Hopefully you have been writing down your responses to the questions we challenged you to answer previously on how to make a difference and have fun here. Remember, while we are going to be sharing ideas on how to make a difference and have fun, ultimately the best plan is one that you tweak and align with who you are, your values, and what really gets you excited and turned on! (Yep… I said turned on, as in fired up… energized!)
Making a Difference in Person
Let’s talk about how you can make a difference in person. Summer is a great time to get out of your rut and out into the world. No excuses about it being too cold or too rainy (Unless you are part of our Aussie crew- shout out to the readers on the other side of the world!) If your private practice is feeling a little “sluggish” this summer you may have extra time to be out in the world. AND… if your practice is NOT sluggish this summer- you may need to get outside and find some balance to feed your soul!
Grab Your List of Whats
Now it is time to take out that list of what is getting you fired up right now and how you’d really like to spend your summer. For me, I have realized that I have been incredibly drawn to more laughter, more quiet time in nature, and getting more mastery over the capabilities of my body. AKA- I have been completely inspired with working on handstands, headstands, and other silly inversions! I want to be outside in the beauty of the world more, and I want to be more playful! (Kelly here - just give me some skates or my hiking shoes and I am happy!)
Grab Your List of Whys
Now explore your why and keep that front and center. It can be easy to get lost in this process and it is important to bring the two together. As we talked about previously- the why for Kelly and I aligned and was all about destigmatizing mental health inside and outside of the mental health community, tying in the mind/body, triggering transformational conversations, etc.
Talk It Out
To be honest, saying all of this out loud felt REALLY uncomfortable when Kelly and I sat down to talk about summer. I know many of you do not have someone in your life that you can talk about your business with in a way that is inspiring. It is a POWERFUL thing to have people in your life that can think out loud and be creative with you!
I told Kelly what I was excited about, what felt fun to me thinking that there wasn’t really a way to tie this back into the “why.” And yet, she was able to quickly see how easy it would be to tie everything together. To take what I am already enjoying personally and create opportunities within that.
Educating and Speaking
There are many ways that you can have fun educating this summer! As professional therapists, we often think big about how to speak and educate- and that is GREAT! But, sometimes opportunities can come from small conversations. Here are some fun ways that you could help educate this summer:
Get comfortable talking about what you do as a therapist when you meet people. Find FUN ways to set necessary boundaries with humor and tact.
Wear shirts, hats, or carry a bag that ask deeper questions, reference your work, or provide education.
Make a sign or wear a t-shirt that educates if you go to a rally.
If you are bringing hostess gifts or birthday gifts to parties- consider something that aligns with the person AND that is related to your why, For example, you could get a Buddha Board as a gift and make a little note about the power of meditation and creativity in the card.
If you are going to a training this summer, be ready to ask questions. If you are shy about raising your hand, bring 3x5 cards and write them down and drop them with the speaker during a break.
Find and attend a fun meetup on Meetup.com
Host a summer BBQ or Party and make it mental health themed- ask people to make or wear t-shirts focused on your theme
Lead a challenge with friends and/or colleagues focused on meditation, gratitude, togetherness, fun, fitness, etc.
Sign up for a big event race, retreat, run, walk, hike, yoga… that aligns with your fun and why- be ready to talk about not just what you signed up for but WHY! You can also fundraise one of these events and donate the money to a charity that is important to you.
Interview a friend or colleague who inspires you on one of these subjects with your phone or on Facebook Live. Keep it fun and casual and do NOT stress over it!
How I Will Be Doing This
This summer I have committed to wearing provocative shirts to the gym and out into the world. No! Not that kind of provocative! I will be focused on clothing that provides education and starts conversations with people in the world. I will give myself opportunities to provide support and education with my community out in nature while running, at the gym, and to have deeper conversations with friends. I will also be focused on actually documenting some of this silliness so I can use what I do in the “online” world- two birds one stone! Here are a few of the shirts I will be wearing out in the world to start conversations!
It will also be an opportunity share about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide, and suicide prevention- which we are really excited about!
What would you add to our list? Share below and together let’s develop ways of bringing mental health awareness to the forefront beyond our private practices.