What's so Great about September?

The month of September can sometimes get a bad rep because it means summer is ending; tan lines will fade and bedtimes will be reinforced which is a sign that Winter is coming.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but for those of us living in states where Winter looks like a shaken snow globe for months upon months, this ending is bittersweet.  Be honest, everyone truly hopes to soak up that one last perfect bike riding, speed boating, tree climbing, outdoor grilling, tank top wearing, sunny beach day that leaves us wanting even more.  This feeling has us asking what’s so great about September anyway?  Well do you remember the 21st night of September?  Ok neither do I but here at the Dismas Home of New Hampshire September is all about celebrating and bringing awareness to some things very near and dear to our hearts.

This month is devoted to self-care and suicide prevention awareness which when you think about it, the lack of self-care can lead to suicide.  The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”  With that said, the Dimas Home of New Hampshire would like to invite our residents, staff and community to reflect on the habits and techniques you have in place to take care of yourselves and live your best life. A life that isn’t defined by depression, mental illness, addiction or suicide.  Here are some simple ways to ensure you are practicing a good self-care routine.

Earth, Wind, & Fire

Earth – Eat healthy!  I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, you are what you eat and while we aren’t donuts or salads, this saying is true.  Diet is such an important component of not only our physical health but also our mental health that it has inspired an entire field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry.  It’s no rocket science that a diet rich in vibrant fresh fruits and veggies along with whole grains, seeds, nuts and lean protein can help you maintain a healthy body weight.  It can also help you manage diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, which when left uncontrolled can lead to even scarier things like heart disease and stroke. But what’s even more fascinating is that studies show that a healthy diet was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing depressive symptoms.  This is because our brains are getting the nutrients they need to be healthy and well balanced.   So be sure to boost your mood with foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Try some fun smoothies, cold pressed juices, crackers with hummus and lots of water.

Wind – Exercise is like ice cream, it comes in many different flavors and indulging in it often releases the happy hormone Endorphins.  These days everywhere you turn there is someone promoting the importance of exercise; from Peloton commercials to Instagram influencers dropping quick workout videos that can be done anywhere. The key to finding a routine you are able to commit to is, making sure it is doable, it is enjoyable and it is right for you.  While it is still warm out, go for a walk or a bike ride and enjoy the wind blowing through your hair as you take it nature.  For something you can do all year round to try practicing yoga and meditation.  Many people feel that yoga is about getting their bodies in pretzel shapes but it’s actually a lot less complicated.  Yoga teaches us how to use our breath as a tool to calm our minds, discarding negative thoughts, emotions and moving past our pain.  It teaches us about concentration and being mindful of our surroundings, our environment and our mental integrity. It teaches us about building our bodies to be strong,  holding each pose for one to two deep breath cycles then releasing and back again. It teaches us about firing up our core while pressing into the earth as though we are growing out of it.  Yoga is an experience for the body, the mind and the soul and with just thirty minutes a day for the thirty days of September you too will be able to do the Anahatasana (heart to earth pose) or maybe bend like a pretzel. Namaste!

Fire – Be passionate and get fired up practicing self-care because it is essential to our overall well-being.  Above all, be kind, be forgiving and speak to yourself and about yourself lovingly. Know that you are only in competition with who you were yesterday to be better today.  Forgive yourself for that which binds you from making progress, release yourself from those chains.  Begin to put the same kind of time, energy and resources into yourself that you do into others.  Celebrate this month by investing in you, maybe it’s counseling, maybe it’s a new journal, maybe it’s saying no to the things that are harmful to us, or maybe it’s letting go of toxic relationships.  

Regardless of how you choose to practice self-care the important thing is that you do, especially after the last two years we all had.  You don’t have to do this alone, know that we at the Dismas Home of New Hampshire can help you.  Now happy self-caring!

If you or someone you know are thinking about hurting yourself please talk to someone who can help!

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