This week is Mental Health Week!
Our own mental health and well-being, that of our loved ones, friends and colleagues, at home, at work and at play.
Remember – there’s no health without mental health!!
Many of us are very good at looking after others, and sometimes it’s necessary to put others’ needs before our own, however this post is about looking after ourselves. The bottom line is, we’re not much help to others (in our personal life, or our working life) if we don’t renew our energy reserves. Think of this like an “energy money box”. If you spend all of your money (energy) without saving more, your money (energy) will eventually run out. It’s up to us to fill our own ‘energy box’. To understand ourselves and know what saps (spends) our energy, and what replenishes it (makes a deposit). Each of us benefit from knowing how often we need to do small things that give us an energy boost and how often we need to make significant time to refresh and renew.
As one way of figuring this out, take 5-10 minutes to go through the questions below in order. Write things down, and focus on each question to start with for about one minute. Of course, you can always go back and add things as you will inevitably think of more. Maybe ask your loved ones to do their own. You can all learn a lot about each other by sharing a few responses. Enjoy this process and make it fun.
a. What does it mean to you to be mentally healthy?
What words come to mind? Peace? Happiness? Creativity? Calmness? Laughter? Ease? Adventure? Challenge? Freedom? Acceptance? Love? Giving? Nature? Play? Solitude? Direction? Goals? Stability? Spontaneity?
b. What do you believe gives your life meaning, purpose and satisfaction?
c. Now picture yourself living a healthy and happy life, on your terms.
What kind of things are you doing? How would you be spending your time? Who do you see in your life? What would you be thinking about and focusing on? What would your relationships look like? How would you be relating to people? How much time would you be spending with others and how much time would you be spending alone? How much time would you be spending on things you need to do, and how much time would you be spending on things you want to do? What feelings would you be experiencing? What would you be doing to look after yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
d. Next, compare what’s happening in your life right now, with what you’ve come up with in a, b and c above. How well do these match up?
e. Finally, think about one things you can start (or maybe resume) during mental health week to improve your own mental health.