2019, March 21

Mental wellness challenge

Continuing out of the shadows…


Last week I did a lunch time talk about my journey toward mental wellness. If you recall, my purpose in this is to cast off the stigma, shame and guilt that surrounds mental health, to get people talking about their experiences, seeking out help when and where they need it. Bringing mental health, in general terms, into the light.


During last weeks talk, I made a challenge for the folks in the room to do a little “Mirror talk” each day – to stand before the mirror each day and to look themselves in the eye and tell themselves “I love you!” or “I’m proud of you” or “I believe in you”.


I know it sounds like it should be easy, and for some, I suppose it is. For me – my depression disorder, anxiety disorder, and ADHD – have caused an erosion of my sense of self esteem to a point where I need to “intentionally” work to restore it. So this is one way that I use to build my self esteem.


For me, self esteem is so important because it acts as a shock absorber for those times where I face criticism or perhaps negative events (make a big mistake). If my self esteem tank is near empty, I find that those sorts of things really take their toll on my mood, my self control, my focus. I don’t want to get stuck on the sided of the road in the middle of a really bad storm because my self esteem tank is empty. That’s why I intentionally do things to help keep my tank off the “E”.


This week, I’d like to challenge people to a little different activity.


I’d like to challenge people to identify and recognize “supports”.


This activity is like having a “preparedness kit” for supports for mental health. I challenge you to identify, in writing, 10 supports that you could call on in times of need. Some of mine are: psychologist (name and number), family doctor (name and number), confidant (name and number) and so on… see – now you likely only have 7 to identify.


After you complete this challenge, keep those names and numbers in a place where you can refer to them if you need to. AND THEN DO SO IF YOU NEED TO!


I was surprised when I did this the first time at how difficult it was for me to come up with 10 supports.