Honoring Yourself: A Day of Mental Health Awareness

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, take the time to learn more about how you can practice self-care and better support your mental health, the way we do at C&C
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Balance & Flow
Jim Carter III
Jim Carter III
Jim is Carter & Custer's Founder & CEO, and can typically be found sipping coffee and grooming his mustache.

All content and media on this site are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, take some time to focus on yourself. It can be challenging to find the time or energy to care for ourselves when constantly juggling work, family, and social obligations. But we must make an effort, especially when mental health is often viewed as a taboo topic. This article provides tips on showing yourself some self-love and compassion without judgment. So take a deep breath, disconnect from the world’s chaos, and start honoring yourself!

It can be hard to take time for ourselves in a constantly moving world.

We are constantly bombarded with images and messages telling us who we should be. It can be easy to get caught up in the comparison game. One way to break free from this cycle is to take a day to honor yourself without passing judgment on who you need to be for others. This doesn’t mean that you should spend the day indulging in unhealthy behaviors; instead, take some time to focus on your own happiness and wellbeing. Make time for activities that make you feel good, both physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to enjoy your own company, and don’t worry about meeting anyone else’s standards. Taking a day for yourself can help you reset and recharge to approach the world with a fresh perspective.

 

This is why at Carter & Custer, we’ve started taking mandatory mental health days each quarter. It’s not enough to ‘find time’ in your day; we wanted to make time for our team to have a judgment-free day to disconnect and refresh at least once a quarter.

 

There are no rules for how someone can spend the day, but a few suggestions are:

  • Get outside and move your body in a way that feels good to you.
  • Make time for yourself to enjoy a hobby or creative outlet.
  • Connect with friends or loved ones (virtually or in-person) to feel supported and have fun.
  • Spend some time alone, without your phone or any other distractions. Just be with yourself, and notice how that feels.
  • Even sitting at home, in the quiet, or reading a book

The most important thing is to listen to what your mind and body are telling you they need. Trust yourself, and give yourself permission to take care of yourself exactly as you are.

You’re right where you need to be

It can be discouraging when you try something new, whether it’s meditation, yoga, breathwork, or therapy, and it doesn’t work out. Maybe you stopped going to your meditation class after the first few sessions or tried yoga but found it wasn’t for you. Maybe you started breathwork but found it too difficult to maintain yourself. Or maybe you tried therapy, but it didn’t seem like it was helping. That’s okay too. Sometimes it takes trying a few different therapists before you find one that’s a good fit. 

 

It’s okay if something didn’t work or you stopped doing it. Maybe meditation isn’t for you, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on finding a practice that works for you. The important thing is what you do next. There are so many different options out there, and it might take some trial and error to find the right one for you.

 

The important thing is to keep moving forward and looking for what works for you. Don’t give up on yourself – Rumi says, “the wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Keep your heart open, keep searching, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, YOU are worth it.

Showing up is the first step. 

Often, when we feel disconnected from our lives, or like we are stuck in a rut, the best thing we can do is simply show up. Showing up means showing up for ourselves – being present in the moment and mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It means being honest with ourselves about what we need and taking steps to meet those needs. Sometimes, showing up is the hardest part. But once we do, we open up the possibility for positive change in our lives. We take the first step on the road to recovery, growth, and healing. So if you’re feeling lost or stuck, remember: showing up is the first step. There is power in simply taking that first step and showing up for yourself.

 

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget what’s really important. When you take a step back and disconnect from everything else, you allow yourself to reconnect with yourself. This can be difficult to do at first, but it’s so worth it. Once you disconnect from the outside world, you can focus on your inner thoughts and feelings. This can help you identify any negative patterns in your thinking and start working on changing them. It can also help you get in touch with your true passions and desires. When you take the time to connect with yourself, you open up a whole world of possibilities.

Continue showing up. Practice patience. 

When it comes to success, there’s no magic formula. But certain things can help you keep moving forward and achieve your goals. One of the most important things is to keep showing up, even when you feel like you’re not making any progress. Practice patience and keep going, even when things are tough. Remember that success is a journey, not a destination. So keep going, and don’t give up on your dreams. You’ll achieve the success you’re looking for with time and effort.

 

If you feel like you can’t keep going, know that it’s also okay to take a break. But also know that the only way to get through difficult times is to keep moving forward, even if it’s just one small step at a time. Be patient with yourself and keep going. The more you practice, the easier it will become. Remember that you are making progress even though it may not feel like it. So keep going and don’t give up. You got this.

The Pressure to Perform

We all experience pressure daily. Whether it’s the pressure at work, pressure to meet deadlines, or pressure to maintain our relationships, it can be tough to always show up as our best selves. We may feel stressed, anxious, or even angry when under pressure. Our bodies may tense up, and we may start to breathe more quickly. It’s important to remember that pressure is a natural part of life and that we all have different ways of dealing with it. Some people thrive under pressure, while others may crumble. There is no right or wrong way to deal with pressure, but it is essential to be aware of how it affects us. If you’re struggling to cope with pressure, consider talking to a therapist or counselor who can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. Remember, you are not alone in this. We all face pressure every day, but we can handle it if we take care of ourselves and reach out for support when we need it.

 

We live in a culture that is obsessed with proving ourselves. We are constantly told that we need to push our limits to be successful, and as a result, we often view weakness as a sign of failure. However, it is essential to remember that having limits is not the same as being weak. In fact, recognizing our limitations can be one of the most substantial things. It shows that we are honest with ourselves and willing to set boundaries to protect our wellbeing. So, next time you find yourself feeling like you need to prove yourself, take a step back and remind yourself that your worth is not measured by your accomplishments. You are strong and capable, just as you are.

Signal to Noise

Overwhelm is real. Turning on the news, opening social media, or even people watching can flood our senses and leave us feeling depleted. It can be easy to forget that we have a choice in how we show up to the world. Mindfulness can be a beautiful way to bring us back to our presence when we get lost in the noise. It allows us to find our signal amidst the static. To tune out the what-ifs, could-have-been, and should-be don’t serve us. It helps us remember that we are not alone in this experience. The overwhelm is not our identity but a state of mind that we can choose to step out of. When we can be present with ourselves, it becomes easier to be present with others. And presence is always a choice worth making.

 

It can be hard to find the time to just stop and be still in our fast-paced world. We are always rushing from one task to the next, and our minds are constantly racing with thoughts. However, taking even a moment to be still can be highly beneficial to our physical and mental health. When we allow ourselves to silence the world’s noise, we can finally hear our own thoughts and feelings. This can help us to better understand ourselves and make better decisions.

 

Additionally, being still can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to just be still. Allow yourself the time and space to breathe, think, and relax. You’ll be glad you did.

 

A friend taught me a trick that I use to bring myself back to the present in 30 seconds. Try this with me.

 

  1. Stand up, Tall
  2. Plant your feet strongly on the floor
  3. Tilt your head back & roll your shoulders back
  4. Raise your hands as high above your head as you can
  5. Breathe in, counting to four
  6. Close your eyes and count to five
  7. Slowly lower your hands as you count to seven
  8. Repeat again, at least one more time
  9. This time, tell yourself you’re safe
  10. Check in with yourself, how do you feel?

Life’s Pillars

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we think about all the pillars that shape our lives. Family, food, housing, healthcare, etc. They’re called pillars for a reason. It can feel like an impossible task to try and maintain all of them at once, especially when one starts to topple over. But it’s important to remember that we didn’t build these pillars overnight, and we don’t have to fix them overnight either. Just as it would be impossible to physically push a pillar over, it’s similarly impossible to fix everything at once. So take a deep breath and focus on one thing at a time.

 

There are a lot of pillars in our lives that we take for granted. They’re the things that support us and help us live our lives. We can feel overwhelmed by everything we have to do to keep our lives going. And when we try to push ourselves too hard, we can quickly find ourselves collapsing under the weight of it all. That’s why it’s vital to take a step back and consider which pillars are the most important to us. What are the things we absolutely need to feel happy and fulfilled? Once we know what those things are, we can start to focus on them and let go of the rest. We can build our lives around these pillars and create a foundation that will support us for years to come.

Vulnerability can be your power.

Vulnerability sounds like a weakness, but it’s our most accurate measure of courage. 

 

Brené Brown said it wonderfully

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

 

You’re not broken; you’re human. 

 

Just because your journey looks different than someone else’s doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. In fact, comparison is the thief of all joy. Life is a practice of becoming more robust and more resilient each day- not one big final exam with a grade that will stay with us forever. The good news is that we can choose how to respond to the hardships and heartbreaks we experience. We can choose to rise better than before. So don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It might just be your most significant source of power.

 

Actionable Next Steps.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, let’s focus on being better than yesterday. When we’re open and honest about our feelings, we can create more meaningful and lasting connections. We can find compassion and understanding from others, and ultimately, we can heal ourselves. Vulnerability is an essential part of being human, and it’s what makes us beautiful and unique. So embrace your vulnerability and let it be your power.

 

If this is something new you’re starting, know that everyone honors the challenge differently. For some, it’s about going all out and never quitting until the goal is reached. Others take a more relaxed approach, listening to their bodies and taking things at their own pace. There is no wrong way to go about it. Remember that your journey is unique to you, and honor it in the way that feels right for you.

 

If this is something you’ve been doing for a while, then this is just a reminder that we all honor the challenge differently. Some of us are natural-born competitors who thrive on pushing ourselves to our limits. Others prefer a more relaxed approach, taking things at our own pace and listening to our bodies. However you choose to do it, just remember that your journey is unique to you and honor it in the way that feels right for you.

 

Taking a little time for yourself each day can seem impossible in today’s world, but it’s so important. 

 

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage you to try out some tips and tricks I’ve shared in this post. 

 

Start by showing up for yourself one day a week – even if that means setting aside five minutes to sit in silence and breathe. Be patient with yourself as you work through your own journey to self-care and wellness. 

 

Before long, one day will turn into two, two will turn into four and evolve into part of your everyday routine like any habit.

 

I hope these tips help you on your way to a more balanced, mindful life. 

 

What will you start doing today?

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