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You don’t know their health situation or vaccination status. Focus on keeping yourself safe and healthy.
“Everyone is at a different place with their comfort level,” Jones said. Try not to judge others for wearing (or not wearing!) a mask. You never know if they may have underlying health issues or children who are unable to be vaccinated. Don’t assume you know what others are going through. Instead, listen and be empathetic to their situations.
6. Validate how you feel. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s OK! Feeling great? That’s OK! Think positively about and validate your current situation.
Just as much as you validate others, be sure to take a moment to remind yourself that you are doing a great job with the turbulent world we’re in. “What we say to ourselves can make a big difference in how we think and feel about our current situation,” Feia said. “I would encourage validating your thoughts and feelings rather than beating up on yourself for feeling uncomfortable.” If you’re feeling burned out, give yourself permission to recharge after an outing. Prepare to feel more tired than expected, and don’t be shy to give yourself the alone time you need.
7. Reach out for resources. Although you’ve probably developed some great coping strategies in the past years, professional mental health experts have lots more to offer. If you’re looking for new tips, don’t be nervous to reach out.
If you’re struggling with mental illness – or already struggle with mental illness and are looking for new coping strategies for the present moment, don’t be scared to reach out. “There are mental health resources in the community for people that might be having a harder time than others,” Jones said. “Our community has some great therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, as well as other mental health professionals that can help people in need!” Early research showed that the pandemic led to increased mental health issues, so realize you are not alone and it’s OK to ask for help or to talk about how you’re feeling. Professional counselors can offer additional coping strategies to help you navigate this new normal in the best way possible.