Seasons come and go…“it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Charles Dickens.
The most constant thing in life is change. And times, they are a’changing!!!
Life is a series of seasons.
We move from one to the next with each page of the calendar. It has been said that we have either just come out of a crisis, we are in the midst of a crisis, or getting ready for one. Just as Ida came through the New Orleans area in September, we never know when the next storm will come. How we deal with these sudden changes of seasons is addressed by one’s mental health.
Now hear me, I am not talking about mental illness, that is a totally different discussion.
I’m talking about a person’s mental health which is a constantly changing dimension of our lives, one in which we often do not give a lot of attention to until a season of crisis comes. We will take care of our physical health by diet, exercise and rest. Or, we work to strengthen our intellectual health by reading, completing CEU’s, and listening to podcasts. We take care of our social life by doing things with our significant others, family or friends. We may even take care of our spiritual life by going to church, meditation or mindfulness.
But when it comes to taking care of our mental health what are you doing?
Here are three suggestions:
- Practice balance. Doing all of the above mentioned items help. We need rest, exercise, diversions, etc. What is causing problems today is that we stay so focused on performance and output that we forget about taking care of ourselves in the process. So what can you do? Start by taking the stairs if your body will allow it. Try walking slowly for 10 minutes a day and reflect on the world around you. Get outside and watch the changing seasons and listen to the birds and the sounds of the world around you.
- Breathe. In our fast pace world of stress, anxiety, worry and fear due to COVID, layoffs, economic downturns, recent diagnosis, loss, trauma, or catastrophes we tend to breathe more shallow. Oxygen is essential for our entire body to renew itself. Carbon Dioxide, if left in the system, becomes a toxic waste that can create a multitude of illnesses and add to the tension. When under tension, take a deep breath through your nostrils, hold for 3 seconds and release slowly through your mouth for a count of ten and then repeat. Oxygen rejuvenates, reinvigorates, and recreates creative energy.
- Do something for someone else. By getting outside of ourselves for a minute we see the world beyond the myopic, claustrophobic world we live in to see that there are ways to bring hope to someone else in their changing season. Give a smile, affirm them for a job well done, volunteer at a soup kitchen one meal a month.
The most constant thing in life IS Change.
We will never change that. Learning to accept the changes of these seasons is the key to success and to being a champion at the office, in our relationships, to our children, in life. Expect change, it will NEVER go away. Your next season is just around the corner. See the change as part of the adventure of life and enjoy the ride!