How are you Protecting Your Mental Health and Wellness

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It’s mental health awareness week, and I wrestled with writing something valuable and intentional to support people in their wellness. The word that kept coming to my mind this week was resilience. I love the idea that resilience can be curated, developed by incorporating strategies into your life to cultivate a sense of well-being, manage difficult or stressful times in life, and strengthen resolve.

We have all heard about resilience similar to a rubber band… that we are built to be resilient, to stretch and then come back to form and rebound. That when we are stretched beyond our personal capacity, our resilience can break down, or snap like the rubber band. I believe that is true to an extent. However, while I think resilience can be developed through intentional acts, I also think that it can be worn down over time with little micro-stressors that alone don’t have a major impact, but over time can become heavy to bear.

I heard an analogy the other day in the Oilers post-game presser, and it aligns perfectly with what I’m thinking. “Keep hammering at the rock until it cracks.” If you have seen the video of this, there is a giant boulder, and one person with a sledgehammer and some spikes. This person keeps hitting these tiny spikes into the boulder, each time intentionally to add a little chip in the boulder. Over time, they get embedded in the boulder, and he keeps hammering away. In time, the boulder, with one final blow, splits in two.

It wasn’t just the final blow that led to the boulder splitting, but rather each little crack over time to slowly weaken its strength, until it couldn’t withstand anymore. Sound familiar?

How many times in life do we work so incredibly hard and push our body to the limit for our work. Long days, stressful situations, missed family commitments, poor eating choices, missed active living engagements. All along the way these little choices themselves don’t have a major impact, but together they keep putting small cracks in our resilience, until one day we can’t rebound or withstand anymore and break down. Sometimes it’s an illness, sometimes exhaustion, and sometimes family or friendships end. Sometimes it’s anxiety or burnout, and sometimes we lose motivation altogether.

We often expect our health and wellness to be there for us, until it’s not, then it becomes the only focus we have. Wellness is an active pursuit, not a one-time thing. It takes intentional choices to build into yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, spiritually, relationally. It is preventative and proactive.

What choices are you making today, or could you make today, to take a step towards personal or professional wellness? Feel free to reach out if interested in more info on the services we offer at Well By Design, or just to share a story of your own.