I once joined a ‘Couch to 10k’ running programme. I ran for one minute in the first week, two minutes in the next week, and so on. If you want to take up running, you need to build up slowly, and keep at it. Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon after only two weeks of training!
Yet, what seems so obvious to us when it comes to physical health, we seem to sometimes forget when it comes to mental health. You see, when we experience trauma, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown, a redundancy, or a diagnosis of a serious illness, it is like we are asking our mind to suddenly run a full marathon. We should not be surprised to find ourselves struggling to cope!
But just as it is possible to improve our physical health – by eating well, exercising regularly, drinking less, and resting well – it is possible to train the mind to become more resilient. We might try meditation (such as prayer), seek supportive fellowship (such as the church's drop-in or the toddler group), or commit to spending time in nature. These kinds of exercises are like vitamins for the mind.
Lastly, we should not forget about our spiritual health. A varied diet of spiritual wellbeing may contain some of the following: Regularly praying, reading the Bible, going to church, nurturing greater love and generosity towards others, serving others, and sharing what we have discovered about God with others. These kinds of spiritual exercises give God the opportunity to transform us by his grace. Jesus said: "I have come so that people may have life, life in its fullest measure."
Adopting a healthy ‘rhythm of life’ may take some time and effort, but it will proof to be invaluable when we are faced with a sudden marathon of physical illness, mental trauma, or a crisis of faith.
May God grant you wholeness of body, mind, and spirit.
Love and prayers