With the twists, tales, and turmoils of these times, it has become necessary, now more than ever, to realize the importance of Mental Health. This year's Mental Health Awareness Month thee, "You Are Not Alone," gives us a chance to spread positivity, show compassion, and recover hope. As we've come to know, small actions go a long way, and sometimes, those small actions don't necessarily need to be from someone else. They can be to and for ourselves.
Radical acceptance of changes and taking time for ourselves can be extremely difficult steps, but once achieved, we're at the first stage towards the betterment of our personal growth. More often than not, we let ourselves get caught up in responding to our responsibilities, our next work assignment, comparing ourselves to the success of others, or the ways we've faltered through the day. More often than not, this pushes us into a void of blurriness and obliviousness to its deeper roots. While it took me a while to realize that I'm running my own race and realization and acceptance are the first steps towards my mental health growth, it certainly has made me realize the importance of sharing the message.
A little something that helped me learn to take care of myself and be mindful of the ways I should cater to my mental health was my Pocket Pouch. Through my challenging, stressful, emotionally heavy, or even my better days, my Pocket Pouch has given me a sense of relief and truly allows me to take charge of my Mental Health. The best part is that it's completely unique to my own needs, wishes, and wants. This Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share my Pocket Pouch and encourage you to gather something similar for yourself and your needs.
The first step is understanding its purpose. For me, my Pocket Pouch used to be complementary stationery to my school bag. However, because of the digital shift, it has now become a resting pouch to turn to when I'm overwhelmed with school work. Would you want yours to be for a little break during working hours? A reminder of mindfulness? An addition to your morning routine to start the day? Or maybe even a cure to boredom? This is completely unique to you, and you take charge of what you want.
A few things I have in my Pocket Pouch as inspiration for yours:
1. Chewing Gum: Gum really helps me to concentrate and focus on tasks. It distracts me from the things that are distracting me and lets me do something without being more fidgety otherwise
2. A Mindfulness Bracelet: Mindfulness is something that I have grown to appreciate and love. At times where I feel extremely lost, scared, confused, or overwhelmed, I take my mindfulness bracelet and let myself wind down. Do you have a certain object that does the same? Into your Pocket Pouch, it goes!
3. My Favorite Family Photograph: Gratitude is a big part of my life and keeping this photograph not only reminds me of the happiness I felt at that time, but it also brings in a sense of gratitude and relaxation for the important people around me. Items of sentimental value are one of the most important things to include in your special pocket pouch.
4. Scented Hand Cream: The fragrance generates a lot of stress-relieving emotions for me and the cream also helps me to relieve certain stress points.
5. List of Things To Do: Listening to certain songs, grounding exercises, physical exercises, and more. I made a special list of things to do that help me. Keeping in mind, the purpose of my Pocket Pouch was for overwhelming moments during my day. Your Pouch would be completely special for catering towards your purpose.
The most important thing that I learned was how to focus on the basics. Self-care doesn't mean big changes or tasks, sometimes it just means taking a shower five minutes earlier to complete a task you wanted or trying a newer, healthier diet. Going back to this month's theme, remember that you are not alone. Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Take care of yourself and don't be too harsh if you don't have everything perfectly balanced out. The people around you are the most important towards your self-care and emotional well-being, so don't be afraid of dependency and don't be afraid to look towards a more hopeful path. I hope this blog post allows you to ponder upon the things that let you rejuvenate yourself. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! Don't forget to share love, exude support, understanding, and compassion. As the pandemic has taught us: when one person is safe, everyone is safe. Thus, when you're supportive, everyone will be supportive. That's when we'll see our brighter path towards recovery!