A diagnosis has been enough without being burdened by secrecy and shame. Jane Pauley, television journalist diagnosed with bipolar disorder
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Although we have made progress in our understanding, treatment, and acceptance of mental illness, we still have a long way to go. When any other organ is diseased or distressed, there is sympathy, understanding, and readily available treatment.
When the brain is diseased or distressed we frequently say, “Just get over it.” Or “You seem fine to me.” Sometimes we think less of a person because they think or act in a way that is unclear to us. We need to champion those with mental illness along with the professionals and organizations who serve them.
Affirmation: I acknowledge and champion those with mental disabilities and disease.
Coaching questions: What can you do to help a friend with mental illness come out from under the mantel of secrecy and shame? If you’re deeply depressed, suspect you’re bipolar, or have other possible mental health challenges, what’s keeping you from seeking professional help?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The space you occupy on this Earth isn’t meant only for work and toil, but also for joy and lightness. Joanna Gaines, quoted from Magnolia magazine
Chip and Joanna Gaines have achieved great success mainly through hard work and perseverance. In a recent article in their magazine, Magnolia, Joanna admits, however, that she takes life too seriously sometimes. Joanna says, “In her Korean accent, my mother frequently reminds me, ‘Don’t forget, Jojo, have a fun!’”
I also need to be reminded to “have a fun” as I too tend to take life seriously with intentions, self-imposed deadlines, and to-do lists. As memorial day weekend approaches in the USA, I want to declare a season of fun as I kick off the summer visiting family in New York then spending the rest of the summer with family and friends in Illinois.
Deep, meaningful plans are always a worthy pursuit, but as Jo writes, “I’m learning that sometimes it’s a moment of unexpected lightness that makes our souls sing.” I agree.
Affirmation: I will have fun!
Coaching questions: What constitutes fun for you? Do you tend to have too little discipline and too much fun or too little fun and too much discipline in your life? What will you be doing for fun this summer?
Renewed friendships require more care than those that have never been broken. Francois de La Rochefoucauld, a noted French moralist
Perhaps it was the isolation of the pandemic, your neighbor moved to another state, you had a falling out with a relative, or you said something ugly to your college roommate years ago. Whatever the reason, you lost a friend that you’re now missing.
Reach out! It’s never too late to renew a relationship. Forgive or ask for forgiveness. Let your friend know that you’re missing them and want to get back in touch.
However, be aware that not every friendship is worthy of renewal. If you ended a relationship due to changing values or seriously hurtful acts, I’d suggest you leave it on the shelf where it belongs. The goal is to restore healthy relationships and nurture those that bring you joy and add meaning to your life.
Affirmation: I will restore healthy relationship that I miss.
Coaching questions: Should this relationship stay on the shelf or is it truly worth renewing? What part did you play in its demise? Are you willing to forgive? Will you work on the friendship once it’s restored?
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
Einstein was a cycling enthusiast of sorts. It’s widely believed that he conceived the theory of relativity while riding a bike (really?). The BMJ, a highly respected British medical journal, found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from all causes by more than forty percent. Of course, other forms of exercise are also beneficial but the bicycle provides exercise without additional weight-bearing stress on joints.
The bike was invented in 1817 by a German, Karl von Drais. Early bikes were known as dandy horses among other things.
Want to be smarter, happier, and more resilient? Like most other physical activities, cycling enhances cognitive function.
Affirmation: I will ride my bike this week.
Coaching question: If you feel unsafe riding outside, consider a stationary bicycle and ride in the confront of your home. What good memories do you have of riding a bike? What would it be like to start riding again?
What Julia Ward Howe had in mind in 1870 when she invented Mother’s Day was a day on which we oppose war and advance peace. In other words, it wasn’t Mother’s Day, but a Mothering Day. Gloria Steinem, American journalist
When we think of Mother’s Day we think of honoring a person who brought a child into the world—a mother. If we consider mother as a verb, we come up with a completely different take on the day.
Mothering can be done by male or female, old or young. When you mother someone, you show them empathy, love, and thoughtfulness. You care greatly about their welfare. Mothering is love freely given. One can become a mother by happen-stance but one mothers from a sense of purpose and love.
Since I only had a mother for eight years, I’ve extremely grateful that many women and men have “mothered” me–and still do.
Affirmation: I am grateful for the mothering in my life.
Coaching questions: Who has mothered you? Who do you mother?
My mom, Winnie Horn, and me in Wyoming. Circa 1950.
There is always some source of light in the darkness, shining on different opportunities, pointing toward new possibilities. Bahram Akradi, Founder and CEO of Life Time
When we experience loss, we often feel immersed in darkness. For some, it’s part of the grieving process. But know that there is always a source of light if one seeks it out. This light could come through our faith in God, an empathetic friend, or our own will to move forward.
As Akradi says, the light points toward new possibilities and shines on different opportunities. A single candle can light up a room. Moving forward in the smallest way can yield a brighter future.
Affirmation: I will seek the source of light in the darkness.
Coaching questions: How do you deal with dark times? What helps you find the source of light?
The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty. Zig Ziglar, American author
I just returned from a celebration of life service (funeral) for a man who exemplified this quote. From the stories told of his life, he was primarily a man of faith, integrity, love, and loyalty to his family/friends. He was also a man of courage and strength as he battled cancer for two years.
We need to be reminded that there are people in our midst like Bill. People who lead others (he was a high school basketball coach) to follow a similar path. People who are examples to his friends and family of how living—and dying—can be done with faith and integrity.
Affirmation: I search out positive models for my life.
Coaching questions: What top five characteristics do you want people to remember about you and how you lived your life? What example are you setting for your friends and family?
We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance. Dr. Kathleen Hall, author of A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness and founder of Mindful Living Network®
We hear the term “balance” bandied around so frequently that we may have forgotten the definition—equilibrium or a state in which opposing forces harmonize.
Balance gives us a sense of wholeness, calmness, and the ability to acknowledge multiple viewpoints/circumstances without feeling overwhelmed. Balance can be achieved when we consciously seek the middle by having empathy for others, analyzing alternate perspectives, looking for the good, showing gratitude.
When we intentionally commit to seeking balance in our lives, we can improve our well-being and, at the same time, become the change we want to see in our world.
Affirmation: I strive to live a balanced life.
Coaching questions: Where do you experience imbalance? What’s one thing you’ll do to bring greater balance to your life?
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers or weeds. Unknown
It’s Spring in many parts of the world and our instinct tells us to clean out the proverbial “cobwebs” of winter. This usually means getting rid of unworn clothing, uneaten canned goods, or the unused assortment of junk in our drawers.
But, what if, along with corners of the bathroom and under the sink, we cleaned out our lives? You know, the what-ifs, the toxic relationships, or the unending worries? Mentally we can achieve the same renewal that we give our environment when we ready our life for the planting of flowers rather than weeds.
Affirmation: I will spring clean my life.
Coaching questions: Where will you start—finances, relationships, time? How will you feel when your mind/life is renewed and refreshed?