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An article recently flashed across my screen: Outbreak begins to upend life across the US. That is putting it mildly. From cancellations to postponements and everything in between, life as we know it is suspended indefinitely. I am tired of the actual terms that have led to this, so I am going to ‘protect’ them from further discussion. We all know what I am talking about and I am worried it will create a mental health nightmare!
What are we supposed to do? Insanity is starting to ensue and sadly, it is not surprising. From the lack of necessities on store shelves to the hoarding of nonessential items, the fear is out of control. If and when this all subsides, I do believe mental health will come to the forefront. Counselors and doctors will be treating patients that have lost themselves because of this crisis, pandemic, downward spiral, chaos, emergency, etc. What other words have you heard to describe this nightmare?
“The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”–Kathryn Kinmond, a psychotherapist in Staffordshire and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Amidst this chaos, I have been worried about how my own mental health will be and very concerned for others who suffer from depression and anxiety. With all the cancellations of major events such as parades and marathons, national sports, college classes, theater productions, etc., what is one to do?
As of today (see publish date) the lovely state of New York has stated all social gatherings and venues with occupancy rates of 500 or more must be cancelled. In addition, venues with rates under 500, have been cut in half until further notice. Churches are cancelling services. Businesses are temporarily closing and before you know it, we won’t be allowed to go anywhere because nothing will be open or better yet, the police will be arresting people for violating the rules! Gosh, that is extreme, but it feels like we are trending that way!
This is in no way an attempt to get anyone to feel sorry for me. Instead, I am telling you my story to give insight as to how this pandemic nightmare is affecting someone who has depression and anxiety. There are so many people with issues, and everyone has their own background story. I am going to tell you mine.
Working in human resources for over 16 years has afforded me lots of opportunities. When my job was eliminated in 2017, I started to focus on my well-being and how to enjoy working in HR again. In addition to landing a flexible role as a destination services consultant (this is where I was found for that role), I was also lucky to start working as an HR Consultant, what I affectionately call an HR Pro-to-go.
My Dream Role
My dream role working on various projects lasted for about 18 months-all with one company going through some major changes. I thought, “this is what I was born to do” and my part-time schedule together with my hourly rate was more than I had every made previously-a lot more. That ended 6/2019. Right after that, I decided it was time to work on this blog full-time with the goal of making it a source of income. After all, I started it in September of 2017 and casually created content when I started consulting.
I have been working on my blog and all of the social media frenzy involved with it every single day since then…258 days to be exact. Have I reaped the benefits? Sure, I have grown my social media follows (not as much as others but they trend upward every month), a few more subscribers, and have received some (very tiny) commissions. That is all? What am I doing wrong? I follow all the suggestions and spend so much time on it! My niche is different – very different. However, through all of this, I may have found a new direction, a supplement to my blog – podcast?
I try to remain positive, but it is so difficult and not reality. I am not sure our financial downward spiral can continue at this point in my life. You see, the first 2.5 months of 2020 have yielded me less than $500 if you will. My husband has a great job but to be honest, we really need 2 steady incomes to stop bleeding through savings. So, I have decided to refocus my energies on getting back into the corporate world in some capacity or at least I am trying to.
I have been looking for a new HR role since November and December 2019. Yes, I know, not the best time to start but that was ok. Tweaking resumes, looking at job postings and reading company reviews is important to me – culture! However, what I was not prepared for is the lack of response, emails, phone calls, etc. when applying to positions. I am not used to being ignored in the job applicant space. Appling to several positions and hearing nothing back even after your resume has been reviewed and tweaked by several experts has really put me in a fragile state. I work in the HR space, I know how to tailor my resume to the position, I have spent a lot of time recruiting, I’ve been through several applicant tracking system transitions…what is wrong with me?
I feel ghosted in every sense of the word because of the lack of response to various job applications. Outreaches to my fellow HR recruiters, professionals, and consultants haven’t yielded anything but great relationships so far. My site has not gained the popularity needed to be successful and to top it all off, I have major writers’ block. It has been difficult to come up with blog site content because my mind is swirling with everything going on today, Here are some additional things, that helps to keep me sane, but has helped make everything worse:
- NHL hockey season postponed (I have season tickets and look forward to a night out often.)
- Running vacations and races cancelled and/or postponed – That does not help stress relief! (Two race-related vacations scheduled – one cancelled so far.)
- My beloved NKOTB Cruise – if you know me, you know that I have been on this cruise for 4 years. The next cruise is scheduled for the end of April – so far they are ‘monitoring the situation’. I am pretty sure this will be CANCELLED and not rescheduled. My heart breaks just thinking about it. Please reschedule, please!
- Local races – they are being cancelled left and right!
- Church – at a time when some people need it the most, also cancelled.
Everyone is going through this crisis, pandemic, downward spiral, chaos, emergency. It truly is upending life for everyone and regardless if this is what many are referring to as ‘steps necessary to stop the outbreak’ let’s be cognizant of those with mental health issues and how they will be affected during this time.
Some people believe this crisis is being handled properly and they are just fine. For others, the anxiety and depression that is happening, as a result, can be unbearable. Some may be reacting in a way they don’t understand and perhaps they need help. With everything that is going on with it, everyone’s reaction is different. There have been suggestions made to read a book, listen to music, spend time with family. I don’t know about you but reading a book puts me to sleep! Music helps.
When all is said and done, I believe mental health issues will be on the rise. I am trying to be strong enough to get through this. However, I am worried about others. This suspension of life indefinitely will most likely create a mental health nightmare for those with issues and caregivers alike. I am worried.
To learn more about mental health during these trying times, please visit the following sites:
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 800-273-TALK (8255)
all the best *judean*
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