An international day for education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma in regards to mental health. Stigma refers to the lack of understanding or fear and can often be narrowed down to self-stigma, public stigma, professional stigma, and institutional stigma and can be influenced by misleading representations and stereotypes amongst many of factors.
What is mental health? It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects how we think, feel and act. “It’s a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.”
In honor of World Mental Health Day I want to share my personal experience and to remind you that no matter how strong you are, shit happens. I want to post a reminder that life can be tough, relationships require work and sacrifice, parenting will test you, work can feel rewarding and mundane, there will be death, overall health will require attention and the list can go on and on. The point is, life affects your mental health and mental health affects your life. It is your duty to yourself to prioritize your mental health and for everyone that process can and will look differently.
I’ve not shared all of the challenges that this year has presented but mentally I found myself struggling to juggle it all. I took a social hiatus back in July to help recenter and focus without the digestion of garbage that social media often brings. Just a reminder, social isn’t everything to one’s life, there are parts that people don’t share and when they do it’s often glorified and made to fit an image. I never want to give a false image but don’t want to complain about every little life upset either. My life is far from perfect just like every other living soul on earth. Secret: we’re all trying to figure out the best way we know how! But despite how good or bad things are it can all become heavy at times.
It’s demanding to be a mom, spouse, friend, and entrepreneur. The nature of my job requires me to show up, be present, and give so much of myself to others so there’s not much room for off days. With the constant jabs and punches of this year I’ve been in a mental head space of complete overstimulation and it’s been hard to people outside of work. This has resulted in avoidance, procrastination and paralyzing to decision making. It’s left me irritable, lethargic, and anti-social to name a few. I’ve needed lots of rest, alone time, reading, and crafts to feel good and recharge my depleted energy that stemmed from the mental overstimulation. For the first time in my life I have decided to try therapy as this is often something I encourage others to do when trying to navigate life difficulties and the workings of our brains. We often compartmentalize things in our brains and avoid the things that bring up trauma or make us actively work on solutions, we avoid the hard stuff in order to self preserve. Although I’m pretty good at helping others navigate through that I’ve realized I suck at doing it for myself.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve been out and social in quite some time. It felt good to celebrate the love and union of a dear couple friend, see familiar faces, eat great food, and get dressed up, but by the time I got home my whole body was almost limp and my eyes were incredibly heavy. I was severely depleted energetically and mentally drained. The self awareness and mental and energetic practices that I have tried to implement this year have been beneficial and I’ve learned to honor what my body needs.
I will acknowledge the privilege I have to have all my basic needs being met, to be able to access and afford the care that I need, and the support of an amazing partner.
“1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year 1 in 20 US adults experience serious mental illness each year 1 in 6 US youth ages 6-17 experience mental health disorder each year 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24 Su*c*de is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10-14” -NAMI
Let’s break the stigma of mental health so that we can strive to be better for ourselves and those around us. Let’s make it more affordable and accessible for everyone. Let’s transcend stereotypes and representations and create a better world.
My inbox is always open if you need it and I’m always willing to help you find the resources you need for better mental health.
For those that need it: Su*cide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK