When I think of hats, my mind immediately goes to the comfort a beanie provides me on a cold fall night. Extra comfort and cute points if that beanie has a pouf ball on top. Depending on who you are and what your life experience is, you may conjure up a different image in your head when I say, “hat”. For the purpose of this metaphor though, I am referring to the roles we have in our lives. For example, my current hat at Promise is a mental health therapist; I also wear the hat of a girlfriend, a friend, an aunt, a sister, a daughter, an adjunct professor and an artist. I invite you to take inventory of the different roles you have in your life. No really, right now, pause your reading and count on your fingers the different roles you have.
Are you surprised at the number of hats you wear? According to a 2021 study by, OPPO, a smartphone company, the average person has seven roles at any given time. We may not always wear all of these hats at once. Some we put on at different times of day or set aside for a bit, others we take off and decide it is not for us. Every hat we put on represents a different part of us. For example, I did not have much of a choice in being born a sister. As I got older however, I chose to embrace that role and I continue to try my best to be the sister my sisters need. That role to me represents the silliest part of me. My sisters and I are all goof balls through and through. My role as a therapist? Being a mirror and a guide for people to discover and utilize their intelligent, creative, and relational selves.
The hats we choose to wear give others a peek into what we value, who we value, and how we value ourselves.
Mental health month may seem daunting if you know nothing about it or don’t know where to start. I encourage you to start by taking inventory. Checking in with the hats we wear enables us to pause, contemplate, and prioritize. Chances are that every role in our life has a ton of tasks and duties to help us fulfill that role. If you are a parent, you are also the cleanup fairy, the schedule manager, the cook, the personal chauffeur, the tutor, and the dramatic bedtime story reenactor. If we add up all those tasks from all those roles… phew! It is no wonder many of us feel consistently pulled in every direction. It isn’t until we intentionally bring our roles and their tasks to the forefront of our minds, or onto a piece of paper, that we realize we do a lot more than we might think.
In the coming weeks, our mental health team will help you go beyond the checking in phase and give you tips and ways to manage the hats you wear to help you take care of yourself while wearing your different hats.
For now, take a week to pause and look around at the array of hats you have managed to collect. Notice what you feel and the thoughts that come to mind when you think of all of the hats you wear. Are you proud of them? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Why did you choose them? What does each hat say about you and what do you believe about yourself when you wear that hat? Just notice.