May is mental health awareness month.
I wrote this first sentence down on Sunday evening and then decided to sleep on the rest of my text.
Because I wasn’t exactly sure about my angle.
The topic is important enough to help create awareness for an increasing health opportunity. Having said that, I’m not exactly an expert in mental health.
I do have an opinion, though.
One of the reasons speaking about mental health is still taboo is that people relate it quickly to mental illness.
There’s a grey zone between focusing on mental health and being mentally ill.
When you’re not mentally healthy, it doesn’t mean you’re mentally ill. And vice versa.
You can function well without focusing on mental health.
But the world is changing fast, demanding more and more from each of us.
Staying in the gray zone does not automatically mean you’ll always stay there.
Instant connectivity. Social media. Productivity demands. Pandemics. Climate issues.
I believe that we haven’t even begun to understand the impact of our ‘always ON and always connected’ society on our future health.
Stress and burnout are already huge problems now.
If we don’t start paying more attention to mental health, there is a good chance more people will become mentally ill over time.
There’s an effort to be done.
That effort starts with us making the time to pay attention to our mental health.
Not because we’re ill, but because we can be healthier.
The pressure on ‘not having the time’ to spend on your health will only increase. Nobody will make the time for you; only you can.
Here’s the one tip I have for you, that in my opinion, trumps all the helpful mental health tips you can find anywhere around you.
Before you do, BE first.
Take a moment to check in with yourself first thing in the morning.
A pilot also checks his plane first before he starts the engines and flies away.
I think this step is so critical that I dedicated the first two cues in my playbook to this step:
Executing these cues consistently over time also comes with some good side effects.
Your empathy and compassion levels will increase.
Better starts with who.
Your turn: what are you doing that benefits your mental health
Do more of what makes you happy.