Today is World Mental Health Day (October 10th). I wanted to share a few thoughts around this topic and a few key takeaways of how to prioritize your mental health and wellbeing.
How can we define mental health? We can define mental health with the help of WHO's definition: mental health is the mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life.
And oh boy, don't we have heaps of those.
Our mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act on a day-to-day basis. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make decisions.
This year's theme is Making Mental Health and Well-Being for all a global priority.
In a recent webinar with Nicholas Jermetta, founder of Stories Matter, Nicholas speaks about our two simple truths.
We all have mental health because we all have health
We all have health because we're all human
I'm human. You're human. Your colleague is human. Your partner is human. And we all experience mental health. Let's make it a priority.
Why is our mental health and well-being important?
On an individual basis, when we prioritize our mental wellbeing, we feel alive. We have more energy, motivation and purpose. It promotes happiness and fulfillment. It improves our health and life satisfaction.
In a work environment, prioritizing our mental wellbeing increases productivity, creates cohesion and strong working relationships. It increases creativity and innovation.
What gets in the way of our mental wellbeing?
Life! Am I right? There can be so many reasons of why we don't prioritize our mental wellbeing.
We have a lot of responsibilities in life. Work. Taking care of the family. Cooking. Laundry. The list goes on! The to-do list piles up so high, that the task "prioritize my wellbeing" tends to end up last on the list.
It can also be challenging to develop new habits. We can get comfortable in routine. It's often the first step of forming a new habit that's the most difficult. Forming a new habit can feel so insurmountable that we can't even find the energy to begin.
Lack of support and awareness. We may not have the right support network to feel comfortable to even speak on this topic. Perhaps you feel as though you don't have the permission to prioritize yourself.
I'm here to tell you, this can change. I know it's hard. I'm not perfect and I'm definitely not consistent. I want to share with you a few tips of how to prioritize your mental health and wellbeing
Develop a Well-Being Toolkit
l absolutely love this one. It may be cliché, but one size does not fit all. Find YOUR well-being toolkit. Find what gives you joy and GO DO IT. This will mean something different for all of us. I love yoga and sound meditations. I know after a yoga class or a sound meditation, I feel so much better. Like a weight lifted off. All the pressure and worries have floated away. I love macramé! I'm absolutely terrible at it, but it soothes my soul. What do you love doing? And do more of it.
Make New Habits
I know this is a tough one. But making new habits and doing things we love improves our wellbeing. Think back to a time you did something you truly loved. How did you feel after that activity? Probably energized, full of life. Write that down! And next time you're feeling demotivated to go for a run, or go to a yoga class, reflect on how you will feel after doing it.
Getting into these habits is hard and it's important to be consistent with this. But it's OK if you're not the most consistent. We're all imperfect. How can you start small? Rather than feeling a sense of overwhelm when approaching the new habit, how can you break it down into smaller pieces?
Eat the Frog!
We share this one a lot within the work context. It's often related to productivity, but it can also have a massive impact on your wellbeing. Eat the frog. Do the harder, most daunting tasks, at the beginning of the day. I promise, you're whole day will change.
Thank you for reading. Let's make mental health a priority and put yourself first!
Helping hardworking professionals to reclaim their lives through mindfulness.
Chloe Jane is a RYT in a variety of restorative yoga styles: yin, restorative yoga and yoga nidra. She is a Sound Healing Practitioner and works with the energies of her Tibetan Singing Bowls procured from a shamanic family in Nepal.
Chloe's style focuses on bringing awareness to the present moment through physical and energetic practices.
Her passions include mindfulness, nature hikes, foraging mushrooms, and mountain biking.
She is South of France based (Ardeche) and you can find her on instagram @chloejanejacobs