I was happily reminded this morning that May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to take some time today- and throughout this month- to help raise awareness, offer my support, share my coping techniques, and a few of my own stories.
If you’ve noticed that I’ve become especially passionate about health and wellness this past year, thank you <3 I started my own fitness journey to not only get stronger physically but to also get stronger mentally, which is most important to me. I think most of us have had some sort of trauma in our lives that we haven’t properly dealt with (oh hai, it me), and that we then carry on through adulthood like heavy ass luggage that we aren’t able to check.
Whether it’s a mental illness, a physical illness, a trauma… anything that could physically and/or mentally weigh in on your mental state, we can’t stay silent about it. At least I hope we don’t. We have to seek help, we have to reach out to one another, we have to practice compassion for ourselves and for others. It’s something I think people don’t talk about enough, the inside of ourselves that we have to nurture as well as the outside. Our thoughts, our feelings, our hardships, and our concerns … what makes us tick and what helps calm the storm.
A bit of my own story you already know. I was a teen mom, a single mom. I struggled a lot then and I struggle today to let go of that young girl who had to raise a baby and realize that’s not my life any more. A lot of things keep me up at night. From trauma and healing, to moving forward and crushing goals. But there’s a lot of issues that I’ve let go unresolved. That I’ve pushed so far down into my big toe thinking they couldn’t hurt me anymore that I also pushed down my emotions, compassion for myself, and forgiveness. Ah therapy, I’m coming for you.
I just want you to know that if you’re struggling you’re not alone and I don’t have all the answers but there are some things I do for myself to keep my mental health balanced. Balance is BIG. Practicing balance with work and leisure, with family and friends, and with connecting to others and connecting to myself.
Meditating– whatever that looks like for you. I’m not good at being still but I’m working on it and meditation sounds and candles help so much. To ground yourself, to still your mind, to calm yourself down no matter where you are
Routine– a morning routine and a nighttime-unwinding routine. I’ll read 10 pages of a book or take time to think about the things I know will keep me up at night so that I can address them and sleep soundly. Routine helps keep anxiety at bay, it’s the one thing I can control. I think
Schedule– with what I do putting myself on a schedule helps me to feel less overwhelmed, more creative, and relieves my anxious thoughts from attacking me
mid all day. Just having those goals helps me so much and also realizing that I can only do as much as I can and that’s enough
Talking it out– a therapist, a family member, a loved one, a close friend, a professional…someone. It helps so much to release the things inside your head that may be paralyzing you and making it hard to breathe. Or to at least acknowledge them, take away its power, and heal a bit more than you did before. Words are powerful, that’s why therapy is so incredible. And communication
Luna & Ace! – animal companionship is so real you guys. Pets and support animals change the energy in your space, they’re calming, and they’re great listeners 😉
There’s so many ways to navigate and cope and there’s so much support out there. I really hope if you’re reading this and you need this, that you trust that you’re not alone and that you reach out to someone. I want to list some resources here for you and for anyone who may need them <3
The importance of our mental health is more important than anything. If I can’t function than how will I work, be a mom, be a wife, be a human, be myself? So lets talk about it like it’s normal because it is and lets reach out to one another more because it matters.
National Association of Mental Illness
The Jed Foundation
The Trevor Project
National Council On Aging
Sending you all love and hugs,