Love it or hate it, the new year is the time when we make resolutions to better ourselves. While people typically select resolutions to improve their body and health (dieting, exercise, quitting smoking, etc), now might be the right time to shift your thinking to mental health.
In marketing communications, we deal with a lot of pressure: deadlines, an ‘always-on’ work model and the risk of public scrutiny if a campaign or initiative goes awry. That means stress and associated mental health issues affects our industry.
Mental health awareness is growing and showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the most recent #BellLetsTalk day on January 25, 2017 was record-breaking with over 131,705,010 total messages of support—and $6,585,250.50 more funding for Canadian mental health initiatives. Doesn’t that tell you we can all use a mental health tune up now and again?
With that in mind, were are three ways you can resolve to have a healthier mind in 2017:
- Practice emotional first-aid
We easily get wrapped up in the art (or disease?) of being busy—and that means we don’t always stop and take the time to recover when we’re not feeling well (physically and mentally). Our culture also teaches us to try to fix something as soon as we are hurt, and yet for emotional pain we do our best to ignore it hoping it’ll go away.
Give yourself permission to take time to heal when you aren’t feeling great and it’ll do wonders for you. Watch this TED talk by Guy Winch for more tips on emotional hygiene.
- Act with compassion
Shortly after Robin Williams’ passing by suicide in 2014, an online meme started circulating that quotes Scottish author Ian Maclaren: “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s a great bit of advice as we can all get caught up in our own issues that we forget to consider the thoughts and feelings of those around us.
The amazing thing about the act of compassion is when you apply it to someone else or a situation, it creates a sense of understanding that actually makes you feel better.
- Healthy body = healthy mind
Thought you’d get away with skipping good eating and exercise? Think again! Taking care of your body is a great way to take care of your mind as well.
Proper nutrition can help balance your mind, while exercise produces a rush of endorphins to make you feel great.
Even if you aren’t personally dealing with mental health issues, it’s highly likely that someone close to you is. Take the time to educate yourself and spread the word—whether we can help someone close to us through hard times or all work together to break down the stigma around mental health issues—the outcome is great for everyone.
Need more info? Here’s a round up of mental health resources…