June 2016 - Summer is upon us
As we look to the longer and sunny days of summer, we begin to feel an energy that can only come from an optimistic place as we spend more time outdoors with the many activities we enjoy. It is a time where our focus begins to shift from the dreary, cold days of winter to more social events, more physical activity and summer food with picnics and barbeques!
This is a time to reflect on our good fortune in life, our many friends and the opportunities that lie ahead. In our own joy and enthusiasm, we should all take a few minutes and take an inventory of those we love around us. As much as we may be feeling the joy of summer, we should be aware that those we love may not have the same sense of optimism. Many are consumed by worry, fear, anxiety and an inability not only to enjoy life but perhaps even to live their lives. They begin to isolate themselves a little more each passing week, they communicate less, they begin to look a little disheveled in their appearance and there is a distant look in their eyes.
Mental health is one of those topics that are the most challenging to discuss. For so many years there has been a stigma associated with depression, neurosis, psychosis, ADD, ADHD, and bipolar disorder; the list goes on. When a person is injured it is visible and it is mendable. However, the inner demons we all fight may not be visible. We all have self doubt, anxious moments, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy of others, negative self-talk and self-perpetuating bad habits and behaviors that hold us back.
As you begin to experience a more joyful summer, take a look at those around you. Offer your help and understanding. Many people are afraid or too proud to ask for help. Try not to judge from the outside because we may not know what the person is experiencing on the inside. If you do not feel you can help someone through their challenges or you feel they need professional help, find a way to guide them there. Make a conscious effort to not leave any of the lonely, disheartened and disenfranchised behind.
For those who can: