1. Everything we do is cumulative, both for the better and the worse. Cultivate healthy habits and you will be healthier. Smoke, drink and stay out until the wee hours and you will feel like a giant cigarette butt.
2. Mental health is like building a house. One bag of concrete will not get you far. It takes many different supplies as well as different people to build a house. If you want to get “fixed” go to the vet. But if you want to get healthy then work out regularly, find work you enjoy, form relationships with warm and loving people, partner with someone whom you adore and are adored by, learn and try new things constantly, read books…and if any of these actions seem impossible, find a therapist who helps you go deeper and look at your unconscious patterns.
3. Television robs you of your contentment. Marketers make big bucks to manipulate you into believing that buying a new car/beer/gizmo will make you look like an anorexic eighteen year old model with perfect appliance-white teeth. It won’t. You won’t. (Thank goodness!)
4. Mental health is one of the few areas of life where spending your money and your time actually WILL make you feel better about yourself. Those sweet heels at Nordie’s can’t do that for you (though to be fair, therapy can’t make you look taller but a nice pair of platforms can).
5. Just as interior decorators will recommend a base color, an accent wall and an accessory color, mental health is all about balance and proportion: allocate your hours with a view towards balancing your time spent in service to others (work), time spent with friends and family (socializing), and time spent alone (renewing).
6. Virginia Wolf knew what she was talking–err–writing about. We really do need a space of our own, even if it’s just the corner of a room or a desk. Here in Seattle Real Estate La-La Land, even sardine cans sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, so space is at a premium. Consider creative ways to claim a zone (is there a basement, closet, or shed currently piled with boxes that you can clean out?) that you can personalize and protect from being annexed into general household use. Paint, decorate, hang lamps and make it lovely. Use things that only you like… My personal space has a bright PINK desk in it because I am the only female in the household.