***Disclaimer: I am in no way a mental/healthcare professional. I am ONLY sharing the things I’ve done on MY personal journey to help MY mental health. It is not one size fits all. If you need professional help, seek it. There are plenty of free and/or affordable resources available. It is not a game. It does not make you weak. Other people’s judgements are none of your concern. ***
I, like most people living in the high stress society we know as the United States, am no stranger to depression and anxiety. In my most recent episode, I felt like I was spinning out of control and needed some help, so I reached out and got some. I’m someone who steers clear of modern pharmaceuticals (of course, if YOU need the drugs, get the drugs. Ain’t no shame in it, honey. If I ever get to the point that I need the drugs, I will get the drugs.) so I decided to take a holistic approach.
The fact of the matter is; we eat a lot of things that can potentially kill us. I knew I needed to eat better. You know it too. But I wasn’t. And it was making me sick. Mentally. I don’t want to start a war between vegans and carnivores, because I don’t think either of them are “right”. I think it’s up to your body to decide whether or not to consume flesh. However, I think all of our bodies can agree that they’re working too hard to get rid of the toxins we build up by eating junk food. I can’t say whether or not you NEED chicken, but it’s pretty obvious that you don’t NEED Cheetos and Dr. Pepper. So, I’ve been working on cleaning up my diet and eating food that’s actually food. Definitely not at 100%, but I’m doing better, and I’m feeling better.
Self-care has also been something I’ve had to really focus on for my mental health. When you look good you feel good. I had slipped into a way-too-comfortable zone when it came to my appearance. Between trying to do the whole minimalist thing, deciding not to wear makeup daily (post coming soon), and hitting a parade of awkward stages while trying to grow my hair out, your girl has been looking crazy. I had to give myself a stern talking to and get it together. Since, I’ve been doing my affirmations, painting my nails more often (still not where I used to be lol), and I’ve even bought a couple pairs of shoes. My hair is still struggling, since I’m having to learn it all over again. Let’s just pray that I hit a sweet spot soon. If not, I need y’all to send me the contact information for a braid lady in Dallas. Please and thanks.
While the aforementioned steps have helped me get re-centered, the most important part of my mental hygiene has come from a decision I made. I decided to stop complaining. I started to look at my obstacles as opportunities for change. I stopped focusing on what I wasn’t getting and started focusing on what I could give others. I stopped complaining about what I don’t have and started counting what I do. I stopped focusing on what I didn’t get out of a situation and started thinking about what I contributed to it. I personally believe this alone has shifted the framework of my brain because it empowers me. Obviously, 90% of the things we experience in life are beyond our control. We can’t control the rain, or how much the humidity will affect our twist outs *eye roll* or the economy tanking. We can only control our reactions. We control our perception. I saw this meme the other day and it really resonated with me.
Also, my thoughts and prayers are with those mourning the loss of loved ones during the holiday season.