When you are feeling under the weather, it is a normal and widely accepted practice to visit your family doctor or even check into the hospital. Why is this not the same when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed?
Mental health is an important part of our being. It is what keeps us every day and stays with us when we fly alone in our beds at night. It should be cared for just like any other part of us. Maybe even more so, because our mental health is the key to our innermost thoughts, our hopes, out dreams, our fears, our insecurities, and our memories.
What they don't tell you is that it is okay to be overwhelmed, sad, anxious, depressed, or stressed. all of these emotions are just as normal as feeling excited to go on a first date or proud that you passed a difficult exam. You don't have to always keep a happy face and carry a façade that everything is always okay.
As the soul of the human being is a gift, the mental being is also, allowing to feel and reflect. Poor mental heath can lead to a variety of issues that can affect daily life, personal emotions, productivity, and behavior.
Keeping our mental health in check and looking out for ourselves is a step in the right direction, but this is better said than done. It is more than putting on a face mask for 10 minutes at night or taking a day off work. This means limiting intake of alcohol, taking breaks from social media, eating well, staying active, talking about your feelings, and working on loving and accepting yourself.
Surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people can also help your mental health. Having friends who are always negative and talk down to you about anything can definitely affect your mental health. A positive, healthy community and environment can shape your views of yourself, life, and your daily outlook in general.
Not enough people are talking about how much we really need to care for our mental health. There is a huge stigma behind mental health and the illnesses that individuals deal with on a daily basis. By working to end this stigma on mental health, the more it can be talked about and openly discussed.
The trending #MeToo movement on Twitter and Instagram sparked courage and support for individuals who were victims of sexual assault. Thousands of men and women across the world stood up and said "me too," leading to a large discussion of support and awareness on what these individuals have faced mentally, physically, and emotionally. These are the kind of conversations we need to be having, because the emotions are real and are worthy for care, patience, and understanding. The stigma of mental health causes stress and anxiety for those who are suffering, as shame and guilt can definitely begin to take over.
You are worthy. You are important. You are deserving.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness gives us some ways that we can fight the stigma on mental health:
1. Talk openly about mental health.
2. Educate yourself and others.
3. Be conscious of language.
4. Encourage equality between physical health and mental health.
5. Show compassion for those with mental illness.
6. Show compassion for those with mental illness.
7. Chose empowerment for over shame.
8. Be honest about treatment.
9. Let the media know when they're being stigmatizing.
10. Don't harbor self-stigma.
If you or a loved one ever needs to talk, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a free, confidential, 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 1-800-662-4357.