Welcome to October! Did you know that last week was mental health awareness month? According to the World Health Organization, 450 million people currently suffer from a mental illness. Mental health is a battle but it can be won with community, help, and power.
One's mental state can be affected by multiple things: weather changes, a certain time of the year that may bring up bad memories, seeing a reminder of someone...the possibilities are endless. What makes it better is not giving those things the power. For example, the holiday season can be hard on family if it reminds you of all the family members no longer around to make happy memories with. Instead of being sad that they are not here, you can celebrate in their honor. While it can be hard to get over that pain, you can stand on top of it looking ahead for the future.
When I am feeling particularly down I like to look in the mirror, stand up straight, and say positive affirmations. “I am doing my best. I am brave. I am beautiful. I will be kind to myself and to others.” It might seem silly at first! Try doing it with no one else in the room and then see how foolish you feel. The silliness will subside and you will see results. It’s like doing 100 pushups a day--great training. It’s a wonderful way to remind ourselves of who we are. While doing other activities to take your mind off of your feelings is not healing in any way it can be helpful just to get through the day. It is better to acknowledge your feelings that you are feeling in the moment instead of pushing them down deeper and deeper. It’ll only go down so far until you explode.
Getting into a bad mental state can bring down your energy levels and eliminate any motivation to move, get out of bed, or socialize. Staying in bed all day can in turn make things worse because you’ll be thinking about all the things you should or could be doing. I like to clean when I am feeling down. My mom would always say “a clean space is a happy one.” So I would focus on the areas in my house that are giving me the most stress and would make me happy to clean up. It gets me moving and able to accomplish something. You deserve to feel better and to be the best you there is.
The important thing to remember is that if you are ever struggling with your mental health is to know that it gets better and to always reach out to someone. There are numbers at the bottom of the article to reach out to, or you can text REASON to 741741. The phone calls and text messages are confidential and available 24/7. Mental health is another plague that is hurting so many people and the way to get better is to spread awareness of mental health and to always seek help or comfort if needed.