Today attention turns toward balancing our energy to maintain a firm foundation.
Mental health is a key component in an abundant life. This is not a term I use lightly, and I am well aware that simply wishing for love and light is a far cry from actually dealing with depression, anxiety, or any number of ways the stress of modern life inhibits our ability to be our authentic selves.
I know that I am more able to handle stress when I adhere to certain rituals such as daily mediation and yoga. These are not the only things that keep me healthy, but I have a much harder time managing my emotions without this practice. Then I am in turn more likely to fall into depression or hopelessness, and must spend more time managing my emotions and dealing with my distress before I can move forward with the things I really want to spend time on.
In this way, I must take responsibility for my own mental health. I also need to be mindful of the situations I put myself in or the work I take on as I am in danger of burning myself out due to my own perfectionism or high expectations. I have to work to maintain boundaries. I have to actually identify what I want in the first place to create those boundaries. I have to be compassionate with myself and love myself even when I do not behave the way I wish I would. I have to allow myself to be human.
None of this is easy and it is not accomplished simply by believing it to be so. I do believe that happiness is a choice, but it is foolish to ignore the work necessary to make such a decision on a regular basis. Choosing happiness can be one of the most difficult decisions you make, because it may require you to barriers you have erected in your own life.
Today asks us to balance our needs with those of others, and to remember that mental health requires the same dedication and investment in ourselves as physical health. At the same time, we are reminded that structures of privilege provides some with greater access to mental health support due to race, class, or other systemic advantage.
In prioritizing our own well being, we help create a climate that prioritizes this need for others.