May is mental health month, and this is the start of mental health awareness week. So, from today Monday, May 14, to Monday, May 28, I am going to participate in a mental wellness challenge. I’ve never done one of these before, but I came across one that is Christian-centered, so I thought I’d adapt it into a two-week version.
Here is what I am going to be doing:
- 5.14 – create a worship playlist.
- 5.15 – call a loved one.
- 5.16 – take a long, scented bath.
- 5.17 – write 5 short-term goals.
- 5.18 – color a picture.
- 5.19 – eat a meal outside.
- 5.20 – meditate on favorite Scripture.
- 5.21 – do an act of service.
- 5.22 – write a gratitude list.
- 5.23 – donate something I never use.
- 5.24 – social media sabbatical.
- 5.25 – send an encouraging text.
- 5.26 – pray outside.
- 5.27 – spend extra time with furry friends.
- 5.28 – rewrite my affirmations with doodles, a bit of beauty, and a flower or two.
In addition to this, I am going to be consistently keeping up with a trigger tracker. I’ve included some links of models below, and after this is over I will be sharing my experience (both with the challenge and the tracker).
- Lindsay Braman: Bullet Journal for Mental Health
- Lindsay Braman: Minimalist Trigger Tracker
- Buzzfeed: Mental Health Trackers
- The Mighty: Track Mental Health
- The Mighty: Mental Health in Pixels
- Pinterest Collection: Mental Health Trackers
I’m both excited and nervous to begin. On the one hand, I’m grateful for this challenge because summers can be hard for people with anxiety/depression. For most of us, our routine changes. I have more free-time, and, for me, that is terrifying. So, having one set thing to accomplish each day–even something as simple as eating outside–helps me to shape a constructive plan for each day.
On the other hand, I’m anxious about what this challenge might reveal. It’s a concentrated survey of my mental stability and general wellness.
And, I pray I have the strength to continue making mental health a priority, whether I’m engaged in a wellness challenge or not.
If you’re making any concerted efforts to assess and grow this month, I’d love to hear from you. We’re in this together, and I’m praying for you.
And, whether or not you’re participating in anything special for mental health awareness month, let’s work together to cultivate a year-round awareness and understanding. It’s something that the church body so desperately needs.
If you have a story about mental illness—whether personal or concerning a loved one—please consider sharing your experience. Even if you aren’t at a place yet where you feel comfortable disclosing your name, the church body needs your voice. Let’s shine a light on the darkness, together.