Wednesday, October 6, 2021 (Day 278)
Relaxing Music for the week: Serenity: Liquid Mind (10:01) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEIb6ZMPQM0
Question: What is one thing you could start doing today to improve your mental health?
Answer: As I read more and more about strategies to improve mental health, I think that I need to dedicate more time to meditation. It’s the one thing that I have done in the past that have made the biggest difference/impact on my life. And with so much going on in my life, it’s imperative that I address my mental state right now. I already exercise and have a purpose that’s bigger than myself, so I think a consistent meditation practice would be the last thing I need to do in order to improve my mental health today. In fact, after I finish this blog, I will take 10 minutes to meditate to the music selection for this week. Actually, to expand that…when I get into a high stress situation, I will several four to eight deep breaths (in for six seconds, hold for two seconds, out for seven seconds) just to get myself back to center. I don’t need to go from stressed to completely clam, but I can go from a stressed state to a centered state in one to two minutes.
Today’s “Other Stuff” will be a little different than other posting. Early this morning, probably around 2am, I had this thought about work-life balance, almost a rant in my sleep state. It was weird – I had this thought to say “Fuck Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration.” When did work become as important as life? How did work become bigger than health and family? After this, my next thought went to how we need to stop talking about this work-life thing and move more towards conversations about health-service-relationship balance – or in Brian Johnson terms, energy, work, and love – which all equals life. Here’s the formula:
- energy (health) + work (service) + love (relationships) = life
And we need to find the balance between those three things. That’s it in a nutshell. Of course, some days one or two will be more dominant than others, but the goal is to never neglect all three at the same time. Every individual will “test” what works best for them, since it will never be a even split between the three. For example, yesterday, I traveled to Cincinnati, so I didn’t get to workout or eat my two bananas and chocolate milk for breakfast (I have two fruit and nut bars and water instead). Although I didn’t get to spend too much time with Rebecca, we got to hang out on the drive to the airport, text her about my travels throughout the day (she seems to like that), and I did call her before bed. Plus, I got to spend dinner with my friend Greg. And throughout my stops and on my flight, I had the opportunity to read articles and chapters in a book, as well as answer email. So I was able to balance the three, even though I was traveling. That’s what balance is all about – finding ways to balance the three areas of your life throughout each day. To take it even further, I was on a call this morning about recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students in the School of HHS. I would argue that one of the things we are known for, especially as a School of Health and Human Sciences, is holistic development of all of our students, faculty, and staff in the School, and it’s imbedded in everything we do. The Dean mentioned that he didn’t like how the tagline “Find Your Way Here” seemed passive; for our Life Design Catalyst Program, we adopted the tagline “Find Your Why, Find Your Way” because we believe purpose can provide the basis for the holistic development of one’s life. I know they won’t adopt it in the School of HHS or at UNCG, but I bet someone out there would be interested in our work.
Thanks for reading…I appreciate all of you!