How do you feel about pumpkin spice?
It is a surprisingly divisive question. Some people simply love pumpkin spice season, indulging in lattes and doughnuts and even pancakes that feature the flavor. Other people truly hate the annual arrival of all things pumpkin spice, finding the taste and scent and overall prevalence of the flavor to be, well, distasteful.
For some reason, opinions about pumpkin spice tend to run hot. Those who love it really love it. Those who don’t really don’t. Whichever side a person is on, they are likely to state their position—and defend it passionately—without much provocation at all.
Of course, in the scheme of things, it hardly matters if you love or hate pumpkin spice.
We bring this up because it can sometimes seem like silly differences of opinion can get in the way of making personal choices related to your mental health. But just as the only real question about pumpkin spice is whether you enjoy it, the only question when it comes to activities to support your mental health is whether they work for you.
Let’s look at some examples of ways you might choose to support your mental health.
You Might Like Mindfulness
Mindfulness practice encourages us to focus on the present moment rather than allowing our thoughts to run off to the past to replay regrets or to the future to engender worries. It can be an effective way to address symptoms of disorders like depression or anxiety.
The standard version of mindfulness involves sitting quietly with your eyes closed focusing on the natural rhythm of your breathing. That works well for some people, but others find it difficult for one reason or another.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to engage with mindfulness. For example, yoga is arguably a kind of mindfulness that also gives your body something to do. The breathing and posing can provide the same sort of benefits as more passive mindfulness exercises.
Now, you could debate which is better—just like you can argue about pumpkin spice—but nothing is accomplished by doing so. The important thing is that your mindfulness practice supports your ongoing well-being.
You Might Like Journaling
Keeping a journal can be a good way to support your mental health. But the form of that journal is entirely up to you.
You might keep a gratitude journal so that you always have a reminder of good things when everything feels particularly hard. Or you might use your journal as a place to process your feelings or work through things you have talked about (or plan to talk about) with your therapist. Or you might explore your creative side in your journal with sketches or poems or what have you.
All of those things (and many more) are legitimate uses of your journal. The key is finding an approach to journaling that serves you well, without worrying about what anyone else might say about the process.
You Might Like Lazy (or Active) Days
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mental health is take a day off from work or other responsibilities to do something you really enjoy. What should it be? That, of course, is entirely up to you.
Maybe you just want to spend a lazy day reading a book or enjoying a favorite movie or working a jigsaw puzzle. You might even work in a nap on your restful day.
Alternately, you might want to turn your personal day into a personal adventure. You might take a daytrip or go on a hike or spend the day exploring a vibrant neighborhood you never have time to visit. And yes, you could even work in a nap if you are so inclined.
Both approaches can support your mental health by reducing your stress levels and giving you a chance to relax and recharge. Neither is necessarily better than the other.
Spice Your Mental Health Care to Taste
Long and short, our point is pretty simple. We all have different tastes. Some people love pumpkin spice and other people really, really don’t. And that is entirely appropriate
If you are struggling with a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or a trauma-based disorder, the most important thing is that you take steps to shore up your mental well-being. The exact nature of that shoring up is wholly up to you.
We Are Ready to Help
At Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs, we offer personalized mental health care because we understand that no two individuals are entirely alike. You can count on us for care grounded in evidence, experience, expertise, and a healthy helping of empathy. When you are ready to change the flavor of your days to something more to your taste, we are ready to help you pursue better mental health.