You might be hearing about a rise in people experiencing mental health challenges ever since the pandemic began. One of the reasons why is because the pandemic created all sorts of new hurdles in everyone’s life: financial insecurity, losing loved ones, interruption of routines, struggles in school due to virtual learning, inability to see friends.
These could be called curveballs, and while the pandemic threw us a lot of big ones all at once, life throws us curveballs all the time.
Sometimes, they are smaller curveballs. Little things that appear here and there all the time: forgetting your lunch or homework at home, a road on your normal route to school or work being closed, someone canceling plans, etc. We often already know how to manage with these – been there, done that! These are the kind of things that we have to deal with but don’t really cause us problems. Sometimes though they can be bigger curveballs, like the ones caused by the pandemic.
While we often think of curveballs as problems, they can actually be positive things too like a big trip or moving. Even when these curveballs are good things, they can challenge our ability to manage or cope, and that can cause us to experience challenges to our mental health.
So, what can we do when we’re experiencing a curveball?
First – think about some small curveballs. Think back to when you first experienced them – they may have seemed pretty big then, but you have learned how to deal with them.
Those curveballs got smaller in time because you learned how to cope. The only reason they are small now is because you adapted, learned, and coped successfully! The evidence is in your own experience: those curveballs shrank in size and impact and no longer affect you the way they used to.
So, even if you are dealing with a big curveball right now, no matter how big it is, you can definitely cope with it and come out the other side just like you have done successfully in the past.
We have all just experienced a huge curveball in life with the pandemic and are all learning to cope in different ways. If you’re struggling, remember that you’re not alone and that you can adapt to these new challenges.
For some tips on navigating change and taking control of your mental health, check out the links here!