Updated: Jan 3
As we close out 2022, we can probably all agree that this year was met with some challenges. You may have experienced loss, disappointment and obstacles. As I reflect particularly on my year, it has not always been an easy one. I’ve had my fair share of some disappointment and challenges. Witnessing the amount of gun-violence in our country and mental illness that so many people battled with took a toll on my own mental health. Mental illness is real and comes in many different forms of identity. There isn’t a look or image we can truly say represents mental illness. We never know what a person is actually going through until they reveal it themselves or unfortunately they take their own life. Battling with mental illness is a silent killer for so many. They hide their pain and thoughts away because of fear of what people may think or say.
According to NAMI, “The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.” This gap shows that so many people are actually suffering in silence. We have to start normalizing mental health and voicing mental awareness. It’s more than just acknowledging it but it takes effort and actionable steps to manage it daily. I’m learning that it’s okay to talk about mental illness issues, voice it out loud and take the steps you need to have a healthy mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get help for it, as a matter of fact it’s the best thing to do for You. Your mind is just as important as your physical health and if you ask me it’s all connected. Part of your self-care routine should be taking care of your mental health because your mind matters. Having mental awareness is one of the most powerful senses to have because it means that you’re willing to seek change for the betterment of yourself mentally and for me spiritually. Here’s what I’ve found to help me be more aware of my mental health:
Don’t ignore the signs.
Seek help: There is nothing wrong with seeking a therapist or counselor to talk to about your problems.
Create a safe space for yourself to talk about your problems.
Give yourself grace.
Acknowledge your pain and hurt.
Pray, meditate or do both.
Journal your thoughts.
Don’t isolate yourself: Surround yourself around positive and encouraging people.
Seek a hobby or something to keep your mind feeling positive and good.