Want to cook up good mental health AND good group health?

Feb 17, 2023

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott, 1868

Want to cook up good mental health AND good group health?  Use the same recipe!

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month at Connected Realities, we are thinking about the relationship between individual mental health and group health. Group effectiveness has long been tied to the mental health of individual group members. When people feel good and aren’t struggling daily with anxiety, depression, or other stressful mental challenges, they can show up, and show up well in groups! Good mental health isn’t just a precursor to good group health; it is also a model for good group health.

Building and sustaining individual wellness includes many of the same elements as strengthening and maintaining healthy groups and teams. Consider focusing on these ingredients as an individual and in the groups and teams you work with:

  • Affirm your strengths and unique value
  • Align your passions and your purpose
  • Set and keep boundaries
  • Establish a routine (where applicable) and stick to it
  • Pursue things that light you up
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Show yourself/yourselves compassion, gratitude, and grace
  • Find ways to have fun
  • Recognize the signs of fatigue and burn out
  • Rest BEFORE you burn out
  • Don’t forget to tend to the basics – food, water, movement/human, financial, and physical resources
  • Recognize that difficult emotions are often signs of things that need to be actively addressed
  • ^ Actively address difficult emotions ^
  • Celebrate successes – big and small

We’re not necessarily cooking separate dishes when it comes to individual mental health and group health. In fact, when we tend to one, we tend to the other. And remember, you don’t have to use all the ingredients at once! Pick one to focus on for now and incorporate others later. Before long, you’ll have a recipe that works for you and your team.

“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means, keep moving.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” — Fred Rogers