What Month is it Again? Oh, May!
I decided I could not let the rest of May go by without acknowledging another significant aspect of this month… It is Mental Health Awareness Month and I am so thankful for its existence. Mental health is still a topic that can be stigmatized by many groups, cultures, and even individuals. However, with a month designated to its awareness, and with the outpourings of intentional, caring information all month long, there is bound to be more progress made. As a mental health professional, I am proud that colleagues and also friends who are not MH professionals know to take mental health seriously; for themselves and others. In recent years, I have had friends who, in the past, felt more shame around needing help, ask me for help or share their stories with me, which is beyond heartwarming and reassuring. The power of sharing stories and therefore helping each other not feel so alone is certainly not lost on me.
Getting Specific on Mental Health
Mental health is such a broad topic when one really thinks about it. Because it is related to so much more than one may initially come up with in their mind. Mental health is connected to physical and overall health in pretty much every way. The way one thinks, reflects, and takes control of their mind’s function in whatever way possible has influence over bodily health, the way we achieve financial health, the way we communicate and relate to others, and so much more. Because mental health is such a broad – and important – topic, I can sometimes find it a bit overwhelming to contemplate as a whole. For me, it is helpful to pare it down into topics that I value myself, which does actually have a good impact on my overall mental health – therefore, it is a suggestion I make to you now; make sure to think about what you value and what brings you some semblance of peace and joy. Focus on that and see where it takes you as far as mental health and full function in life of whatever level.
My Joy: Gratitude
One aspect of mental health that has been giving me much joy is what I have been speaking about in my new Joy Moment of the Week videos: gratitude! I am posting my first video from last week below. It’s simple, and yet something that many may forget to do much of the time. Remembering who and what I am grateful for not only brings me into a more peaceful state, it makes me smile – and that just FEELS nice!! 😊
Try the practice – breathe in deeply through your nose, out fully through your mouth. As you breathe out deeply, focus on one aspect of your day and/or life for which you are really grateful. Don’t make it too complicated. What comes to mind as something you value highly is for you alone… Three breaths with three targets of gratitude. Love into yourself for even thinking of this and committing to the practice! Much Love for you on your gratitude journey! ❤
*PS – my practice is to post on Wednesdays, but obviously I had to give myself a little grace yesterday. Paying attention to my own mental health is one of the better things I can do for my best self. Thank you for your patience with me!