Although I have a particular dislike for clichés or pat answers, many of the short sayings of my grandmother often come back to me as effective guidance. One of her frequent reminders was that taking time to fix a stitch when it first unravels is a good idea. “A stitch in time saves nine.”
While the art of stitching may not be a familiar part of life today, the art and concept of keeping something together rather than automatically throwing it away when it starts to come apart may well be revisited, especially in terms of health.
Our health care system would be in far better shape if preventive medical care was given as much support as fixing things that are broken. This idea came to my mind some years ago as I was paying for a massage at a spa in Montreal. The Canadian in front of me simply used her employee benefit plan for receiving massage therapy that was considered to be a part of health care. “A stitch in time” can look a lot like preventing snags in the first place.
Mental health and wellness issues may be easier to neglect as more visible problems at hand demand our attention, but when our emotional health begins to unravel, the rest is soon to follow. It is no secret that depression and anxiety are at the root of, or are at least contributing factors, for many medical issues that present in our bodies. Treating our physical symptoms may bring relief; treating underlying causes may bring cure.
Mental health and wellness is not just about identifying pathology. Wellness begins with habits of daily thinking and interacting within our environments and relationships. Emotional wellness is about understanding our unique history and challenges and identifying our resources to cope and thrive. While medication has its place in treatment, gaining insight and understanding is a slower process of finding the source of the unraveling and “stitching” things back together, maybe even creating a whole new pattern. Is it time to address an unraveling in your life?