As we watch things start to grow 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 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.
One way to improve your mental health is to set healthy boundaries. Practice saying no to people who are requiring too much of you. Set limits on your schedule and leave time for rest and recovery. By setting boundaries in relationships-and-your-time you can get control of your schedule and restore energy. You'll be more available to do the things that are important to you and be less stressed.
I often share with others my favorite quote from Walt Disney, “Keep Moving Forward.” I tell myself these three words when I make a mistake or something goes wrong. It reminds me to focus on the present rather than on things in the past that I cannot change. As you move into Spring, let go of regrets and things you cannot undo. Instead focus on the present and keep moving forward.
Discouragement can cause us to get down on ourselves. Set small achievable goals to help yourself overcome discouragement. For instance if your home is not as clean as you’d like it to be, tackle one room or one section of a room every day for a few days until it's where you want it. All big achievements are accomplished by breaking things into smaller parts. You can do this one small step at a time.
An important aspect of mental health is… how we talk to ourselves. We can latch on to old messages from our past that drag us down. They are based on an inaccurate-and-incomplete picture of who we are. You are capable of great things. You have the ability to positively impact this world. Lean into your strengths-gifts-and abilities and let go of old inaccurate messages that don't tell the true story of who you are.
With a steady effort, you can change that habit that is holding you back.
Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director