Caring for Our Mental Health Is Caring for God’s Creation
Commentary by Matthew Kincanon
Mental health is a subject that faces a lot of stigma and shame in society. Addressing it and seeking support involves being vulnerable and open about what’s going on in our minds, which is not easy to do. However, learning to care for our mental health is part of caring for God’s Creation.
When we think of caring for God’s Creation, we often think of protecting the environment and wildlife conservation. However, we as people are part of God’s creation, too, as described in Isaiah 64:8, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
As part of God’s Creation, we should remember to take care of ourselves as well as the world and those around us, and not neglect what our bodies and spirits need to stay healthy. Respecting God’s Creation means we respect ourselves, too.
One of the ways we can do that is take care of our mental health and well-being. Addressing mental health has been gaining more attention recently, which gives an opportunity to learn ways we can care for ourselves as God’s work and support.
Some of the ways we can take care of ourselves that can refresh and renew our minds, bodies and spirits include the following:
- Seeing a therapist
- Nourishing your body with the nutrition it needs through healthy food, water, vitamin and herbal supplements, and anything else it needs
- Limiting the amount of social media and blue screens we expose ourselves to
- Setting boundaries
- Finding healthy ways to relax and destress
- Practicing mindfulness such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga
- Spending time outside
- Getting enough sleep
- Doing things you enjoy
- Journaling and reflecting
- Connecting with friends, family and the community
There are plenty of other things we can do to support our mental health as well. It’s a matter of individuals finding what will help them the most. Everyone has their own unique challenges when it comes to mental health and working on it takes time, patience and figuring out what works and doesn’t work. It’s a nonlinear path that will have its ups and downs as they work on what’s going on in our minds.
Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, it can be difficult for us to acknowledge that what’s going on in our minds is not okay and we need to seek help for any mental health struggles we face. However, just like how we look to God for help and guidance when we face hardship, there’s no shame in looking to others for the same when it comes to mental health. Every one of us is part of God’s Creation, and we are here to not only care for those around us but ourselves as well.
Also, if you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988.
Matthew Kincanon is a former Digital Content Producer with a journalism and political science degree from Gonzaga University. His journalism experience includes the Gonzaga Bulletin, The Spokesman-Review, Art Chowder magazine and SpokaneFāVS. He said he is excited to be a freelancer at SpokaneFāVS because, as a Spokane native, he wants to learn more about the various religious communities and cultures in his hometown.