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Take A Mental Health Moment

As we spring into a new year – pause, breathe and check in with yourself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an emotional toll on all of us. For some, it has caused strong emotions such as anxiety, stress, feelings of isolation, grief or guilt. And even though our community is starting to return to a “new normal,” this can also bring about its own unique set of anxieties for individuals.

As we begin to turn a new page on what day-to-day life looks like, it’s important to take stock and invest in your own mental health and wellbeing. United Way of the Midlands is committed to connecting you to mental health resources and services that can help you or someone you care about build a better, stronger tomorrow.

Below we invite you to take a mental health moment to connect with how you are feeling and discover new tools and methods to cope.

What is Languishing?

Have you been feeling blah or a sense of emptiness? You're not alone.
One of the best strategies for managing emotion is putting a name to it. If you’ve been feeling a sense of stagnation or emptiness, aren’t feeling quite yourself but also don’t feel you’re experiencing depression or another mental illness, you might be feeling languish. 

“At first, I didn’t recognize the symptoms that we all had in common. Friends mentioned that they were having trouble concentrating. Colleagues reported that even with vaccines on the horizon, they weren’t excited about 2021. A family member was staying up late to watch “National Treasure” again even though she knows the movie by heart. And instead of bouncing out of bed at 6 a.m., I was lying there until 7, playing Words with Friends.

 

It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.

 

Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.

 

As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of long-haul Covid, many people are struggling with the emotional long-haul of the pandemic. It hit some of us unprepared as the intense fear and grief of last year faded….”

 

Read more about languishing from the New York Times here.

Invest in Your Mental Health

While there are so many ways to do this, these three steps are a good start.

Coping With Reopening Anxiety

If you're still working on crawling out of your "COVID cave," here are some tips.
As vaccines start rolling out, the expectation to be in-person is becoming a reality in many schools and workplaces across the country. But COVID-19’s impact is long-lasting, and it’s normal to feel anxiety about being around others again. Read below to learn more about re-entry anxiety and how you can cope.

“It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a threat to human health and life. So, anxiety is inevitable in response to this threat. Resuming required activities is, therefore, bound to cause additional anxiety. Re-entry anxiety in the current scenario is normal and even evolutionarily protective. It’s okay and even healthy to experience re-entry anxiety. Just like a certain amount of anxiety is useful for optimal performance in test-taking, similarly, some anxiety in the current scenario can help you stay safe, engage in appropriate preventive behaviors and exercise needed caution. Here are some key things you can do to effectively cope with re-entry anxiety during these unusual times: . . .”

 

Read more and discover tips from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Here are six tips from a therapist for coping with reopening anxiety:

  1. Take Things Slow – and Beware of FOMO (fear of missing out)
  2. Listen To Your Body
  3. Don’t Judge Yourself So Harshly
  4. Be Mindful of COVID-19 Grief
  5. Put Anger In Perspective
  6. Seek Greater Meaning

Read more here.

Resources For You

If you or someone you care about needs support, local and national organizations are here to help.
Helplines and Crisis Support
  • For mental health emergencies, call 911

24-Hour Behavioral Information & Referral Line

  • 402.717.HOPE

Suicide Hotline

  • 1.800.273.TALK

Nebraska Family Helpline – for those concerned about youth

  • 1.888.866.8660
Safe Harbor

  • 402.715.4226

Disaster Distress Helpline

  • 800.985.5990
  • Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746

Boys Town National Hotline

Nebraska Rural Response Hotline

  • 800.464.0258

Salvation Army Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline

  • 877.220.4195
  • Available Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Heartland Family Service video-conferencing

  • For services in Iowa, call 712.322.1407
  • For services in Nebraska, call 402.552.7400
Methodist Emotional Support Line

  • Call 402.815.8255 (TALK) to speak to a counselor
  • Available daily from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska

  • Call 855.659.2706

Behavioral Health Connection from Nebraska Medicine

United Way of the Midlands’ 211 Helpline is here for you, 24/7

Not sure where to start? 211 can help you access the right mental health resources and connect you to assistance for food, housing, utilities and more. Just call 2-1-1 (for 402.444.6666), text your zip code to 898211, visit ne211.org or download the 211 Nebraska/SW Iowa app to speak with one of our helpline specialists and get help today with:

  • Utility Assistance
  • Rent Assistance
  • Food Pantries
  • Shelter and Housing Services
  • Clothing
  • Abuse Prevention
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Support Groups
  • Senior Services
  • Transportation
  • Disaster Services
  • Government Shutdown Support
  • Legal Services
  • Health Care Services
  • Family Support
  • Financial Assistance and Education
Local Organizations

About the Author Emily is the Marketing Coordinator at United Way of the Midlands. She helps the team with all aspects of marketing projects. Emily finds it incredibly rewarding to be able to support our community through storytelling. Emily enjoys reading a good book, podcasts, and volunteering.

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