So many of us made New Year’s resolutions to get our bodies into shape. We couldn’t wait for the gym to open to show off our new athletic attire. Setting our alarms to get up early to walk those miracle miles was on our agenda. We went vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free. Juicing was going to be at least one meal a day. We joined WW, Noom, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Slim for Life, and more. We bought a Peloton and even purchased the Mirror and the Tonal. All of this was to get our bodies in shape. By the way, your Peloton has become a close hanger, and the only time we look in the Mirror is to check to see if our clothes are fitting too tightly.
With all of this, some of us still couldn’t get out of bed, and when we did manage to get out of bed, we just moved to the couch. This wasn’t a one-time thing, it was an everyday occurrence. Or maybe we could get off the couch, but we stopped having interaction with others. No more texting, virtual visits, or even visiting in person. We just stayed at home. Our energy level was nonexistent.
Were we just getting lazy or were we depressed? What is up with our mental health? Recently there have been several well-publicized suicides, and I have even heard of a few people locally who have decided they would rather not be among the living. People tend to think that it is only the young that have the thoughts of ending their time here on earth, but it’s not. Women and men of a certain age have mental health issues also. Mature adults may not seek out professional help when it comes to their mental health. Now we will go to every kind of doctor there is for our physical health. Just listen to our conversation, and how many doctors we reference–my cardiologist, my podiatrist, etc., but very few will say, my therapist. Or either we misdiagnose ourselves. We go in and tell the doctor our back hurts, and she examines us and informs us it is our hip, not our back. Now in some communities, we will say my pastor, but as my favorite pastor said–you should pray over everything, and now you should pray you have the right doctor and medication for what ails you.
I remember the famous chef Anthony Bourdain, and hearing of his suicide. He was a person who from the outside looking in had it all. I always joked that I was going to be his designated driver when he traveled. He always seemed to eat great food, drink a little too much, and have so much fun. Remember, he was with a friend who said there was no indication the night before at dinner that anything was wrong. Did people miss some sign that something was wrong?
Our mental health is so fragile, and there is no cast that we can put on it that fixes its brokenness. Take time to take care of yourself, and if you feel you need help, seek it out. Don’t be afraid of what your friends will say–we are too old to care, and if they are your friends they will help you.
Below is a great video from Perpetual mOetion with Dr. mOe Anderson on Suicide Prevention. This program discusses suicide prevention and other mental health issues with mental health expert, Stacey D. Brown and how to deal with them. Dr. mOe and Ms. Brown talk real talk.
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–having healthy mental health will help us have healthy physical health.