Tendai is one of my favourite people in the world. We are both proud members of the gap tooth brigade so naturally every time we meet we chop it up and laugh so hard that we go home with sore cheeks.
I was in Melbourne just last week celebrating hubby’s birthday and we had dinner with the lady of the moment, Tendai. During the dinner we started talking about things that we were passionate about and I could see Tendai literally foaming at the mouth discussing Mental Health. Seeing this passion lead me to ask her to write a piece for this blog.
I will now hand it over to the Tendai.
Hi everyone! My name is Tendai and I am your guest blogger for his month. When Tinashe asked me to be a guest blogger on this fantastic blog, I was so excited… Me? A writer? Yeah! Bring it on!. Then reality set in..&^% a few other profanities here and there. What will I write about? What if I don’t make sense? What if its just boring? I spent hours and days pondering these questions, until I said. Tendai, write what you are passionate about – I am passionate about mental health. My mental health.
There were days when I would wake up feeling off, when I would rather roll over, cover my head and for just that day.. I didn’t have to exist. For a while I would spend hours trying to figure out why I felt “off” and really have a go at myself for not trying to feel better. What’s wrong with you? I would say…There are people out there who have it worse than you so get it together! What do you have to be sad about? You are hopeless! Weak! I could go on…. Occasionally this would extend to situations where things didn’t go my way. It became a habit of putting myself down. The constant self-berating had to stop, something HAD to give…
Over time, with failure and success I have learned that caring for my mental health is important. It is just as important as caring about my physical health. When my body is run down or under stress, my immune system is comprised and I get sick. It’s either I get cold sores, or flu like symptoms or both. And when I get sick, I take a sickie, chill out, rest and recover! I take a time out! I have learned to do the same for my mental health. I have learned to strengthen my mental resilience by regularly taking mental timeouts or ‘me days’ as well as incorporating little ‘things‘ here and there.
My mental timeouts involve meditating throughout the day using an app called Stop Breathe and Think. This app has short targeted guided meditations. By doing this, I allow my mind and emotions to recalibrate and not dwell on too many negative things. My days are usually a Saturday or a Sunday once a month when I do absolutely anything my heart desires. I watch movies, listen to albums, read a chapter, stare at the ceiling, get a mani or pedi and chuck in a facial.. just some good me time. I realise that I’m fortunate my lifestyle allows me to do such and if pressed for time. A few hours can do for you.
I exercise. I make it a point to exercise 3-4 times a week 30-45mins at a time. I am probably the least physically active person I know but the benefits I experience motivate me to get moving. When I exercise, I feel good, sexy and energetic. Gotta love those natural endorphins 🙂
I stay connected. I catch up with friends and family. I make a conscious effort to follow up and lock in dates for catch-ups. We often say “let’s catch-up” and months will go by and nothing. So take the initiative, make that call, make that reservation, plan, organize.
I challenge myself. I am always looking for opportunities for professional development. I love my work and I strive to provide a quality service. In order for me to do that effectively and efficiently, I keep learning and exploring new concepts and ideologies. In addition, every now and then, I will put my hand up and volunteer in non-work related things.
I share my interests. Anyone who knows me, knows I have an abnormal passion for the game of tennis. I will gladly put my life on hold for a Serena Williams match. January is all about the Australian Open; you will find me there with plus two or three. Not forgetting the late nights for the other 3 major tennis tournaments. I do have other interests! I swear! Concerts, cultural/ food festivals and markets.
Lastly…Gratitude. Before I go to sleep. I spend sometime thinking about three things I am grateful for throughout the day. Using an app called Gratitude I can journal this. Not only do I go to bed with happy thoughts, but it forces me to reflect on the goodness of each day.
There you go those are my secrets to develop and maintain my mental wellbeing.
I don’t know about you, but as someone that is always on the go – this blog post couldn’t have been more timely. I wanted to thank Tendai for being a guest blogger this month – she have provided some handy hints that will allow us to be present in the moment and grateful for all things big and small.
If you have any other techniques that you use and would like to share, please join the conversation by sharing in the comment section of this blog post!