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Take care of yourself, too.

Have you been taking care of yourself? Have you been taking time to rest, relax, and de-stress? These past few months have been utterly overwhelming. Now the news about the increased number of COVID-19 cases across the United States is everywhere, deeply concerning and deeply frustrating. New Yorkers did what we had to do – closed businesses, stayed home when we could, wore our masks. We watched friends and family battle the virus to varying degrees – often from afar.

With the surge in cases, and restrictions that had been loosened becoming tighter again, what is next? Will we have to lock down and quarantine? Will businesses close again? How can this still be happening?

I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend; I felt utterly overwhelmed. I am a planner. I like to know what is supposed to happen next, and then after that. This health crisis doesn’t allow for much planning ahead since any plans made are met with great uncertainty, frustration, and fear for the future.

I sat in the sun. I went for a walk. I reminded myself I cannot control the virus or anyone else’s (individual or collective) reaction to it. I can only control my reactions to the world around me, my emotional stress. I started to feel a little better.

How do you manage your mental health and your stress? Do you take a walk? Read a book? Go for a drive? Yoga? Play a game? This news story is a few weeks old, but the information is still relevant and a good reminder about what we can do to feel a little less overwhelmed. I don’t always prioritize time for myself because of the many (many!) daily tasks to accomplish. However, I decided to re-commit to making sure I relax, take time, and de-stress, even for a few minutes at a time. I hope you will, too. Do the thing that makes you happy, that helps you relax, that rejuvenates you.

I found a few great resources from the Mental Health Association of Rockland, Rockland County Office of Mental Health; Montefiore Hospital offers relaxation audio tracks. Remember there is always a resource, always someone to whom you can reach out. If you’re not sure where to go or who to call, contact us. We are here for you.

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