COMMENTARY — Summer good time to focus on mental health

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May is National Mental Health Month. For some people that four-word phrase might have a negative connotation. However it can be a positive one if we focus our attention on ways to enhance the emotional and psychological aspects of our lives. With summer right around the corner it’s a great time to plan time to focus on your mental health.

A vacation is an opportunity for families to spend time together and enjoy a special time in a special place. The school year is over. The family steps away from responsibilities and daily routines to a time of relaxation and carefree fun. It’s worthwhile for our emotional well-being and for our connection as couples and families.

It is also a time for each family member to individually re-energize. That can take many forms. It might be re-engaging with a hobby. It might be increasing one’s physical activity. It might be practicing some master resiliency training techniques that every Soldier has been exposed to during the course of the year. Each undertaking is a practical and helpful way to soothe one’s spirit, to renew one’s energy, to enhance one’s outlook on life.

We have to be intentional in practicing good self-care. We must manage our emotional and psychological “lives.” If we aren’t taking the time to take care of ourselves then we won’t fully enjoy the benefits that result.

During the remainder of National Mental Health Month, take some time for yourself and for your family. Have fun. Explore new opportunities for activities that genuinely benefit you and see what you gain from an improved “mental” quality of life.