Happy World Mental Health Day! This an awesome day to have but truthfully I feel like we shouldn't wait for one or two days a year to talk about mental health. You know the movie Horton Hears a Who? Does anyone else feel like the tiny people on the speck calling out "we are here, we are here, we are here!"? I sure do, especially when it comes down to the more complex part of human psychology. Today is about shedding some well deserved light on mental health in hopes that someday it won't be the least prioritized subject in our health care system and as a whole, our society. I'm giving some seeds to plant as well as some self care tips so sit back and let's do this!
Thanks but no thanks for the stigma and discrimination
It isn't a secret to people with mental illnesses that there is a great deal of prejudice thrown at them. If you don't know, I strongly suggest you look into it because there is so much evidence and still so much to be worked towards.
What it sounds like:
"Sorry, someone with your background shouldn't be around happy kids"
"If you have anxiety, why did you come?"
"Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic"
What it looks like:
Someone with depression not being allowed to work
A kid being left out because they have anxiety
Getting left out of places because of a substance using past
What it feels like:
It feels like being denied a way to provide for oneself
It feels like isolating yourself because your friends don't understand
It feels like a dark shadow following you at all times
And it hurts.
Please don't do this to people. Everyone has their own ups and downs, their own challenges and they are not for us to judge but for us to love. Having the mentality that someone with a mental illness is different, scary, negative etc. makes others think it is ok to hold the same prejudice beliefs. Believe me, it is definitely not ok. We are all made of the same core, we have bones, muscles, water and brains. If you take anything away from this let it be that all humans regardless of where they are from and what they may look like, are the same. We are equal beings. This needs to be talked about on the same scale as racism, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination against religion and culture. There is a reason people refer to these titles as "minority groups" and it is not because there is a lack of people who fall under these categories, it is because there is a lack of them in positions of social power, a lack of understanding and a lack of love. This world does not need more separation but rather more unity. It is important that we hold each other accountable for unacceptable behaviour such as this. There are many negative affects of being stigmatized. It can lead to further depression, suicide, limit ones ability to keep a job, have a home, find community, find acceptance.
This post is not about talking about mental illness like it's a problem. Mental illness is not the problem, our attitude and beliefs are what causes the problems. It is about opening up the conversation and finding strength in one another. Educate yourself, Enlighten others, speak up and it will create a new way in which we treat each other. As someone who has mental illnesses I want to say that language is everything. Seriously talk about it. Think about the words you use to describe these things too. Personally I don't like the term "mental illness" or "problem" or anything else that has a negative connotation tacked on to what I experience. I do not see my depression and anxiety as "problems". They are hard yes, they make what is normal to some people somewhat different for me but they are also part of who I am. A lot of people who talk about mental illness separate themselves from their illness. However, I see us as part of the same entity. I am changed by anxiety attacks and when I am depressed it's way different than how I am during a less depressing time but they are part of my experience and who I am. That being said I will not be defined by them. That panic attack does not mean that I am a fearful person forever or that I will never think positively again. These two things that I have are not the whole of my person but I won't ignore them. Ignoring them denies myself happiness. That's just not what I want. Anyways that was a side note to say, if you have a mental illness you do not have to be defined by it.
If someone you know has a mental illness include them in your activities, invite them to hang out with you, offer a hand to hold and SHOW them you care. It is easy to say that you are there for someone but make sure you really mean it. We have the power to support one another on our journey's. Even if it's just lending an ear to listen or a hand with groceries it can make the biggest difference. You are capable of an incredible amount of love and the best way for you to help those around you is to stand up with them. Mental illness does not need to be a taboo subject or anything to be embarrassed by. Let it be your strength. Let your stories empower one another to break the stigma. I don't know how else to say it, it just needs to be talked about. I am confident that we can help build each other up and by sharing our experiences, seeking education and reaching out, we will create an abundance of love.
That was my passionate statement friends.
Let us get into some self care shall we? Here is some stuff I love as well as things I want to do in the near future. To take care of others I believe it starts with caring for ourselves. Very seldom in this busy world do people make time to check in and take care of their being. Even if it's just five minutes, these are worth a try!
Make a colorful and nutritious dinner
Share that dinner with someone you love
cuddle a pet
make a comfort box(I still want to do this as a DIY here on the Sunspot)
Make yourself a lovely face mask using natural ingredients from your kitchen
Take a walk
Do something silly
Finger paint (amazing for the senses)
Buy yourself flowers
Dance in the kitchen( if you follow me on social media you can find clips of my sister and I)
Allow yourself to listen to your cravings, yes chocolate counts. Just eat the damn cookie
Take a bath
Read a book
Use a natural lotion with vitamin e to smooth over your body
Look up your name on Urban Dictionary... this can be good or bad or both
Alright that ties up my passionate and caring World Mental Health Day post. Be brave, embrace yourself, love fully and as always if you have any questions or comments I love getting messages from my contact page as well as your comments here on the post.
Love and Light,