Do you want to know what I worry about? I should rephrase that because I worry about many things. Do you want to know what I am pre-worrying about at this moment? I worry about our mental health as we head into winter 2020/2021. I know that we all have been praised for being ‘resilient’ in these ‘unprecedented’ times, but I fear that some of us may seriously begin to falter in the coming months.
As our daylight hours diminish and the cold weather forces us indoors, I am concerned about how well we will deal with the continuing struggle known as COVID-19 and the subsequent challenges.
Back in March, I never would have imagined that we (a collective we) would have been able to do all that was asked of us, i.e. shutter stores, amend hours, work from home, teach our children from home, deal with unexpected layoffs, lock ourselves away from family and friends.
We did it. We managed. We got through it while not knowing for how long and at what cost. We are still going through it.
Toilet paper and yeast became emotional currency; a psychological crutch that allowed us to shelter in place for an indeterminate time.
I am no expert, but I think that is called having Psychological Resilience – “The ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly”.
What happens to our mental health when we grow weary of keeping that stiff upper lip or juggling our finances to maintain some semblance of normalcy? What happens when we grow tired of dealing with change that occurs daily? What happens when we realize that we have no clue what to do all that yeast we purchased? What happens to those who cannot see the future; a future without COVID?
Personally, I believe that this is the crossroad that many of us will find ourselves sooner or later in the coming months.
So, what do we do? Do we just quit? Do we just hop off the COVID-19 carousel and say, “I’m out!”?
No, of course not. Northern British Columbian’s are a hardy bunch and the words, “I can’t do this” are not part of our vernacular. We WILL do everything necessary to cope with the constant change and help our neighbours and friends get through the winter. We will attach our imaginary personal tow ropes to those who need a little tug to get moving. We will notice when we haven’t heard from someone in a while and then reach out to see how they are coping.
We will ask the question, “How are you?” and wait more than a heartbeat to hear the answer. We will tell our friends and family if we need some assistance emotionally and financially.
We look after our own. We can do this.