In This Month of Love-Love Nature

It’s February, love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day will soon be here. But you can’t truly love anyone one else if you don’t love yourself, first. (See my post In This Month of Love—Love Yourself). Chances are you have a nature-deficit and you’re suffering for it. If you love yourself, love nature and make time to connect with nature every day. What Time in Nature Does Studies show that connecting with nature increases our sense of well-being. When we give ourselves the gift of time in nature, it allows us to understand our place in the world. We feel more connected. Connecting with the natural world also helps with healing physically and emotionally. Hospital patients with views of the outside heal faster. Those who are grieving find time in natural settings soothing. Studies suggest that connecting with nature also makes us smarter and more productive. A Nature-Deficit Yet, in our modern-day lives, American’s spend more than 90% of their time indoors with little to no fresh air. See this from Velux. Some studies show that we spend even less time in nature. “In 1989, Ott “reinterpreted” the codes from the MCTBRP activity pattern data for 44 U.S. cities […]

In this Month of Love–Love Yourself

I was in a dark place. My marriage had failed. The separation and divorce tattered my son’s self-esteem. My writing had stalled and I had horrible nightmares. I was the most worthless person I knew (second only to my ex). Self-love was selfish, or so I thought. I wish someone had told child me, “love yourself.” It took years of therapy and self-examination to learn that self-love isn’t selfish. I was lucky. I could afford therapy and by the luck of the draw, I found some good therapists. Back then I had one thing going for me, I was determined. Determined to be the best mom I could be for my son, I knew I had to work on me. The Struggle It was a terrible struggle. Feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, mistrust, and shame filled me with negativity. I hid most of those feelings from the people around me. That good old Puritan work ethic flowed through me. I plowed through the work day, the housework, and the Monday through Friday life stuff. Every other weekend my son went to his father’s house and I crumpled into a tearful, self-loathing mess. I feared I was going crazy. My therapist made […]

Do You Have a Mental Health First Aid Kit?

What do you do when you suffer a blow to your mental health, an injury? What would that be? Would you know what to do? Do you have a mental health first aid kit?  Mental Injury vs Mental Illness? When you hear the term mental injury, what’s the first thing you think of? If you said post-traumatic stress, you’re not alone. But that’s not the only kind of mental injury. Neuroscience is still in its infancy so it isn’t easy to define mental injury or mental illness. In fact, it is likely that most of what we call Mental Illness is actually a complex, chronic mental injury. This is an area where we need more studies done. Causes of Mental Injuries According to Psychology Today, there are seven common mental injuries. We encounter these injuries most often and are equal to scratches and scrapes. Like minor wounds we may suffer from these things once, many times, or as a chronic or ongoing injury. Rejection—whether it’s from friends, spouses, or employers Failure—from failing a test, to failing to complete a self-imposed task, to failing an assigned task, or failing a friend. Loneliness—that feeling as thought current relationships aren’t fulfilling our needs […]