Impact of Social Division on Mental Health

2020 is a year of great social division.

Whether caused by things within our control – like our political allegiances – or things outside our control – like the Covid pandemic – the divisions and divisiveness of 2020 are taking their toll on everyone.

Every day we hear more and more about how much our society is divided. We hear politicians battle about the best ways to deal with the pandemic. Should we continue to remain “locked down” while we await a vaccine, or should we “open up” so that businesses and schools and other aspects of life can “get back to normal”?  In these weeks and months before the US presidential election, neighbors, friends, and even family members have lost the ability to have civil conversations about differences. Name-calling between political candidates is now widely-accepted, and this seems to have filtered down to conversations, nay arguments, between neighbors, friends, and family members. Toxic Stress

Strife is stressful, and chronic stress can be toxic and deadly.

During such stressful times as these each of us needs to take special care of our health and well-being. We need to find ways to minimize the negative impact of the divisions and divisiveness that seem to be all around us.  Because of such division, is it any wonder that we can readily find headlines such as this? 

New Study: 1 In 5 Users Taking Breaks From Social Media Due To Negativity And Divisiveness

Regardless of where we stand on any of the domains that are impacted by such division, taking care of ourselves must always remain a top priority. Taking a break from social media – which can be the cause of such stress in the first place – is certainly something we should all consider. And, if not an actual “break,” then perhaps limiting our exposure to it, just like we would limit our exposure to other stressors in life.

Even more basic, however, is to remind ourselves of the fundamentals of good self-care. One of the simplest ways to take care of ourselves is to remember the word RED. It’s a mnemonic device to help us remember the importance of paying attention to:

Pax et bonum!

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