Mental Health at Home

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer

If you feel depressed and anxious right now, you’re not alone. Mental wellness can be challenging to navigate in our everyday lives. Add in a pandemic, lost jobs, homeschooling, fear, and constant reports of gloom and doom, and it’s too much for any of us to handle. If we’re not intentional about caring for ourselves and each other, we will find ourselves in the middle of a global panic attack. To maintain the “sound mind” that 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) reminds us about, we must come to a few agreements.

1. Let’s agree to put down the “strong friend” facade.

Sometimes we discuss our mental and emotional experiences in a hushed tone as if they are signs of weakness that should be kept secret. Other times, we completely ignore our feelings until they grow into weeds and choke the beauty out of our lives. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the “strong” friend, child, spouse, parent, or co-worker? 

We are taking in a lot as a global community, and it is challenging to digest it all. Processing this experience goes beyond sleeping in, binging on snacks and documentaries, and wishing for everything to “return to normal.” We must acknowledge our feelings, express them fully, and not be ashamed that they exist. 

2. Let’s agree to give grace to friends and family. 

Friends and family love us, but they are facing challenges as well. They may not have the emotional capacity to “check-in” on us like they would under different circumstances. Now is a great time to introduce therapy into your care plan. Therapists are licensed, certified, and qualified to help us mentally and emotionally endure. To make it easier for you, we have compiled a directory of therapists who offer counseling online. Just visit www.templefit.co/onlinehealth. 

If you have lost your job, lost significant income, lost your health insurance, or are otherwise concerned about affording mental healthcare, don’t be. You may be surprised at how affordable therapy can be. Additionally, many therapists have financial hardship options that you can discuss together. 

3. Let’s agree to turn off the news.

For a few hours a day, give yourself a break. Turn off the news stations, stop scrolling on social media, and protect your peace. Stress response pioneer Dr. Hans Selye warned that we have a limit for how much stressful stimuli we can handle before we suffer damaging effects. When we stay plugged in to the headlines, we wear down our mental strength. Instead, use that time to get in some exercise and lower your stress levels. You can visit www.templefit.co/onlinehealth for a directory of trainers who are hosting fitness classes online. 

4. Let’s agree to never stop praying. 

Luke 18:1, NIV, enforces that we should always pray and never give up. It may seem like God is distant from you and the world at-large, but we must trust His word that He is always there. And His presence is not limited to being in the church building. We must be vigilant about strengthening our faith in this season. Whether you host a group Bible study via the YouVersion app or you stream church services online, be intentional and be consistent. The emergency prayer line is a great resource when you feel like you are losing hope. You can call or text the line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and someone will be available to pray with you. The number is 866-987-7729. Additional emergency numbers for anyone challenged with anxiety, depression, domestic violence, or thoughts of suicide are at www.templefit.co/onlinehealth. 

If we can come to these four agreements—making sure that we take good care of ourselves and each other—we will stay connected, protected, and healthy while we stay home.  

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer is a Creator of Healthy Conversations. As a national speaker and published author, she teaches the busy & overwhelmed how to live life abundantly. She is the owner of the Temple Fit Co. wellness agency, which is home to 25+ wellness speakers and fitness instructors. Tune in to “Temple Fit Devotions with Dr. Asha” on Wednesdays at 4 pm on Hallelujah 95.3 FM.