Weekend: Mental Health Moment

By NANCY STEPHANI
Many of us get into a rut during the winter months and just coast in the business of life. Here is some sage advice to live a meaningful life:
• Be active. Don’t say you are too busy. Whether going to the gym or taking walks, make time for physical activity, especially if you sit at a desk all week.
• Take a vacation. A friend of mine calls it “having a ticket in your pocket.”
We all need something to look forward to. We are given mandatory vacation days for a reason. Plan now for some time away, even if you can’t get away for several months.
• Think. Think before you tweet or post anything on Facebook or any social media site. Think before you eat, drink or spend. This year, think.
• Cook something. Food is a part of our everyday life. You should know something about how to prepare it, if only to more fully appreciate those that do so for you. You might just find you enjoy it. Try and cook healthy and nutritious food.
• Get rid of fake friends. Don’t give in to the temptation to be fake yourself. It is not necessary to pretend to like people that are friends of your friends.
Focus on being with people you genuinely enjoy. This is not to say that friendship does not take work, but it shouldn’t leave you feeling drained.
• Call friends and family. While face-to-face communication remains the ideal, phoning someone to talk is a close second. Tweeting, texting or posting to Facebook is not the same.
We need to hone our skills at listening to others or we will lose those important communication skills.
• Relax. Take a break. Breathe. It is okay to spend an occasional weekend morning in bed, or watch mindless television shows all evening. Just not focusing or thinking for part of a day and taking time to play help to reduce stress and make life more meaningful.
• Do something for others. Notice this is at the end. You can only help others when you have taken good care of yourself.
So now that you are thriving, help out at a soup kitchen or volunteer at a charity. Build with Habitat for Humanity, stuff envelopes, sort clothes.
Do something to give back. You will feel wonderful and fulfilled and our world will be brighter. Promise.
Stephani, coordinator of emergency services at Century Health, is a licensed independent social worker supervisor. She is on professional staff at The Ohio State University at Lima. If you have a mental health question, please write to: Mental Health Moment, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.

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