On this blog, we talk a lot about helping others. However, sometimes it’s you that you need to focus on. I believe mental health is so, so important, and I’m encouraged to see the conversation picking up in real life and online.
I asked my good friend Charmaine from the blog Organized Lunacy, to write me a post about the importance of making sure you’re doing alright, and what you can do if you’re not. I hope you’ll enjoy her words of encouragement, and if you struggle with mental health issues, I hope you find a companion in her story (check out her blog!). Enjoy.
Happiness can be painstakingly tough and seemingly impossible for people who struggle with mental issues. While it can be within reach to most people, some who struggle with depression or are plagued with a mental illness may find it an impossible feat. This is because of reasons which will be hard to understand for people who do not have an ounce of understanding on what it’s like to perpetually live with mental issues (and it’s absolutely okay if people don’t totally get it as long as respect and empathy are still present). But for everyone who is dealing with the monsters in their head, the funk, the darkness, or however you want to call it, here are four ways to help you get started on the road to long-lasting happiness.
You may be an extrovert, an introvert, or somebody in between. But whichever your personality type is according to the Myerrs Briggs Personality Type or any other personality tests you might have taken, talk. Talk to your family and your most trusted friends. Talk to your pet, if any. Let them know how you feel or the lack of feelings sometimes. While it can be often hard to articulate your oceans of emotions, you’ve got to muster the courage to try because talking helps. Talking allows you to be relieved of the stress you’re under, at least temporarily. Talking helps you make sense of things which you sometimes won’t comprehend until you talk (like how it is for kinesthetic people who don’t learn things until they actually do them). Talking is the only way to get your message across to people who genuinely care about you, unless you live with mind readers. The people around you who want to help need you to help them as well. I understand if you may be afraid of being judged so you won’t talk. But it’s people who are truly concerned about you we’re talking about. So talk. Now.
- Get some sun.
Yes, I know it takes so much just to get out of bed, what more to get outside of the house. If you can’t find this to be doable at this point, why not try to remove the curtains or blinds in your room or house during the morning? This way, the sunshine will get in and you’ll get to have some of it.
If you can’t do it alone, ask a friend or family member to walk with you in a park or the beach side. 15 minutes will be a good start. A daily dose of sunshine may not be the cure to mental illness but it can help put you in a good mood, energize your body, and maybe help you see the “light”.
- Pursue spirituality.
Even science has proven that people who spend time with the faith they identify with are able to live happy lives, despite the struggles and challenges. So whatever you religion you belong to, connect to people of the same faith and the Creator you believe in. Explore other religions if you think it will help you get one step closer to finding hope and happiness eventually.
- Seek professional help.
More than anyone else, shrinks know what to do and what methods will help you deal with your mental illness. Consult a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or anyone in the field of medicine who can help. While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be better, seeking help from professionals is a way to start the healing process. But once you do this, make sure to commit to it with your whole heart. Cooperate and do everything you can yo help yourself, because you deserve to live a happy life despite the fate life has dealt you with.
You are fighting depression and other mental illness now, might as well fight with all you can. While it’s unfortunate and deeply painful to see and hear other friends and people we knew to have lost the fight, it doesn’t mean you will lose to.
You’re still breathing. And as long as you’re alive, you’ve got to keep fighting.