Our Mental Health In 2021

Episode 93 is the first of 2021 and a brief check-in for all of us on our mental well-being. Literally for all of us: myself very much included.

The world has changed a ton for a lot of us since we turned the pages on calendars from 2020 to 2021. Or has it? That’s an actual question I wanted to sit down with for this episode. 

2020 was not the best year ever for so many of us. I feel pretty safe saying that. I mean, unless you’re Jeff Bezos or one of the other billionaires that just got even more disgustingly wealthy during the past year. Emphasis on that word ‘disgusting’, by the way.

The transition to a new year tends to bring that big energy of leaving things in the past and moving into the fresh, shiny newness with some level of optimism. 2021 feels like it was the polar opposite calendar page-turn of the year 2000, with all of the y2k fear. 

So, what happened? What changed? I sat with that for a minute or 5 and came away with the reality that, aside from the literal calendar change: nothing changed. We were all still in the middle of this pandemic. Our planet had shifted as much as it would any normal day, but that didn’t “fix” things. 

We were less than 3 weeks away from a significant leadership change here in the U.S. For some of us, that represented an enormous light at the end of what had been a very long and dark tunnel. But, let’s be real: for others, it didn’t. I assume we are all familiar with how that goes for any presidential election.

6 days into the new year, there was an insurrection at our nation’s capitol. Something unlike anything our generation has ever witnessed. Not here. Not in these United (??) States of America.

Insert an entire paragraph about the women there that day. Insert an entire post about the brilliance that the youngest Inaugural poet laureate Amanda Gorman brought to the day.

And, here we all are. The pandemic is still a thing. Trumpism is still a thing. People are still trying to figure out how to live through massive tragedy and hardship right now.

Change takes time. It takes hard work and a lot of it. As conscientious as I may be about the reality and obviousness of it, I have still had to remind myself there was never a magic wand. No instantaneous betterment was coming on January 1 or January 20.

I’ve needed to come to terms with that fact more than once. This has driven me to work harder to focus (again) on my mental health. To get back into a steady routine of meditation. To find moments, as I need them, of quiet or of mindless distraction at other times. Reading a book, listening to music… even times of listening to the sound of the world outside: the wind in the trees… the rain falling.

I know that not a lot of men are comfortable with the idea of discussing mental health. To some, it displays weakness or inferiority. To many, it may be something that could be so helpful, if they could open themselves up to the idea. So, I have been talking about this on my social media, but if you do something for your mental health: share it with us. Let’s help each other and others learn and think of some new ways to help themselves.

I’ve said it in this episode a lot, but share your stories with the hashtag of #MyMentalHealth to make it easy to find.

You can listen to this conversation by finding the Daddy Unscripted podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In Radio, etc).

As I say in each episode: for anyone who may need help during any difficult times: the National Suicide Prevention hotline: (800) 273-8255. Also, I have a Google Voice Number for ANY of you to use: (872) 444-6784. Leave me a message there and I will get in touch with you… or you can even just use that as a safe place to vent or whatever it may be. 

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