Today is World Mental Health Day

Here are tools for staying sane in an ever complex world

Q. What exactly is world mental health day?

A. It is a day (today) designated as a focal point for dealing with mental and emotional challenges, many tied to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Many people who might have been considered mentally “healthy” in other times find themselves overwhelmed by mental health challenges like isolation, fear, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

Many of us have been out of work for a time, and are experiencing financial stress due to businesses being closed during the lockdown. In addition to this challenge, many of us have and are struggling with not being able to socialize and see friends.

Many of us who have underlying health issues, struggle with fears about getting COVID-19, have stress concerning whether or not to get vaxxed, and feel we may be at risk for complications from the virus. All of this can be very hard on our mental health. Many of us already had pressures in life, then COVID just added to it, so with it came new stress and anxiety.

There are many approaches that can help us cope, and maintain our mental health. Among my favorite approaches (I have included resources for each of these suggestions towards the end of this article.) Among my favorite tips are…

·        Getting Counseling with a Professional Coach or Mentor:

·        Mindful Meditation,

·        Yoga,

·        Prayer,

·        Abundance thinking,

In the United States and Canada, rates of anxiety and depression remain higher than they were pre-pandemic, according to data released by the CDC

In addition to the grief, fear, and anxiety related to the virus itself, for many people the pandemic has brought on the problems I mentioned earlier; job loss, financial instability, isolation, and often there are additional caregiving responsibilities. Then there is uncertainty around school and work and related political disagreements within families.

In response to all of this the  global community has marked today, World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10

"I've heard the pandemic described as a disaster of uncertainty because it seems like the finish line keeps moving," said Dr. Erica Martin Richards,  chair and medical director of the department of psychiatry and behavioral health at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. "And that makes it harder to come up with a plan [to cope]."

The pandemic has also proven to disproportionately impact women's mental health.

A study, published by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April 2021 showed that 55% of women across all age groups said their mental health had diminished during the pandemic, compared to 38% of men. Another, published last month in Lancet Regional Health-Americas, also found women were more likely than men to report higher psychological distress during the pandemic, especially anxiety.

Richards, also an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine, pointed out that women's mental health has suffered disproportionately, compared to men during the pandemic for a number of reasons…

1.   even in non-pandemic times women are already two to three times more likely than men to experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime, according to Richards.

2.   during the pandemic, women took on additional caregiving responsibilities and were hit disproportionately hard by job loss, data shows.

3.   Women, and especially women of color, also faced more barriers to accessing support during the pandemic,

4.   The pandemic uncovered a lot of things that people are typically able to cope with because they've had years to develop those coping strategies," she said. "When you don't have that anymore, a lot of people felt more isolated and felt like there was a lack of overall support."

For some women, their mental health struggles may have played out during the pandemic in an increasing dependence on alcohol, or increased control over their food, according to, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine.

Data shows that alcohol-related liver disease and incidences of eating disorders rose during the pandemic, specifically among young women.

Many of us have easy mental and emotional coping approaches that we know work. The challenge is that these function to a point until they can't. That is what we are dealing with now.

Health professions across the board say they have seen an increasing need for mental health services as the pandemic has continued on, at some points with seemingly no end in sight.

At the beginning of the pandemic, anxiety was the thing that emerged first. Most people function from habit and the uncertainty of life in the pandemic has caused an increase in anxiety. And the longer this anxiety continues, the more people are likely to become depressed.

Warning signs that it is time to seek professional mentoring, coaching, counseling, psychotherapy, or other support include a wide range of strategies including…

·     Irritability,

·     changes to sleep patterns,

·     undesired weight loss or weight gain,

·     suicidal thoughts,

·     excessive feelings of worry,

·     depressive and hopeless thoughts

Do you need professional help? By being self-aware daily you will notice if any of those things begin to affect your ability to function in your day to day.

Don’t fall for the mental trap of thinking you can solve these challenges by going it alone. When stress is becoming overwhelming, ask for professional help. This can include reaching out to religious leaders or groups, primary care doctors, life coaches, or anyone else who can point you in the right direction.

There are also strategies we can apply to protect and strengthen our mental health on our own, tools that become even more critically important as the pandemic continues. Among these are the ones with resources I have listed earlier in this article.

·        Getting Counseling with a Professional Coach or Mentor -

The Life Strategies Playbook & Mentoring Program
Lewis Harrison's Mentoring and Life Strategies Playbook Method
Are you successful but need a greater sense of purpose for your life? Are you looking to make a difference in the world yet don’t know how? Do you put in endless hours trying to succeed but always come up short in achieving your goals? Does every plan you make, end up being bogged down with difficulty and frustration…
Read more

·        Mindful Meditation – A wonderful book. Spiritual Not Religious. Get it on -

·         Yoga – How the YogaBurn Challenge can help women get lighter, healthier, and happier. /

·         Prayer

·         Abundance thinking - Applying Taoist wisdom through the Tao of Rich to bring you financial freedom. I use this approach to support my philanthropic efforts. /

Maintaining mental health is a step-by-step process. There will be many things that will continue to be frustrating here.  Some days will be better than others. Just do what needs to be done and focus less on what you want. By doing this you will more easily maintain your mental and emotional equilibrium.

Here are eight mental health-boosting tips including a review of previous suggestions

1. Get plenty of sleep: 

2. Take time for yourself, especially when you think there's no time: 

3: Keep the positives of the pandemic: 

4. Say no when you need to: 

5. Do self-care you enjoy, not just what you think you should do:

6. Do regular exercise especially yoga and tai chi:

7. Read and study about abundance thinking:

8. Focus on your spiritual life including using prayer, and a mindset based on gratitude, and an appreciation of grace.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386



Author: Lewis Harrison is a spiritual mentor, author, and philanthropist

He may receive a commission from any sales made through this newsletter. Any income produced here goes directly (100%) to support his philanthropic projects.

Watch a short video below where Lewis explains the importance of Transformative Tools