Feeling the Heaviness of the Year

The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

It's November. We have made it through ten whole months of 2021 and 19 months of a life-changing pandemic.

I donโ€™t know about you, but Iโ€™m exhausted.

Iโ€™m exhausted by how the press covers politics.

Iโ€™m exhausted by the Democratic party's failure to brand itself with the popular policies it stands for.

Iโ€™m exhausted by this confusing stage of the pandemic.

Iโ€™m exhausted by the current GOPโ€™s threat to our democracy.

Iโ€™m exhausted by the deep inequities in our society.

Iโ€™m exhausted by the lack of diversity in the institutions of power.

Most recently, this weekโ€™s election results in Virginia (and elsewhere) were a collective disappointment (especially because the outcomes were utterly preventable).

America has never been great at discussing our feelings. And the pandemic is no exception.

Humanity is experiencing a collective mental health crisis right now โ€“ and itโ€™s been made much worse because weโ€™ve chosen to sweep it under the rug instead of bringing it out into the light. The messages we hear? Keep working. Keep shopping. Keep contributing to society. But thereโ€™s a pandemic? But thereโ€™s an insurrection? It doesnโ€™t matter, capitalism says we must keep society functioning at all costs (including the cost of our wellbeing and planet).

It feels endless.

The pain of anxiety and depression is amplified when we do not talk about our own struggles. It makes us feel isolated. Ashamed. Scared.

But I have a secret: weโ€™re not alone.

Iโ€™m not alone.

Youโ€™re not alone.

Weโ€™re not alone.

Nearly 40% of the population reported mental health issues within the last year. ย Some healthcare experts have declared a mental health crisis in children. Living with mental health challenges does not have to be โ€“ and should not be โ€“ a silent struggle.

Itโ€™s okay to not be okay all the time.

Just look at the internetโ€™s new friend, Noodle. The TikTok sensation reminds us that sometimes itโ€™s a no-bones day (i.e., a day for healing) and itโ€™s perfectly acceptable to take time for that.

As we move into 2022 and year three of the pandemic, I hope youโ€™ll join me in prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Take the time. Take the rest. Itโ€™s okay to not be productive as capitalism defines it. You are being productive when you prioritize your mental health. You are doing enough.

I, for one, am giving myself permission to feel the heaviness of this week's news cycle and space to take time for myself. I invite you to do the same.

๐Ÿ—ผ๐Ÿ—ž: Newsletter

Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.

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