There are some mornings when I wake up and think, “blah… another week!”
Those mornings are extremely rare of late. Being diagnosed with, and surviving cancer surgeries and treatments makes you thankful for every single moment of every day. If, however you wake up with the “blah” feeling, here are a few steps you can take for a more mentally healthy Monday (and every day):
- The world does not “owe” you anything. You have to go out and make your own fortune and shape your own fate. Your happiness depends on you and the steps you take to achieve it. True, there are times when happiness seems an unattainable goal (ask any cancer patient how happy they are if they see light at the end of the tunnel… not likely, but once you come out the other side you definitely have an appreciation for happiness).
- Be flexible in your plans. I admit I am a stickler for the calendar and the schedule. I am not overly spontaneous and likely never will be. Again, a health issue makes you realize the doctors, and your illness, do not care if you had a client meeting scheduled or if you were planning to attend a conference out of state. Your schedule becomes someone else’s and you need to learn to roll with it. I still have a to-do list and I still make plans, but I am better able to roll with changes and blips in my schedule when they roll around.
- You don’t always have to be happy, but it’s best if you can be steady. Try to keep a cool head even in light of stressful situations. Just because everyone around you is yelling, doesn’t mean you have to join in the noise. Be the voice of reason if possible — this goes for in person and online interactions.
- Be resilient. Today may very well suck, but that doesn’t mean the entire day has to. It doesn’t mean that tomorrow will — unless you are determined to make it suck. I suggest keeping a gratitude journal. Every morning when you wake up, write down three things you are grateful for. Every night before you go to sleep, write down three things you’re grateful for or three things that made you happy. Having tangible proof of your moments of happiness and gratitude is a powerful tool.
- Live in the moment. I cannot tell you how much of a lesson this was for me to learn. Prior to cancer, it didn’t matter what I was doing, where I was or who I was with I always wanted to know, “what’s next?” I could have been involved in the most enjoyable activity, but still my mind wondered, “what’s next?” It’s not a great way to live. I have learned to live in the moment. If I am in the shower, it will be the best shower I’ve taken; if I am walking Henrietta, I am going to enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass or her joy in hopping around the yard; if I am watching a baseball game I am going to be fully engaged in the here and now. Enjoying the moment you’re in makes you more present for yourself and your family (or whomever you’re enjoying that moment with) and the “what’s next?” is going to happen regardless so let it happen naturally.
What can you do to be mentally happy today?