It’s so easy to feel stuck: stuck in our thoughts, stuck in our isolation, and stuck in our hopelessness. With COVID-19 restricting our access to the comfort of other people, this sense of despair can become more intense as we cycle through repetitive negative thoughts. In the face of

this very real and very understandable challenge, how do we take care of our mental health?

What does it mean to persevere and thrive when the world outside our window feels so hostile? Perhaps the answer starts with remembering that no matter how hard life gets, there are opportunities—far more than we might expect—for us to cultivate our best selves. Every

interaction we have, even with those who are physically distant, offers an opportunity to demonstrate kindness and empathy. From that seed of positivity, we grow more comfortable in our own skin as we recognize the inner strength that adversity hasn’t erased. The community we find among others on the road to recovery from mental illness can expand our horizons, revive our determination, and allow us to sustain a newfound grace like torchbearers running a flame from one heart to another.

On October 9, 2021, NAMI will be holding its widely-acclaimed state-wide Mental Health Conference with a theme of “Growth and Grace.” Out of abundance of caution for the safety of NAMI members, the NAMI NC Board of Directors has decided that this year’s conference will be virtual.”