It seems like wherever I look, mental health is finally being recognized for what it really is. As someone who has dealt with mental health issues for much of my life, I’m glad to see the conversations surrounding mental health becoming more open and accepted.
Mental health has affected me in a variety of ways throughout my life. It can be extremely isolating at times and can make situations that should be enjoyable a huge burden on myself and those around me. I have had to learn how to cope with the feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, doubt, etc., that can come up from time to time.
To help with my mental wellbeing I found it helpful to talk about my feelings whenever possible. Talking through any misunderstandings I had or difficulties I was going through helped me rationalize things and process events differently than when trying to handle them alone. My trusted friends also provided a sense of support and community as we discussed our coping strategies together – having someone else recognize your feelings can make them seem so much less scary.
In addition to talking openly about my feelings, engaging in physical activity played a big role in improving my mental wellbeing over the years. Exercise has always been a calming influence for me as it gives my mind something productive to focus on while allowing me to take some much needed time for self-care. Even small amounts of exercise help keep a clear head when dealing with negative thoughts or emotions which would otherwise seem overwhelming without the distraction that physical activity provides.
It’s been important for me to find ways of managing my mental health that worked best for me over the years and really take care of myself whenever possible - no matter how hard it may be sometimes! Mental Illness Awareness Week has reminded me how important it is that we normalize conversations around mental health; there’s absolutely no shame in discussing any struggles we might have in order to find peace within ourselves.