We can change minds together. We must push back against the shame that so unfairly surrounds a diagnosis of mental illness by showing our support, by talking about mental illness openly, and by encouraging others to do the same. It is the only way that we, together, will help weaken the chains of stigma one link at a time…
- For yourself
- For loved ones
- In the workplace
Let’s start with ourselves, since if that’s not strong nothing else really matters. (Check out the following two blog posts for best practices related to loved one and the workplace.)
Wellbeing…Wellness for the Mind and Body
Do you want to maintain wellness to the best of your ability over your lifetime? Then you should consider every aspect of your health—body, mind and spirit.
No one gets a guarantee against cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. But by taking the best possible care of your body, you can reduce the risk of some diseases and strengthen it to fight against others.
Be sure to:
- Drink plenty of water and limit drinks such as soda, or others that are highly sweetened or use artificial sweeteners.
- Eat right
- Maintain a healthy weight—Consult your doctor for your recommended weight
- Exercise regularly
- Get sufficient sleep—Most people need6 to8 hours each day
- Relax—Teach your body to breathe deeply and loosen your muscles daily.
- Limit your alcohol use and use caffeine products moderately
- Quit smoking
Don’t neglect the needs of another important health component—your mind. Notice your thoughts: What is the overall tone of your thinking—is it negative or positive? Looking on the bright side improves your total health.
You can also nurture your mind with:
- Stress management—Learn how to let go of worry and literally let go of excess work
- Continual learning—Exercise your brain by taking a new class or learning new skills or hobbies
- Play—Feed your mind daily doses of humor, recreation and special interests
- Social support—Regular time with friends is vital to your health
Dr. Edmund Bourne, author of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, asserts that everyone needs to develop “meaning, purpose and spirituality” for complete wellness.
- Build a time of “stillness” into each day, free from distractions, interruptions, etc.
- Forgive—Bitterness and resentment destroy your health
- Nurture your self-esteem
- Accept change and your inability to control all things
- Explore local places of worship
Finally, in their “Marc and Angel Hack Life” blog, professional coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff share inspirational and practical tips for a productive, happy life. I love Marc’s blog post titled “30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself.”