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Not over it yet? It’s OK if you’re not feeling OK

Mar 06, 2024
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Let’s face it. No one needs to remind us that 2023 was a challenging year for the people of Maine.

Mainers, of course, are famous for their grit and for having each other’s backs in tough times. And while that’s true, healing takes time and it’s OK to need help, whether following a violent event, a natural disaster, a personal loss, or something else. Most important, when life comes at you hard, remember to be patient with yourself and to stay connected with those around you.

There’s no script for reacting to the things life throws our way, and you shouldn’t expect to “get over it” quickly. You may not want to eat or are having a tough time sleeping. You might feel as if things are out of control, have a tough time concentrating, feel angry or restless, feel like withdrawing, or not even know how you feel. A current event might even remind you of something in the past and could churn up old feelings, too.

StrengthenME, a Maine state resource offering free stress management and resiliency resources, has a few suggestions:

  • Talk to others about your experience and try to keep your usual social contacts to stay connected.
  • Use other resources if you find it hard to talk to family or friends.
  • Stay active—try to keep to your regular schedule or activities and consider increasing your exercise.
  • Limit alcohol and other controlled substances.
  • Try frequently eating small amounts of healthy food, especially if you have problems eating.
  • Get up and read or watch television if you can’t sleep—don’t just toss and turn.
  • Hold off on major decisions.

You may need support if time drags on and you’re not feeling any better within about six weeks—particularly if you’re having a difficult time functioning at home or work, experiencing flashbacks, avoiding anything that might remind you of the event, and especially if you’re experiencing thoughts of harming yourself.

If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please dial 988, which routes you to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Community Health Options currently offers Members free therapy sessions through Amwell Telehealth®. Learn more by clicking here, or to speak with a therapist, log into your Amwell account and enter your service key (HealthOptions207) in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Select the box that is labeled “Therapy” and schedule your appointment. For questions, call Amwell support at (844) 733-3627 to speak with support.

Here are a few other resources:

  • NAMI Maine, where you’ll find a guide to resources by county, along with other important contacts, along with a Teen Text Support Line for youth aged 13-23, who want free, confidential resources. Teens can text 207-515-8398 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
  • Healthwise, a nonprofit, unbiased, evidence-based source of information, is available to help Community Health Options Members navigate health concerns. Through Healthwise, Members can search for information about mental and emotional well-being, including tools that help to develop better coping skills during stressful times.

Even without the stress of a pandemic and rising costs that strain household budgets, life deals us good days and bad days—often at an unbelievably rapid pace. Some days we wake up filled with hope, other days, not so much. Take time to know how you’re doing, and if you need help managing life’s challenges.