written by Yolanda Webb and images provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but the truth is that every day, each and every one of us could do ourselves a favor and check in with our mental and emotional selves.
What does that mean? Well when my children were young and in school, I started a tradition that my daughter continues to this day. Each quarter they were allowed to take a mental health day. Or, as we say in the business world, a personal day. If we need personal days in the world of work I often said...how much so do children need that refuge in their own lives.
So your mental health day is and should be a day that is totally dedicated to yourself, your wholeness, your human... being and becoming your true and authentic self.
Each of my children would choose a different day (and this was important so that the day was truly theirs), and the day was planned around what they wanted to do that made them feel good (internally and externally). Sometimes it was the movies, and for my daughter it was a spa day, or going to the amusement park. For my son it was going to a ball game in the middle of the day, or just relaxing at home with his games.
We all need to feel emotionally healthy? Have you ever asked yourself what you need to feel mentally and physically healthy?
Do you take care of those aspects of yourself? Do you have friends who check in on you? Do you reach out when you need help?
Taking care of others in the field of human service means putting the service first into ourselves.
Sometimes breaking bread with another person, to fill that space can help to put that service in being human front and center in your life. Social connection and feeling in community with others are critical to our emotional and mental health.
So today, why not connect or reconnect with yourself, become your own best friend, do the hard things for your own life and by this time next May, who knows you may have grown healthier in mind, body and spirit...here's to great mental health for all of us!
For more information about what you can do for Mental Health Awareness Month, please go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may or https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth