To Take Care of Others, Start by Taking Care of Yourself
As businesses and schools are shuttered, economic uncertainty encroaches, and a pandemic rages worldwide, there is plenty of anxiety to go around.
We’re watching our healthcare system be pushed to its limits, but the grief and trauma we’re seeing presages a second wave of need: Before long, our mental healthcare system is going to be stretched to the breaking point as well. As physical distancing continues, we need to make sure that we help alleviate the isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and other mental health impacts that will result, driving a potentially system-overwhelming curve of their own. And now is the time to head off this second crisis.
Most of us are not on the overtaxed frontlines of the healthcare battle, but all of us can be first responders to the need for emotional support. The need exists in every industry and economic sector, among physically healthy people as well as those who are sick or whose loved ones are sick. There are needs in our families, extended families, congregations, and communities, as well as within our network of professional associations. Almost everyone needs connection to others and the opportunity to give and get support in the abnormal new normal of deep uncertainty and the fearful specter of a pandemic.