Hi there, 10/10!
How are you? Is everything OK?
Aren’t you going to ask me if I’m fine?
No? That’s ok. I’m sure you have a lot on your mind.
I see you for what you are, 10/10, and I’m still here. As a guy that has optimism as his number one personal value, you didn’t think I’d bury my head in the sand or turn my cheek on such an important day as today, did you? Of course not.
For those of you who aren’t tracking — but soon will be in the loop — 10/10 is World Mental Health Awareness Day.
Growing up, I most definitely said “mental.” And I’m sure I said “health” — just never the two words directly together. I’m grateful times have changed and we’re now having healthy “in public” conversations about keeping our spirits up in an effort to keep anxiety down. So, in the hope of shining a spotlight on something that can feel cold, dark, and lonely, here are 10 “10/10″ tips to help you, a coworker or a loved one uplift your mental health.
10. A “Good” Morning Goes A Long Day. We’ve been saying “good morning” to our neighbors, baristas, family, and friends since the dawn of time. But that’s not the “good” morning I’m referring to. Making a “good” morning is getting a healthy win for your mind straight out of the AM gates. So make your bed. Set an alarm for an AM journaling session. Go for a bike ride, walk or jog. Do something that feels good to kick off your day. The secret is to start your AM with a win. One good habit can lead to another. Then another. And so on. So do what you have to do to get that mental snowball rolling.
9. Create a “YST” —You Standard Time. Most weeks can get pretty hectic around the Berman house. My wife gets the brunt of it because I’m often zipping around the country striving to help those who are stuck, scared or spinning make their bold shift. But when we are both at home, there are a few moments each week when we both make time to do something we each love. My wife’s You Standard Time almost always involves a morning yoga class or a dog walk around the neighborhood with a podcast in her ears. My YST is spent at my happy place; playing soccer on Sunday mornings. Developing a YST is important. It’s just as important to declare that YST to those you live with. All of it is to help you feel more like YOU.
8. Set Up Share Sessions. We taught our kids to share. Then, the older we got, the more we forgot to share ourselves. Now, I don’t mean to share our toys. I mean share time, share stories, and share space. My wife and I start every Saturday morning sharing coffee and our week from our front porch. It’s a ritual we rely on that helps us connect with one another and makes us both happy. Are you the big boss? Take the time to take the team out over a shared lunch away from the office.
7. Cue Up The Keep-In-Touch Calendar. Building real relationships is hard work. Yet it’s those very same relationships that make the world go round. Once a week, I have 30 minutes blocked on my schedule where I can reach out to Coworkers, colleagues or people from my past. I’m intentional about keeping in touch and I do it because I truly want to design my life with those people who inspire or whom I gain energy from. PS.”Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, is horrific advice. How about, “keep your friends close and your energy closer” is more like it? It’s all choice! We design our lives or our lives will design us,
6. Send Your Phone On A Sabbatical. It’s a big world out there. And the world only gets bigger when your phone swallows you into a black hole of time-eating procrastination websites and social media. The irony is that social media has turned most of us unsocial. Meanwhile, as we scroll and scroll (and scroll), we’re comparing ourselves to these curated versions of others. My kids are tired of me saying, “when you compare, beware”. So, consider sending your phone on a sabbatical for a weekend. Or create a #NoPhoneFriday policy in your house. Do what you need to do to step away from digital. It’ll be hard at first, but I have a feeling you’ll appreciate the break.
5. Check In On Yourself. If you’re like me, then you most likely fall into the rut of go, go, go. Got little ones in the house? Then you’re putting others before yourself. As a citizen of Chaos City, use technology to block 15 minutes on your calendar once a week to journal. Force yourself to audit yourself. Here are three questions you could ask yourself: 1) How am I doing? 2) How am I feeling? 3) What am I going to do just for me sometime this week?
4. Call An Old Friend. Close your eyes for a moment. Think about someone from your past whom you went to school or you used to work with that you wish you had kept in touch with. Got that person? It has never been easier to find old friends. Reach out and reconnect.
3. Book a trip to the Bookstore. Stuck in a rut? Inspiration calls somewhere down the long halls found on the shelves in a neighborhood bookstore near you. Is there a narrative you’re telling yourself that you don’t even realize you’re internalizing? Whether it’s conscious or not, there’s probably some negative self-talk ponging around in your head. In the spirit of smoking it out, take it to a bookstore. See what titles trigger a response.
2. Get Ice Cream. Seriously? Seriously. The world is very serious and there’s nothing less serious than watching grown-ass people revert back to the 7-year-old version of themselves as they work through a popsicle or a waffle cone of deliciousness. What I really mean here is that it’s AOK to integrate inexpensive light moments that diffuse the heaviness and gravity that can come with life.
1. Start Living Your Bucket List. Now some breaking news. All of us will die. Most of us never live. You weren’t born to simply work every day. Nor were you born to have stories told to you on 3000 unique channels you can now consume on Netflix, Hulu, and the networks. Start living your own story. Where to start? Every year you should be committing to items on your bucket list. Create a “Bucket List” Fund today and toss $50 into it every week. Even if it takes 6 months before you can afford something on your list, you have something that gets you excited that you can look forward to.