June is a turning point
The author is the head of fol:in team at the JoongAng Ilbo.
Time only flows. So sometimes, you need to take a moment and tie the knot. June is a month in the middle of a year, a good point to reflect on the first half of the year.
If you feel stirred as you look back on the days since January, I want to tap on your shoulder and say it’s okay. It is not just you. Unimaginable things have happened and are still happening. Our lives have drastically changed and there is no hope that we can go back to life as we know it. It is only natural to feel anxious and helpless. According to the National Center for Mental Health, 370,000 consultation requests for depression related to Covid-19 have been filed as of early June.
What do we do about depressed feelings and gloomy routines? Yoo Jung-eun, CEO of Mabo, a meditation app, recommends considering the crisis as a moment to rest in life and build a habit of looking into your mind. The number of sign-ups on Mabo doubled since April.
“Your life slows down inevitably, and you spend more time alone. When you are by yourself, your emotions become more intense. You treasure what’s valuable more, and your hidden fears start to emerge.”
Yoo said that it’s good to feel amplified emotions. When you look into parts of yourself that you could not face because of your busy life, you realize what’s most important in your life.
What good is it to take care of your feelings when your workplace is unstable and you may lose your job? Kim Dong-hyun, CEO of Trost, a psychology consultation app, says that caring for your mind begins from distinguishing the controllable from the uncontrollable. Trost connects professional therapists with users through chat. Young women in their 20s and 30s used to be the main user group, but lately, male users over 40 are rapidly growing.
Kim claims that many people feel helpless and depressed when they try to do something about the uncontrollable. Market slumps and job insecurity due to Covid-19 are variables that workers cannot easily control. But reading books, learning something you want to or spending time with family can be controlled.
Kim says, “You can shake off the feeling of helplessness by gradually changing controllable routines without consulting specialists. Then, the boundary of control in the uncontrollable situation of Covid-19 can widen.”
The fight can last very long. We need to quickly change and persistently endure.
For the tenacious struggle, I remind myself to be resilient and resolute as I welcome the month of June.