building connections with supportive people in our life. No matter how divided we may appear to be, there are strenuous states of affairs that we are experiencing collectively, and it is bringing many to a breaking point. Being mindful of this can help us confront each other with grace instead of a short fuse. Making it all the more necessary to take time for self-care and to build our support network around us so that we can develop that grace within.
The more we bring community action into our daily life, the more purpose we can create in our world. A simple practice that gets you out of your home and into nature, while building community connections, is sitting or playing at your neighborhood park striking up a conversation with someone new. Or consider hiking a nearby trail with a friend, with a garbage bag in gloved hand to collect trash, as you walk and listen to one another providing support while serving your community along the way. Take your child for a walk around the block picking up trash and recycling as an alternative. Introduce yourselves to new people at the far end of your neighborhood, if given the opportunity during your walk. You’ll be inclined to say (or wave) hello the next time you see them.
There are also subtle ways to build community. Now that the weather is warming, and we can comfortably relax into a new maskless routine, we can appreciate the small things that help us reconnect. Seeing people’s smiles and full faces and recognizing acquaintances better is something to take notice of at this moment. We can hear each other better, too! Perhaps that experience of having a hard time understanding each other while we were masked can teach us to listen to each other better. That level of grace can keep us balanced to endure these challenging steps ahead.
The anecdotes and the research are clear – we face a critical moment as we walk this tightrope. There are too many aspects of our lives that create conditions of sustained stress and the compounding increase of negative coping skills. The APA’s Stress in America poll reveals the many layers and unveils many vulnerabilities that signal a mental health crisis that we must address. Principle among them is the public health concern with the drastic increase in stress, financial strain, rise in substance abuse (and other detrimental coping behaviors), and the spillover effects into crime and violence in our communities. A recent article in The Atlantic details the recent spike in erratic behavior among Americans and suggests Durkheim’s concept of “anomie, or a lack of social norms that leads to lawlessness,” as the driver of “weird behavior” as of late. The social isolation due to the pandemic and the shifts in societal norms as a result of changing cultural and political landscapes do play a role. Making self-care, through wellness and the development of purpose-driven agency and community building, most important considering these factors.
The best way to begin to rebuild our connective tissue is to focus on the relationships around us. Doing our best to show up as our better self, especially when someone else needs a little more grace than you do. And give yourself the grace you deserve to let go of unreasonable expectations that everything is OK. It is alright to acknowledge that you are not OK, that all is not well, if that is the case. Together we will regain our personal agency and come back stronger than before with all that we have gained despite (and because of) all that we have lost.
Ketamine Health Centers is your community mental health partner here to walk with you in this process of growth, healing and self-care that is especially important for us now. Contact us today to learn about our cutting-edge alternative treatment methods, tailored to meet your specific support needs. Our multifaceted approach to addressing mental health challenges can provide you, or your loved one, the support network necessary to create your healing path and generate that grace within.