Monica Marie Jones
Psychological Protection Equipment
The day the election results were announced, I was afraid to leave my home. I’ve moved to a community where there are far fewer people who look like me and based on their lawn signs, I doubt that they shared the joy I felt when I heard who the winners were. In every meeting that I attended that week, people were exhausted, anxious, and experiencing heightened emotions that made it impossible to fully focus. We were all partially present. This was just one week of a year where it felt as though there was constantly a new tragedy, distraction, injustice, or other event that jolted our already scattered souls. While masks and hand washing are basic yet powerful ways to protect us from contracting COVID-19, our mental health is left highly susceptible and exposed. This has led me to come up with another meaning for the acronym PPE. Psychological Protection Equipment.
Psychological safety is a basic human need that is a prerequisite to full engagement in our personal and professional lives. Many of us have managed to figure out how to function in the absence of it, but not without causing harm to ourselves or others in some way. Here are a few strategies to help us protect our mental health. Find Your Filter. It has been a delight to see the creatively designed masks that are both beautiful and bold in the social justice statements that they convey. But early on, we learned that cloth alone would not protect us. A special filter needs to be included in each mask. This is also true with what stands between your mind and everything that has happened and continues to happen in the world this year. Insert a filter that allows the clean air and oxygen of truth and encouragement in, but blocks out the pollutants and viruses of propaganda and injustices. For me, this looks like heavily limiting my intake of any news or social media above the basic facts that I need to know to function safely. Cleanse Your Cortex. Cleansing our minds is just as important as washing our hands. Even if we successfully avoid the news or refrain from doom scrolling on social media, we still take in a lot. If you are in the helping profession, you hold a lot of emotional space for your clients. If you are a caregiver or parent, you take on the heightened anxiety, risk, and responsibility of your loved one while simultaneously trying to care for yourself. If we just try to push through, this compounds the mental stress and becomes psychologically suffocating. Designate a time each day, week, or month where you will do something to cleanse your mental space. This could be as simple as allowing yourself to release that big ugly and snot-faced cry you have been holding in, dancing when no one is watching to shake off unwanted energies that have attached themselves to you, or going in your car and screaming at the top of your lungs. Shelter in Space. As the numbers of infections and fatalities rise, we have once again been strongly advised to shelter in place. For many of us, this is overwhelming because we are alone and want to be out with people, or we want to get away from the people we are hunkering down with. Both feel constricting. So, as you shelter in place, find creative ways to give yourself space. Today I am writing in a space in my house that gets very little traffic to minimize distractions. Other physical spaces could be a closet, car, or yard. Mental spaciousness may look like getting lost in a book or your favorite genre of music by way of your noise-canceling headphones. If you haven’t felt it yet, this year will have a profound impact on your mental health. This week and for the rest of this year, I challenge you to be more intentional about putting preventative measures and protective practices in place to preserve it. Manifestation Affirmations I am prioritizing my mental health. I am cleansing my mental space. I am using my PPE (Psychological Protection Equipment).
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide