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May is mental health awareness month. Of course this is an important topic every day of the year. It’s spring and people are coming out of seasonal depression and feeling better. So maybe it’s a good time to be talking about the importance of taking care of mental health. I think everyone should have a relationship with a therapist. I personally have seen my therapist regularly (with a few breaks for grad school because I had no extra time) for over 5 years. I consider it maintenance. You get your teeth cleaned every 6 months; you get an annual physical for your medical health. Sometimes, during these regular check-ins, an issue is found that needs addressed. Having a relationship with a therapist allows you to have access to regular check-ins that sometimes will help uncover an issue that needs addressed before the issue becomes life-threatening.

If we are being honest, I think most of us can admit that we all have an issue that needs to be addressed. We have all survived a national, even global trauma in the form of COVID-19. Many holes in our infrastructure and health care systems caused some critical failures in our response to this pandemic. At an individual level, many holes in our own ability to cope with the experience caused some pretty significant failures. Beyond the effects of forced isolation, loss of family or friends, the impact on health care workers was very traumatizing. I was working as a beside nurse in a hospital during this time. Even though I was not working directly with COVID positive patients, the impact on those we were caring for was very harmful for our patients and us as healthcare workers.

This is the obvious potential source for trauma that has caused a residual anxiety disorder in many people. Beyond that, many of us have experienced many things in our lives that have impacted our ability to have the healthy tools necessary for living a fulfilling life.

I love www.psychologytoday.com for finding a therapist. They have filters that allow you to narrow down your search to your location, insurance, ethnicity, gender, age, issue of concern, or desired therapy modality. 

Get connected with a therapist. Put the work into healing your wounds. It’s hard work. It requires commitment and intentional effort. Take every opportunity to chase that fulfilling life.