Physical health, Spiritual health, Mental health. They are all tied to together and impact one another, just like any other eco-system. None is more important than another, but when one is not in balance it calls out – loudly and can seemingly send the whole world into a tilt. When one thinks “mental health” usually severe forms of disorders come to mind – schizophrenia, dissociative personality, extreme phobias, and such. Of course, these are mental health issues, but not the ones experienced by most every person at some point in their lives. Anxiety, depression, difficulties adjusting to life changes, attention deficit-hyperactivity, relational problems, etc. also are mental health issues. Albeit not severe, but impactful just the same. They can vary in severity and can be a one-time blip or, for some, a part of everyday life.
The body is a system comprised of other smaller systems and we are a part of systems outside ourselves. Therefore, imbalance can occur and affect us from inside or outside ourselves. Pain, hormonal or chemical changes, and illness come from within. Also from within, are our own thoughts and our way of perceiving the world. And, of course our environment brings it’s own stressors that can be outside our control.
In my career, I’ve experienced the following dialogue more times than I can remember.
Client: “Am I crazy?”
Me: “What makes you ask that.”,
Client: “Well I’m here talking to you.”
This thinking is part of the stigma. Seeking help for your mental health is not that different from going to the doctor when you aren’t feeling well. Some people go more often than others and some conditions are a short-lived “bug” and others are chronic and ongoing in nature. Either way, it’s self-care.
Other forms of self-care can include:
- Eating healthy nutritious foods
- Regular exercise
- Getting adequate sleep/rest
- Breathing (with intention)
- Taking time to recharge (spiritually or through interaction with nature)
- Maintaining healthy relationships and boundaries
- Asking for help when needed
Self-care of the body, mind, and spirit make for better health, a sense of peace, and general improvements on one’s outlook on life.