2019, November 07

Mental Wellness Challenge

Last week my challenge had three parts

I challenged you to learn something new about a mental health disorder and to share that learning with someone you love, someone you work with and a friend. I sincerely hope that you were able to do this and that you were able to have some dialog about mental health.

I also challenged you to perform a random act of kindness. I hope that you were able to brighten someone’s day or maybe lifted a spirit or two… hopefully your own!

The third part of my challenge was that you would do something special for yourself. I think it’s an important part of wellness to recognize that we need to be good to ourselves too. I know in my own life, that I tend to NOT do this piece very well.

This past week has been an uphill grind for me. I have had to really work at “sticking with it”. The week seemed to be filled with stumbling blocks, distractions, barriers to momentum and – maybe even a bit of a feeling of being “un-appreciated”.

I had some issues come up that looked like they might/may have a significant impact on a part of my life that’s pretty important to me. I did the usual “Kevin” thing and let my mind run to the most negative possible outcome – even before I had all the information, even before I had the whole picture. I tend to overreact to situations that I feel that I have little to no control over. I lost a number of important nights sleep, I spun round and round inside my head and I ended up exactly where I started.

At some point along the week – I saw a post or a meme or something that rang a bell for me. I thought about the piece for a while and I came to a place where I can keep moving on, even if the issue that I was/am concerned about, came about. At this point, I still don’t know what the outcome of my situation will be… but I’m not going to let myself lose any more sleep or let the issue eat me up. I’m making a conscious decision to “Just keep going”.

 

The piece I read went something like this:

The biggest lesson for me this year has been to “Just keep going.” Lost everything, just keep going. Don’t know what you’re doing, just keep going. Only a buck in the bank, just keep going. Best friend played you, just keep going. Just keep going.

 

I had a class a few years ago – just when the “Finding Nemo” movie was out, and there was a fish called Dory that had a motto – Just keep swimming’, just keep swimming’… and I had a couple of really capable students in my class who were struggling with some of the material. Struggling to the point where they wanted to throw in the towel. I kept telling them… “JUST KEEP SWIMMING’, JUST KEEP SWIMMING’”… and they did. They are both journey people now. They kept swimming’ they persevered… You see, I had the confidence in them that with some exposure, some practice and time, they’d get it… and they did. It was funny for me that for the next few years when the theory in the program got thick – I’d hear them telling each other “just keep swimming’”.

I find it curious that I had that advice for some other folks, but I didn’t have that advice for myself now. Then I came across the meme or whatever it was and there it was… just keep going.

I have lived through a pile of adversity in my life. I know that I am resilient, that I am tough, I know that I am tenacious and that I can get through a whole lot.

So the “uncertainty” of the outcome of my issue doesn’t have a pile of energy anymore. I’ve decided to – just keep going. It may very well be that conditions outside my control might have a negative impact – or cause a setback – to this part of my life, or it might mean that I do that part of my life differently. If things happens, I will find another way to get to where I want to be.

I was reminded of many good pieces of “wisdom” from this uncertain piece in my life this week.

I was reminded that I really need to slow down. I was reminded that I need to have all the information before I start making decisions or changing my game plan. I was reminded that written communications are incredibly poor at conveying intention – facts, OK, intention – not so much. I was reminded that I (like a bunch of other folks I would imagine) tend to read negative intention into written emails and the like. I was reminded to slow down. (Yes – I know its in my list twice….).

At this point in the week – this “issue” or concern that I had about that important piece of my life hasn’t really changed from where it was 7 days ago. So what’s different… My mindset. I’m going to just keep going. I am going to be tenacious and persevere. I’m going to change my attitude.

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Charles Swindoll put it something like this:

The longer I live, the more I realize that impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a home or a person. The remarkable thing is have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past. We can not change the way another person will act. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

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So – I’m going to work on exercising my responsibility to choose how I react. I’m going to “just keep going”. I am going to be aware of my attitude.

My challenge for you this week is three parts.

  1. Take some time to lovingly, respectfully, intentionally reflect on your attitude. Take a little time to reflect on how your attitude might be coloring the experiences in your life. If things are great, spend a moment in gratitude for that, if things aren’t so great – have a gentle look at how perhaps changing your attitude might benefit you.
  2. I’m going to challenge you to my mirror exercise again this week. For the next 7 days – once in the morning, once in the evening before you retire for the night… look into the mirror… look into your own eyes and tell yourself. “I love you.”
  3. Take a moment to reflect on your interactions at home or at work. Intentionally recognize someone in your life. Tell your spouse or significant other that you love them – maybe leave them a hand written note on their pillow… Tell a co-worker that you appreciate the work they do or the support they give. Take your teenager aside and tell them that you are proud of them for something they have done.

So that’s it, I challenge you!

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