Somewhere along the way we have heard that the key to conquering life’s challenges is in the ability to adapt, change, and overcome. We have personally experienced these tests of strength and we are all likely doing it now. It makes me think, however, that although there is a proper place for each of these strategies when coping, there is something that is often overlooked. It is what I consider to be a “best-kept secret”; finding comfort in every situation. More specifically and simply put, it is establishing a personal comfort zone in ways that are familiar. When asked, we can all easily think of what comforts us and that is the real beauty. Comfort does not have to be limited to the home. It is the thing we all look to create when having a bad day or needing to reset. It can be universal in its use.
You have also likely heard that being uncomfortable or pushed out of your comfort zone is good for you and can result in growth. No disagreement there, but maybe, in some instances, it really means being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Finding comfort can happen anywhere at any time. It may mean being the one who smiles to create a positive vibe in a tense room or looking for a smile from another who is offering a friendly welcome. Comfort may mean stepping back in some situations to better read a room. It may mean stepping up and showing those around you your strengths and talents. It may be finding comfort in cooking and caring for people as well as in the ways you take care of yourself. Comfort may mean saying no. Or it can mean creating a wonderful space or time away. Perhaps it is created by snuggling up with a good book, napping, writing, exercising, or listening to music. It can be found in a sunset or long ride. Or perhaps, comfort is in the quiet of your own thoughts or within friendships. It is different for everyone. Comfort can be created within classrooms, sports, spirituality, conversations, relationships, and careers. It is a feeling of belonging, safety, peace, and joy.
So as we enter into the next few months of rebuilding and redefining our lives, our mental health, our confidence, our schedules, our relationships, our work, and our recreational habits, be easy on yourself and know that in every instance, no matter how big or small, or where you are, you can ask yourself, "How can I become more comfortable in this situation and create it?" It is your personal power. It is also a great way to help others, young and old, by asking, “How can I make you or this situation more comfortable?" Imagine the difference when you notice someone is uncomfortable and rather than just accept it, judge it, or look the other way, you can instead reach out. I’ll assure you that no one will ever oppose you asking them how you can make things more comfortable for them.
So, as we wrap up our Mental Health Monday series this school year, and in our present times, I find great comfort in being part of such a wonderful community. We wish you all many comfortable and healthy days ahead and a special shout out to the Class of 2020. Remember, we are always accessible so if you are in need of support please reach out.