October 10th is World Mental Health Day, an internationally recognized day set aside for “global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma.” World Mental Health Day was created 20 years ago by the World Federation for Mental Health and has since become an important time of year to focus on mental health conversations and initiatives.

As a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and celebrating service, we asked co-workers to share how they take care of their mental health. Here are some of the responses, edited for clarity.

Multiplying Good: Can you share some things you do to take care of your mental health? 

A: I maintain my mental health through attending therapy, connecting with friends and family (including impromptu dance parties), prayer, and doing something creative (music composition, playwriting, and/or performing).

T: I would say my top three are 1) Long walks in the fresh air 2) Dancing to awesome music in my kitchen and 3) Mindset work: knowing how my brain works and how to rewire it for better health.

J: Some things I do for self-care include: walking, listening to nature sounds (real or artificial), spending time with babies/animals, watching silly/mindless shows, drinking water, massages, and traveling.

J: One thing that has been pretty helpful, and was literally prescribed for me, was to use what my family calls "the happy light" (10000 lumen/lux light therapy) during the fall/winter. It helps with my sleep! Mood! Overall health and well-being! 

D: I work out, I try to sleep a healthy amount, and I eat healthy whole foods. I try not to drink too much booze. I try to talk to a friend or hang out with a friend once a week. I try to talk to my wife and friends and family about things that are weighing on me. I try to surround myself with healthy people and do healthy things and prioritize my physical and mental health through relationships. I go outside a lot.

M: There are 3 things I do to take care of my mental health. 1) When weather allows, I will take a break outside on the deck to just look at nature. It's very calming. 2) I go for a run. This is really helpful when I'm stressed and anxious. 3) I enforce a strict bedtime for myself. Getting and keeping myself in the habit of prioritizing sleep helps me stay sharper and focused mentally.

B: Here are some of the things I use to keep me on track: 

  • Medication - staying compliant with my daily medications and supplements 
  • Realizing the bigger picture - Life is more than your job 
  • Gratitude - realizing that the world is a beautiful place and I am fortunate to be in this moment in time 
  • Honesty with myself - remembering that I have a mental illness and I can easily slide into a major depressive episode if I don't maintain my mental health 
  • Self-Love - Probably the hardest for me to do but one that I try to practice every day. I am a good person and worthy of love. 

L: Besides seeing a therapist, I also started a gratitude journal by listing daily what I feel I am grateful for that day. Once I write at least three things that I am beyond thankful for, I write who I am and believe I am. Lastly, I write sentences that start with I am the type of person, then list the kind of person I believe I am becoming. 

E: I like to work in my garden or bake a yummy dessert.

S: I try to live by something I once read: "One day you will be nothing but a memory. MAKE IT A GOOD ONE!" I know that this is all easier said than done for many, but this is what has worked thus far for me. It keeps me from succumbing to negativity, letting it in long enough to acknowledge it and promptly move on. 

S: I am a licensed massage therapist, so I am a big believer in body-work of all types. I am an avid pickleball player, so I love to take my stress out on the courts. Lastly, probably the one thing I do at least once a day is to stop to love on my 14-year-old cattle dog Bodie, and my 4-year-old cattle dog Mae, both rescues. My little moments with them teach me that selflessness is a virtue and that keeps me grounded in what is important.