In May, to honor Mental Health Month, I wanted to create a positive message that was both self-reflective and focused on people who are consistently supportive and self-sacrificing to others. I was inspired by people who are the glue and rocks for their families, their communities, and their peers. Watching these often unsung heroes provide critical support during this pandemic is just another reminder of how fortunate we are to have them in our lives.
They don’t stop. They give and keep going but often suffer from a lack of self-care. While self-care is vital, for many of us, it is a struggle and feels selfish. Yet, it’s the opposite.
When oxygen masks release from the overhead bin of a plane, we instinctively want to reach out to help others. But if we do, we will run out of oxygen. So, we have to put our mask on first!
CARING FOR THOSE WE LOVE STARTS WITH CARING FOR OURSELVES.
For May, I commit to support and share that we allow ourselves to have self-care. Permit yourself to take a timeout, to rest and replenish and to center. You can do this by choosing to pause, pivot, and put yourself first.
Ask yourself questions you would ask others:
- Are you taking care of your needs?
- Do you have time for you?
- How can you help (yourself)?
- Do you have joy in your life?
- Are you doing what you want to do?
Decide what your #IMAY focus is. For example, I will communicate to those around me that I am taking the day off to recharge in a way that works best for me. We’ve all experienced burnout due to compassion fatigue or excessive productivity. Without balance, our ability to be there for others suffers.
THE #IMAY BLUEPRINT FOR NURTURING MENTAL HEALTH.
Each week, no matter the month, choose a topic to focus on and create your #IMAY. Here’s my blueprint.
Boundaries: #IMAY have boundaries.
I will create time outside of my career and family to rest and replenish.
I will not be available 24/7, and I will make time for myself.
Empathy: #IMAY have empathy.
I may show myself compassion by taking care of my needs.
I may sleep, meditate, and be sensitive to my well-being.
Passion: #IMAY pursue my passions.
I may take time to pursue my interests and passions, and do what brings me joy.
Letting go: #IMAY let go.
It’s hard to have trust and let go. Things may fall apart but have faith that you have the right people in your life and that when you dare to delegate something, it will be done.
HONORING MENTAL HEALTH MONTH
The courage to put yourself first takes time and effort to find. But when you find it, embrace it! Giving the same generosity and attention that you provide to others to yourself is how you continue to take care of them and you.
Create and share your #IMay story with the people in your life and have a mindful Mental Health Month!
Thank you and be well,