Mental Health Monday Lite

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It’s the beginning of the second full week of January and the best laid plans…

I got in my car thinking that I’d take my Starbucks card that I got for Christmas (from Santa) for a spin and get this post posted. It wasn’t until I pulled into the parking lot that I realized the draft was on my laptop and not on my Kindle.

This was a good reminder that not everything will work out the way I want it to; these include minor things (like a misplaced draft) and major things (like my oldest getting covid).

My planned Mental Health Monday will happen, whether that’s later today, later in the week, or next Monday. We’ll see.

I have decided to prioritize my mental health, although I’ve tried to do this in more recent years, it is an ongoing process. So far, I’ve set my schedule, I fixed the lights on the Christmas tree, I made a fantastic dinner last night (check out my instagram, recipe coming in a future post), spent my daughter’s birthday doing stuff with her including seeing Spider-Man: No Way Home (the third time for me and I’d see it again – really, do yourself a favor and see this movie) and having breakfast at our local crepe and coffee shop.

Think of someting that you can do for YOURSELF today, before you go to bed, before you settle in for the night. Is it reading a chapter in the book you’ve been putting off? Is it a cup of hot tea? Is it just sitting and doing nothing for fifteen minutes? You decide.

Make Self-Care a Thing

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Why is so hard to put ourselves first; to take care of our own needs? Most of us usually wait until the stress has hit its boiling point. Instead of letting it go that far, it would be better to take care of ourselves along the way. That won’t eliminate all the stress and angst, but it can go a long way in alleviating those feelings of being put upon.

Some things that might work for you:

  1. Tune-out. Turn off the television, the internet, the cell phone. Find a quiet spot to just close your eyes for at least ten minutes. [Note: I have to mention that when I wrote this in my notebook, I wrote ten months. That might be a bit excessive. ;)]
  2. Re-read a favorite book. The one that I go back to every year or so is Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman.
  3. Go outside and sit. If it’s a cooler day, wear a lightweight jacket, gloves and a jaunty hat. Watch the wildlife scurry by and the birds glide, counting leaves, following the branches as they reach towards the sky.
  4. Listen to music. Mumford and Sons, Adele, Classic Rock – whatever floats your boat. Pop in your earphones and put your playlist on shuffle.
  5. I used to love this and you could do the pages as backgrounds without even having the pictures ready. Check out Creative Memories for supplies and ideas.
  6. Wander around a local museum or a large library or other interesting places in your local area.
  7. Take yourself to the movies. Have popcorn.
  8. Netflix. Catch up on a series you’ve always wanted to watch. Orange is the New Black anyone? Or re-watch a childhood favorite. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Escape to Witch Mountain are two of my favorites; or catch something new like Catching Fire.

One of the things that I do in an attempt at taking care of myself is my recent retreat. That’s a week while the kids are in school, but I also take a day and attend a local flower show in the spring.

As I’ve mentioned before, I visit Starbucks, less now because of finances, but it is still something I consider a special treat and self-care place.

My attendance at Mass will usually put things into perspective for me as well as centering my spirit and preparing me for the day.

I feel sometimes that I don’t have the time for me, but I think the bigger problem is whatever I’m doing gets interrupted and restarted and usually I’ okay with that kind of multi-tasking, but sometimes I’m the guy from Network.

I think I’ll take an hour and catch up on Constantine.