Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today, I’d like to share some insights on three areas of importance when it comes to mental health. Although there are many other factors and things to consider as this is an extensive topic, I am choosing the following areas to share areas of focus today.
You cannot focus on your physical health and make sustainable changes without considering your mental health. The way you take care of your mind and spirit will have lasting effects on your physical body. Only when you view your wellness as a whole will you be able to feel your best.
It is so important to compile a strong support system to help you through difficult times. It is not healthy to have your entire support system be wrapped up in one person, so cultivating a wider circle of people who can offer differentiated support is important.
A good place to start is friends and family members. Maintaining healthy relationships with those closest to you will help you feel grounded and give you an outlet when you need to talk about problems. Having people to talk to about your feelings will help you work through them and help release pent-up emotions that can fester if left on their own. It is also a good way to gain some perspective about your problems and maybe think of new solutions. They can also offer emotional support as you work through issues and make steps moving forward.
Talking to a professional is also a good idea. Whether you have past trauma and need PTSD Treatment or need an unbiased person to talk to about your life, a therapist or counselor can help you work through many issues. They can guide you on healthy coping mechanisms, setting healthy boundaries, and tools to help you move forward.
All that being said, there is a caveat to creating a strong support system. Sometimes, the people who are emotionally available to support you best are not your family or friends. Often, the best people to support you have no skin in the game; that is your life. It can be difficult for them to be objective and not have their feelings involved, too. They are invested in your life because they’re in your life. That’s where it can be refreshing and even more helpful to have an ally in your well-being who is unbiased and who won’t judge, analyze, or criticize your decisions or your current experience. This is what you receive when you choose to work with a grief recovery specialist who has been trained by The Grief Recovery Institute, the foremost authority on grief. Also, it’s worth noting that it pays to consider how much personal, inner work the individual you’re running toward for support has gone through themselves. I firmly believe that we can sit with others in their pain, only to the depths we’ve worked on healing our own. And this is why, I believe, so many relationships fall away for grievers after a life-altering event. Your pain and grief will bring up emotions that uncomfortable for others to face themselves. And for some, it’s too painful, so rather than addressing it when being faced with it, it’s easier to distance themselves from the source of the one “poking the bear,” so to speak.
You also need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Traditionally, when people think about self-care, they imagine facials and bubble baths. That can be an important part of your self-care routine. Making the time to relax and pamper yourself can prove to be an effective use of time if it is what your mental health needs.
Self-care also means taking care of yourself, even when it is hard. It means changing bad habits to live a healthier life. It means setting necessary boundaries to form good relationships. It means doing the tasks that you have been putting off.
Self-care became a buzzword in 2020 with Covid-19, in particular, rightfully so. I feel like boundaries are particularly vital for all of us to practice self-care that goes beyond any expenditures and has a far more lasting impact on our lives.
There are many books on creating boundaries. If you’re an empath, like me, this is a great book talking about energetic boundaries. And, if you’re looking to create boundaries in a variety of relationships, perhaps this book is just the thing you need to read asap. I read both, and they’re amazing in their own way. There are some Christian undertones in the latter mention; however, I don’t think it’s overly done or written intrusively. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
Say “Yes” To Yourself
It is also important that you take care of your mental health by engaging in things that interest you. This can be hobbies that you have done and lost touch with, things you want to learn but haven’t, or simply going to places and being involved in interesting things.
Permitting yourself to say “yes” to yourself can be powerful. It helps you acknowledge that what you want and need is valid, and that can translate into other areas of your life as well.
When you want to do something but then automatically start to push it out of your mind, stop for a minute. Ask yourself why you are pushing that away and why you can’t do it. If you cannot come up with a good reason, or the reasons you have are just excuses, start permitting yourself to put yourself first.
One of the most common barriers to receiving mental health support is cost. I have encountered this in my own business with potential clients who, at the end of the day, don’t believe they are worth investing in themselves. And that was me, too. What I learned, though, is that although growth through pain is inevitable, which will be extended as long as you resist it. However, you can greatly shorten the time it takes to get to your own end-game (i.e., mental wellness) only by seeking the right support, whatever that may be for you. It wasn’t until I invested in myself and continued to do so, where my life began to blossom. As a result, I have experienced so much fulfillment that could have, very easily, taken me another decade to attain had I not decided I was worth it.
You are the captain of your ship, the master of your heart, and the buck stops with you. What is stopping you from taking your mental health seriously? Access? Cost? Attitude? Belief system? What is it? And, what are you waiting for to help yourself?
Be the hero of your story.
P.S. I’ve recently added a perk to working with me through Grief Recovery, and that is by adding YouMap®, which addresses your personal strengths, skills, values, and how you’re wired, at no additional cost. It’s important to see how these areas factor into grief so that once we sweep out some grief cobwebs and you’ve received a whole lot more insight and healing, it’s important to devise a plan for what’s next. It’s important that I help support my clients beyond grief because there is more to us than our grief. And, I know firsthand how grief creates a great divide between who we were before grief and who we have the potential to become. Click HERE to learn more!
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