Depressed woman

A Wellness Challenge for Our Community – The Shift Initiative

The Shift Initiative

Writer / Scott Fussell
Photography Provided

“Why am I so tired?”

“I can’t believe I just barked at my son like that. Why am I so edgy?”

“Only had my C game today. Hope it was enough for them to sign.”

“I’ll pick up something on the way home. They won’t miss me.”

“The money’s great, but there’s got to be something more.”

“I don’t understand why my daughter struggles. We’ve given her everything.”

“Set a goal. Stress. Achieve. Repeat. That’s what I do.”

“No way I’m going to make the game. He’ll understand. Always does.”

“Something’s missing. We aren’t as close as we used to be.”

“Great job out there, but early in the game you should’ve…”

“I just don’t get it. Why are they so much happier than me?”

If you’ve said, heard or felt any of these statements, you’re not alone. You just may not know it. We as a community are often hesitant to say these things out loud, or reflect on the short- and long-term impact. In communities like ours, many feel enormous pressure for friends, neighbors, fellow church members and coworkers to think we’ve got everything completely together. Smart, vibrant and entrepreneurial are three of the adjectives marketers use to describe our community. We’d love to add introspective, brave, authentic and connected to that list.

At The Shift Initiative, we’re built to shift the way people think, talk, act and care about mental health and wellness. What’s that look like for our community? What can you do right now? Here are 10 things you can do immediately to make the shift.

  • Embrace reality. Times, people and needs change. We can’t rely on what we’ve always done. Talk to your kids, loved ones and friends. Ask questions, listen actively, take a parenting or communications class, shift your approach and watch your relationships grow.
  • Maintain a team attitude. Our schools, local practices and area nonprofits all offer incredible resources. You’re not in this alone. Be brave enough to lean on their expertise.
  • Think like a multi-sport athlete. Wellness requires a multifaceted approach. Nourish your mind, body, spiritual and relational health.
  • Keep it simple. Ten minutes of yoga. Two minutes of breathing. Hydration. Rest. For some, it can be that simple. As Glennon Doyle says, “When feelings are big, think small.”
  • Get outside. Need to get grounded? Spend time outside. Visit a park. Take a hike. Literally lay on the ground. Seriously.
  • Get outside…of yourself. Fifty percent of Americans suffer from isolation and loneliness. What can you do to prevent it? Connect. Share. Serve. Listen.
  • Extend grace. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Choose kindness always.
  • Extend that same grace to yourself. Would you let someone talk to a loved one the way you sometimes talk to yourself? Absolutely not. Turn off the negative talk track that’s on a loop between your ears.
  • Shift your perspective. We have choices. Choose to see and say the greatness all around you.
  • Tell your story. Being honest with ourselves and being willing to share our stories is essential. We’ll never truly be “Stigma-Free Fishers” until I’m able to tell you about my son or daughter’s anxiety and depression as easily as you tell me about your kiddo tearing his ACL at soccer last week.

Over the past few years we’ve shared our story a lot. One thing we’ve learned and taken great comfort in is realizing we’re not alone…far from it. Of the playlist above, our primary challenge to you is to tell your story openly, honestly and unfiltered. You’ll be amazed by the stories, connection and support you receive in return.

For more information, details on speaking engagements, or programming opportunities, contact Scott Fussell at, or follow The Shift Initiative on Facebook, Instagram, X, and Threads.

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