Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you have listen to at least 10 episodes of YBO, you’ve probably heard me mention mental health at least twice. 

What I want people to remember the most about mental health is:

If you suffer from a mental illness remember it’s okay to NOT be okay. Your mental illness does not define you. Seek help if you need it. Be kind to yourself. You are enough. 

If you do not have a mental illness still take care of your mental. Be open to educate yourself. Be kind to those around you. Ask your friends and family how you can help.

You never know who is dealing with what. Sometimes our friends and family will show us signs and we can’t ignore them. I want everyone in my life here for a long time, if I am unable to help then I want to direct them to the help they need. 

The pictures below represent more truth around depression and anxiety, different forms of self care and a reminder that we all should be working toward having healthy mental states. 

Mental Matters because YOU matter…

Self reflection

I have not been consistent with my blog post lately and it’s for a few different reasons. First, my mental health hasn’t been the best and when I am depressed all my creativity goes out the door. Second, my work life balance is shit! And for someone who works part time, that’s a big problem. 

It took a bit of digging but I finally realized the root of what’s keeping me down. As much as I hated to admit, I had lost myself. Years ago I had named my Gemini twin “Lola” and I embodied this free spirited, spontaneous, fearless persona. 

Two years ago I got into a relationship with a great guy but he is so opposite of who I, Lola, was. He accepted me for who I was and never once tried to change me, however I changed without even knowing. I got into a relationship and was so happy with my mate that I stopped doing the things that had my self esteem and confidence at an all time high. I used to go shopping alone, out to eat alone and even hit the bars and clubs alone. My boyfriend hates shopping with me and despises bars and clubs. 

Without even knowing I just stopped all of that. On May 8, 2019 I realized that’s what I have been missing. So now I am on a journey to incorporate that part of me back into myself. The last time I got dressed up and felt super confident out and about was before me and my boyfriend made things official. I can’t say I know for sure what made me stop doing those things. Honestly, I think I just got wrapped up in being in a relationship. 

I am going to use my happiness list and make sure that I go shopping twice a month. Doesn’t have to be a spree, but a new shirt, dress, or accessories will excite me enough. I want to go out twice a month, which gives me a reason to wear the things from my shopping and feel confident in not only myself but going out alone again. 

It’s easier said than done to pay attention to your mental health but once you figure out what’s bothering you make a plan and execute so your mental health is healthy. We can scream mental health all we want but making sure it’s actually healthy is the real goal. 

Has there been a time where you had to self reflect and make changes? 

Mental matters because YOU matter…

Maintaining Mental Health in Relationships

Even for those who do not suffer from a mental illness, keeping a healthy mental state is vital. We don’t want to be insensitive to our significant other, family or friends who deal with a mental illness and may need some extra attention. 

When me and my boyfriend started dating, I expressed to him that I suffer from depression and anxiety. It was something he was familiar with from a previous relationship, but he wasn’t very educated. I also let him know “if my mental illness becomes too much you can leave.” At that point I wasn’t in therapy or taking care of myself. He assured me that he didn’t want to leave and would help me as much as he could. Since that moment he has taken time to be educated, understand me, and offer support. I try my best to not be too dependent on him as to not be a negative trigger to his mental health. 

So what are some ways we can maintain our mental health in a relationship, whether you deal with a  mental Illness or not? I’ve come up with a few things that will be sure to keep your friendships, family relationships, or romantic relationship running smoothly. 

  1. Know that it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t hide what you are going through. Someone may be able to help by listening, suggesting professional help, or suggesting self care. Putting on a front when you really aren’t doing the best will only hinder you. Expressing what you’re feeling can be the start of figuring out how to fix it.

  2. Say no. I was told “No, is a complete sentence.” Don’t be scared to say no to your friends, family or significant other if what they are asking of you is too much. You always have a choice and shouldn’t feel the need to always say yes. They will understand. 

  3. Seek outside help. As much as we want our loved ones to support and help us, sometimes we need more help than they can give. Going to a professional doesn’t make you crazy or weird; it’s hard for a lot of people to admit they need help. The great thing about professional help is that it’s their job to help you get and feel better.

  4. Practice self care. Practice doing things that make you feel good and/or happy. At times we get lost in what our friends, family or significant other likes that we stop doing the things we love. Make those things a priority again. 

When it comes to your mental health you want to take it seriously. The people around us are an everyday part of our life. In order to keep our relationships healthy we have to keep ourselves healthy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting support from them but we have to be careful with how much we put on others.

How do you maintain your mental health in your relationships? 

Mental matters because you matter....