What steps are you taking to enhance your mental health on a daily basis?
This week, October 6 – 12, is Mental Health Awareness Week. The aim is to increase awareness about issues of mental health and well-being, and educate the public about mental illness.
I track my mood (sleep, weight & the medication) daily. After I have started doing this and charting, it was easier to see patterns. I try to recognize my triggers & I do my best not to derail into either mania or depression.
Basically, my one sure way of staying out of trouble is to stay at home and isolate myself - it really works well with mania (it is much safer to be at home), not so well with depression, but all of it is work-in-progress. I tried different things, but in the end I realized that unless (or until) I get my mental health back, there is no moving further. Stress just triggers me into disaster.
I have a new doctor and things work rather well. The most important step that I took this year was going to MDAO - Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (Ontario is a Canadian Province).
They have wonderful programs and as I came I joined the best of them - Laughing Like Crazy. It's a 16-week program that ends with a performance before 300 people. Every show is a blast. It was amazing when our group performed, but when I had a chance to be in the audience - I laughed so much, that my face hurt the next day. I just could not smile anymore.
This initiative was started by another Canadian - David Granirer - just look up standupformentalhealth.com. Our program started as a part of his, but now we are separate.
My best advice - anyone - in any part of the world - in any city - can have a comedy club and there is no better therapy than laughter.
I did not even know this week was Mental Health Awareness Week. What I know, we had a show, I have another comedy class & and we are performing this week again!
A couple of clips (not mine):
and from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (one of our graduates)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTm5mE9R … re=mh_lolz
Mental illness is a no brainer. It is all around us. The Congress, for example, is mentally ill! Many religious organizations are lead by people who are mentally ill. I just read an interview between the Pope and an newspaper reporter and Wow, a breath of mental health finally in my own church! http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/1 … -67643118/
I get up each morning as early as I can, 4:45 to 7:30 a. m., varies from day to day. I begin with a time of prayer and meditation, then I do my "morning pages" (Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way). I connect with the people I love every day either in person, by phone, or on Facebook. I walk 4 to 6 miles about 4 times a week. I do some EFT for cleansing my energy. I attend a twelve step meeting three to five times a week. While I walk, I listen to my MP3 player to three of my favorite people, Wayne Dyer, Harv Ekart, and myself reading a funny but serious ebook about to go to the publisher. I meet Wednesday mornings with a buddy therapist to make sure I am keeping my stuff separate from my clients. I meet with my twelve step sponsor each Thursday morning for breakfast when I have my solo pancake for the week!! Every time, I become stressed, I say the Serenity Prayer as many times as necessary for the stressful situation to dissolve, namely by me simply letting go of what I cannot control in the first place. I make it a point to smile, joke with, engage with, if nothing else say hello to every one I come into contact with throughout the day. I GO OVERBOARD to be polite on the roadway and especially the freeway. And although, it may sound like I am full of myself, I do work really diligently to be humble and to follow Lao Tsu's suggestion "The wise man is quiet," except for right now!!!! I work diligently at keeping a special relationship growing with the love of my life. We both work at bringing out the best in each other and neither one of us has to win when it comes to conflict, and in that way neither one of us has to be a loser. We do not compromise but we have learned to dance through every aspect of our relationship. The DANCE is the absolute best metaphor for a healthy relationship. Well, I see I am running out of characters, and I think I have said enough, like the recent movie, Enough Said," which is an aboslutely awesome movie, by the way!! THANKS, PURPOSE, FOR LETTING ME ANSWER THIS TIMELY QUESTION
Thanks for letting us know! This issue is very close to me. Both my parents are afflicted with mental/behavior issues - my mother actually lives in an assisted living facility. They're my parents, I love them dearly, and I've seen them suffer beyond words.
Knowing first hand the disability mental illness can cause, I see capability as a sign of good mental health. So to keep my mentals positive, I like to craft. Making something - anything - that wasn't here yesterday means this day had purpose, that I have purpose, and I have the power to change the world - everyday. It helps me ward off negative thoughts and habits that otherwise have a chance to creep in if I'm not taking charge of the track my mind's on. Like my mom, I like to crochet and knit. It's meditative but it's action, so it keeps me content but interested. Then you get to give all these gifts you've made to the people who matter most (like your mom
Infusing the day with purpose - that's what helps me. One day at a time is a manageable goal. Planning meals is another win/win because it directs what to do and when throughout the day (like plan, prep, shop, cook) and feeds you well which gives you the physical support you need to be well and happy. And again you make something that wasn't here yesterday...there's no better proof that you're worthwhile!
Thanks for the question and information - much appreciated. Be well!
My son has Autism and he has some mood issues as well. In working with him, I've learned how to enhance my own moods.
It's funny I saw this today because just this morning I was talking to another mom at my son's school. She had no idea my child has Autism. She always sees us walking on the school path and my son always says hello. She wanted to find out our story because she never saw us going to that school before. I've lived here forever, but my son went to a different school last year where they had trained staff to work with Autistic children. This year he is mainstreamed. What's funny is that she is a therapist! I didn't know that. Now I have another connection for my son. The list is expanding.
However, to answer your question, what steps am I taking to enhance my mental health?
1) The past 2 years have been devastating for my family. My son was diagnosed with Autism and we've been seeking treatment and therapy for him. I've been ill and have had numerous surgeries to contend with. It's amazing I'm able to function at all.
2) I look at each day as an opportunity. I'm walking again after the paralysis incident Dec. 2012. I haven't needed another surgery in a few months. I finally paid off my last hospital bill.
3) I keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there worse off. Every time I share my story, I find out about someone else who has got it 10x worse than I do, and then I realize, why the heck am I complaining ?
4) I look at people for the good in them. I don't dwell on the bad. I try to think what if I was in that person's shoes. I try to help others and it makes me glad to do so.
5) I have been eating better. Cut back on coffee. Increased healthier foods and snacks in to my diet. I am also cutting out gluten which has seemed to help my health even.
6) I also have let go of the past. I have walked away from situations I can't change such as relatives who just want to make war instead of peace.
7) I stopped interacting with FB relatives who do nothing but create drama and strife.
8) I found an outlet here on HP where I can write and hopefully help someone who is going through what I've been through already, and maybe they can heal through my words.
Good post. Thank you for asking!
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