Multifamily Mindfulness

By Chris Arnold

Mental Health Awareness

In case you haven’t heard, May is Mental Health Awareness Month! A month of recognition for 365 days of real impact for many people.

Depending on who I ask, mental health means so many things to different people: work/life balance, self-care, depression management, supporting loved ones, and so on.

In light of this month’s official designation, I wanted to wrap up May with some of my favorite, most reflective, and more actionable mindfulness reminders.

If you find these helpful or enlightening, please share this with one of your colleagues after you read them for yourself!

Let’s jump in.

Remember Your Why

These days, I feel like Sahil Bloom is channeling some of the best deep reminder content that we could all stand to pay a little more attention to.

In a recent post, he suggested that…

“20 years from now, the only people who will remember that you worked late are your kids.” –Sahil Bloom

He goes on to challenge the notion of work worship and suggests that a thoughtful design of our days must be at the tip of the iceberg for our own wellness, but also our family’s.

Two experiences this month hammered this home for me:

  • In doing podcast prep with a male guest, I heard a story that revolved around a memory of his dad. Specifically, that “he was never there in the years I needed him the most.” I hurt for him.
  • My own son, now 2 years old, is starting to tell me things like, “No daddy go work” on a more regular basis as he grasps where I head each day.

To be clear, I strongly believe there is a deep strength in character to be dedicated and passionate about one’s work. Having drive is a great trait. But where we go wrong is to lose sight of what it’s all for.

Work for work's sake is broken.

We can be talented and wise participants in our industry while also challenging ourselves to remember what it’s all for, too.

Whatever that is for you, keep the reminder close.

Keep it vivid.

Mental health 1

Stop Routine Roulette

The over-routining of our lives has finally hit a level in the stratosphere that even I couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.

That’s hard to say from a habitual routine guy. 😊

Everyone seems to have a routine (or automation) for all things: morning, evening, kids, food, writing, thinking, laughing, crying, …

If you’re anything like me, you’ve bought into many of those routines over the years. But they probably make you feel bad about yourself after enough time passes.

That being said, I do think routines can be a cheat code to life. Being good every day is far better than being great once a month.

Think about it.

Where can you plug in simple routines to optimize your life so that you can live more happily, simply, and stress-free?

Here are a few simple tips that have helped me most in 2023 so far:

  • Block off the calendar at the same time(s) every day to get specific tasks done without interruption.
  • Listen to when your body responds best to exercise and do it at that time of day as much as possible.
  • If you have kids, flip your brain switch from work to home before you see them at the end of the day.

Routines don’t have to be complex.

In fact, I think the less complicated we make them, the happier we become.

Mental health 2

Time Waits for … No One

In my mind’s eye, I was a kid on a road trip with my family last week, strolling through college with my crew a few days ago, and just pulling up to Denver in a Uhaul yesterday.

But my dad was right all along: The only constant is change. Time keeps moving, and the best days of our lives are right now.

Even if they feel like the worst days right now, time usually shows us that they are meant to teach us an entirely different lesson than the one we thought we were being taught.

“It’s fun to think about the future. It’s easy to ruminate on the past. It’s harder to put that energy into what’s in front of us at this moment.” –Ryan Holiday from The Daily Stoic

I see a lot of colleagues striving and stretching to be something in the future. Always looking for the next thing. Maybe even pretending to be something they aren’t or just worried that they’ll always be an imposter.

This is a great moment in time to just sit with what you already have.

Your friends, your family, your pets, whatever it is. It’s enough. It really is. The more we stress about the next accomplishment (and then the one after that, by the way), the faster time passes us by.

Just look at that clock on the wall. There’s time, waving back at you.

Self-Care (and Others-Care)

I’ve been in and out of counseling most of my adult life. It started while my first marriage was falling apart and has continued in some capacity off and on for over a decade. (Happy to share more if you are facing something similar.)

After those early adult experiences, I’ve become very pro-counseling for literally everyone I speak to. Being cared for, challenged, and questioned by an objective party is something I highly recommend.

Companies like BetterHelp make it so, so easy to find someone to speak with really quickly. If you feel the urge, just do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Beyond self-care (which may include counseling, fitness, bodywork, meditation, etc.), there’s also something I like to think of called others-care.

Others, meaning that friend, colleague, or family member who needs love, too.

Personally, I’ve found that simply being there for someone else can make me feel happier, too. That may sound a little selfish, but I think part of our reason for being alive is to help others.

Reach out, be a friend, and, if nothing else, just a listening ear without the need to solve the problems you hear. I promise you’ll learn more about yourself and be a light that someone else needs, too.

Multifamily Resources

Some of my favorite, most positive resources around mindfulness, mental health, self-care, and related topics from within the industry comes from:

  • Barbara Savona - one of the most humble and caring personalities I’ve been fortunate to meet in the last year. She always shares great perspectives on life and business in multifamily.
  • Grady Newman - one of the few who is vocal about mindfulness, alternative food exploration, and meditation. He routinely shares personal stories and urges the industry to skip the party and find the personal recharge.
  • Matt Verderamo - one of the only (if not the only) leaders in the AEC space that literally has a platform built entirely on becoming a more balanced professional. Check out his posts and newsletter for more.

Who else should we be paying attention to for thoughtful reminders?

Drop me a note and let me know!

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