Holidays and every day mental health

We look forward to holidays, time off, weekends, snatching moments in our day when we can switch off. Long lists of things to do and not enough time. The world seems so fast. But stop. Slow down. If we were a phone battery then we would not wait until our battery had completely run out in order to recharge, we would find ways in which to top up our batteries every day.

So rather than wait for holidays, where we can completely switch off and recharge, how can we ensure we keep ourselves topped up every day?

We can choose how we want to spend our 24 hours and reprogramming our minds and habits little by little we can improve our mental health. I’ve experienced depression first hand, having had post-natal depression and in the theme of mental health week of being kind; by reprioritising, being kind to ourselves by getting some ‘you’ time, spending time in nature, we not only look after ourselves better, but also our family, our communities, work colleagues and our planet.

As Gandhi said, ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world’ and ‘You will never know what results come from your actions. But if you do nothing there will be no results’. So, if we carry on doing the same thing every day to ourselves and our planet we have always done, we will get the same results. If we want to improve our mental health and that of our planet then something needs to change.

Waiting in the supermarket queue the other day, one member of the staff was waiting outside to let people in and a man came out of the shop with a bunch of flowers, took out a rose, giving it to the member of staff. That simple act of kindness made the staff members day as well as bringing a smile to everyone in the queue.

According to the mental health charity Mind, ‘it has a singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity.’ ‘Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive’.

On our holidays we will include some reflection time and mindfulness techniques, giving you tips on how to pay attention to the present moment and be kind on yourself. Being in the present moment, not only helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we are better able to manage them.

A final quote from Gandhi

‘Carefully watch your thoughts for they become your words. Manage and watch your words for they become your actions. Consider and judge your actions for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values for they become your destiny.’

(thanks to JP for the phone analogy)