If you’re struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, or isolation – always seek out a professional. Do not use the materials on this website to replace or delay treatment from a trained medical professional. This website is intended to be used in addition to therapy or other treatments.
The ideas & exercises explained here are meant to be discussed with your therapist. They may have different or better recommendations regarding your treatment. Please always follow their advice over any material you find on this page. You’re worth more than you realize – please don’t go at this alone!
As with any project, it’s important to have the right tools to get the job done. Your mental health journey is no exception. Here’s a few tools at your disposal:
Therapy is the transformative experience of discovering the right treatment for your optimal mental health. You’ll find there’s some silly stigma surrounding therapy. Some folks believe seeking out therapy means “you’re crazy” or “you’re weak.” This realization could not be further from the truth. Therapy has many beneficial consequences which include but are not limited to:
- A deeper understanding of how your triggers can affect your daily life.
- Where those triggers stem from and how childhood experiences play a large role in our adult lives.
- Techniques to overcome anxiety and stress.
- A demonstration of awareness, emotional maturity, and acceptance.
- A regular social outlet for those who may not have access to a social support system.
SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUPS
Human beings were created to be social creatures. According to the Mayo Clinic, a social support group can help alleviate fatigue, emotional distress, and have an impact on our health such as lowering our blood pressure.
Social support groups can take the form of family, close friends, a church or coven, your medical professionals, or any organization which has a focus on facing challenges together. It’s also much easier to identify cycles when we have the input of others.
Often we are too dependent on our own senses which can be limited if we’re experiencing a lot of anxiety. If we have a venue for collaboration, we are no longer limited by our individual mindset.
TAKING CARE OF YOU!
I think the important factors which often get overlooked by those on the mental health journey are the staggering benefits of self care. Self care can take many forms. Some of those may include:
- Establishing healthy boundaries. Practicing saying “no” or refusing to help when resources are drained.
- Restful sleep. Our ability to enjoy a good night of healthful sleep is one of the biggest factors when it comes to providing ourselves the right environment for mental health. Missing a night or two of sleep can have detrimental effects on our emotional well-being.
- Healthy diet. We are what we eat, and if our lives are consumed by “eating our feelings” with junk food, then we’re bound to feel pretty gross. Start slowly with
- Balance. Often we get too focused on what needs to be done or what we want to do. This is an ongoing lesson in balancing our recreational time with our priorities. A good way to start seeking balance is to write a list of how you need to spend your time.
- Daily exercise. I think one of the most salubrious lifestyle changes I made was going for a daily walk and taking the time to meditate. Deep breathing, which can be induced by simple exercise, can have a profound effect on mental health.
This isn’t the definitive list for those seeking to take care of themselves. There are many books out there at your disposal to research proper self care techniques. One of my favorite books is The Self Care Solution by Doctor Jennifer Ashton.
FURTHERING YOUR EDUCATION
READ A BOOK!
In addition to therapy, furthering your understanding of your mental health or your spirituality can be a critical factor in your healing.
Pursuing knowledge against the backdrop of our mental illness gives us a proactive role in our own recovery. There are literally millions of self-help books, blogs, videos, and other media resources available.
Awareness of ourselves through study can be the difference between being hopeless or becoming the masters of our destiny. Here are a few resources which may help you along your way:
- You Are Enough: 5 Steps to Move From Struggle to Strength
- How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
- After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love
- The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness
- The Hidden Power of F*cking Up