Dear Community Members,

The last of the 2020 holidays are just around the corner and yet we continue to navigate this next wave of COVID-19.  This year has had so much disruption, isolation, loss and civil unrest.  Looking back, it seems unreal in so many ways.  There is no one who has been spared from the impact of this pandemic either directly or indirectly.  While the news of a vaccine provides hope, the path from the vaccine trials to its administration is still unclear, making it hard to envision our world in 2021.

We have all had to modify and distill down our holiday traditions this year to adjust to the circumstances we find ourselves in. The ‘virtual holiday’ approach is hard and takes a lot of adjustment. We nurture the hope that next year at this time we can all be together again and in the meantime, we continue to do our best to adapt.

Recognizing that there has been a lot of focus on physical safety to date, it is now more important than ever to find ways to protect our mental health and nourish our wellbeing.  There is an increasing body of work that indicates that gratitude can relieve stress, help reduce negative thoughts and help us minimize the effect of emotional toxicity.  I recently read an article from Positive Psychology  that compiles the findings from several different studies on the positive impacts from practicing gratitude and provides suggestions for how to get started.  It has prompted me to actively spend a few minutes every day focusing on something I am grateful for.

I understand that this gratitude practice will not directly change the world or the challenges in front of us, but it does impact how I show up to meet each day.    

We are all in this together.  Stay healthy…stay safe…stay well.

Shelly Burke
Chief Executive Officer, Axis Health System

P.S. If you or someone in your circle is struggling or could use some support, please call the Axis 24/7 Care Line at 970.247.5255 to speak to a mental health professional 24hrs a day/7 days a week.