A Mental Health Moment
By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPC, NCC, CCHt, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
The Truth Contributor
Dear readers, we are down to the 30- day count of our 90- day mental health challenge. December 31 ends 2021 and we will all have the opportunity to plan accordingly how we want the new year 2022 to work for our best interest. Many of you have heard the quote “we don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan” and honestly those words ring true throughout all of our lives at some point. So, let’s take a look back at October at the beginning of our 90-day mental health challenge.
For the month of October an overall theme of making a plan on how to get started with changes in your life and how to start. For example, the importance of identifying your mental health needs and how to get started on reaching out to professionals, a trusted friend or at least listing items in our lives that need attention.
For the month of November, the Thanksgiving holiday was addressed as were veterans and how they could get help through websites, phone numbers and physical addresses. Also, November was a month of checking yourself and asking the hard questions, “did you make a list, did you identify needs, did you begin any type of change for the better (you)?
Congratulations to each of you who took a step or steps toward this challenge, be proud of yourself, hug yourself and know that you truly do care and love yourself. If you did any of this alone that was a courageous move and if you had help, please continue to utilize a support system and graciously thank those who were there to help you.
As we close out the year of 2021, it’s natural to want to look back with some regret and woulda, shoulda, coulda’s. None of those serve any of us pleasure or purpose. Instead, take a mature step toward evaluating the past year and ask these questions: 1 – what was in my control? 2 – what was out of my control? 3 – were the choices I had reasonable to make reasonable decisions? 4 – what do I envision to improve my life this year? 5 – who or what needs to be eliminated from my life that is not in my best interest?
We are all accountable for our own lives and responsible for the children we bring into this world. We are all human and mistakes take place throughout our lives. Learn from your mistakes, get back up when you fall, never give up, ask for help, try your best, be true to who you are, treat others kindly and respectfully, love yourself and your children unconditionally.
New Year’s resolutions are fun but often fail to last past February 1. Instead, make a list of what qualities can get you where you want to be. Winning lottery numbers may be in your future but money does not buy love, happiness, respect or dignity. Positive thinking, great work ethics, planning, prayer and a strong sense of spirit can go a long way. Take your time but don’t waste it on dreams fueled by the inability of poor logic and lack of sense.
The holidays can be very lonely, violence is on the rise, suicide rates increase and drugs and alcohol sky rocket. Pain of the mind and soul can be soothed by helping others in need and in pain. Your soul and your spirit feel good helping to heal the pain of another. Remember loved one’s we lost can be inevitable this time of year but give it a time limit on how long you feel that heartfelt pain. Honor their name and their memory and whom you choose to help, whom you choose to ease their pain do it in the name of your lost loved one.
At times our bodies can be weak and in pain but our minds are very, very powerful. Looking back at the past can cause depression, while looking too far ahead in fear of what could happen negatively causes anxiety. ANXIETY IS A WASTE OF IMAGINATION….I’ll say it again, anxiety is a waste of imagination. You choose what to think, you choose what to remember therefore choose to imagine love, happiness, peace, a beautiful place you’ve been or would like to go, healthy grandchildren……endless possibilities. 2022 what’s in your imagination?
I leave you dear readers from a quote from the late great Dr. Maya Angelou….My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”