May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I am joined by fellow authors and coaches Kimberly Layne and Twiana Armstrong as we discuss stresses in our Roaring 2020s and how we are coping with them. We provide examples of what we are doing to maintain our mental health.

Kimberly Layne: https://www.kimberly-layne.com/

Twiana Armstrong: https://linkedin.com/in/twianaarmstrong

#Roaring20s #Roaring2020s #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

[Video Transcript]

[Twiana Armstrong]

We’re acknowledging in May, Mental Health Awareness Month, emphasizing the need to take care of ourselves, as well as one another in today’s society. The world has experienced a tremendous amount of change in the past two years, multiple pandemics – Covid and the social/racial reckonings, all intertwined with horrific mass shootings and natural disasters. How do these incidents contribute to our mental wellbeing?

As early as the 1920s, psychiatric epidemiologists began to document how social environments contributed to the development of mental disorders and in the 1980s, epidemiologists shifted their policy focus to the early identification and prevention of mental illness in individuals. History recalls the 1920s introducing a lot of change, cultural revolutions – social and racial, the rise of a consumer-oriented economy and big business.

As we take a look at 2022, we must take seriously how we promote and engage in positive mental health strategies for ourselves and our employees. Within the 8 hour or more workday and 40 hours or more workweek, business leaders should strategically plan how to help employees navigate and cope within their social environments to be well and be safe. Access to and navigation of employee assistance programs, EAPs, speaks volumes to your focus on quality of life.  Creating environments of open communication, creative work shifts, and employee driven engagements allow employees to attend to their mental health needs.  It’s called belongingness.

Kimberly, what insights are you sharing about Mental Health Awareness?

[Kimberly Layne|

How serious do you take your mental and emotional wellbeing?  Are you tuned in?  Are you periodically taking a deep emotional inventory?

I recently became engaged to a wonderful man and my life will positively blossom. I will be moving to Northern Ca from so Cal, And, in addition to becoming a wife, I will become a mother to his two wonderful boys while managing a family and household. Yes, this is an extremely positive time in my life, and I am elated.

Coincidentally 4 months ago when I began spending 90% of my time with my fiancé and family, I also began experiencing sinus issues which have progressively manifested to debilitating sinus headaches, physical exhaustion, and nausea. After visiting an ENT Specialist, I have been diagnosed for sinus surgery.

At the same time, I decided to leverage other resources; I sought the help of a professional.   I come to realize that my past experience of abusive, non-trusting and unprotective relationships are triggering a “fear factor” for THIS healthy loving relationship. my burying and not truly feeling all all of my programmed innate fear and triggered emotions they have chosen manifested as this sinus disease.  What we emotionally refuse to feel our bodies will reveal!

That evening I decided to take an Epsom salt bubble bath and to sit with my thoughts, I mean I truly sit in silence, and feel my emotions. In no time I had tears streaming down my face from the fear and pain of my past. Miraculously, the next day I was feeling 90% of myself with my energy back, and my head nearly clear. I did not realize how much I was burying my underlying feelings. And how powerful that fear truly was.

Those 30 minutes of allowing my true emotions to surface was monumentally healing.

What are you not feeling? What are you burying or running away from? Again, What we do not express emotionally our bodies will express (reveal) physically. When was the last time you took a deep emotional inventory?

Matt, what are your thoughts.

[Matt Schlegel]

Thanks, Kimberly, for sharing your powerful story.

I’m so glad were talking about this.

From a mental health point of view, this month has been very tough for me.  We experienced a mass shooting in Buffalo that has impacted me very deeply.  I am horrified.   The shooter was inspired by ideologies of Replacement Theory and Eco-fascism.  It seems that some who are having an anger-based emotional reaction to the climate crisis will be targeting those who are not like them. And here we are in our Roaring 2020s, one hundred year after the rise of fascism in the 1920s led by Mussolini in Italy.  This is a truly horrifying echo from the past.

So how do I process my feelings about the horrors of mass shootings and of climate change?  Firstly, I talk about it with sympathetic friends, which is one of the reasons I am so grateful for both of you and our ability to have these important conversations. I also will take long, mountainous hikes with friends to work out these feelings, getting both the conversation and a great workout.

Also, I have joined a rock band! I find that immersing myself in learning and playing music helps me process my feelings. When I am playing with others, I become so focused on the music that it gives my mind a healthy escape from my anxieties.

We all need to acknowledge that we live in a time of extraordinary stress and these stresses are impacting our emotional health. Please take time to be aware of how these stresses are affecting you.  Learn some techniques that help you identify your triggers, like we discussed last month.  Take measures to manage your mental health. We’ve mentioned a few: conversations with sympathetic friends, exercise, playing music, and taking a nice bubble bath.  Seek professional help if you start feeling overwhelmed. Importantly, be kind to yourself and be kind to those around you.

Thanks for listening.

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