Our Bodies Get Tired, But So Do Our Minds...
I am amazed at how the mind works. And yet, I don’t really understand it, and I don’t think many people do. Have you ever smelled something and it immediately triggered a memory? The olfactory sense is powerful. Perhaps we’re walking down the street, and we catch a whiff from a nearby bakery and we remember our Grandma’s house, or we drive by the beach and smell the salty sea air and we remember that cruise we took on our honeymoon, or maybe our kids get in the car after soccer practice and we remember how bad that locker room smelled back in high school! The power of the mind to recall memories is amazing.
Sometimes when we forget things, we hear people say they’ve had a “senior moment”. I’m not sure I like that term as it seems to be demeaning to those who have gotten older. I don’t consider myself very old (yet) and I feel there are plenty of times I forget someone’s name (my apologies if I’ve done this recently to you), what was on the schedule for this evening (football game, 2 soccer practices, and oh, your parents are coming to visit?), or our anniversary (was that today?). It’s hard to remember all that we’ve got going on. Sometimes I wish my mind worked better, or maybe I should just get better at using the calendar on my smart phone.
There has been a lot of intense mental work we’ve been doing this past 18 months, and it seems people are tired. Our bodies get tired, but so do our minds. Things change every day. Do I need to wear a mask in the store? Is it ok to shake hands? Did I use hand sanitizer after touching that door handle? Is the vaccine safe or not? Am I not feeling well or is that just allergies? This constant mental work is exhausting. Our mental capacity and reserves are limited, and perhaps they are wearing thin more quickly that in the past.
I just learned that October is National Mental Health Awareness month. It seems to me that the issue of mental health has been magnified in recent years, and with the Covid-19 pandemic it’s extremely important that we recognize the mental and emotional battles that we’ve all been through, and that we continue to live through. Unfortunately, there was a stigma surrounding mental health in the past. But we know that mental health is just as important as physical health, it just may not be as visible. If you’re feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted, and like you need some help, please don’t hesitate to seek the care that you need.
“Asking for help is a courageous step.” - Mariska Hargitay