May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I couldn't let the month go by without acknowledging it. With the stresses of everyday life, pressures from social media and other things, it's not surprising that more people are suffering from mental health issues.
I'll be the first to admit that 2019 has been a whirlwind to say the least. Between commitments, work stressing me out, Mercury retrograde, a car accident, multiple deaths, and dealing with everyday adulting, I felt like I was damn near losing my mind.
Earlier this year, I was slowly sinking into a depression, experiencing frequent migraines, having anxiety attacks and all. I felt a HOT mess, which made me feel even worse because I was shaming myself for not being as productive, social, and in-tune with myself like I usually am. Each day blurred into the next, and by the time I looked up here we were - it's May, and 1/3 of the year has passed by.
After finding myself crying on my floor to the point that I could barely think straight, I realized that I just needed time to sit down, be still and get my mind right. I hadn’t really taken any time to just be still, be present, think, and move forward. Everything seemed like a nonstop whirlwind, and I was (and still am) burnt out. They say you can't pour from an empty cup, and I honestly had nothing left to give.
They say you can't pour from an empty cup, and I had nothing left to give.
It’s necessary to have moments where you can just be still and get your mind right. It’s hard to be your best self and operate at your full potential when your mind isn’t right. Everyone has their own way of coping and dealing with life, but here are a few ways I got my mind right:
Spending time alone and with God.
I'm always suspicious of people who don't know how to be alone. I enjoy my peace, and sometimes I don't want to see or talk to anyone. It's hard to really get to know yourself and be in tune with your authentic self if you never spend time with just you. Taking moments to be alone help me get my mind right. I'm also able to use this time to be still, listen to God for direction, plan, and organize my thoughts. It's hard to operate in purpose and follow God if I'm not aligned with Him, so spending time alone definitely helps!
Taking a break from social media and my phone.
I often miss the days when our lives weren't consumed by a mobile device. Nowadays it's almost like we can't live without it. Our entire lives are somewhat managed by cell phones - they house our email, calendar, daily reminders, cameras, books, finances, Bible, social media, and more. It's hard to step away when we are so dependent on it. I found that unplugging and limiting my social media usage and giving myself time to experience life without my phone glued to my hand has helped. This practice lets you live in the moment and not be distracted by other people and things going on in the world (most of which doesn't have anything to do with us in the first place). Unplugging is definitely a good way to get your mind right, focus on yourself, and be present.
I absolutely love yoga, especially hot yoga! Studies have shown that yoga actually helps with anxiety and depression. It's a fun workout that also helps improve your focus and flexibility. I'm able to forget about everything while I'm in a yoga session because I'm too busy focusing on my poses (and making sure I don't fall over or pass out from heat exhaustion). It seems like everything that mattered before I entered the yoga studio is no longer a big deal. There's nothing better than leaving it all on the mat! I feel so much lighter mentally and emotionally once class is over, and my body feels great!
Writing in a journal.
There is something about releasing it all with a pad and pen. I've always been better at communicating my thoughts and feelings through writing than verbally; hence, why I prefer texting over talking and blogging over vlogging. It's just an emotional release. Being able to journal my thoughts, how my day went, etc. has helped me be more in tune with myself mentally and keep track of how I'm feeling. I feel lighter once I get everything out. Also, it's rewarding to go back and read old entries to see how far I've come. It makes you appreciate the small moments in life since they all add up to create the bigger moments.
This go-go-go mentality and lifestyle will run us into chaos and have us mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. There's always a focus on taking care of ourselves physically, financially, and spiritually, but often times mental well-being is forgotten. I hope you were able to take time this month (and every day) to get your mind right and make your mental health a priority.