As a dancer, if I sustain physical injury, I rest, allow ample time to heal, and get back on the dance floor when I’m ready. Your mental health is no different.
If you’re mentally-injured from stress, sadness, an overwhelming busy day, etc., you require proper time and methods to heal.
As my followers know, the past couple years have put me through the wringer – severe depression and high anxiety to the point of shaking fits and panic attacks. All this brought on by feeling overwhelmed, unstable, unloved, and unworthy.
In the early stages of my downward spiral, my body and mind warned me with symptoms, such as muscle pains, headaches, extreme fatigue, and next-to-zero excitement for life.
When your body gives you warnings, please listen. I wish I would have.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t.
We keep pushing until we break. Why? These days, that’s how society influences us to live – to not have compassion for ourselves and/or others during difficult mental and emotional times. To push through.
How many times have we said or heard: “She thinks that’s bad?? She doesn’t have a clue how bad my anxiety is.”
Or “Boo hoo! You’re tired??… Who isn’t?!”
And there’s always “Put your big girl/boy panties on, and deal with it.”
Focus Your Journey on YOU
Struggling with mental health is the same – The worst mental health struggle is always your mental health struggle.”
You can’t compare yourself or your emotions to anyone else. Equivalently, you can’t judge others for their particular response to struggle.
How your body, mind, and emotions operate may be completely different from others and visa versa. Just like any skill in life.
Something that’s easy for you, can be challenging for someone else…
As a dance teacher, if I see a student struggling, I don’t dismiss them thinking they’re not good enough. I don’t belittle them because they’re not getting a step I think is easy.
No. I encourage them. I try to understand their struggles and offer advice that resonates with them to support their learning experience.
If I didn’t, they’d likely find another dance instructor, right?
You must find teachers, resources, that speak to you, to help you learn your own dance with your particular mental health. And if the people around you aren’t being supportive, you have the choice (and right!) to excuse them from your process.
Make Healing Personal Choices
Many things can trigger mental health stress – work, relationships, money, etc. You must set yourself up for success with factual, sustainable, and healthy practice and decision-making.
Setting an action in place you fear will be unsuccessful is not setting yourself up for success. So simply don’t do it!
You must choose the workload that feeds your soul, not drains it. If you’ve got too much on your plate, guiltlessly get rid of some things or put them on the back burner.
Who cares if your neighbor spots you sun-bathing and thinks “She’s so lazy… Must be nice.” You’re happy, and that’s all that matters.
And if someone feeds you a line like that, ignore them.
DON’T LET JUDGEMENT TOUCH YOU! No one knows your struggle, but YOU. And if people don’t understand it, that’s fine. You don’t need them to.
You do what’s best for YOU, and that doesn’t require approval from anyone else.
If you need time to relax, take it.
If you’re budget is out of control, cut things down or out.
And if you’re tired, find time to sleep.
It’s all just that simple.
No matter what, do what you need to take care of yourself, and DON’T. FEEL. GUILTY. ABOUT. IT.
Make the conscious decision to toss stress out of the process. In the words of Frozen, “Let it go!!”
YOU must choose the best path, resources, and practices for your optimal mental health. You have that power and right, and don’t ever let anyone tell you different!
Starting your journey and even affirming it takes a solid foundation, practice, and a routine for resilience. At the end of the day, your journey is strictly for your happiness, to lead to your desired destination.
No one looks at a map and plots the hardest path to their destination, right? Your journey to positive mental health should be no different.
Find knowledgeable, trustworthy, and non-judgemental resources if you need to ask for directions along the way, and get to steppin’!