Dear Reader, Please read this post with a sense of humor.

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Apparently May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I am feeling very aware of my mental health (cue laugh track). Please read this post with levity and a sense of humor.

 

It’s hard to stop and consider personal mental health when you’re busy trying to put food on the table during these pandemic-filled, customer servicing, exhausting days. If you’re one of the many many people who work food service, hospitality, or any type of customer service job, I cannot express my gratitude and reverence for you. I can’t necessarily pay you or deliver specialty candy/candles, but I can help you find books (whether it be sweets cookbooks, candle making, workersrights), that cost nothing at the door. It’s one of many reasons I love working at TADL.

 

TADL has a Mental Health page with a long list of services that you can use when your day is just a bit much or when you’re ready to reach out for consistent care. Did you also know that the library offers health care kits? There is one specifically for mental health, and it includes a book, a CD, and other reading material for ideas that might work for you. Here is the link to the Mental Health Care Kit. You can also use the search terms “health care kits” to see the whole list.

 

Since we have less societal power than companies in our daily lives, I like to think about what I can do. This is where mental health gets easier, in my opinion. It’s like…YES we are stressed about many things and about none of those things can we control. So when we can’t control anything happening to us or around us (or even far away from us), we look at what we can handle. Can I do something that brings me joy for five minutes every day?

a cute bird yelling out of a hole in a tree

“But Kim!” I hear you say. “What if my joy comes from screaming loudly?”

Well, my dear reader, I think you should do just that (just not in the library please). Let your housemates know that you’re about to conduct a safe science experiment that involves loud noises. Get yourself somewhere with space (again, not the library), and let it out. Or if you can’t access space, you can (still) inform your housemates that you are about to conduct an experiment that involves loud noises. Get yourself somewhere (like a garage, bathroom, secluded path in the woods, or into a pillow), and roar. Or if you’re like me, and you simply cannot enjoy your day without looking at bugs and critters; look out your window or just breathe the fresh air while basking in the natural world around you. Five minutes is the start in reclaiming our day. We can worry about the rest of the day later. And also I’m a librarian, so like many other public service professions, we are constantly striving to practice what we preach. But hey! It’s the trying that matters. 🙂

 

Here is the full list of fun books related to mental health in varying levels of humor and seriousness for you to meander through:

Life in the Sloth Lane

Breathe Like a Bear

Be Mindful and Stress Less

30 Things I Love About Myself

Self Compassion for Parents

Sit Down to Rise Up

Radical Compassion

The Body is Not an Apology

Continuum

How to Be You

You’re a Miracle (And a Pain in the Ass)

Every Body Shines

Cheeky

You Matter

Wintering

 

My fantastic coworker wanted me to remind you about the lovely relaxing video below and said, “Don’t forget to take a bit of time out of your day to take care of you. Relax with some guided meditation to help handle stress and anxiety.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Tv7FuvNJ8)

Take it easy, would ya?