Sep 4, 2020

A Mental Health Day

The experience I have had is that once you start talking about [experiencing a mental health struggle], you realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club.”  — Prince Harry
Today is a day I would typically be working- shuffling through the day to end out the week and get ready for the weekend. We all know what a Friday can feel like. We let ourselves fall into a monotonous routine throughout the week, going through the motions, accomplishing projects as they come about, and then starting over. 

 Instead of working today, we were given the day as a mental health day. We were asked to do something that helps us feel centered. What is it that helps you to stay centered? For me, there are a lot of things, but it usually is something outside. I've never been one to openly talk about mental health. I have suffered through my own battles and I have days where I'm overcome with sadness. 

I am not sure why there is a stigma around mental health, but there has been my entire life. I felt such shame when I had to admit I was depressed or when I was so anxious and unable to sleep at night and needed to go to the doctor for help. Why? Life is hard. We are finding ourselves in new situations, some are very scary, overwhelming, or confusing. We need to acknowledge the pain we are feeling and know that we can overcome it. Sometimes we can do things on our own with our support crew and sometimes we need a little help from a professional. There is no shame in either option. You are not alone. 

 That brings me to today. What did I do today for my own mental health? I slept in until 8:45! I got up and took a walk. I sat down and ate breakfast at our kitchen table. I decorated (YAY!) the house with all things Fall! I started and finished an audiobook. I took a bath. And now, I am sitting at my desk thinking about mental health and how I can incorporate little things into my daily life to be more centered. 

 The reality is that there are so many things I already do daily that are done with the purpose of feeling centered, happy, productive, and balanced. Some of these things I could do more often. 

- Going to bed early
- Connecting with my people 
- Meditation
- Prayer
- Reading my scriptures
- Making my bed
- Playing with Poppy and Roxy
- Drinking lots of water
- Getting a workout in
- Sitting outside for a bit
- Disconnecting or distancing from social media

I also need to recognize the purpose of these activities and live in the moment rather than thinking through the next thing I need to do. I took all expectations of myself off the table today. That allowed me to focus on me and what I needed to do for me. Unfortunately, we can't all take a mental health day every day, but we can incorporate more moments into our lives to focus on our mental health. 

If you are struggling, if you know someone who is, if you aren't sure-- take a moment and connect with yourself or with that friend. Recognize it, know you aren't alone, create a step one for yourself (even if it is making your bed every morning), and take it day by day. 

You can do this. We can do this. 


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