Spring is in the air and along with the blooming flowers and budding trees, this spring, there is SO MUCH HOPE!
Where has this past tumultuous year left you? Are you in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally?
If you’re feeling great and ready for whatever the day holds, you are most likely flourishing and a ray of sunshine to those around you.
If you find yourself not quite flourishing, just feeling blah but not quite depressed, that’s ok. According to this excellent New York Times article by organizational psychologist Adam Grant, you may be languishing a little.
Here are 3 simple ways to move away from languishing and closer to flourishing.
- Intentionally practice self-compassion. How do you speak to yourself? Are you more gentle and kind to everyone but yourself? We are often hardest on ourselves and our own worst critics. It is SO important to be compassionate with yourself; especially during difficult times. Take this quiz to see where you stand. Then, consider incorporating some of the website’s suggestions on how to improve. Being kinder to yourself is something you can actually control!
- Eat right, feel right. Dr. Leslie Korn, mental health nutritionist, psychotherapist and author says, “what you eat directly affects your mood, for better or for worse.” Herbs and spices have healing properties not only for our physical health but our mental health as well. For example, lavender & chamomile help reduce anxiety, rosemary and sage help aid attention and focus, ginger is energizing and supports addiction recovery while peppermint, saffron, basil and nutmeg help lift mood and may reduce stress and improve symptoms of depression. Learn more by checking out Eat Right, Feel Right by Dr. Korn. Other books she authored on this topic are, Rhythms of Recovery: Trauma, Nature and the Body, Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health and The Complete Guide to the Food-Mood Connection.
- Cultivate play and rest. Do you value time playing and resting? Society often ties our self-worth to our net worth, productivity and purposeless things while play is often seen as a waste of time. Sleep is also sometimes devalued and seen as an inconvenience that cuts into our productivity. “ But play is at the core of creativity and innovation,” says Dr. Stuart Brown. “ Play shapes our brain, helps us nurture empathy and helps us navigate complex social groups and helps us rest.” So what are the benefits of play and rest for you and your mental health? According to Brene Brown inThe Gifts of Imperfection, play isn’t an option. Play isn’t the opposite of work but depression. Play can even transform your work, bringing back pleasure, innovation and creativity to your job. Play can provide lasting joy and the body needs play in the same way it needs rest. Inadequate rest and sleep is associated with depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. In the same way, overworking and neglecting play and rest may negatively affect your mental health, outlook and quality of life, causing you to languish instead of flourish.
Being intentional when it comes to practicing self-compassion, eating well so we feel well, and making play and rest a priority in our busy lives can greatly improve your mental health and outlook.
Practicing some or all of these things can help you move away from languishing and closer to a more flourishing lifestyle.
There’s no better month to get started than May for Mental Health Awareness Month. Honor yourself and begin today!