Saturday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. It's nice that the importance of mental health is recognized. But our mental health is something that we should be thinking about every day.
What is mental health? In a very basic sense, it's how you're doing overall emotionally, physically, and socially.
What does that mean?
Emotionally: How do you manage your feelings? Change? Difficult times? How do you respond to your thoughts? Are you aware of how your thoughts affect your emotions? And vice versa?
Physically: How are you sleeping? Eating? Are you taking care of your body by exercising?
Socially: How is your social support system? Do you have strong friendships? Family relationships? Is social media helping or hurting you right now?
The World Health Organization gives us a formal definition of mental health:
"Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community."
That's something to aim for!
How are you doing? Is it time to take some small steps toward better mental health? Or maybe it's time for a bigger step like confiding in a friend about how you're doing? Doing some research on mental health and mental illness? Giving some thought to starting therapy?
Let's pause and think about that this Saturday, October 10th. But let's also keep it in mind every day as we pay attention to how we are doing.
I recently discovered the delightful, whimsical, and encouraging art of Jackie of chibird.com. I love her messages of taking good care of yourself, and treating yourself with gentleness and compassion.
This is yesterday's post about progress. Being productive and making progress can look so differently for each of us depending on so many things.
Are you struggling with feeling "productive" or making progress right now? What's your definition of "productive"? And does that definition fit with what's going on, the stage of life you're in, and the emotional weight that you're carrying?
According to this New York Times article, we're more likely to NOT hear what those closest to us are really saying because we think we already know what they are going to say. Ouch.
Linking to Episode #2 of Laura Tremaine’s 10 Things To Tell You podcast titled: Are You Lonely?
Are you lonely? What a great question to ask yourself, your partner, or your friends.
Admitting and identifying a problem is a first step to finding a solution. Being honest about if you’re feeling lonely and disconnected from others may be the beginning of finding new or deeper connections.
Is there someone that you can ask, “Are you lonely?”
If someone asked you, “Are you lonely?” how would you respond?
Taking a look at this infographic can help us assess how we're doing in terms of caring for our mental health. Which of these are you doing well with? Which ones could use some more attention?
How was August for you? Are you ready to head into the fall?
I've read some great articles this month. Here they are:
This Woman Quit Dating Apps and Decided to Meet Men IRL, and It Changed Everything
"The more comfortable I became talking to everyone, the more confidence I gained talking to men. I began living openly, boldly, and unapologetically."
How To Make Friends, According to Science
"A recent study out of the University of Kansas found that it takes about 50 hours of socializing to go from acquaintance to casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend."
The New, Supremely Satisfying Way I End My Day.
"What helps me to keep on keepin' on is to truly give myself credit for the things I get done each day—both personally and professionally. And to that end, I've developed an auspicious habit: I write a to-do list in reverse at the end of the day."
How was the month of June for you?
For this Round-Up, I have all podcasts for you:
This American Life Episode #339: Heartbreak. “Partly today, we have an anatomy of the completely contradictory feelings that are part of a breakup. I think that’s what makes it such a special and particularly cursed state.”
Smartest Person in the Room Episode #29: When A Black Person Says It's About Race. “The divide between black and white America has never felt greater. Is reconciliation possible? In this series, we’re exploring how to cross the divide.”
The Lazy Genius Episode #58: The Lazy Genius Morning Routine. “How do we develop a morning routine? Maybe not quite what you expect. Have a listen, and create mornings that make you feel like yourself.”
Welcome to spring! Here are some resources that caught my eye this month. All are related to knowing yourself better.
In this post:
Ever think about journaling as a way to be in touch with what you're learning, how you're growing, and what you're struggling with? In this article by Michael Hyatt, he provides a simple journal template with eight questions that can make the journaling process easier.
In podcast episode #45, the Lazy Genius talks all about setting goals based on the person that you want to become. It's a short episode (13 minutes) but it's packed with stuff to think about.
In her book, Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, Anne Bogel gives us an overview of eight different personality frameworks. In a conversational, memoir-ish way, she explains how each of the frameworks help us know ourselves better. If you'd like to dip your toe into personality types, this is an easy way to figure out where you might want to start.
Happy March! This is a round-up of what has caught my eye (and ear) this past month.
In Nir Eyal’s article, Happiness Hack: This One Ritual Made Me Much Happier, he writes about how having good friends is crucial for your mental and physical health. Intentionally maintaining friendships keeps them alive. If friendships aren’t maintained, Eyal writes: “This is how friendships die- they starve to death.” His solution? A “kibbutz” style friendship.
Were you ever taught about how to make a friend? How do we learn this? The Lazy Genius Episode #13: The Lazy Genius Makes a Friend is a very short introduction on the basics of making a friend.
In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin writes about how we can develop healthy habits and eliminate the negative habits. She writes about the importance of knowing yourself and how you work, and how knowing this will help make or break these habits. She combines research and personal stories into a very readable, practical, and motivating book.
I’m Elaine Gee-Wong and I'm a therapist with a private practice in Santa Clara, CA.
Any information or advice on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not take the place of information or care provided to you by your physicians, medical, or mental health care professionals.