In the spirit of an upcoming annual corporate sponsored mental health & mental illness stigma stomp-down, let’s instead channel some energy into ways we can make our homes, schools, workplaces, and social spaces less of a chaotic mess for folks just trying to get by.
1. Create spaces for play/fun/rest:
If your self-care is an all-inclusive resort trip to Mexico, that’s cool. But recognizing that such an option is not available to everyone, here are a few other ways you can keep morale high, or provide support to friends or colleagues:
– colouring pages
– white paper
– pencil crayons & markers
– sticky notes of positive affirmations (everywhere! post them everywhere!)
– photos of cute animals
– a comfy chair or two, with cushions
– books (lighthearted or funny ones)
2. Don’t be afraid to say you need a break:
Sometimes you just need to get up and take a lap around the office, around the campus, around the mall… giving yourself a chance to take a breath is essential. Also, your lungs really appreciate it too. (This is mostly a reminder for myself, but you can do it too).
3. Ask people how they’re doing, and listen to their answers:
It’s important to listen to others. I don’t think this requires further explanation, but I will let you in on a secret. Listening to understand the other person allows you to connect with them, in a way that wouldn’t be possible if you exclusively listen to respond.
4. Make mental health your priority:
By this, I truly mean EVERYONE should make mental health their priority. You wouldn’t let yourself, your colleagues, or your friends fall into a ditch and break bones (I’d hope!!!), so you should treat your hearts and minds with the same care. Be kinder and more open to having conversations about how to make work… and school… and life… feel less like work for everyone.