We don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Finland. But seeing Meg’s awesome post about thankfulness and a discussion I had at work about what we can consider success made me think we should. Maybe not celebrate but be more aware of things to appreciate. Not take things granted, at least not things like mental health.
I work with mental health recoverers. At work I, a few other staff members and a few of our recovering members participated in the First Aid Course in Mental Health (only in Finnish) that is offered by the Finnish Association for Mental Health (FAMH). One of the core messages in taking care of your own mental health, according to the course, is to be able have a way to relax, let things go and to find enjoyment in the small things in life. For some it is to smell the forest after an Autumn rain, some go to a sauna and some do yoga.(Please find free mindfulness exercises in Finnish e.g. on FAMH’s webpage)
I drink tea.
I sneak in a bit of fresh air and few minutes of me-time in my work trip.
I love it, when my son explains that he saw a Tasmanian Devil outside of his daycare. He was serious about this.
It felt good to hear a student at work say she was able to finish her thesis because I went along to see her teacher. My work matters.
Last week I had a terrible cold. But then I realised it was the only cold I’ve had the whole Autumn. (It also gave me plenty of blogging time.)
I feel comfortable in our new home.
I haven’t actually achieved anything major. I haven’t been doing any major travelling for years, we don’t have a huge and fancy house and at times I feel utterly worn out by the full days and everything that needs to be taken care of. But it’s ok.
My life may not be grandiose but I think there is so much to enjoy. All the small and big things; I feel very privileged to have the family I have.
PS Did you know that you can get a similar health promoting effect by going on a virtual forest walk than you can by actually going to the forest (you know, lowered blood pressure, less stress hormones etc)? Perfect for the autumn rains! This actually has scientific support and is therefore promoted by the FAMH, who also offers you free opportunities for this on youtube. You can choose the season and the length of your virtual walk in the Finnish forest! Try it (no language skills needed)