Mental Health Monday

Think About It Thursday
A Special Mental Health Message from Mrs. DeVost

By now you have heard it all... the importance of exercise, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, breaks, humor, stepping away from the news and taking things one day at a time... all great stuff, but I’m not going to be repetitive. I am, however, going to bring up the power of reflection and reframing during this time. That is the true gift this experience can offer us at every age. Resilience will play its part later. What I mean about reflection is it’s hard not to think about how things were... just a short time ago, we are naturally longing for the usualness of our days.

However, reflection isn’t only focusing on what used to be, it can also provide us direction for what can be, or what should be. Reflecting on what’s important and what’s working now, that may not have been working previously, or missing in our lives to get us through. For example, family, friends, faith, expertise, selflessness, and leadership, which can reframe our future. Reframing fear into gratitude and grief into giving back. By being calm, reasonable and acting with empathy during difficult situations, we come out on top. These can all be ways we reframe tragedy into opportunity. Opportunity to stay more deeply connected with ourselves, those around us, nature, our faith, and passions and by finding the real meaning for our being. Beyond the real fears and worry about the unknown that we are all experiencing, there can be peace in our current position.

Please use some of this time to set aside the pain associated with this tragedy and begin to practice (even if it for a little while) reframing problems into possibilities. We have time on our side. Nothing is in our control right now, except for the control we have over ourselves, and most importantly, our mood. And by chance, if your thinking as your reading this, I’m not in the mood for this, that’s exactly where your reframing needs to start. Control over your mood is power, the power you need. The power that I am choosing to replace panic with each day as I plan for a better tomorrow.

We are all finding strengths we likely haven’t realized we have or ones that need some sharpening, no matter what they might be. Once these strengths are realized we can share them with others, especially our children. Ask them what is good in their days now? Have them focus on the positive differences in their new schedules. More time, more connections, more choices. In closing, a good philosophy for us to share is: We are all personally responsible for the health and harmony of our society, but only after we have become more personally responsible for ourselves.

Stay strong and stay well!
Patricia M. DeVost, LCSW
Middle and Upper School Counselor