April 6, 2022
I don’t think I realized just how over-exposed I was to death and dying until late fall 2021. Up to that point, I plugged along in my practice and worked to grow my business. I practiced daily rituals to navigate the losses of both of my parents. And I regularly sought wise counsel to increase my awareness of grief triggers and improved personal and professional boundaries. Yet there I was. Overwhelmed, exhausted, and under-inspired.
I don’t need to tell you how disruptive the past two years have been. At any given moment, you could turn on your TV or scroll through social media and observe the death toll rising as a result of COVID-19. This, coupled with daily news programming focused on societal ills, negatively affected us all in various ways.
Why? Because constant exposure to stressful news can be anxiety-provoking situation and can contribute to psychological distress. For some people, death exposure can lead to thoughts about one’s own mortality, resulting in anxiety and fear. I’d be remiss here, however, if I didn’t recognize that research exploring the impact of death exposure has yielded mixed results. Some researchers note that individuals may also begin to integrate end-of-life wisdom and experience a greater sense of hope and meaning as they navigate their lives in the present.
In my case, feelings of overwhelm and irritability reigned, sprinkled in with occasional bursts of hope. And I knew it would be important to explore new strategies to help reduce anxiety.
Intentional awareness. Focus on support. Intentional action.
Death and dying, and exposure to it, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Heck, we’re facing international conflict and the possibility of war right now.
My greatest hope for you is that you do what it takes to keep yourself healthy. You’re worth it.
Let me know what you think.
Learn more about managing your lifestyle, love, leadership, and loyalties to God, self, and others by clicking here: https://mekelharrisphd.com/.