Making Space for Positive Moments

I’ve written about the power of positive moments a few times on this blog. One time, it was about it’s hard for me to enjoy good moments or changes in my life. Another time, it was about trying to hold on to those good memories, wherever they find me, and take them with me as I continue on my mental health journey. The relationship between people and their memories is fascinating to me. For some people, memories are something to be left in the past, to never be thought of again. For others, memories can be a crutch that can hamper someone from continuing on with their life. In any case, I think there’s a positive relationship we can cultivate with our memories that can help us grow stronger on our mental health journeys.

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Not Keeping Calm, But Carrying On

While I mentioned last week that November was a very challenging month for my mental health, I was still uncomfortable to share anything to detailed out of fear of jinxing myself (yes, I am definitely scared that I will jinx myself about most good things in life, but that is not a problem for you to hear, just my therapist). But things actually turned out pretty well – I signed on the dotted line for a new job (I start in January!), and I’ve been able to secure a roommate who will move in without interrupting my rent payments. Things worked out! But, as with everything else in life, making these things happen was not a simple process, and it took a toll on my anxiety. And even though I didn’t always remain calm, I found comfort in how I handled these things.

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Pushing Past Feelings of Worthlessness

This week has been mentally exhausting. You could argue that the month of November was pretty exhausting, or that 2020 as a whole has tired you out mentally; both would be true. But what has made this week such a mental workout for me is that I’ve bounced back and forth between joy and sadness, hope and fear, optimism and pessimism. Very good things have happened this week (hopefully I can share more next week!), and the result could be more positive change in my life. But the reason that I’ve been bouncing back and forth between positive and negative feelings this week doesn’t mean I’m not excited at these opportunities – in reality, I’m extremely excited. But adjusting to new things, even positive ones, means I’m taking on an opponent I know all too well – those feelings of worthlessness that can have a huge impact on our mental health.

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A Lesson in Stress and Mental Wellness

After months of mentally training to overcome COVID obstacles, I faced a few new challenges in November. They are fairly common obstacles that many people deal with throughout the course of adulthood, but because of the circumstances of this year, it felt like an entirely different challenge than anything I’d been experiencing. However, those challenges were also very common, real-world experiences, so I started to examine my relationship with stress because of them. Since then, I’ve learned how I handle stress in these situations, and it’s taught me more about myself and how I manage mental wellness.

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What I’m Thankful for This Year

I’ll be honest – these next few months are one of my favorite times of the year. Even though the wintertime can be difficult for many reasons, I separate the holiday season from those negative thoughts that I fight throughout the winter months. To me, the holiday aspect of these next few months is a lot about thankfulness, gratitude and reflection. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share something I am very thankful for this year, which was the opportunity to learn new techniques to manage my mental health struggles. Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned!

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A More Difficult Holiday Season Than Usual

It’s no secret that the holiday season is a difficult time for many. Whether it’s that the sun sets earlier, the weather gets colder or you have to deal with family more than the rest of the year, the next few months bring challenges and difficulties that are unique to this time of the year. And this year, those challenges are even more difficult than usual because of COVID-19, meaning that plenty of people won’t be around the people they usually see during the holidays. Since we already know this will be a challenging time, how do we use this to our advantage? It’s time to get intentional!

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Mental Health Self-Assessment Part 2: Techniques and Strategies

After writing the first part of this post earlier this week, I’ve definitely got self-assessments on the brain. Whether it’s as simple as running through the last few days or doing an in-depth audit of yourself, trying to look at your thoughts and actions from a broad scope have helped me understand myself better. When I self-assess, I always learn more about myself than I thought I would. I pick up new knowledge and insight, and it helps me continue on my mental health journey. After writing about assessing our vocabulary, I wanted to spend the second part talking about something of equal importance – assessing the way we approach mental health.

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Mental Health Self-Assessment Part 1: Vocabulary

Words have always been an important way to tackle the topic of mental health, but sometimes it’s difficult to turn the lens directly on us. The words we use to describe our own mental health, our own personality even, are extremely important. They impact how we view ourselves and the world around us, and which impact the choices we make and things that we do. But in order to improve our mental health vocabulary, we must be aware of how what we’re currently doing, which is where the Mental Health Self-Assessment comes in. Welcome to Part One of this post – Vocabulary.

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Changing Vocabulary About My Own Mental Health

“Well, when you put it like that…”

We’ve all had conversations when our opinions are challenged, our perspectives questioned. When we share our thoughts with others, our word choice and phrasing matters – how else can someone understand our point of view? Over the years, I’ve learned that the way I talk about my mental health hasn’t always been perfectly reflective of my attitude. And that phrase – when you put it like that – is one I say often. When I hear my words from someone else’s mouth, I realized how wrong I was, and that’s why I change my mental health vocabulary on a very regular basis.

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The Myth of “Feeling Like Myself”

When I’m going through a difficult time mentally, I deal with many repetitive thoughts. Regardless of what those thoughts are, my main challenge during this time is to disrupt anything repetitive and try to create original, unique thoughts that are different from each other. One of these repetitive thoughts that occurs is that I say that I “don’t feel like myself.” Though I’ve struggled with this in the past, I’m trying to change what that phrase means to be – and how that can improve my mental health.

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