Like every story, there is a beginning, middle, and end. My story has a beginning that no person would ever dream of. My middle, although lengthy and devastating, is what keeps me different from anyone else. My ending is not only another beginning but also what holds me together most days. Some of us wish for an ending so that things can be over just to be able to move on. I wish for an ending in a way that means I get to start a new chapter because that means more healing and more time. Let’s face it, that’s really what we need.
Mental health and wellness requires we take a holistic approach. As Mr. Miyagi said in the 1st karate kid movie, “our whole life is a balance”. To be truly mentally healthy, we need to make sure that we are taking care of our mind, body and spirit. We do that through activities and exercises that connect us to those domains of our life. For instance, reading strengthens and relaxes our mind, hiking strengthens our body, and faith practices strengthen our spirit. By using a holistic approach we can handle life and stresses much more effectively. Holistic Behavioral Healthcare is part of our mission at Appleseed.
Spring is here. As we watch the crocus poke through the ground and enjoy more and more daylight, it's a good time to recommit ourselves to our mental health care. Do some mental health spring cleaning. Identify a habit that prevents you from being your best. It could be the habit of criticizing others or negative self-talk. Whatever it is, commit yourself to being self-aware and to quickly replacing the behavior with a healthy alternative. Plan ahead and be ready. Speak a word of praise instead of criticism or replace negativity with encouragement. With a steady effort, you can change that habit that is holding you back.
One of the things that can raise our anxiety is how we choose to think about our problems. In our modern culture we see our stressors as bad and something to be avoided. Previous generations took the position that our adversities are things that teach us life lessons and make us stronger. So let me encourage us today to examine the circumstances we are in and begin to ask “what can I learn about myself from this?” How can I use these stressors to make me a better person? By doing this I can make what was causing me anxiety into something that gives me strength.
April is sexual assault awareness month. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault can range from harassment to direct physical sexual abuse. Everyone has a role to play in preventing sexual assault. There are many different ways that you can step in or make a difference if you see someone at risk. The key to keeping others safe is learning how to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level. Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A simple distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.