COVID Brain Part 1

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Part 1: From The Pandemic Lockdown, Day 159

How long have you been in lockdown, or working from home, or having to balance kids and job and worry about the return to school, or feeling separated from loved ones? Too long, right?

I thought I was doing OK. Then two weeks ago (day 143, but who’s counting?) I had a complete meltdown — to the point where my wife had to remove me from the house and take me on a walk around the neighborhood so we could talk.

and talk.

and talk.

AND I felt tremendously better afterward. It was a great reminder for me of the power of JUST LISTENING. Cheryl did not try to fix me or argue with me. She just kept asking me questions and eventually, I found my way back from the angry emotional space where I’d been feeling trapped.

Shortly after my comeback, I learned there’s such a thing as COVID Brain! It’s the name therapists are starting to give to the pervasive sense of isolation + anxiety + helplessness, etc., we are all feeling.

The CDC. A new report found that depression symptoms among Americans were four times higher in June of this year (compared to last year). And that anxiety symptoms were three times as high. The increase was especially notable in young adults, essential workers, and unpaid caregivers As well as minorities. The CDC said support systems to address these mental health concerns “will continue to be needed urgently.”

Comfort in numbers? I don’t know about you, but even if I still feel trapped sometimes, it makes me feel better just knowing that IT’S NOT JUST ME!

And I promise if any of you need someone to JUST LISTEN, I’ll make the space for you. Or reach out to a friend or family member and ask them to simply witness you.

No fixing, no pity, no suggesting strategy. Request they hold the space for you to unpack your stinky baggage. Once you’re done, you’ll know what to do. Trust yourself.