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  • What happened to your joy?

    When’s the last time you felt relaxed and happy about your life in general? Have you ever? Don’t look now, but if you don’t actually do something about that, things are getting worse.

    These days we have a lot to worry about at so many levels—from global threats to national ones—the environment, war, poverty, COVID and other health crises, political craziness, human rights abuses, on and on. And that’s just for starters. Our personal lives are beset with versions of all of the above, only up close and personal.

    As reported in the Washington Post, the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) are tracking anxiety data which shows that a third of Americans now show serious symptoms of clinical anxiety and depression.

    Before the pandemic, 25% of U.S. adults were clinically depressed. During the worst of the pandemic, that proportion grew to 50%. Rates of anxiety and depression are higher among populations of younger adults, women, and the poor. The elderly are less like likely to report symptoms.

    According to McKinsey, 7 in 10 people live in societies with growing inequality. The highest income bracket worries half as often as the lowest.

    Congress has recently appropriated trillions of dollars in emergency funds, but reportedly almost none of it has yet gone toward mental health programs and clinics.

    So where does that leave you? With a need to find refuge from what threatens your joy.

    I’m not going going to give you advice here, because everybody gives you advice. The thing I’m going to do is help you find your own personal sanctuary. In addition to activism, we all need a break. 

    Go ahead and make one. Make a break against all odds. Call a mental health professional for help. You have to find that interval of joy for yourself.

    Copyright © 2023 by Marilee Snyder.