How’s Your Mental Health?

When I think about mental health I immediately think of all the bad things – anxiety, depression, severe manic episodes, darkness and hospitalization.  A lot of people think of the bad things first too.  Someone that thinks like this may have tons of friends, be at every event or party and seem to have a great life.  But inside, they could be 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 in that same position.  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 somehow I did.  I had a feeling of being alone constantly and that was enough to make me feel lost.

Mental health was a touchy subject in the past, especially 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.  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 much 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, 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 stay afloat, 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 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 in the beginning 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.  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 us want to be better everyday and we want to do more for those around us. 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 can help you get started.  But I want to give you one more tip.

My last tip that is the biggest. 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.  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 publicly, leave a comment.  This community is all about support and even if I’m not the right coach 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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