Winter is coming, and it’s hitting harder this year. If you are feeling more anxious, unsettled, frustrated or just plain exhausted this season, you’re in good company. Maybe—like me—you feel like you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep since February. Maybe your patience seems to be wearing thin, it feels difficult to concentrate, or the winter blahs are already making it hard to get out of bed.
The holidays are always a bit stressful, and winter is always a bit dreary, but 2020 is its own level. A recent report from the American Psychological Association found that 80% of Americans reported increased mental stress due to the pandemic. Mental health practitioners say their caseloads are through the roof.
Together, we have weathered months of social isolation, anxiety about our health and the health of our loved ones and the exhaustion of living in a heightened state of awareness. We didn’t get the break from COVID-19 for which we hoped, and now many of us are faced with the hard decisions of how or if to gather with our loved ones for the holidays.
You’re not imagining it—2020 has been harder than normal, and it is okay not to feel “back to normal.”
Experiencing extra stress is a normal reaction to the upheaval we have experienced in the pandemic, but you don’t have to struggle alone. The church is here for you, and your ministers want to support you. Navigating life’s challenges by tending to our mental health is central to our church’s ministry. Did you know that Pastor Kendra holds individual counseling sessions every week? Appointments are open to anyone in the congregation or the wider community. To get in touch with Kendra, send her an email or leave her a voicemail at 233-2527 ext. 104.
Honoring our bodies as God’s good creation includes tenderly caring for our mental and emotional health. All your ministers are available to talk if and when you need us. We love you, and we continue to pray for your well-being!