Tuesday, May 24, 2011

giving does a lot of good

Photo by hudsonphotos.com

I'm a big supporter of Mental Wellness Awareness - And being that May is the month to celebrate it, I figure I should do a post about it!

I won't get too preachy on you, but ending the stigma associated with mental illness is beyond important. People of all ages from all walks of life are affected by mental illness. I hate to even call it mental illness though, because to me, it's more of just being affected by life.

It could be divorce, death, a bad break-up, loss of a job, loss of a child. All of which are devastating things to have to deal with, especially alone.

From experience, I can tell you talking to a professional makes a world of difference. I was dealing with an abusive relationship, a bad break-up, a new job and a new town all at once. On the verge of a break down, I sought help.

Just a handful of sessions with a counselor and I was on the fast track to being me again. We all get weary, we all get lost. Think about the people who just lost their whole lives in Joplin. Sometimes our problems are too large for us to handle alone. While talking about it may not seem like it would make that much of a difference, it truly does. A counselor can help you step out of a situation, put in perspective, deal with your emotions in a healthy way and give you the tools to move on.

Ways you can help end the stigma are to talk about your personal experience with a counselor or encourage a friend going through a difficult time to seek professional help.

My Mental Wellness Tip for today I am taking from Ozark Guidance--Become Service Oriented!

Donating your time, skills or money not only does good for the community or group you are serving, but for you and your psyche as well.

I started the habit of going to the baby section of Target and buying clothes for my niece Dilynn on a bad day. Doing something nice for her felt good. It turned a negative emotion into a positive one. However, a less expensive more practical alternative ( although I still hit Target from time to time :) )  has been to walk dogs at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter on Sunday's. Whether I'm having a good day or a bad one it doesn't matter, each time I'm there I'm reminded that I can make a difference.  It reminds me that what I am dealing with, though still important or significant, isn't the end of the world. I can do something positive with my time and energy, and that is empowering.

So do something positive today. Make a difference. To help our neighbors in Joplin, click here to donate.

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