Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time for self-care and nurturing your own mental health and wellbeing. It’s fitting that this important mental health month is in May. May is spring in full bloom. Buds unfurl to become leaves. Spring flowers such as rhododendrons and tulips brighten our world. Spring, and Mental Health Awareness Month, is a time for each of us to nurture and care for ourselves so we bloom and grow.
Self-Care is Like Caring for a Flower
I heard this metaphor at a training I once attended. I’ve never forgotten it or its message.
Imagine that someone has given you a seed of a beautiful flower. You hold in your palm the potential of life. You can stick it in a pot, cover it with dirt, set it on a shelf and hope it grows. Or, you can place it in a pot with nutrient-rich soil and set the pot by a window so it receives sunlight. Then, you can tend to it, watering it when it needs it and appreciating the new shoots.
What will you choose to do with your seed to encourage it to bloom and flourish?
A Self-Care Exercise for Mental Health Awareness Month and Beyond
Self-care is about nurturing yourself so you blossom into who you want to be and how you want to be in the quality life you are building for yourself. Here’s a quick but powerful little exercise to do just that:
- Visualize a favorite flower, plant, or tree.
- Determine how you would care for it to help it thrive (what are its unique needs?).
- Picture yourself as that flower, plant or tree. Draw it, describe it in a journal, etc.
- Develop a care plan. What are your needs and how are you going to meet them?
Taking time to consider your needs for a quality life and meeting those needs, nurturing yourself so you thrive, is an important action step during Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond.