Our brain is continually growing and changing well into our nineties. Getting better at looking for, savoring, and sharing good experiences inclines your mind in that direction. Research has found that keeping a gratitude journal or thinking of 3 good things that happened each day forces you to scan for the positives.
Prior to the pandemic, one in 5 adults and children struggled with a mental health issue. That number is now one in 4. Whether you have kids or are around them, this is the perfect time to have conversations about mental health. It is all of our jobs to create a safety zone where kids feel safe to talk about their feelings and emotions.
It’s time to hug your monster. When we have uncomfortable feelings and emotions, it’s tempting to try to push them away. Unfortunately, this just increases the intensity and duration with which we feel them. We use all of our mental energy trying not to feel them, which only makes us feel them more.
In many ways, it feels like our journey is just getting started, but I am so hopeful for Evan’s future. I am also incredibly proud of the fact that he still asks me to share his story. He understands the shame and stigma attached to mental illness and Autism and wants to help change that. As a mom, this is my proudest accomplishment.
Raising a child with mental illness and Autism has been my resilience-building breeding ground. We began therapy when Evan was just 11-months old, and he has been in one form of therapy or another ever since. The lessons we have learned from countless therapists have been invaluable.