For mental health day today I have two very simple suggestions for you that will open up your world:
Become like a child
Be kind to yourself
My children were asked to create their own hats for mental health day in order to promote mental health well-being by raising awareness of this debilitating illness. I loved this because what they created was so simple, innocent and straight from them. Different shapes, colours and different themes. My son spent hours sewing white fabric on a traditional Chinese hat with a red pompom on the top and my daughter a beautiful purple hat with a snake on top. She knew exactly what she wanted to put on it as my son and just went about to make it!
It made me think that yes, a simple thing to do is to make a hat!
- Make a hat without thinking about it too much, just do it! (with the immediacy of children)
- The process of just allowing yourself to do it and then seeing your creation can be enjoyable in itself.
- They finished their hats and did not doubt what they looked like, what others would say, if it was missing anything etc.
Mental health which includes depression, anxiety etc. is a serious disorder and needs to be taken seriously.
So as-well as making your hat:
a) without thinking too much about the end creation
b) allowing yourself to enjoy the whole process
c) seeing this Art exercise as your first step toward finding your inner light (because mental health disorders shut out the light)
Another really important thing I want to highlight here is that being gentle, kind and compassionate with and toward yourself can really help strengthen your mental health.
Harvard health recommend comforting your body through stretching, or bathing or eating food that makes you feel good. Also writing yourself a letter about a specific issue that would be good for you to allow yourself to say how you feel about it. They also recommend that you treat yourself as you would a best friend and to practice mindfulness which improves your overall health and well-being.
I would like to add a little exercise here that is immediate:
a) taking a few deep breaths and becoming aware of the experience here and now in your heart
b) notice what is vulnerable, notice if you can your tender vulnerability toward the world.
c) allowing this vulnerability to just be with you now, these feelings that may be uncomfortable or may be uncomfortable to feel.
c) then turn toward yourself and say your name and in your way, in your words, that are kind, that are loving, that are accepting and full of compassion ‘I love you for feeling this………….’
This will allow light in and enable you to see the light in others.