Notes For World Mental Health Day
It’s World Mental Health Day tomorrow. At some point in our lives, we all struggle with some sort of mental health issue. Be it big or small, we all have bad days. Throughout the years, I’ve come to learn a lot of important things about mental health and I will share them with you today:
-You are not the emotions you feel, nor the thoughts you think. You don’t have to believe any of the thoughts that enter your head. That voice is sometimes a friend, sometimes an enemy, and often makes no sense. The emotions you feel aren’t what you are. You are not any of the labels you give yourself – you are not your illness or your compulsions or your insecurities. These things happen to you, but you do not become them.
-Being your authentic self will make you stand out like a sore thumb – this isn’t a bad thing. You’re not meant to be like everyone else. The more true to yourself you stay, the weirder you will seem, the less you will fit In etc. This is okay, because it means you’re different to everyone around you, and that’s a good place to be.
-Learning to spend time on your own is important. You will feel lonely at times and it will be difficult. But it’s an important experience to allow you to become the best version of yourself down the line. Think of loneliness and bad days as payment for better days down the road.
-You have to take responsibility for yourself. Real self-care involves doing all of the things you avoid doing. Making your bed, showering, going to the dentist etc. are all part of self-care. Self-care is more about holding yourself accountable and less about giving yourself an out.
-Understand that you have impact. You may never get confirmation of this directly but you make a difference in the lives of the people around you. We all have the power to instil change and positivity in others, and it’s important to remember that you have this ability.
-Don’t lie to yourself. Often when things are going wrong we tell ourselves that everything is fine. This isn’t helpful and only works to kick the problem down the road. Be honest with yourself and address the monsters as they rise up.
-Allow yourself to feel and experience your emotions. Rather than pretending you are not anxious, or angry, or sad, or whatever, allow yourself to experience those emotions in the moment. If you repress these emotions they don’t go away, they build up and come back later on in nastier manifestations. Feel your emotions, accept them, and then move on.
-Nobody is thinking about you as much as you think they are. Everyone is too concerned with how other people see them to be thinking about you. It serves no purpose to you if you choose not to act due to the fear of other opinions. The only opinion that matters is your own, and you will grow to resent yourself in time if you allow this fear to stop you from living the life you desire.
The list goes on and on. We’ll continue to talk openly about everything. We’ll continue to make sure you know you’re not the only one going through it. The important thing to remember is that you do that have the power to affect change in your mental health. And that begins by accepting yourself for who you are, and driving it on from there.