Ok. Here’s something we need to get understanding of right now… There is a big difference between ‘mental illness’ and ‘mental health’. Some of us may have periods of mental illness but we all have mental health.
We all have mental health and we are all SOMEWHERE on this continuum.
Depression, for example, is described as “an extended period of low mental health (longer than 2 weeks).” I have chosen to designate this as spending an extended period of time between 0-20.
I spent too much of my life somewhere in that zone. At my lowest I was probably at about a 2. When I finally got out of that bracket, when I got to let’s say, 25, I wasn’t ‘depressed’ anymore, but I still wasn’t ‘well’. 25 isn’t a great place to be, even if you’re not ‘depressed’. 35 is better than 25, but I don’t want to spend my life at 35 either, or 45 for that matter…
And that’s the point, I don’t care if you’re at 5, if you’re ‘depressed’, at 25, 50 or 60… Our goal is very simple; small, consistent steps up that continuum towards a mentally healthier you and all the benefits that provides.
Do I need to list them for you? The further up the continuum you go the less you get physically ill, the more productive you are, the better parent you are, the better partner, the better friend… You come up with better ideas, are more creative, make better decisions and life just generally flows more easily.
So that’s what we’re here to do… Move ourselves up the continuum. I tend to use the gym analogy a lot because people understand it. If we look at the Physical Health Continuum in the same way, we don’t just walk into the gym and start bench pressing 300kg today do we? We’re new at this, we’re not all that strong (yet), so we work with smaller weights, every day, slowly building up more and more strength over the days, weeks, months years, before we become strong(wo)men.
That’s the same for our mental health. That’s what the ‘Basic Reset’ is, the first few months at the gym, learning the basics, slowly building up some fundamentals that will allow us to be able to bench press any weight we want in the future.
I’m all about the 0.1%.
How can I be 0.1% better today? Move up that continuum 0.1%. What decisions do I need to make? What do I need to learn?
Just do 0.1% and in 100 days you could be 10 points better. The good news is that at the bottom end of the continuum the points are actually easier to achieve. It’s easier to get from 10 to 20 than it is from 80 to 90. So 0.1% per day is absolutely achievable for you.
One. Small. Step. At. A. Time.
I’ve discuss this continuum model with a close friend who also experiences the very highs and very lows of life. It a great tool to help people recognise where they are at, and what’s available to help them get going.