The Importance of Mental Health Communities

We live in uncertain, often frightening times.

This is no world-shattering statement. Everyone who watches or reads the news knows the world is often unsafe, dangerous, troubled by wars, famine, disease, crime, and political unrest. In early January, the hashtag #WWIII was trending on Twitter, as well as the usual talk of apocalypses and nuclear war. Heavy stuff. Fortunately, the news of our planetary demise has been greatly exaggerated, and despite the threats and insecurities, the world goes on.

But a big part of what helps get us through is community involvement and positive social networks. In challenging days, our mental health struggles are often exacerbated, and our worries magnified. Everything can seem like the end of the world, and every setback may seem fatal to our wellbeing. For those frightened of the world and what it holds, having a friend or a group of friends to talk and bond with can be a lifesaver.

We’re not immune to such frightened feelings at Alivation from time to time. Everyone who works here is, not surprisingly, human. With over 80 team members, we have plenty of different personal challenges to go around, but we always work through them. Team bonding is vital to our organization. The quality of our teamwork and friendships is what keeps us all going, and builds a structure of better care for every patient who walks through our door. We want their uncertainties and fears to be mitigated by our strengths and compassion.

Everyone who knows us knows that we like to help, love to laugh, and are always willing to listen to problems. We have good practice, helping each other frequently. We’re truly integrated, not only in services but in spirit. Part of the joy of working at Alivation is the way people cut through the smoke and truly reach other people, listening to challenges, and accepting the best because it is right. We listen to each other; we care. We pass that on.

For the world at large, these positive social interactions are essential to a healthy mind. We’re a social species, and we always have been. We crave positive interactions in whatever form they might take, and we value our relationships with others precisely because they can’t always be quantified as a data point. A good thing can just be a good thing, and a benefit only has to make you better to be a benefit.

So as we enter the colder (and darker) days of our midwestern winter, let’s take a moment to recognize the values of our social interactions, and the way our mental health is bettered by the people we know and the outlets we have. Let’s remember that the world isn’t ending, and we’re always able to grow beyond our perceived challenges and limitations and be even happier tomorrow than we were today. Let’s feel for others and let them feel for us in kind, and be grateful we’re friends with great people.

For those who need a social outlet or more mental health help, please feel free to call us anytime. We’re always glad to help, and you’ll find the positive social benefits you’re seeking with Alivation’s caring, often lovable bunch. We’re a judgment-free zone, and we only want what’s best for you at all times. We’ll do everything we can to help, and we’re proud that we have the opportunity to partner with your care. We can all make each other better.

***

Travel and Mental Health

Any number of films and books have portrayed protagonists traveling to “find themselves”, or to get in better control of their lives. After the book and subsequent film of Eat, Pray, Love became huge hits, for example, more and more people began to look at the emotional side of traveling, and sometimes the idea of a journey being a solo endeavor that enriched our own minds began to take hold. Any truth to it?

Of course!

Travel can be wonderful for mental health. It doesn’t even need to be very far, or expensive. Traveling to a new place can enrich our minds, and steep us in a new culture. We can explore things we’ve never seen before, and visiting a new place can be a helpful metaphor for us unlocking parts of our mind that we might have to deal with. By finding and experiencing these places, we can also occasionally make peace with something from our past that we might’ve needed to remember.

On a simpler level, it can also enhance our happiness. Few things get people as excited as taking a trip, or breaking out of their normal routine and experiencing something new. Whether you go alone or with friends or loved ones, the happiness we can reap from traveling can provide the type of stress relief and positive emotional boon that we need. The ability to unwind and relax from work and our routines is an excellent decompression effect, one that can significantly add to our happiness.

Perhaps the trip will strengthen relationships as well. We’ve seen that in countless films as well, and there’s obviously truth in it. Sharing a unique experience in a faraway place is a terrific bonding memory, one that has the potential to help for years to come. Cementing relationships of all sorts is possible, and nothing is better than being able to look back with fondness on a journey taken with someone important to you.

It isn’t hard to go from these benefits to seeing the overall mental health effects. So often, our own state of mental health is about decluttering our minds, or being able to see through the fog that is preventing us from achieving our best selves. A simple trip has the ability to do that, and lets us unlock the parts of ourselves we miss, or need to build on. Relieving stress has numerous health benefits as well, which means traveling can even positively affect physical health.

Like with most parts of life, the key is to find balance and to manage expectations. It’s unlikely one trip will solve all problems in your life, and it’s even more unlikely that it’ll fix a genuine mental health condition that you may have. But for symptom relief and a great positive experience that can act as an anchor in the worst of times, traveling fits the bill. Managing a trip into your daily life can help you realize goals and objectives, and what it is that means the most to you. Making sure you pursue the right things is a tremendous influence in the right direction.

For those with mental health challenges or concerns, traveling is a useful paradigm, teaching us to explore and discover more about ourselves while seeking new things. Journey to unknown places and seek out the best of yourself, and don’t be afraid to try for better things that might make you happier.