I recently took a brief break from emails and social media and I found that I was able to think more critically when not inundated with all of the spam mail, advertisements, and status updates. I was struck that we don’t really have a private life anymore, at least not one that we spend time growing and improving.
Our culture demands transparency and social sharing. This often leads us to compare ourselves to our social network friends. There used to be a time when we met in person with our friends and family and looked each other in the eye and discussed what we wanted out of life, what we needed to do to achieve that, and received wisdom from those who had gone before us. Don’t get me wrong, social media has its place and who doesn’t like to get all those Happy Birthday posts from your entire friend list?!
Author Gordon MacDonald wrote “Ordering Your Private World” where he identifies your inward character as your private world. How can we really increase our wellness if we are so focused on everyone else’s status update? Our status updates tend to be the highlights of our life… what race we just completed, what fabulous meal we just devoured, what trip we just took, etc. Is that really wellness? We may think that those activities show wellness but I would contend that the private times with our family and friends really show how well we are.
If we are dissatisfied, fearful, lonely, argumentative, or just have trouble connecting with anyone on a deep level then we need to change something. I won’t pretend to know what each reader may be experiencing, but I challenge you to look at your own life and your own character to determine what you need to grow.
Social media can provide encouragement and can help you stay connected to people that live far away from you, but it also provides much distraction. We forget to look each other in the eye, go on a walk with your best friend, play a board game with your children, or simply hold your spouse’s hand while watching the sun set.
What are you willing to give up to reconnect with your friends, family, character, and private life?
Clubhouse Unit Leader Michael Koslow to hike Pacific Crest Trail and raise money for Thrive along the way.
(Hendersonville, NC – January, 2014) Thrive Executive Director Kristen Martin announced today that one of her staff members plans to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in April and raise money for Thrive Clubhouse with every mile walked. Michael Koslow, a Unit Leader at the Clubhouse, will begin his 2,633 mile thru-hike on April 29 and is seeking donations for each mile hiked. His goal is to raise $10,000 for the Clubhouse program, appealing to philanthropic organizations, hiking groups, and individuals personally touched by mental illness.
Thrive is a local nonprofit dedicated to helping adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses move from merely surviving to thriving. “Our programs enrich members’ lives as they develop the skills critical to becoming socially and vocationally integrated into society,” said Martin. “For an agency like ours hit hard by budget cuts in the past year, Michael’s fundraising effort is greatly appreciated.”
For many of the Thrive community, the Clubhouse plays a vital role in their lives. The Clubhouse demonstrates that people with mental illness can successfully participate in society through education, employment, and other social activities. The Clubhouse offers prevocational work-ordered day programs; social and recreational programming; holiday support; and individualized services to its members.
Tricia, a participant in the Clubhouse program, shares why it’s important to her to keep Thrive alive and thriving. “I began to have panic attacks and symptoms of bipolar disorder about 5 years ago. With the support of my family, the Thrive staff members were able to help me learn to socialize again and to learn what it takes for me to feel
healthy. I was my own worst enemy before I began here and now I want to be a role model for others that are just beginning their recovery journey.”
Individuals or organizations who are interested in contributing can make direct donations by check to Thrive, with the memo line “Thru-hike for Thrive.” To learn more information about this nonprofit or to make a general donation, please visit thrive4health.org or call 697-1581. You can also follow Michael’s journey on the Thrive Facebook page at thrive4health.
I need a vacation” is often the first statement out of our mouths when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. How do you deal with stress? Do you grab that extra bite of chocolate? Exercise? Hang out with a friend? Take medications? Have an alcoholic drink?
There are plenty of resources available to find ways to cope and manage stress. Some of them are healthy and some unhealthy. Moderation is key in all forms of managing stress. For example, eating a couple bite sized candy bars would be healthier than having an entire chocolate bar.
Continue reading “I need a vacation.”
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