JOHN GARDNER’S TIPS FOR BUILDING UP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

October 11, 2021/ Ian Michna & Rob Fraebel/ VIDEOS/ Comments: 2

Phrases like “mental health,” “stress,” and “anxiety” sometimes feel like empty buzzwords that get thrown around too freely these days, but when you read into what people are actually talking about, you’ll realize we hear these words so often because so many people are dealing with real mental health issues and finally have a way to talk about it.

At this point in time, most of us have experienced some kind of stress-related episode, either first or second hand. It could stem from something as minuscule as losing your phone to something much more serious like the sudden loss of a loved one. Stress and anxiety have numerous causes and can manifest in many different ways, so our friend John Gardner came up with a few tips to help us all manage these moments a little more easily.

John is obviously not a doctor or certified expert, but he is someone that has been working on himself and is passionate about improving his own mental health and our community’s, too. These tips go hand in hand with This Too Shall Pass, a short documentary made by John and DC shoes, and “Deep Rest,” a zine made by John for Mental Health Awareness Day.

Hopefully tools and conversations like this can play a small part in breaking the cycle of losing skaters to self-harm and suicide.

Sparknotes From John

1. Just pause
Stop and try to feel what “it” is. Trying to figure out why you’re feeling how you’re feeling is sometimes the hardest part. The feeling has a message; it’s there for a reason.

2. Every feeling is temporary
When we’re happy, we’re like, “How can I make this feeling last forever?” But then when we’re sad, we’re like, “How can I make this feeling go away right away?” But they’re both very similar in the sense that they’re both temporary. Recognizing that both will pass is useful.

3. Breathe
How you breathe dictates how you feel. How you feel dictates how you breathe. Two inhalations with one extended exhalation is the quickest way to bring your body to a state of rest.

4. When in doubt, zoom out
Everyone is silently dealing with something you know nothing about. So, trying to be kind, always, offering help, whenever you can offer it, that’s most important.

5. Be gentle with yourself
“If I spoke to my friends the way that I speak to myself sometimes, how long would I have that friend for?”

6. Strengthen your mind
Whether it’s breathing or meditation or whatever suits your needs, doing whatever you can regularly to make sure your mind is sharp and strong will allow you to lift heavy weights of emotions.

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