I love that Mental Health Awareness Month is in May. It’s the height of spring, and flowers are in bloom, leaves are unfurling, and birds are soaring as they build their nests. Signs of life abound when we tune in mindfully to enjoy them. May is the perfect metaphor for mental health (note that the representative color is even green).
Just as the earth is waking up and creating itself anew, so, too, can we. It’s what mental health and wellbeing are all about. This is an ongoing process and spans across all months, but Mental Health Awareness Month shines sunlight on the process on purpose, a reminder that we can take charge of ourselves and our wellbeing. We live an ever-flowing journey of creating ourselves anew.
Mindfulness Lets Us Create Ourselves
MHAM is a time to increase our awareness of what we can do, ways we can be, to take charge of our mental health.
One such approach to wellbeing is practicing mindfulness. Less a temporary tool and more a way of being in life, mindfulness allows us to wake up to our lives and create ourselves anew, with inner peace and connection to ourselves in our lives (rather than to anxiety and other struggles).
Begin using mindfulness to decrease stressors like anxiety and replace those stressors with increased mental health, wellbeing, vitality, and inner peace. The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety and The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety can be your helpful guides.
Trees and Mental Health
We can learn a lot from trees. A tree symbolizes mental health in many ways. A tree:
- Possesses strength, with sturdy trunks to withstand hardship
- Is flexible, with branches that bend and sway in winds (without flexibility, even strong trunks will break under certain conditions)
- Has inner workings to withstand extreme environmental conditions, drought years and flood years
- Has roots that bore into the earth to keep it steady and to take in water and nutrients
- Makes its own food from the sun, with the nutrients they need for good health
- Possess grit, for even when it loses its leaves it already has new buds in place that it nurtures and then opens to the sun, creating leaves anew
- Shares its gifts: its branches hold nests, its canopy provides shade, it emits oxygen into the air, some produce fruit, all offer beauty
What is your symbol for your wellbeing and mental health? What represents your Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond?