Springtime for most of us implies flowers, planting and gardening, May wreaths, a spectacular blossoming time of year. Others keep it as a traditional time for doing the annual Spring cleaning and overall “cleaning house.” A recent psycho-educational session about organizing our living space and ultimately better organizing our life, was based on more effective methods. This includes suggestions that were made in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (first published in Japanese in 2011). As this month is also Mental Health Awareness Month we can find ways to tidy up our own lives, change our way of thinking, positive overall mental health which is part of being more health literate about what mental illness is and what it isn’t.
Kondo’s method is largely based on “mindful” tidying and extends to a similar philosophy that rings true throughout time — healthy mind and healthy body. And I say why not extend this to a tidier and cleaner society with happier and more health literate people!? One editor nicely shared her “lessons learned” for her own home (and likely her office) after reading Kondo’s book.
Many of us for one always feel better in a clean and tidy environment as it helps us clear and settle our mind. We can start to prioritize and reduce procrastinating hopefully!
- “Prune your stuff often” is an easy phrase to remember from what I consider to be a classic book, The Rules of Life (Richard Templar). Think of pruning a bush, the same way you then will sort and throw out paperwork to recycling, don’t just pile up clothes and dishes, store and wash your dishes daily, life will be so much ‘easier’ to get a handle on!
- exercise your dusting, broom and mopping ‘skills’,
- use biodegradable cleaning products like those by Amway Home, so much better for the environment
- use a small vacuum for daily messes, and leave heavier vacuuming for once a month.
Key messages she emphasizes are to respect yourself and your property (starting with clothes, books/papers, all closets, collectibles, etc.), donate or sell as needed — most countries have Salvation Army which works on helping people in poverty and collecting and either re-selling or distributing products like clothes, furniture, collectibles. There are also many common on-line selling sections like FB’s Marketplace.
Speaking of clothes, for those of us who love clothes, accessories and shoes among other stuff we can also learn to better organize them (fold and store — for some of us space is a limitation so we have to move out winter stuff bring our spring and summer stuff, what a chore but good to see what we have and what doesn’t fit anymore!). The concept of Natalie’s blog of “wear you are now” fits nicely here!
We all at some point may experience serious serious mental health issues with friends or family it is important to keep calm, get informed, get support. Help can come in many forms, and it is not our job to “rescue” people, but you/we can:
- intervene legally with human services or police if situations get out of hand and people are a danger to themselves (or to others)
- educate ourselves and others on mental health issues (online, offline in seminars, by trained counselors, etc.)
- get therapy ourselves if things get out of hand (including feelings of guilt if someone you care for hurts themselves you are never to blame for another’s extreme choice and live with a clear conscience if you’ve tried to help!). I recently came across a great video by handsome Father Mike Schmitz who talks about suicide (this video is part of others a series) — not only talks about the religious side of the matter but clearly differentiated the importance of having a team of professionals! As he says, are all doctors the same? are all religious advisors the same? so why not try different therapists as he puts a heavy importance on maintaining hope and never giving up. I think this song by the group Hurts “Never Give Up It’s Such a Wonderful Life” says it all friends….
A good friend who has years of experience in emergency medicine and writes a fab blog Heal Thyself Heal Thy World always says “you can only do what you can do…” There are many sites with great “tips” out there. I particularly liked one by Parent’s Magazine article about 7 Pink Flags to look out for in children with possibly serious mental health issues, and loved the importance of mental health video by the wife of Canadian Prime Minister, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau for May Mental Health Month — key emphasis on self-care and self-compassion.
Enjoy your new spring outlook, be strong and get support as needed, and carry on!