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Cascading tragedies reinforce need to take care of mental health

Cascading tragedies reinforce need to take care of mental health
Posted at 6:12 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 18:12:42-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The last couple years have been difficult, to say the least, for so many people. From the pandemic, to recent tragedies, life can feel overwhelming.

That's why mental health counselors and Steven Levy suggest making your mental health a priority.

“I have been in and out of therapy for well over probably 20 years," Levy said.

Levy said he goes to therapy in times of coaching and in times of crisis.

“Often it looks like and feels a lot like the world is happening to you," he said. "That you're reacting to everything and every part of your life."

Levy said getting fresh air for just 10 minutes and unplugging from all interaction has helped him in the past and can work as an immediate band-aid. But, added it’s also important to reach out.

“If they can't get a hold of a therapist or somebody who's a professional, they got to talk to a friend," Levy said.

Mental health counselor Stephanie Moir told ABC Action News that lingering stressors brought on by the pandemic, coupled with recent nationwide tragedies, can be triggering.

“You could be experiencing trauma via the events that are happening or anxiety even, through things that you’re hearing or seeing. Not necessarily happening to you but via what you’re watching or hearing," Moir said.

She said you should allow yourself to feel emotions but try to not let it consume you.

“Sometimes that’s where we get stuck," she said. "We get stuck in the overthinking phase, or we get stuck in over feelings things and then we become very immobile."

She suggested writing your thoughts out on paper, draw a picture, write a song or listen to music.

Most importantly, Moir said it's crucial people limit negative self talk like “I suck” or “I'm not good enough.”

As for Levy, he said thinking of a therapist as a tool rather than a punishment, helps him daily.

“Think about what a therapist can do in terms of coaching… And that the ailments are not forever. People are not broken, they are injured and they can heal," Levy said.