Once upon a time I was pretty good at handling stress. I've always lived in high-stress situations; in high school, I lived in a poor trailer park next door to meth labs, and I took care of my siblings--homework, bath time, meals, the works--while I did all AP courses, ran a handful of student organizations, worked "part time" (the hours were close to full-time), did sports and did my best to get my homework done. Most days I didn't have lunch money (hence the job), and most days I didn't sleep much. Teachers would tell me I looked terrible, or that I didn't handle stress well, without knowing what I was dealing with at all, which I've come to see as the norm for far too many teens. Life is hard. That was how I really learned to try not to judge others. You never know what people are going through.
From there I grew up to be in similar high-stress situations most of the time, from having a special needs infant while finishing college and working full-time and caring for two relatives to homeschooling while working multiple jobs and volunteer positions. It's what I know. It's taken a toll on my body but it's also where I feel most at home, whether it's healthy or not. That said, this past year and a half has really taken a toll and for the first time I really feel like I'm not handling things very well. It's ironic, too, since I predicted that the mental health everyone had worried about wouldn't affect me much since I already work from home.
My body's taking a bit hit, as usual, but between my teen growing up and my entire identity changing while the world is in chaos around us, from the last administration to the pandemic, global warming to so many issues coming to a head that need to and so many being frustratingly left behind all while I find out how much people don't care if people like me die... it's been a doozy. And I know so, so many people could say the same. The tools in my arsenal that I typically employ for my seasonal depression aren't helping, either.
So my question is... how are you handling it, especially if your usual tools aren't working? Are you finding good therapy (if so, where?), did you find some great coping mechanisms you've never tried before, or are you still looking? I've heard that Teledoc works well for people who are still trying to keep their distance but that many therapists are seeing clients online now, too. Are there certain songs, movies or TV shows you're turning to? Any kinds of foods or supplements that have helped you personally? Share what you find--or what you hope to find--in the chat... and know that you are not alone. Not even a little.