I see pain and stress in so many people around me, especially the young, and believe it’s primarily because of the forced way we are having to live our lives, with restrictions and in fear. I find myself often thinking about how the future will look for the next generation.
Now that we have been living “closer” to one another this past year, it’s possible to see what is happening to the youngsters around us. Mental illness is definitely on the rise and it is increasingly important that we never underestimate the seriousness of this debilitating illness. It lives in the homes of our teachers, doctors, nurses, volunteers, social workers, cleaning women, garbage collectors, business owners, athletes, entrepreneurs, youth, rich and poor, and everyone in-between…
Initially, we often think therapy and/or medication will help, but what if we focused on things like: exercising, setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness and affirmations, asking for help from family/friends, meditation, connecting with others, eating nutritious foods, changing certain habits, massages, validating oneself, practicing self-love and self-care, to name but just a few…
I find it alarming yet unsurprising that so many youngsters have no interest in their own lives nowadays. Their freedom has been taken away from them and they are often under tremendous pressure to continuously change, re-adjust and re-invent themselves. Perhaps we need to take a step back and appreciate what we have accomplished in our lives or be grateful for the little things that are going well. Let go of all the stress, for just one day, and leave any and all guilt behind. What kind of difference could that simple act offer us?
When I walk in the park and see younger people exercising, having picknicks, walking their dogs and having fun, I think, ‘good for you! Go ahead and take back your lives! You are resilient, strong, courageous and lovable!’
Look around and try to help those struggling with mental illness in any way you can. Offer support, listen, give validation, and try to ‘be there’ for them, in light and love.
If we can all strive to do this, then I have great hope for this struggling group of youngsters.