Mental health is critical. Most everyone is on the spectrum of at least one mental illness, even Winnie the Pooh and his crew. While we often can observe someone's physical fitness, it is impossible to truly observe someone's mental health unless they are very close, sometimes even if they are very close. Of note, I have been enjoying the music of Brandi Carlisle. I first heard her at this year's Grammys, where she performed her powerful ballad The Joke. Since, I have discovered a bunch of her songs and have been playing them on constant rotation. What I soon realized after a recent tragedy is that her songs delve deeply into stories of mental health. They are about an abusive relationship (Every Time I Hear That Song), belonging (The Story), addiction (Sweet Tooth), and bullying (The Joke).
The event that made me aware of what I was internalizing in her music happened this past weekend as I was part of something truly special. Sadly, the child of a member of my Geezer FC soccer club succumbed to mental illness and committed suicide, the second in the Club in a short time. As you might imagine, the father is distraught and having some difficulty processing and carrying on. He had been an active member of the club and played most weekends; now he was having difficulty bringing himself into Manhattan from New Jersey where he lived to play. In a stroke of genius, fellow Geezers and Loupers decided we would bring the game to him. So, last weekend much of the club made their way to New Jersey to play our morning soccer game. While the common denominator of this group is soccer, the truth is that this group is about connection and belonging. It was a moving gesture to me as we naturally observed a moment of silence before the game while our friend's family and friends came to cheer us (really him) on. There was not a dry eye on the field, and this is the power of belonging!
Activity, App, Website
It is my understanding that many mental ailments are caused/made worse by social isolation. Outside of family, how does one make true connections with others? Do you enjoy going to Museums and talking about art but none of your friends share that passion? How about playing soccer on weekends at first light (Hello Geezers!). MeetUp is an app/website where you can find people with common interests. In fact, you can go as narrow as you like. If an affinity group doesn't already exist, then you can create your own. You can search by category (Art, Book Club, Sports, to name a few) or you can check the calendar for meetups near where you are and find something that interests you. This is a perfect way to try things out, try people out, and meet new people that you wouldn't ordinarily come across. Hence, this is an ideal way to end your social isolation, and perhaps find people to whom you can relate and have a lasting connection.
You, or a loved one, needs help and needs to see a professional. Not just any doctor, but one with excellent ratings, available appointments, an office close to where you live. Even better, how about a doctor that accepts your insurance! ZocDoc is the perfect application of technology to find the right doctor for your needs, narrowing the choices down to someone who is good, close, and available. Think of it as the OpenTable for the medical industry. You can even fill out your paperwork electronically before you go to the office to save your self-time. Further, let your costly insurance company foot the bill!
I know its lame, but I (somewhat) care how I am perceived by others, especially my wife. It is also true that I have anxiety about sharing information with my primary care doctor. Maybe its because I share him with my wife and other family members, but likely it's because they are things that I feel anxious about. The truth is many ailments don't necessarily require a doctor but do require a prescription. That is where Hims and Hers come in! For men, they have focused their efforts on hair loss and sexual performance, while for women, they have focused on skin, hair, and sex concerns. All you need to do is fill out a profile, consult with one of their doctors, and receive your package of prescription goodies. All this from the safety and comfort of your home!
The World Before Your Feet
This is a documentary about Matt Green, who decides he will walk the entirety of New York City. He is doing it and doesn’t know the point. It is quite disarming. He is a finders finder! He researches what he sees that interests him. Do you need a reason? Maybe you just need a goal? He is the very definition of living in the present. He previously walked from Rockaway Beach, New York to Rockaway Beach, Oregon. He may very well be the real-life Forest Gump! It’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Maybe he has figured it out. Need not, want not. He documents barbershops with a Z in the name, Churchegogues (churches that were formerly temples), 9/11 memorials, to name a few. He’s not independently wealthy; he’s independently homeless! Wake up and smell the flowers as there are plenty of them in NYC. He walks through cemeteries as easily as he walks through a park or on a beach. It’s a love story of New York and a celebration of life.