Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
Increase awareness of mental health and help families members learn strategies for developing and protecting it.
Discuss the meaning of mental health and explore a few of the different suggestions in the graphic below to equip family members with tools for maintaining and protecting mental health..
Be sure to let each family member choose one of the strategies that appeals to them and try it together as a family.
Discuss the important truth that everyone is different and each family member may find that a different strategy works for them than other members of the family.
Be positive and supportive of the different strategies your children choose, even if it's something that you would not choose for yourself.
When I was in England I learned a phrase I found both fun and unusual, but also filled with important advice:
The phrase 'Mind The Gap' was found in many places, but was particularly prominent in 'the Tube' (subway) to remind people to be aware of the gap between the platform and the subway train and to take a large enough step to cover the empty space.
While this isn't verbage that we use in our country, I couldn't help thinking how appropriate it is for so many situations where we need to be AWARE. This is particularly important advice when it comes to our mental health.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. One could argue that it is the very foundation of everything we do, since our mental health will impact every choice we make, the way we react, our ability in everything we do whether physical or mental, and the very way we see the world around us. Considering the importance of our mental health, we all should take precautions to 'Mind Our Mental Health', or in other words, be aware of our mental health and ensure that we take big enough steps to protect it!
There are many resources available about mental health. We will include a couple of links you can check out to learn more, but the focus of this Adventure is to try out a few suggestions for maintaining mental health, and even regaining mental health when you are struggling.
For this Adventure choose a few of these suggestions and see which ones work best for you:
❏ Ask for Help
❏ Keep a Journal
❏ Be Active-- there are many options for this. Choose something you enjoy that keeps you active
❏ Get Outside! - Nature has amazing impacts on mental health!
❏ Talk to yourself kindly
❏ Do something creative
❏ Practice deep breathing
❏ Do something you are good at
❏ Look on the bright side of things
❏ Get plenty of sleep/rest
❏ Avoid comparisons of all kinds
❏ Watch something uplifting
❏ Make a playlist of 'feel good' songs
❏ Spend time around people who empower you
❏ Find ways to make chores fun
❏ Reach out and help others
❏ Avoid multi-tasking
❏ Avoid over-tasking yourself- do not try to run faster or farther than you are able!
❏ Make a Gratitude List
❏ Improve your posture and body language
❏ Eat nutritious food and drink plenty of water
❏ Take breaks from social media and your phone
❏ Distance yourself from things that chip away at your mental health
❏ Remind yourself that you are doing your best!
❏ Get professional help when needed! If you broke your arm you would go to a doctor to determine the seriousness and get a cast to help while it heals. If you have a virus causing a disruption in any part of your body you would go to a doctor to have the issue diagnosed and get the right medicine to help it heal. There is no shame in these situations, and it is important to involve a professional to determine the right diagnoses and get the right solution for healing.
Keep in mind that no one feels 'GREAT' all of the time. Mental health ebbs and flows from day to day, and even hour to hour. Here are some tips for when you aren't feeling great:
Even our youngest Adventurers can, and should, learn to protect their mental health. Just think what a wonderful blessing it will be for your children if you help them develop habits from their earliest years that support strong mental health, including helping them know that it's okay to seek professional help when needed.
Make it a point to teach your little ones to do the basic things that support mental health like eating right, staying active and getting plenty of sleep; choosing uplifting music, literature and art; and having a 'gratitude attitude'. Beyond that help them choose a few strategies that help them feel happy and uplifted when they find themselves having a mental health 'bad' moment.
Community Engagement Adventure
How can you take this 'mental health' Adventure to your community? Here are a few ideas:
❏ Find an organization that promotes mental health in your community and volunteer with them.
❏ Share some of the things you have learned with a group of your friends.
❏ Organize a neighborhood 'mental health' day where you will share what you have learned and then have a variety of activities such as a game of dodgeball (stay active), or an art project (uplifting art) or a neighborhood dance party (uplifting music).
❏ Use your creativity to leave positive mental health notes around your neighborhood-- chalk messages written on the sidewalks or notes left on doorsteps.
❏ What ideas do you have!?!
Teens are a great resource for getting this Adventure going for your family. Let your teens take the lead and get creative in the way they present the 'mental health strategies' to the rest of the family. Here are some ideas to get your minds going:
❏ Put the strategies into a 'game' format like charades.
❏ Let each family choose one 'strategy' to share with the rest of the family, and then the whole family try it together.
❏ What ideas do you have?
by Mental Health