Mental Health Moment
By Michelle Kitson, MD

Ever wonder why tragedy visits some harder than others? Feel more than utterly exhausted with the abject fears of awakening each day to the reality of desolation and despair? Are you struggling to find the silver lining in the clouds; the quest for peace in the chaos of living, working, breathing? Guess what? You are not alone. In fact, you’re in good and plenteous company.

In the midst of it all, it is important to stop and acknowledge those emotions smoldering just under the surface. To do otherwise, is to risk a caustic explosion where the fallout may be a tad more damaging – to employment, to relationships, to one’s own psyche.

I invite you to engage a few tools during these angst-filled times. Pull out ALL the stops in an effort to restore some much-needed balance.

  1. Take a deep breath … and another … and another
    • Expanding the lungs with a strong pull of air through the nostrils before releasing anxiety and concerns on the exhale is a meaningful and completely free way to center oneself. It also affords for pauses before speaking out of turn. Try it! You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Stretch those tense muscles
    • When was the last time you afforded yourself the restorative power of elongating muscles? Feel the tension drain away when you combine deep breaths with gentle stretching exercises. Sprinkle in a few positive affirmations as you do this and a smile and peace will shortly follow.
  3. Do you have a Faith System?
    • Re-engage. Many services are recorded and readily available online. No financial cost. Time may be well spent on the centering possible when said connections are established/re-established.
  4. Find hope, promise and purpose in the pages of the word of God. Within the bible are numerous references to God’s amazing grace. During this season of Advent, overlapping with tremendous hardship being faced by millions, are many such assurances: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is God’s faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22 – 23