Grandpa Skulstad’s Life Tips

I get it: mental fitness can be a complicated thing to tackle. It can feel overwhelming, and like a complicated beast to understand –and often times it’s our own mental capacities that make it that way. 

One of my hopes for our weekly Mental Fitness Fridays is to make the idea of mental fitness more understandable. For that, I lean on the simple approach and wisdom of my Grandpa Skulstad.

Grandpa Skulstad often reminded us of three things:

  1. Remember your ABC’s (Always Be Careful). Be wise with your words toward yourself and others.  

2. Stay out of Trouble. Assume you will get caught. Staying out of trouble is much easier than getting out of trouble. To stay out of trouble, as yourself some of the following questions:

• Is it the right thing to do?

• Is it safe for me and for others?

• Is it respectful to me and to others?

• Is it the right thing to do?

• What are the consequences for me and for others?

• What does my common sense say?

• What would grandma and I think of what you just did?

• Are you being who you want to be? 

Print out the assumption and the questions. Post them on the fridge and in your room and or put them in the notes on your phone. Use them before you send that text or post that comment on social media. 

3. Be good to each other. Being good to each other makes everyone better. Connect with people. Connection is one of the biggest boosters to mental fitness. The lack of it is one of the things that made the pandemic difficult.   All you have to do is pay a little bit of attention to the world to see how being mean and nasty makes everyone feel stressed and depressed. Make an effort to make people smile and feel like they matter.  None of us want to feel left out.  

The Ted Talk below details the importance of social connection and how our virtual connections create the illusion that we are connected yet will still feel alone.  

I often tell parents of athletes that there is nothing our parents could have done to help us parent today.  Except teach basic skills and basic values.  The same is true today for our children.  

For most of history, wisdom and knowledge was passed down through generations by stories and talks around the campfire.  In this week’s video I am trying to do the same.