We've officially made it through the first week of 2017, and I've decided to make this the year that I promote mental health awareness, healing and productive self-care. A couple of days before New Year's Day, I started a blog on WordPress called Unapologetically Written. While this may seem like shameless self-promotion, I promise it isn't. Instead of promoting my blog, I've decided to promote my reasoning for starting said blog.
2016 was the year I became interested in and engaged with mental health awareness. The more I attempted to promote mental well-being, self-care and awareness, the more I realized that there aren't very many safe spaces online that promote healing or productive self-care. Typically, I see websites that focus on promoting awareness and healing through empowerment, and those are perfectly fine, but I rarely see productive self-care being promoted. What do I mean by productive self-care? I mean the type of self-care that not only distracts but inspires, heals but channels. I don't promote self-care as the sole method of healing, but I do promote self-care as a personal, secondary method of healing. Professional help is always the best option for those who need it, but self-care is a good way to personally manage mental illness, trauma, or even just bad days. However, most of the self-care that I see is all about bubble baths, hot drinks, and nights in with Netflix. Of course, these are completely okay ways to practice self-care, but there's so much more that could be done. I know there are days where those are the most we're willing or able to do, but on other days, I'd like to challenge everyone to be practice productive self-care. For me, this means doing something that allows us to channel our trauma, pain and negative energy into a productive outlet. Being a lover of literature, I've taken a step towards promoting literature as a means of healing.
Literature doesn't only mean books. It can be so much more—movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games, etc. For me, literature is anything that tells a story or a history, and really, that includes all of us because we're all stories, histories and works of art. Unapologetically Written focuses on using literature as a means of explaining, exploring and healing through self-care. Since I include human beings as literature, it also focuses on creating a community, a safe space, for us to talk about our grief, our trauma, our mental illnesses, our everything, as a means of self-care.
As I've already stated, my reasons for creating Unapologetically Written are because of the apparent lack of space for discussing, healing and practicing productive self-care and because of my desire to promote mental health awareness and well-being. However, I have another reason: to promote living life unapologetically. All too often I see people apologize for their mental illness, trauma, insecurities, "baggage" and all the things that make them who they are. Sure, I don't think anyone wants to live with the grief that comes with these things, and we all want to heal, but we should never apologize for any of them. Whether we like it or not, they're a part of us. We are who we are, and that's what makes us literature, stories, histories and art. We should live unapologetically because the things we so often apologize for are the things that have made us what we are, shaped us into art, written the stories of our lives. We should all be unapologetically written.