One of my specialties and passions is mental health. My social work and clinical background has taught me a lot about how important mental health is in terms of our overall health and quality of life. As I age I am learning what’s important to me, personally, as well.
I advocate for a healthy lifestyle – both physical and mental. We have been inundated with advice, research and recommendations on how to keep ourselves physically fit and well. We are now starting to learn more about the importance of a healthy and happy mind.
Over the last few years I have noticed I am drawn to bodies of water.
I realize that my attraction to water is not new. As I age I am learning more about myself and what I need for positive and vital aging.
As a young child I enjoyed swimming in pools and small lakes. Both sets of grandparents had lakefront cottages. I taught myself how to swim. I enjoyed jumping off the dock, snorkeling and rowing across the lake to the small convenience store. Fishing with my grandfather was always special.
We lived on a house on the water when I was growing up. I spent many hours walking up and down the shore of the river. I took canoe rides against and with the current. I always felt good when I was around water (except for that one time I got heat stroke.)
Nowadays I enjoy taking a walk through my neighbourhood. I make sure my route includes the path near one of the small man-made lakes. I check out the birds and plants that inhabit the water and surrounding areas. I feel at peace when I am near the water. It’s very good for my mental health.
It’s no surprise that blue is my favourite colour.
Sometimes I use my sound machine to help soothe myself to sleep. My favourite sound is the waterfall.
One of my favourite kinds of vacations is taking a cruise. A cruise ship is always in the water. I am surrounded by beautiful ocean scenes. The fresh, moist salty air is refreshing. There are pools and hot tubs on the ship. The ports have beautiful beaches. A cruise ship offers the ultimate experience for those who love to be near the water.
Knowing what helps keep our minds healthy is an important part of self care. For me, being in, on or near water rejuvenates and nourishes my soul.
Angela G. Gentile MSW, RSW