Did You Ever go to Camp as a Kid?
When my older kids were little I took them to the same camp I went to as a child. In the giant field beside the cabins there is a really cool contraption – a giant square board, supported in the centre by a spring. A pile of kids climb on and try to balance the board, making small adjustments in their placement so that it’s balanced, otherwise they tip and fall.
I use this example in many of my therapy sessions as a useful metaphor for mental health.
When stuff goes wrong in life, one corner of the board is heavily weighed down. You need to make lots of little adjustments in order to help the board be more balanced. One thing alone will not do it, however, but if you add up lots of little things – connection with a loved one or two, eating healthy, exercising, therapy, watching something funny, meditating, getting good sleep, self-care – then the board is much more balanced.
This time now has never been more challenging for our mental health, and stress and anxiety has never been higher or affected so many. When your balancing board starts to feel too heavy on one side, remember to add lots of little things on the other sides to help prop up the heavy stuff!
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