Mental Wellness Challenge – 2020, November 13

Mental Wellness Challenge – 2020, November 13

Another week has passed… zooooommmm…

Last week I challenged you to:

  1. Drink water. At least 4 large glasses a day.
  2. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally do each day – give your body those 30 extra minutes to recharge.
  3. Draw a picture of something. Spend 15 minutes – and draw a picture.  Connect with your mind.

On drinking lots of water… Yup, nailed that one… LOL… I started out the week with the intention of staying hydrated – well… as it were – things transpired in my experience that had me drinking 8 LARGE glasses of water a day for a few days… yup… hydrated… it was good though… I certainly noted the difference being hydrated made.  I think I just felt better… overall just felt better.

I’ve been feeling super draggy lately – so the going to bed earlier than I usually do was an easy thing for me.  I note that I didn’t have any issue with the extra 30 minutes at all… maybe I need more sleep yet… Now – having said that – I do not sleep well during the night anyway… I’m going to chalk the extra sleep down as a win for me.

Drawing a picture… LOL… I’m certainly not a graphics artists… or any sort of arts type person… so the drawing I did was more of an intentional 15 minutes of intentional distraction from the world around me than it was any sort of exercise in art.  Well maybe – there’s an art to allowing time for distraction away from the world???  It was fun.

I have a poster in my office called “10 Steps to Self-Care” – its really just something that I printed out from the internet years ago, but I have it stuck to my wall with a magnet… Unfortunately, there is no author to credit on the piece.  It goes like this:

10 Steps to Self-Care:

  • If it feels wrong, don’t do it.

  • Say “exactly” what you mean.

  • Don’t be a people pleaser.

  • Trust your instincts.

  • Never speak bad about yourself.

  • Never give up on your dreams.

  • Don’t be afraid to say “NO”, don’t be afraid to say “YES”.

  • Be kind to yourself.

  • Let go of what you can’t control.

  • Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible.

When I read this – I am reminded of “Desiderata” or “Things desired” and I think they are rooted in the same philosophy.

The piece, the 10 steps, include lots of parts and pieces from other learning that I have done – The 4 Agreements are in there, some of Covey’s work is reflected therein and on and on.  I use the 10 steps as a reminder of the way I would like to get through my days.  Its something that I personally seek to do.  It might not be another’s cup of tea – but I find it “guiding”.

The honest truth is that I’m not very good at most of the things on the list…. And I suppose – that’s exactly why I need the reminder.  My impulse control issues often get in the way of “If it feels wrong, don’t do it…”, I lean to being a people pleaser, often do not listen to my gut, have given up on many dreams, etc, etc, etc… So – why bother bringing the piece up – why bother…

TENACITY… or maybe better stubbornness or as one person called it “stick-to-it-tiveness”.  I can’t keep trying to exercise wellness.  If I just stop trying… I’m done.  If I don’t practice persistence and commitment – I’ll end up in some really deep dark doo-doo…  In my experience I have recognized that my wellness… mental, physical, spiritual… is a choice.  Very much as Swindoll writes – “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

I keep on… keeping on… and that means picking myself up when I get knocked down, brushing the fall off and then carrying on.  Sure – I carry scars from falls, pokes, even words and acts of others – but I am learning that those pieces of my experience do not have to define me.  I experience ADHD, I’m NOT ADHD, I experience depression, I’m not depression, etc.  Those things certainly have an impact on the way I have to navigate my life – but I – well maybe I need to work harder – to not let those parts of my experience be defining of “The who I am”.

Sometimes I catch myself wishing I had parts of my life to do over again.  If only I had known then what I know now… boy would I have done this differently… That doesn’t serve me well.  For me – those are regrets… and storing up regrets just gives me fodder to mull over… I suppose on way to express this is I take on a victim perspective.  Ya – shit happened in my life… I can choose to turn my focus onto those negative things or I can choose to move forward.  Moving forward doesn’t dismiss the events from my life or take the burn scars off my arms – but it moves me away from the internal drama and negativity.  I totally understand that I’m making this sound as easy as just making a decision to “not go there” and I appreciate that there are threads in my life that bring me back to those places… and then I have to walk away from those spaces again…

One of the biggest pieces in this list of 10 is the self-denigration piece.  Never speak bad about yourself.  Now – I’d certainly feel some negative emotion if another person called me stupid, fat, lazy, dumb, an idiot… or any of those things – so – WHY IS IT OK FOR ME TO DO THE SAME TO MYSELF?  Ya, this is a piece of my puzzle that I continue to have struggles with.  I recognize and understand some of the “why” I continue to do this… and I know I am getting better at not doing it… Yet – it still happens far too often.  If I didn’t keep working at putting this in check – well – I would still be doing this many times each day.  I know – KNOW IN MY BEING – that it doesn’t make one iota of difference where the words come from – they cut just as deeply… so I practice tenacity and being aware.

My journey continues… my exploration of self continues… my learning continues…

This week I challenge you to:

  1. Tell yourself you are special, unique and loveable. Do this each day – maybe morning and night.. perhaps even put this into my ‘mirror exercise’.
  2. Tell someone you work with, live with or that is in your experience, that they are an important part of your life. Let that person know that your life would not be the same without the other persons presence in it.
  3. Keep on, keeping on. Be tenacious.  Be intentional.

That’s it – I challenge you.