Can you believe that August is already almost over? Soon, yellow school buses will be everywhere again! In August, you can celebrate just about anything you wish. Whether it’s International Orangutan Day, World Honey Bee Day, International Homeless Animals Day, World Mosquito Day, National Senior Citizens Day, Internet Self-Care Day, National Spumoni Day, National Tooth Fairy Day, and so many others!
Hi Friends,
As promised, our mental health challenge continues, and this month we’ll be sharing more tips, recommendations, inspirations, stories, and quotes for you to enjoy! We’d love for you to pick out one of the following areas and practice it. Practice makes perfect after all, and whatever your goal may be, we want to help you succeed! Learning, growing, and succeeding is all about the expansion of your mind, so let’s do it together!

Evangelical pastor Charles Swindoll says: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Live today with a different attitude– perhaps one that says that anything is possible! Will you win the lottery? Will you meet the tooth fairy? Will you be promoted at work? Make it your day for a whole day! Live as if your wildest dreams could come true, and imagine that anything is possible. Don’t let anyone or anything spoil your good mood. It’s your day, and you deserve to live it to the fullest. Remember that anything is possible today, say it to yourself often, and experience the thrill that ensues!
UglyDolls is more than just a movie for kids! Children’s movies often have so many cool and inspirational messages. Adults create such beautiful imaginary worlds for their little ones, as opposed to so much of the darkness and violence present in films marketed toward adults. At times, especially when the real world feels dark, I watch kids’ movies to make me feel better. Watching seemingly unrealistic happy endings helps me cope with the stress of reality. In their simplest form, children's movies can help kids and adults alike escape the ups and downs of everyday life with their inspiring and uplifting messages!
Life can be stressful, so de-stress by watching a movie made for kids! There are so many great children’s films out there. Loosen up and connect with your inner kid! Your adult problems can wait for a little while, and who knows– maybe they won’t feel as scary when you relax and enjoy the kinds of happy endings that kids’ films can provide!
Seneca, a Stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome, once said that “true happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” Sounds to me like Seneca knew the value of gratitude!
Spend five minutes at the end of the day writing down what you are grateful for. Gratitude amplifies the positive things, people, and experiences in your life, and reminds you that you are blessed!
U is for UGLY
Positive psychology, affirmations, and hundreds of books tell us how to refocus our thinking to become more positive. The process of becoming positive can be intimidating. When I was starting out armed with Louise Hay's book, “You Can Heal Your Life,” it was very hard to say to myself that I love myself. In fact, when I first started saying it, I felt inner resistance. There were many things I didn’t like about myself, so saying to myself, “I love you,” could sometimes feel impossible. Later though, I came across further reading that made it clear that it’s alright to acknowledge what you don’t necessarily like about yourself, and to face your “enemy” head on. Instead of saying, “I love you,” I learned to say, “I am beginning to love you,” and at other times, “I want to love you.” Changing my affirmations was a great help for me, and with time it became much easier and more natural to say “I love you” to myself, without creating any kind of inner resistance to the thought.
What is your “ugly” list of qualities that you don’t love about yourself, or of “ugly” things you’re trying to ignore in your life? Instead of pretending that you “love” everything, look at the list of things you dislike and try to create affirmations that lead you in the right direction. Positive psychology is not about lying to yourself or ignoring real issues. Instead, it’s about facing every aspect of yourself and your life and learning to love the complete package. Of course, it may be difficult to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. Adding, “I want to...” or “I am beginning to...” to your affirmations can be like a kind of training wheels in this case. Examples of training wheel affirmations are: “I want to love myself,” “I am beginning to appreciate my body,” “I want to be financially secure,” “I want to deserve love,” “I am beginning to feel worthy of success,” “I am beginning to feel happier,” etc. Rewriting your affirmations and then using them can be a very effective tool on your journey toward greater happiness!
In her article, “The Correlation Between Spirituality and Happiness,” Karson McGinley writes: “Since spirituality is so deeply rooted in providing meaning, it is a direct access point for greater happiness.” Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, as well as recognizing that what connects you to a higher power also connects you to those around you. Spirituality brings a sense of meaning to a chaotic world. Strengthening your spiritual muscle is an important way of bringing about a greater sense of happiness in your life, and there are many ways to go about this.
In her book “Jesus Calling”, Sarah Young writes daily messages for every day of the year inspired by themes and passages from the Bible. This book found me in a Thrift Store one day, and since then has provided me with positive daily messages that instill hope in me.
As your mental health challenge, you could read passages from “Jesus Calling” by Sara Young. Beautiful language in this book will enrich your daily routine and help you feel at peace. Or you could browse the spirituality section in the library or a bookstore, and see what book is calling on you personally!
T is for TEATIME
Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. Teatime is still popular in some countries. My mom used to serve me and my sister tea after school, and we talked about anything and everything during these periods of bonding and relaxation. I still love tea to this day, and I love to read while drinking mint or some other type of tea. It greatly relaxes me, as well as offering many other benefits, such as soothing indigestion. Teatime used to be a fancy practice in the early 1900s, but today it can be as simple, or as complicated as you wish to make it!
Make yourself a cup of tea – hot or iced. Which tea seems best for you? You may need to look up different types of teas and see which one is the most beneficial. Different teas may help with different symptoms or ailments. With so many choices out there, you really can’t go wrong. You could try reading during this time, or simply people watching, or even breathing exercises - whatever makes you feel the most relaxed. It is your teatime, after all!
If you have a question that you want answered by a mental health practitioner on our podcast, please submit it to or visit this link
HWS Founder,
Image item
Alicja Matusiak LISW-S, PMHNP-BC is a founder of Holistic Wellness Solutions. She has been interested in studying the mysteries of the human mind ever since her father was diagnosed with depression. She acquired a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in nursing, and committed herself to serve others who struggle with mental health issues.