Psyching the Zietgeist:
Current Culture Through a Mental Health Lens


The Poetry of Nayyirah Waheed

I often find it difficult to find words to describe the joys and struggles of living this life; at these times, words fail me.  When this happens – which is often –  I rely on metaphor and poetry because it captures the nuances of emotion in a way that prose cannot.

I love Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry and little meditations, which challenge, instruct and comfort me. I often read her and say, “Yes, exactly that!”.

Here is just a taste:

You will be lost, and unlost, over
and over again, relax love.  You
were meant to be this glorious.
Epic. Story.

(www.instagram.com/p/BsI8s4CneKe)

become intimate with your fears. listen
to them. sit cross legged. give them
your undivided attention…offer them
comfort. offer them rest.

(www.instagram.com/p/BsI8vzsHY4I)

stay soft. it looks beautiful on you.
(https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsa-WX0H_fs/)

 

I hope Nayyirah may be company for you when words fail you too. You can follow her wisdom and kindness on Instagram.

by Sara Oldham 

Posted on January 11, 2019
Posted in Digital Media, Self-careTagged ,

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this post are the views of the author(s) and don't necessarily reflect those of other members of the Women's Therapy Referral Service.

Smoky Summer Affecting Mental Health Around Pacific Northwest

We’ve had two summers now with significant smoky air from west coast wildfires. We northwesterners look forward to and treasure our short, perfect summers, so it’s disheartening to have to stay inside during our precious warm weather. There are health impacts as well as significant environmental degradations from these increasingly frequent and intense fires, but we’re affected also on a personal level, as our brief summer slams to a close.

Local shop owner/herbalist, Karyn Schwartz wisely observed about our smoky skies on her Instagram feed:

Remember that your physical well being and your emotional well being are not two separate things…. [I]f you have been agitated or anxious or just overwhelmed with feelings – you are not alone. This is part of the sickness we are all enveloped in. The smoke is exacerbating struggles we already have, and making it impossible to ignore a lot of things we all wish were not true. Part of our collective medicine is to be kind and gentle with ourselves and each other.

A recent story on the CBC website focused on these personal impacts on our mental health. For many people, they feel isolated and depressed, having to stay inside during the one time of the year when we normally can savor warm sunny days, dine al fresco, swim, and enjoy long, light-filled evenings. For others more drastically and directly affected by wildfire, they struggle with loss of home and livelihood.

These long-term significant disruptions to one’s place in the world can have profound effects on your mental health. If your feelings of despondency don’t fade when the air improves, it’s a good idea to seek out mental health assistance.

by Judy Koven