Mindfulness

How’s Your Mental Health?

Let’s talk about mental health.  When I think about mental health I immediately think of all the bad things – anxiety, depression, severe manic episodes, darkness, hospitalization even.  Believe it or not, a lot of people are in that same situation and you might not even know.  Someone in this position may have tons of friends, be at every event or party and seem to have a great life.  Inside, they’re dying.  They’re having war games play inside their brain day and night.  They’re at a loss of what to do next.  I know this because I used to be here.  I used to be in a dark place and it seemed like everything around me was tragic.  I used to hide it and keep my true feelings inside.  It was hard to live that way but I did.  I had a feeling of aloneness that was enough to make me feel lost.

Mental health was a touchy subject in the past, when I was going through that dark place.  It was hard to share my feelings with people and find the right person to talk to.  Instead, I harbored my feelings and only talked about myself when I had to.  I went to therapy for only eight sessions because that’s all my insurance would pay for.  It wasn’t until later in life that I found a group of people that taught me about personal development.  Looking back, I’m grateful I made it through that dark place.  But don’t get it twisted, I’m still a work in progress.

Today, lately with everything in the media, it seems like it’s more of an open subject.  I am open about going to therapy and telling people what’s going on in my brain and my heart.  But I am still protective.  I think about the lives that Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain lived and think about the spotlight and how hard it must have been to be protective of themselves, their privacy and their spirits.  Being in the spotlight adds a whole other layer to the challenge of mental health.  How do you stay afloat amongst all the chaos of Hollywood?  While I don’t know to the answer that question, my heart goes out to their families.

If you’re trying to answer that question, while inserting your town where Hollywood is, I have a few tips for you:

  1. Make time for YOU every week – It could be 5, 10 or 30 minutes.  The choice is yours but do it!  By making time for yourself, you’re allowing yourself to be free.  During this time, you let you can choose what you do with your time and let your brain and heart be free.  Whether you choose to try a new class, go for a walk along the beach or do some retail therapy, the time is precious and it is yours.
  2. Read or listen to audio books on personal development – This is my favorite tip because it’s what helped me get out of my dark place.  The book I started with was A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want by Bethenny Frankel.  That book changed everything for me and got me started.  Some of the other books I read are The Secret, The Happiness Project, Gunn’s Golden Rules, and You Are a Badass just to name a few…
  3. Try not to forget that you are enough – This one is hard, I know.  And it takes time.  My recommendation is to work the baby steps.  Everyday, give yourself a compliment while getting ready in the morning.  Write on your bathroom mirror words of encouragement.  Fake it until you make it!  That feeling of enough-ness is hard because most of want to be better everyday, do more for those around us and as a result we end up leaving ourselves behind.  Stop now and change the direction.

I’ve only given you a few tips, but these are just to help you get started.  My last tip that is the biggest and goes without saying is to find a confidant or partner to help you on your journey.  Someone you really trust and can confide in.  That person is going to be your accountability partner and help you stay afloat or get above water.  Together you will grow and become stronger.  And if you really need help, don’t hesitate to ask.  There are a number of individuals and agencies out there ready and willing to help you get on track.

If you have a story (good or bad), I’d love to hear about it.  If you’re willing to share, leave me a comment.  This community is all about support and even if I’m not the right fit for you, there is someone out there that can be your partner.  If we lean on each other and show true support and love, the world will be a better place.

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