Mental Health and Twenty-Twenty


By Deirdre L. Jones-Lowman

Raise your hand if you are happily anticipating the end of perhaps the most amazing, stressful and unpredictable year in your lifetime?  

We did not know on January 1, in the highly anticipated year of 20/20 vision, that we would have to envision a new normal while in a pandemic and while experiencing social unrest.   We did not know that our eyes would be opened to underlying and hidden prejudices and biases.  We were introduced to the importance of the term anti-racist, and the importance of consistently and globally monitoring infectious diseases. At the beginning of 2020, we began to understand the magnitude of exercising our right to vote, of competent leadership, the necessity of increasing pay for our school educators and teacher and the myth that work-life balance while working from home is achievable.

Twenty-twenty has forced us to evaluate or re-evaluate personal values, biases and prejudices. This year, we have virtually socialized with family, friends, co-workers and celebrated birthdays, weddings, and holidays over the internet. Twenty-twenty allowed us to understand what and who we appreciate and what and who we will not tolerate, for example:  inappropriate email and text tones, passive-aggressive, racist behavior and lack of diversity in the workplace. 

 Twenty-Twenty has coerced Americans to indubitability understand the difference between equality and equity.  The two terms are not the same. Equality means that each individual or group is given the same resources and opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person or group has different circumstance and the allocation of exact resources and opportunities are needed for each to reach an equal outcome.

Twenty-twenty has allowed many to reflectively look back over the year and reflectively look within themselves. This is the year that we have come to grips with not knowing and not being in control. The lack of control is where the biggest adjustments are taking place. The inability to control the narrative, the response, the improvement, the regression or the outcome is where most have struggled during the year of twenty-twenty.

Twenty-twenty has tested our mental health—emotionally and spiritually.

As a life coach, I am fully aware of the adverse impact that an unfavorable external climate has on the psyche of my clients. I am attuned that as COVID cases rise and other maladies still occur, anxieties are on the rise. There is an increased fear of isolation and health susceptibility attributed to the novel coronavirus.  Additionally, individuals are dealing with other mental health related stressors such as holiday and seasonal depression, pandemic and ZOOM fatigue, joblessness and uncertainty.   Hire a life coach to navigate these uncertain, stressful but also exciting and unprecedented times.  Life coaching promotes change.   

Life coaches are mental health professionals. However, life coaches do not treat or diagnose.  Life coaches meet people where they are and guide them toward where they want to be.  Life coaching promotes personal accountability for what happens next. It is through the practice of life coaching that action steps are formulated; mental wellness is promoted, and self-care is achieved.

Thank you! Twenty-twenty for an increase in reflection, awareness, foresight and insight.

If you or someone that you know feels a sense of dread, being overwhelmed or anxious, or are experiencing a suicidal crisis—please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or a mental health professional.

National Suicide Hotline



Deirdre L. Jones-Lowman, Ph.D. (Cand.), M.B.A. is the Founder and Managing Director of the Pay It Forward Initiative Life Coaching and Mentoring Service. The Pay it Forward Initiative is a WBENC-certified, woman-owned Career and Life Management practice.   She is a self-care advocate, International Coaching Federation Certified Professional Life Coach, motivational speaker, and contributing writer on mental health and wellness for women.

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