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Mental Health is Health


May was Mental Health Awareness Month

and

I felt it!

Mental Health is the well being of our emotions, thought processes, beliefs and social connections.

Our mental health impacts how we:

think,

feel,

and behave.

It impacts how we

deal with stressors in our lives,

how we relate to or connect to other people,

and how we make decisions.

Our mental health is also impacted by our overall health and vice versa. Ever heard of people who meditate having improved health outcomes? That is mental health impacting our overall health. Have you ever tried to increase the number of fruits and veggies in your diet and your anger and irritability reduces? That is physical health impacting mental health.

We are deeply connected beings and we can't keep living in these silos of believing that what we do in our body or mind has no impact on what we experience in the other parts. They all overlap and flow into each other.

This month I was deeply aware of my mental health and all the thoughts and feelings I was having, which, as an Enneagram 4, was a LOT. May brings a lot of intensity in our world with the end of school (my husband is a teacher), making plans for the summer, and preparing for my daughter to be home with my husband for the summer. This May also brought the death of my Uncle Hal, who was a favorite in my family. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was in elementary school and has been physically disabled for the better part of twenty years. His death was not surprising but also not something that any of us planned on at this point. With that, grief has been added to my mental health awareness.

I'm noticing how grief and all these other emotions affects my motivation, my desire to do things that I know would help me feel better in my body, mind and soul. Things like: going for walks, meditating, eating nutritious food, talking about how I'm feeling, journaling, giving myself space to cry and feel. I just don't feel like it and I noticed in a lot of my family members the same experiences.

So, instead of forcing myself to do all the things, I am choosing to be gentle with myself. I know that this is a season and it will pass. I also know that I have some good rhythms and routines already built into my life that are easier to get back to, so I'm starting with those simple things and building on top of those: feeding myself, not scrolling endlessly on social media, talking to people who love me, going for gentle walks.

I am NOT taking on any new goals for myself right now. I'm not trying to improve my weightlifting sets. I'm not going on a diet to counteract the rich food I ate while with family. I am NOT shaming myself for anything I am or am not doing.

I am just letting all of it be and letting all the feelings come as they need to and responding with grace and compassion. I am explaining to the people around me what is going on in my world so they can support me. That feels like all I can do right now.

Caring for our mental state does not necessarily come naturally. It also doesn't mean that you never have a hard day or that all your emotions and thoughts are positive. It means that you have the skills, support and knowledge to navigate whatever life brings -- the joy, the sorrow, the frustration, the love, the beauty, the anger, all of it. That's what this community is all about -- giving you the skills you need to experience more joy, love and hope in your everyday life by teaching skills that you can apply today!

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