I remember one thing clearly from grad school about the definition of mental health. It's a little funny, though, because it was about what mental health is NOT. Mental health is not merely the absence of illness. Mental health is actually mental wellness. It goes beyond coping, tolerating, and getting by.
May is mental health month. After working on our taxes in April, don't we all need a nice mental health month? I think so!
I may have to practice these May tips for mental health myself:
- If something you care about is unsettled in your life and you've either procrastinated about it, or unsuccessfully solved it, seek help. Dare to share your dilemma and seek advice from a professional counselor or a wise mentor.
- Is your "To Do" list perpetually too long even for a Super Hero to accomplish? Then cut it out. Force yourself to admit what is realistically possible given the time you have, and take some stuff off the darn list. If it makes you feel better, start an official "Back Burner" list you can visit from time to time, guilt free. If your priorities or available time has changed to accomodate something from this list, go ahead and return it to your "To Do" list.
- Are you grieving a loss of any kind? Get Rays of Hope in Times of Loss and read it no less than two times. The poems and narrative can apply to many kinds of loss, from developmental ones (such as aging or empty nest), or loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or departure.
- Journal about what is lost AND still remains AND is possible. It's important to recognize losses, but also to be mindfully conscious of the good that can still be in your life.
- Play. If you're no longer sure what is fun for you, start experimenting. That's why I signed up for a canoeing adventure in May.
- Think like a shrink - a really good one. Come up with your own healthy prescription and do it with zest. I bet it will even enrich your rest time! That's good for your mental health, too.