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Summer: Planning for Yourself

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Summer: Planning for Yourself

Aarin Harper

It's Summer! Time to pick vacation destinations near or far away! Whether you're planning a stay-cation in your own town or a trip a world away, it is helpful to plan. It's helpful to not only plan trips and outings, it's a good idea to have plans for ourselves. Of course many things will come our way that might take us off course - sometimes for the better and sometimes for what may be seen as the worst - or at least more difficult. Although we can't plan everything, and even if we do, "life happens" and we will need to re-orient. We'll need to plan for times to celebrate and times to deal with the hard things of life - having a destination helps us plan our route and choose what we pack. Are you packing a positive, resilient posture? A cynical self-protecting mindset? Bravery? Self-centeredness? A gracious and giving spirit?

So have you picked your destination?

Really. And what are you going to pack? With all the self help information available to us, and all the directives to "take care" of ourselves - love ourselves, be kind to ourselves, stand up for ourselves...is it just me or does it seem the more we focus on ourselves the less satisfied we can be? Let me change that from satisfied to content. When all I think about is me, I focus most commonly on what I'm not, what I don't have, what you should give me, etc.

This discontent can lead to making positive change or it can lead to discouragement, disappointment, and disillusion. What are you in the habit of choosing (or in this analogy - what are you packing)? I'd like to suggest choosing to make a positive change. Even if change is small it can alter your course - maybe for just that moment or maybe for your life. You've probably heard the story of a very long distance traveler that altered the course just slightly and ended up miles from their target destination. So we need a destination or goal and we need to plot a course. We need to re-calibrate and adjust our course (or attitude and perceptions) when we find unexpected obstacles - we need to keep moving toward the goal. 

Perhaps living a fulfilling life with mental illness is your goal (that's not an oxymoron or mutually exclusive). Have hope and pick a destination. There are many studies that show that being thankful, expressing thanks and helping others can support recovery from depression. Why do you think that is? (This isn't rhetorical. We really want to start a discussion for support with a community of people that are living a life that isn't easy everyday or maybe even most days!) Why do you think journaling or talk-therapy is helpful? What about meds? Spiritual support? Prayer? What helps you?

Have hope and pick a destination and be thoughtful about what you pack. I don't mean that to sound easy, but it is simple - isn't it? As the long distance traveler in your journey where is your destination? What is your goal? What have you chosen to pack? We would love to hear from you and join you in supporting your journey - I'm pretty sure others will too. We understand that there are many supports that you can implement along the way - we would be honored to be one of them. Share your goals (destinations) with us below.