As we enter July, we are also entering the midpoint of the year. This is a month associated with long, hot summer days, more time outside, and an abundance of time with family due to holidays and vacations. Whether or not July is one of your favorite months, there are still plenty of things worth celebrating this month.
Despite popular common misconceptions, you don't have to wait for a birthday, the weekend, or even well-known commercial holidays to have something worth celebrating. There is something to celebrate every day if you stop to look for one. Learning to celebrate the little things, including even the lesser-known holidays, can increase your sense of gratitude and dramatically improve overall mental health.
The month of July happens to be packed full of holidays and observances worth learning about and enjoying.
July 1 is National Joke Day. As the famous phrase goes, laughter really is the best medicine. Humor can improve your own mood as well as the mood of those around you. Laughing even releases endorphins inside the brain, causing a sense of euphoria.
Sometimes a simple joke is all your need to brighten someone's day. It can bring about levity and improve your mental health. Whether you are into puns, knock-knock jokes, one-liners, or stand-up comedy, take the time to observe this day by bringing laughter to those around you.
The 4th of July is often associated with cookouts, boat rides, and fireworks, but it's also a lot more than that. It's a day meant to celebrate our great nation and the hard work and sacrifices others have put in to protect our freedom. The freedom to live our lives as we choose is something that people in many other countries don't get to enjoy and we should be very grateful for the opportunities we have. It's also worth celebrating! As you enjoy this fun holiday in whatever way you choose, take the time to appreciate your freedom.
Anyone can experience loneliness. While it is typically associated with people who live alone or are more isolated, it can happen to even those who seem to have a lot of friends. Loneliness can be a detriment to mental health and can lead to problems like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. This day provides a chance to check in on the people in your life that you think may be struggling with loneliness and offer your support.
It may also be a good opportunity to stop by a nursing home local to you. Many of the elderly living in nursing homes do not have anyone to visit them and their only socialization comes from their caregivers and other residents. Consider reaching out to a nursing home's staff and offering to volunteer or simply spend some time sitting with a resident and talking with them. While it may seem like a small thing, it can make a huge difference in their life.
Because we live in a society that teaches us we always need the next new gadget or to get in on the newest trend, it's easy to forget the many benefits of simplicity. Simplicity is the opposite of overwhelm and chaos.
Simplicity can start in your home by getting rid of what you don't really need. Simple living can reduce stress and increase gratitude by making it easier for you to focus on what you do have instead of what you don't.
If you're not sure how to begin simple living, start by cleaning out your closet, taking out the clothes that don't fit or that you no longer wear, and donating them to charity. Not only will this bring you a sense of fulfillment but it will benefit someone else of lesser fortune. It will also bring simplicity to your morning routine when you have fewer options when getting dressed in the morning.
This is also a great day to remember to acknowledge the beauty in the little things of life. For example, the sound of a bird chirping, the smell of your coffee in the morning, or the beauty of a sunset.
Sometimes all a person needs is a listening ear so that they feel acknowledged and understood. While we're taught to listen at a young age, it can be easy to forget to actually slow down and truly be present during our conversations. On this day, take the time to put your phone down and be fully present in your interactions with others.
Taking the time to celebrate the smaller holidays and observances in life is great for your mental health. Not only does it give you something to look forward to, it also serves as a reminder that there is always something worth celebrating if you know where to look. You don't have to wait for the big commercial holidays to celebrate. The month of July has several special observances, some of which you might not know about. For example, there is National Cheer Up the Lonely Day, National Simplicity Day, and National Listening Day. Take the time to acknowledge these observances this month. At SokyaHealth, we have helped countless clients achieve better mental health and we want to help you too, starting today. Call our team at (866) 657-6592 to learn more about the different types of mental health and coaching services we provide.