How Members Practice Wellness

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"Wellness" is a relatively new word in the field of mental health Clubhouses like Seacoast Pathways. In its simplest meaning, "Wellness" is a label that defines experiencing the many joys life offers. Was that called something else before? 

At our Clubhouse, we encourage all our members to focus on the many positive joys. It is a powerful alternative to the negative. It's not always easy to flip that switch from --- to +++ however. So how is it done?

The answer is "Mindfulness," yet another label. Being mindful that one is doing or partaking in a particularly relaxing or joyful experience is the key. For example, "I want to take a walk - I need to get out of here." Okay, simple enough. But taking a walk involves so much more than just changing your scene. It can change your outlook or mood if you open that door. One can always take a walk and still brood or worry. The trick is to open all your senses during your walk and take notice of all the little or large things that appear beautiful. A bird's chirp can be heard as a "hello" as you walk. This writer confesses that he talks to the squirrels he confronts. There are literally hundreds of things you can experience on a walk that can improve your mood. You just have to be "mindful" of them, look for them, and acknowledge them.

Being "mindful" is simply being in the present as fully as possible and also realizing and acknowledging to yourself that whatever pleasant event you are doing is important to your mood and recovery. Don't just "make an omelette." Become a master chef of competence and ingredients. Your kitchen is like a treasure trove for what can go into that creation. Spice it up. Get creative. Celebrate the chicken and the egg and don't worry about "which came first."

The more we really get deep into the things we like to do, the more we are living happily - no matter what ails us!

Seacoast Pathways is a free, non-clinical mental health recovery "Clubhouse" for adults with mental health challenges in Portsmouth. For more info call 603-812-9031 or email seacoastpathways@gmail.com

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