Mr. Rogers always brought the wisdom.

If there has been any benefit to the COVID pandemic, it’s that the issue of mental health has come to the forefront on a national scale as we address challenges facing our essential and frontline workers, the elderly, and our kids.

On a smaller, but no less important scale, it has made us more comfortable with talking to each other openly about our struggles during this pandemic without worrying about being judged. Maybe your always stoic uncle has opened up about his fears regarding getting sick and being alone, your best friend has told you about how the need to sanitize everything has ramped up her OCD, or your ‘always look for the silver lining’ co-worker has admitted to having bad days while sheltering at home.

Maybe you’ve found it easier to vocalize your struggles without fear of judgment.

Sharing our feelings, talking about them, giving them a name, is important not only in maintaining our mental health but benefits our physical health as well. Suppressed feelings can eventually present as anger and anxiety if not addressed, which can then manifest themselves physically. Studies have shown that suppressing negative feelings can affect your immune system, and these days, our immunity needs all of the help it can get!

Whether it’s been through posting hilarious (but true) memes on social media about the daily struggles of living in 2020, texting a loved one to commiserate, or checking in virtually, we’ve all been more open with sharing our mental and emotional journey through the coronavirus, and hopefully when this is all over, our willingness to talk and share those overwhelming upsetting and scary feelings will remain. Who do you talk to about your struggles during COVID? Has anyone in your life surprised you with their newfound emotional vulnerability?

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