Contributed through IAHF. The original post can found here.
You can be mentally healthy with a mental illness.
— Dr. Charneta Scott
When was the last time you spoke to someone about your mental wellness? Earlier this month I attended the "Saving Us" Mental Wellness Dinner + Dialogue hosted by Black Girls Smile in Washington, DC. It was an event aimed at having an open dialogue around mental wellness. As someone who is currently dealing with the loss of a loved one, I was excited to not only attend but learn from professionals about how to manage my mental health. This event was such a blessing for me. From the founder of Black Girls Smile, to the speakers, to every single attendee, this was exactly where I needed to be. Here is why!
We heard from five dynamic women, who shared their stories and opened up about their battles with mental wellness. Here are 5 lessons that really resonated with me from this inspirational event.
Schedule time for your mental wellness. Especially if you are on social-media.
— April Reign
Social-media can be a really good tool. It is great for networking, promoting your brand, researching, and learning new skills. But there is also a very dark side to social-media, a side which often makes my skin bring. Yes, I am talking about all the bullying, discrimination, racism, sexism and all the other isms you can think about. In order to preserve your sanity, it is very important that you take a break from that space. As April said, “you are not a super woman/man. You can't do everything for everyone. What are you doing to care for yourself?”. After this event, I've committed to spending less time on social-media and devoting that time to improving my mental health.
April Reign, sharing her journey with mental health at the "Saving Us" Dinner in DC.
Self care starts with being honest with yourself and giving yourself permission to be ok with that.
— Rachel Voss
Yasss Rachel! You are speaking to my life! How many times have you been unrealistic with yourself because you are focus on trying to be like someone else? I've been there before. I've tried to do things and behave in certain ways, because I thought that was what I needed to do. I am not sure how I got to that point, or why, but I had to have a serious coming to jesus meeting with myself. Social-media has only made this worst. Remember that people post what they want you to see on social-media, there is more to who they are and what they are going through.
Rachel Voss, talking about her transition from a corporate job to a yoga instructor.
Navigating the mental health system can be very difficult, don’t do it alone.
— Theresa Nyugen
I remember seeking counseling earlier in my life, it was such a lonely experience. I couldn't really talk about what I was dealing with, because I didn't want to be called crazy. It was refreshing to be able to talk freely about my feelings without fear of being judge. I know seeking mental health can be very tough and finding the right type of help can be worse. I encourage you to be patience with yourself and do not give up on your mental wellness needs.
People should feel comfortable sharing that they take care of their health.
— Dr. Marissa C. Leslie
Why are we ashamed of admitting we take care of our mental wellness? We aren't ashamed of going to the dentist, the hair dresser, the OBGYN, or any other doctor. How come when it comes to our mental health we wear our badge as a scarlet letter and not a badge of honor? We all deserve good mental health and should be proud of seeking it. Sharing your story will help someone dealing with mental illness.
Not everyone has mental illness but everyone has to take care of their mental health.
— Dr. Charneta Scott
Can we get a standing ovation for this message from Dr. Charneta Scott, please and thank you! How many times have you heard someone say, "I am good, I am not crazy"? Why do we love the term "crazy" so much? What does it even mean? As someone who is passionate about healthy living, I had to learn that I had to take care of my mental health. Sometimes mental illness manifests itself clearly, and others, the signs are a little more subtle. Just because you do not suffer from a mental illness it doesn't mean you don't need someone to help you learn how to deal with the death of a loved one. It doesn't make you weak, it shows how strong you are.
I hope you enjoyed these lessons and I hope you take them with you when you are thinking about your own mental wellness. Remember, make time for your self care, give yourself permission to be ok with who you are, do not navigate the mental health system alone, it's ok to share your journey and you must take care of your mental health! Thank you so much to Kristina Bigby for sharing this opportunity with me.
I would love to know your thoughts. How do you deal with mental wellness? Is this topic discussed in your home? What kind of things do you do to take care of your mental health?