I have a confession to make.
Regularly when talking or writing about Mr. Perfect I am careful to remind everyone that I do not give advice or profess to have the big answers. I am not a mental health professional, far from it. I merely write about my experiences, reactions and what goes on in this melon of a head.
I even use the word “hypocrite” to describe myself. I cannot stop telling everyone to look after themselves but often fail to follow through on basic actions that could help me. Partly due to the fact I am stubborn, partly due to the fact over the past few years of discovery I struggle to follow consistency and the norm, something I used to be acutely good at.
So here comes the confession. For the past year I let my strategies slip. Mental health advocate and a guy I admire, Dan Hunt, talked once of his “checklist” he uses each day to ensure he has ticked off the processes he needs to do to give himself the best chance of a good day. But my own informal checklist mostly fell domino by domino.
For example, I have stopped regular intensive exercise (although I walk a lot), I stopped seeing a Doctor or mental health professional, I even stopped my small amount of medication for a couple of months (again) but put an end to that recently.
Actor and ex-NFL player Terry Crews talked recently to Tim Ferris about our worries and anxieties and that really, all we needed to make sure is that we got through that current day. Having a checklist of sorts may give me the best chance of focussing on the now.
So here below is my recently-drafted checklist I am determined to action, as many as I can, most of them each day. With another baby son on the way I know my windows of “free-time” are minimal, so I will have to get creative, but I like a challenge:
-Sleep (7 hours)
-Gratefulness (2 minutes)
-Exercise (30 minutes)
-Meditation / Mindfulness (10 minutes)
-Journalling (5 minutes)
-Reading (20 minutes)
-Good food (daily)
-Counselling (every 2-4 weeks)
-Family-time (Thankfully this is my priority and I am already solid at this one)
-Medication (until I talk to my GP next about gradually coming off)
The good news is I have set half of these in motion, I am acutely aware I can take on a lot so the aim of the game here is to gradually introduce all strategies comfortably.
I pondered this week while on my bus commute, that much like a boxer, perhaps a healthy human needs to be constantly or consistently in training. Although a boxer may only fight a couple of times a year, they remain, mostly, in incredible condition, ready for battles that sometimes last under 10 minutes.
In my world, this translates to being in training daily. Keeping mentally in as best condition I can, ready for when an obstacle is thrown right in front of me.