I was reminded this morning by a dear colleague that today is Mental Health Awareness day. As I sat and thought about what this means I was struck by the notion that at least once each year we are reminded to think about our mental health.
Now, as a therapist, my mental health is something I am constantly aware of. It is so important for me to feel mentally well and stable in order to hold the space and be present for my clients. It is also my firm belief that so many of our physical ailments come from emotional trauma that we have been unable to process at the time the trauma occurred. Much of my experience has been in exploring trauma with my clients and aiding them in how to connect with trauma, how to explore it from a space of congruence and compassion to then accept and heal. This all happens in the brain and flows through to the body, all of this is a journey into aiding and improving ones mental health.
So what is mental health awareness? Is this something we should consider just once a year? Or is our mental health more intrinsically interwoven with our emotional and physical health?
Perhaps our mental health is something we should take a moment, not just once a year, but every day to consider. Perhaps by removing the stigma of what the words ‘mental health’ can imply and realise that if each and every single one of us were considerate of our mental health we would have the potential to live a much happier life.
So my next thought was how often do I actually check in with myself and think about my mental health? Is it monthly? Weekly? Daily? As I considered this I was surprised to realise that I am pretty much always checking in with myself. I am always considering my emotions, how my body feels, what feels out of balance and what I mentally need to process in order to return to that lovely, balanced, harmonious self. I recognise that much of my interactions with others is a reflection of my inner world and when I feel cross, angry or upset with someone I ask myself where the trauma is within me that has caused me to feel vulnerable or hurt. I also tend to ask how old that feeling is as often it is from a past experience which requires some love and attention for acceptance, forgiveness and healing.
Of course there are times when I continue to struggle and feel unhappy. This is why I have a regular 1-2-1 session with other holistic therapists each month to give myself the space and opportunity to share and receive guidance from a neutral perspective, as well as support in the healing and recovery from this too. Whether I am feeling out of balance or not I always gift myself this monthly time for me.
So on this Mental Health Awareness day I invite you to consider how you look after your mental health. What do you do to explore your own inner world? How often do you check in mentally with yourself and ask, ‘how am I feeling?’ And also, ‘why am I feeling this?’ How often to you gift yourself the time to focus on your mental health, be it with meditation, exercise, counselling, massage, holistic therapy or something else?
I hope the answer is daily and if it isn’t perhaps now, today on this Mental Health Awareness day, its time to start a new routine and take a little time each day to ponder on how well you are feeling mentally.