A little “me time”

This guy knows what I'm talking about. -Photo courtesy beej55/Flickr Commons

This guy knows what I’m talking about. -Photo courtesy beej55/Flickr Commons

Original publication date: October 10, 2012, The Omega, Thompson Rivers University

Take a moment right now, if you would, to think about what it is you need to accomplish by this time next week.

I’m guessing that you didn’t include much (if anything) that you enjoy. The fact that I asked you to think about what you “need to” do lends itself to the thoughts that are generally unpleasant — as pressing as they might be — or at the very least, that’s the way my mind works. When I think about what I “need to” accomplish, I don’t immediately think of things I “like to” do.

A few weeks ago, this changed, however. I began to integrate “like to” into “need to.”

Why am I sharing this with you?

This past week was Mental Illness Awareness Week, and today — at least the day in the near future when this paper hits the stands — is World Mental Health Day.

Despite what some say regarding my diet and consumption habits in general, I believe strongly in keeping the mental side of your health in order. It’s why I spend somewhat exorbitant amounts of money on golf.

As frustratingly difficult as the game is at times, it makes it all-but-impossible to think about other stressful aspects of your life for a few hours at a time, and despite what some people think, it’s a pretty good physical workout, as well.

It’s also why I don’t make plans for Saturdays. I spend Saturdays with my family — and try not to think about what else I “should be” doing.

Check out Mr. Rocca’s column this week HERE and try to tell me that mental health isn’t an issue you should be paying attention to.

After reading it, decide if you can afford to put off taking some time for your own mental health.

Maybe you don’t like golf. Maybe you like horses, or shopping, or road trips with your friends. Maybe you like cooking, or dancing, or watching horror movies in the dark.

Figure it out.

Make time for these things. As important as your education, job(s), volunteer opportunities and everything else you think you “need to” accomplish are, they aren’t as important as your overall happiness.

If you turn a few of your “want to”s into “need to”s, I think you’ll find that you’re a happier person. There’s a reason that people say you should “do what you love for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life,” after all.

I’ll never be a professional golfer (unless I somehow miraculously learn how to putt), but I can make it more of a priority. Between that and Saturdays with my family, I should be able to keep myself mentally healthy enough.

Maybe I’ll see some of you out on the golf course when the snow (that we all know is coming, right?) thaws.


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