World Mental Health Day
Make every day world mental health day by nurturing helpful practices through Mindfulness and Positive Psychology.
Connection & Belonging
From the moment we are born, we need connection. Throughout life, we thrive and flourish when there is a sense of connection and belonging. Without it, life is much more difficult. Today, do something small to enliven your sense of connection. Maybe it’s a phone call to a loved one, a walk with a friend or hugging your child. Be in the moment and feel the sense of connection and belonging come to life a little more.
An old and wise man told me that the body is like a car. If we use it, it will keep going. Leave it sitting, and it will rust up and cease functioning. The mind will follow the body, so move. Go for a walk, do some yoga, tidy the living room – just move because moving the body is like medicine to the mind when stuck in unhelpful thinking loops.
Check-in with Yourself
A few times a day, pause and take a moment to check in with your thoughts, mood and body. Ask yourself what is present and what do you need? Perhaps you need to ground yourself in calm, grace or strength. Perhaps you need to take a break from work overload, or maybe you need to talk to a non-judgmental listener. Checking in with ourselves throughout the day allows that tiny space in which we can identify what we need and take the helpful action necessary.
Know Your Why
Living with purpose aids focus and direction. When we know our why, it is easier to know where to place our attention and determine the next best step to cultivate what we want. So whether that looks like taking a shower to get out for a walk and clear the mind, completing an application form for a course to upskill or going to bed earlier to recharge and give tomorrow your best. Knowing your why is like a compass pointing to your north star, guiding you safely and progressively to live purposefully.
Practice Self Compassion
Self-compassion is recognising suffering and then taking the action needed to resolve or make things better. Have you ever listened to how you talk to yourself? Try it for the next five minutes and notice what you observe. Most likely, there will be many judgements and berating comments in there. Ironically, this is not because we dislike ourselves but because we are trying to protect ourselves. Take a breath, notice the unhelpful thought patterns, and let them go as best you can. Allow self-compassion and kindness to enter your cells, recognise that you are safe and doing the best you can in the best ways you know how, and proceed.
Own Your Wins
When you do a good job, acknowledge it. That could look like making your bed, getting to work on time, acing an exam or expressing your feelings effectively. We often ignore our wins and rush on to the next thing, ignoring all the efforts and disciplines that caused the wins. Instead, savour the wins and acknowledge your strengths. In time, awareness of these will stack up and be there when you need them.
Other helpful practices include:
Get enough sleep.
Talk to someone.Spend time in nature.
Wishing you a celebratory World Mental Health Day.