One of the hardest things to do in this fast paced world is to pause or to take a break from ordinary routines. June is symbolic of transitional pauses such as weddings, high school graduations, and summer picnics. It is a time for taking a day off work or attending a celebration. While weddings, graduations, and summer fun with the kids can last a day or maybe a weekend, the type of break that refreshes on a deeper level is extended time away to renew the body, mind, and spirit. Taking a full vacation, a weekend or just four or five days away from the normal routine of life can have a tremendous impact on how life resumes post-break.
The turbulent nature of the current times have been weighing heavily on many people’s minds. Throughout our interconnected communities we have heard many people talk about struggling with the chaos and uncertainty present in our socio-political climate, and with the challenges of maintaining emotional and physical well-being. Social media sites are full of revolving comments about needing a mental health break as well as expressions of being overwhelmed. The most recent reports from Charlottesville and North Korea seem to have increased what appears to be a sense of hopelessness, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, and depressive symptoms associated with concern over the state of America and the world. While frustration, anger, sadness, and fear are not new emotions experienced when there is a change in the socio-political climate, this now appears to be a trend associated with this distinct time in history and the increasing divisive nature of change happening in numerous arenas of our society. Steven Stosney, PhD discusses the increase in stress experienced by people seeking mental health support in the Trump presidency era in his article “How to Cope With Trump Anxiety.” He states,”Our current environment, amplified by 24-hour news outlets and social media, has created a level of stress, nervousness, and resentment that has intruded into many people’s lives and intimate relationships, the likes of which I’ve not seen in nearly 30 years of clinical work.”