One of the things that I never included on my “to do” list when I was getting ready for early retirement were strategies to manage my “mental health”. I had a long list for all of the ways that I was going to improve my physical health once I had all of the time I envisioned that I would have once I left the full time work world.
Recently, I reviewed that “to do” list, which essentially was a wish list, and realized that I had somehow inadvertently believed that once I left full time work, my life would instantly improve. On an emotional level that is. And of course, whenever we engage in magical thinking, we are avoiding the hard work that is required to make a life change of any sort.
Transitions, really any life changing experience, will tax the best tools that we may have in our resilience tool kits. And resilience is about having positive mental health. I am now realizing how critical it is to think about all parts of being healthy from a holistic perspective.
And to talk about all of the many ways we are experiencing the ups and the downs in our lives. Or to write about them. The stigma that surrounds mental health may prevent us from reaching out to connect with others, or to seek out needed supports. It seems fitting to reflect on our mental health today.
January 29th has become an annual date for Canadians to engage in dialogue and conversation about mental health. Bell Canada, along with numerous national partners, has created a social media phenomenon to help reduce stigma about mental health. And to provide resources and funding for community based programs across Canada to enhance our mental health. Check it out at https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
Take care of all aspects of yourself. And talk, think, read about mental health. Work to reduce stigma about mental health. Really, it is such an important and kind thing to do for ourselves and others. We have the ability to cultivate happiness in our lives and to create more opportunities for the aspects of our lives that help us thrive and reach whatever goals we aspire to. Happy Wednesday!