By Robert Lien (MHA)
For over 16 years I have worked in healthcare including mental health and addiction treatment. While treatment needs and plans can vary from person to person there are many things that everyone can benefit from, especially in a time like now when the world is being asked to social distance and stay at home. Here are three suggestions that we can all benefit from to get through the day healthier.
1. Patience: Learning to have patience with yourself is not always easy. A great place to start is to understand that you are a human who has made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. What we do with these mistakes is important, for example, did I learn from the mistake to grow or do I continue to make the same mistake over and over? Also understanding that each of us has limitations in our capabilities physically and emotionally allows us to take some of the pressure off to be superhuman and overwhelmed. Patience is important because if we can have patience with ourselves we will allow ourselves to grow and be more comfortable in our skin.
2. Trust: Trusting the process is something I cannot emphasize enough because the process is what gets us where we want to be. Like the instructions on how to assemble a new desk, if we follow each step that is outlined the desk gets completed and we get to enjoy using it for years. Another important aspect of trust is to find someone you trust to share a task or goal with. You don’t have to trust one person with everything in your life or every secret but finding someone you can trust to share a goal with can help you in numerous ways. For example, if I want to exercise more and set the goal to walk each day, I can find someone that I trust to share that goal with for support. Right now during the social distancing recommendations due to COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus people are encouraged not to interact with the others so we can utilize technology like FaceTime or Skype to go for a walk together from different locations. Using this technology will allow you to trust someone to go for a walk with you from anywhere around the world to help the goal seem less like a chore but something that you would actually look forward to.
3. Be realistic: Setting a realistic goal allows you to get immediate results that in turn helps to build not only self-confidence but also momentum. If I say someday I want to own a Macadamia farm on the beach in Hawaii, it’s a fantastic goal but is it realistic? Will the time and effort it takes to achieve that goal be so long that I don’t feel that it is within reach, thus lose interest and feel defeated? By setting realistic goals we start to see immediate results, feel good about ourselves and as a result we are truly living a better life. Set a realistic goal that you can achieve within a day, week then month. As you start to reach those goals you can also start working on the bigger goals because you have the experience, confidence and momentum of achieving goals to build on. Realistic goals may seem small but it is the small drops of water that make up the oceans so go for the small goals to build a big vast life!
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