June 2, 2022
Getting Through Tough Times
Helka Casey, MSEd, LPCC-S, Employee Assistance Program

I started out writing an article about how to better maximize joy and self-care with the opportunities that summer days can provide. But I struggled to focus on and write about self-care and sunshine when so many in our country wrestle with difficult news on a daily basis.

So how do we manage all the emotional and mental labor that comes with these concerns? Simple answer and a place to start: give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to turn off social media and the news for a bit. I know a lot of us can feel a sense of disloyalty or fear if we are not watching and being in the know 24/7. Our brains need a break, however. Not to worry, all the information will be there later. Give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling, even if it is enjoyment: it is okay to laugh and have fun and still care about what is going on. Give yourself permission to talk about your worries with people you trust. Give yourself permission to get back to basics, plan a comforting meal, take a walk during your lunch break or a soothing shower or bath in the evening. Give yourself permission to sit in the sunshine and pray, meditate, or just be in the moment. Give yourself permission to appreciate what is going well. Give yourself permission to protect your energy and have reasonable expectations for yourself and others at work and home. Finally, give yourself permission to live your values—however that may look for you—which may include advocacy or volunteer efforts.

Give yourself permission to see what works for you. If you need a little help along the way this summer, the Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here for you. If you would like to utilize the Ohio State EAP benefit of five complimentary counseling sessions, please contact the EAP at 800-678-6265 or eap@osumc.edu. You can also submit an online service request for counseling click here, and for work life referrals, click here.


Image credit: istockphoto.com