Practicing Mental Wellness 365 Days A Year

Practicing Mental Wellness 365 Days A Year

​The resolution you should have for 2017, and every second after.
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January is mental wellness month.

May is mental health awareness month. September is suicide prevention month; and the list goes on. While it is an extraordinary achievement in the mental health realm to have all of these designated outreach campaigns during specific months where we can all come together and advocate as one, the truth is that every second, hour, day, month, and year should be the time for mental health awareness.

Even being a mental health advocate for many years now, I too struggle with practicing self-consciousness and care on a daily basis. We often get caught up in our lives, thoughts, goals, and responsibilities and merely excuse it as not having the time. But you, and I, are just lying to our selves.

Hear me out, because I know some of you are thinking to yourselves that I just don’t get it. All of the business men and women, the lawyers, the retail workers, the museum owners, the restaurant crews etc. who eat, sleep (maybe) and breathe his/her work, cannot possibly have the time to practice self-care, or mental wellness. This is an entirely false statement; get it out of your heads!

You need to shower right? Even if you’re timing yourself in between answering emails, take three deep breaths during the 30 seconds you spend massaging shampoo into your hair, and another two while you condition. This small act will calm your breathing, relax your mind, and help you refocus.

You’re constantly on the move, or sitting at your desk. Either way, you still have 10 seconds to roll your head in a circle first clockwise then counterclockwise, roll your shoulders four times, and shift your rib cage to the right, then to the left, and repeat. Yes, I clocked it.

As soon as you wakeup, coffee is number one. Well, its time to make it number two. Drink one 8 oz. cup of water post awakening. If you’re not fond of water, have slices of lemon, cucumber, or your favorite fruit on hand in the refrigerator that you could toss in. You can accomplish all of this in the three minutes it takes for the pot of coffee to brew. If you’re using a Keurig, you can still make it work. I did it.

Those of you who have animal companions, think of nothing other than petting them and playing with his/her favorite toy. If you have a pet, you should be exercising and stimulating them, in addition to providing unconditional love, as much as possible. Not only does this enhance his/her well being, but yours too. Win-win.

Some other super quick and convenient self-care strategies can include listening to a meditation song on your drive to work. Take the train? Use your earphones. Sitting in the conference room waiting for your late co-workers? Using your pointer, middle, and index fingers to rub the center of the back of your neck in a circular motion. Using your pointer and middle fingers, rub the portion behind your ears vertically, and then use the same circular technique on your temples. This will immediately induce a state of relaxation and pleasure.

As I use a bit of humor in this, I’m sure you have caught on to my point. Nobody is too busy to practice some form of self-care. You may not have the time nor money to do two yoga sessions a week, or have the knees of steel needed for a spinning class, but you do have the time for smaller, simpler techniques that work for yourself, and your lifestyle. You MUST have time for your mental health, because if you don’t, everything else follows suit.

And what good are you to yourself, and everyone else, without your health?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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