“Ripple in still water. When there is no pebble tossed, nor wind to blow.” -The Grateful Dead

I’d like you to ask yourself a question:

“What’s the one thing I’m going to do for myself today?”

It can be anything. It doesn’t have to be something that people understand. It doesn’t have to be pretty, neat, or clean, and it doesn’t have to be acceptable to anyone else. You don’t have to explain it, rationalize it, or get permission. You don’t have to tell anyone about it and you certainly don’t have to understand it yourself. You don’t have to do anything else the rest of the day that you like, except for this one thing. It can be something that takes two minutes or lasts half a day. It can be something ever changing or the same thing forever. And it only has to fit one criteria: it must be something positive for your emotional well-being.

Maybe you’re seeing your therapist today. Maybe you’re going to the gym, as you know our emotional state is very tied to our physical health. Maybe you’re going to take a long, hot shower, or maybe you’re going to listen to some good music and sing in the car so loudly that other people stare at you. Maybe you’re going to read a magazine or start a new book. Maybe you’re going to see an old friend, or you’ll going to recharge with some quiet time. Maybe you’ll vow to let go of something instead, like judgment or negativity. Maybe you’ll identify something to improve upon within yourself. Maybe you find your solace in prayer or meditation. Maybe you’ll talk to someone about mental health and what it means to you, and your bravery will inspire someone else. Your possibilities are endless.

You might see this as only one small thing, but some of us believe in the ripple. You may never see where this goes, but take a moment to think how your one thing affects someone else. Will you be a happier customer to wait on in the grocery store? Will you take the time to listen to a dear friend? Will you make someone’s day easier, simply because you are taking care of yourself first? Will your children appreciate your serenity, and will your spouse appreciate your patience? Will you inspire someone to exercise, try a new hobby, or even leave the house that day? Mood and anxiety disorders tend to bring our focus inward, but your one thing accomplishes two goals-it takes care of you and people around you reap the benefits, too. It’s a seemingly small thing, but I believe there are no small things.

I challenge you to do one thing today for yourself and your health, even for a few minutes. Take on your mental health, and refuse to be passive. Rise to the call for action. Where there is an issue also lies the capacity for growth. We are all connected in ways we don’t fully understand, and I hold my arms out to you in solidarity. Let’s lift ourselves and one another into a state of well-being, health, and peace.

If you can do that with just one small thing, why wouldn’t you?

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