Today isn’t just for those who are suffering or going through something. World mental health day is for people to increase their awareness, knowledge, and understanding regarding mental health. There are many stigmas, still, regarding mental health. On this world mental health day, here are a couple of reminders to keep in mind.
-You don’t have to be clinically diagnosed to experience anxiety, depression, panic attack, or any other type of disorder. Our everyday life experiences may cause us to have a bout of anxiety or depression. It doesn’t have to be something big or major life event. I had a coworker just express how she wasn’t doing well. It wasn’t anything specific. But she said I turned 60 this year, mom just passed, dealing with insurance and packing her home, my daughter turned 18, I’m in a long distance relationship and I don’t know if I should downsize or move. Sorting through all that at once does takes away some of the spunk she usually has.
-Mental illness doesn’t have a “look”. We should get rid of this idea that there is a look. Often times it’s the least person we expect to battle a mental health issue.
-Fighting through pain and tears isn’t a sign of strength . Actually saying I’m tired, stressed, need a break, confused, have too much going on, feel off, is a sign of strength. Just think back to when someone found out you were going through something and you didn’t tell them right away, they were upset . Why? Because they wanted to help. They love and care for you. Even if it’s just to be an ear. You’re never alone.
-Your courage to speak up and say “I’m not ok” will inspire others to say “you know I’m not either.” That goes for women and men. Then guess what, you all can work through and be each other support systems. You don’t have to do it alone. 6 MENTAL HEALTH REMINDERS FOR BAD DAYS
-Find you a safe space. Most people probably grew up with a family or environment where saying I’m not ok wasn’t supported or welcomed. Therefore, they learned to suppress and deny their feelings. Find a friend or two, coworker, journal, pastor, or even stranger. I’ve come to learn most of the time we just want to get it out . No response needed. A solution doesn’t need to be offered. Just hear me out. I don’t know how many times working from home and talking to people all over the country I had lengthy conversations with. I’m talking 2 hours. Yes, I eventually got a policy written, but allowing them to vent their frustration and anger, validating their feelings, and offering encouragement through sharing something similar left them with hope and motivation. Many times I heard thank you for listening and talking to me. I can’t talk to my family because they just blow me off. Sometimes talking to strangers is easier than talking to family. No judgement, fear, or gaslighting.
-Learn to cope through the experiences and emotions. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling or thinking. Ask yourself why am I feeling like this or responding in this manner. What do I need to feel better. Is it attainable. If not, how can I ensure I’m ok without it. What can I do on a daily to help me mentally prepare myself. Denying or delaying your emotions only makes it snow ball. Which can lead to other unhealthy behaviors.
-There’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to a therapist. Some go monthly, weekly, or when needed. One day at work a coworker said I’m going to be late coming back from lunch because I needed an appointment with a therapist. I’m just crying too much and overly emotional. PERFECT!!!!!!
If you feel ok that is amazing and awesome. Please share with others how you do it. In the meantime, check on your loved ones. Those that are short fused, always seem triggered, overly emotional, not showing any emotion, angry all the time, never have anything good to say, sleeping too much, not sleeping at all, drinking or binge eating, no appetite, always happy, never angry or sad, nothing ever bothers them, or withdrawn all needs to be checked on.
Lastly, on this world mental health day, check in with you. You come first. Make sure you’re available, overflowing, and whole before pouring into someone else. How are you doing? What do you need? Nothing is ever too small or too big.
Be you so you can be free.