Sunday, 10/10, is World Mental Health Day. Mental health affects all of us, and it has been especially important to take care of it as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. What helps you care for your mental health?
A good book to read is Instant Healing by Serge Kahili King, it’s all about thinking a different way thru depression,anxiety, being angry, hateful and it’s wonderful if you have a great imagination. It truly works!
Being able to talk comfortably and freely with a spouse, significant other or a good friend about things that might be stressing us out works well for me. This pandemic has helped to create higher stress levels in all of us.
I’ve tried to avoid negativity as much as possible, even to the point of dropping friends & avoiding relatives who thrive on pushing conspiracy theories and stressing the worst case scenario for everything….I call them my psychic vampires. This year I stopped using Facebook for the most part & only check in on alumni & local store postings maybe 1-2 month. I prefer letters & email to keep in touch with my friends, old classmates and former co-workers. I spend time gardening, playing with my cats, reading & watching TV, especially PBS, historical documentaries, British mysteries & comedies. Before I retired as a nurse, I never took vacations or time off, always working late & volunteering. When I retired in 2014 at age 68…..it was a pleasant surprise to take a vacation that year and since then my neighbor & I have taken several multi day bus tours to different states every year. Since she is still working, I’ve gone solo on many day tours…there is always someone to talk to. Lastly, I’ve found that doing random acts of kindness has a very positive effect on my own outlook & feelings…I make a habit of bringing cookies for the staff when I visit the library, post office, bank, MD office, etc - it’s a small gesture but an unexpected one and I find my worries dissolving when I see their smiles.
I remember, years ago, having bouts of sadness, unhappiness & depression but I haven’t experienced them for almost a decade.
First one was a tour of Salem at Hallowe’en…fantastic! Went to Providence, Lizzie Borden Home, Richmond VA, Alaska, DC, Canada, several times to New England states &last month to Shenandoah Valley & Monticello. My day trips are mostly museums…9/11, Smithsonian, Harriet Tubman, Holocaust, African American, etc.
I can’t believe how many years I did without one. Actually, while I was walking through Salem in 2014, that’s when it hit me that it was the first actual vacation I’d taken in over 25 years!