Two places that can give you peace and refuge is your mind and your home. Your wellness challenge for March and April is to declutter your mind and home. Get your donation boxes filled with things you don't need or use anymore and be ready for our church yard sale in March and see below on how to do your challenge. When we declutter our mind and home, we should be thinking of focusing on the present moment and not the past or the future.
Clear your mind/head (take or keep things out of your mind):
1. Find a place (e.g. book, white board, sticky notes) where you can write all your to dos. Designate a spot on your desk or wall for this to do list so you are not looking all over the place for it.
2. Journal or write down concerns or intrusive thoughts in your head or what you’d like to remember later.
3. If you have to make a decision but feels conflicted or unsure– write it down on your to do list and think about it later.
4. Emails, YouTube, Social Media – all the subscriptions and feeds - minimize them or just don’t log into them (don’t have the app on your phone for easy access).
5. Reading too much news or social media? – get your head out of the internet and look around you and pay attention to people, places, and things. To clear your mind sometimes requires you to get out of your head and just enjoy your surroundings. This works for when you have too much concerns or intrusive thoughts on your mind.
Take a brain or mind break: It is inevitable sometimes not to have things in your head, therefore, let your head rest a bit by taking a break (stop doing and thinking about the concern or project for 10 to 60 minutes) and do one or more of the following:
1. Go for a walk- enjoy the nature around you and feel nature with your five senses.
3. Listen to music that calms you.
4. Watch movies that calms you.
5. Spend time with others.
6. Play - sports, games, etc.
7. Meditate or do mindfulness breathing.
8. Declutter/clean your house- one space or room at a time. When your room is clean, your mind feels less tensed.
Decluttering = better mental health
Decluttering your head and letting your mind be free of overwhelming thoughts and duties can help you feel more focused and less stressed. Decluttering your mind will also prevent you from cluttering other people’s mind– when you are stressed, you might say or do something negative that will impact another person, cluttering their mind with something that they have to deal with to bring their emotional equilibrium back. Research is also finding that a clean or decluttered room is better for one's mental health. Therefore, when you declutter your mind and home, you are helping yourself and all those around you. Again, each person finds peace and maintains wellness in ways that's relevant to them. Try decluttering to see if it'll help you.
Read more on summary of what research is saying about decluttering: https://bewell.stanford.edu/a-clean-well-lighted-place/
In April, focus on decluttering your home. Focus on today and not yesterday or tomorrow to help with decluttering.
Read more on decluttering and tips to declutter your house: https://www.amadaseniorcare.com/2022/04/letting-go-of-clutter-why-many-seniors-struggle/
Have your boxes of donations ready for the church yard sale in April.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your medical doctors and counselors. Information on this blog is for educational purposes only.
Challenge: For this month, intentionally show kindness to your family members each week. Make sure each of your family members receive one of your kind acts. Do it genuinely and do not tell them you are doing it because of a challenge.
Acting kind impacts your mental health positively and most likely it'll impact others positively too. Your act of kindness should be done without any expectations for rewards or acknowledgements from others. Examples, although not limited to: Say something kind, make breakfast, wash someone else's dishes, give someone a massage, call or text someone just to say you appreciate them, or do prosocial spending--spend your money on someone else - pay for their meal, buy them flowers, take them to the movies, etc.
On Valentine's Day, be kind to others but don't forget to show kindness and love toward yourself. You were wonderfully made by God. KINDNESS IS FREE. SPRINKLE IT EVERYWHERE THIS MONTH AND EVERY MONTH!
JANUARY 2023 CHALLENGE: Catch and Change Your Negative Thoughts - Stress is in the eye of the beholder. How we see/assess a situation may impact how we react. To do this challenge:
Self-Regulate: In order to change your perspective, you might need to first self-regulate to calm yourself down. Remember to try tips from the previous challenges to self-regulate:
Situation: You come home to a messy house and all the kids are on their phones.
Your Thoughts & Reaction: If you think, “These kids are lazy,” you’ll be mad at the kids.
Evaluate to Change your thoughts: Why did you focus on the mess first and not the kids? What’s more important? The mess or the kids? Why can’t you think, “Kids are happy and healthy” right when you walk in the door? Could you be undergoing a lot of stress? Could it be because the children are not following through the way YOU want it or your parenting ideas are not working or consistent? Could your kids be exhausted and stressed too?
Change your thoughts and reactions: Say hi to your happy and healthy kids first.. Breath and think, “Okay, this mess is not working for me. I need to approach the kids to help.” Then have a healthy conversation with them about a messy house. (I know, sometimes kids don’t do it if they are not scared---since fear is their motivation to do things. So find a different motivation instead of using fear. Work with the kids to find a new motivation for them so you don’t have to turn to anger–which can be your weapon to cause fear sometimes.
In the Bible: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Proverbs 4:23). This passage was written by King Solomon for the benefit of his own sons.
Famous Quotes: Pastor Charles R. Swindoll (88 yrs old this year, 2023): “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
December Wellness Challenge
Spend time with family. Play with your kids. The goal is just to enjoy each other's presence.
What is the wellness program?
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you're thriving. To understand the significance of wellness, it's important to understand how it's linked to health.
Song - short bio here. Other counselors/program leaders as well.