The Challenge of Celebrating Yourself

This past week was my birthday. I’ll be honest – historically speaking, I’m not big on birthdays. Actually, let me be more specific: I’m not that big on my birthday. I’ll help anyone else celebrate the day they were born. Name the time and place and I am in there, ready to do it up big. But when it comes to my own birthday, there have always been a few challenges that have gotten in the way of enjoying my birthday the way I’d like to. There are plenty of reasons for why I feel this way, but since this is a mental health blog, I’ll focus on what one of the most challenging reasons that birthdays are difficult for me, which is one of the simplest aspects of a birthday: celebrating yourself.

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Why Your Mental Health Journey Is Unique

A lot of people face mental health challenges on a daily basis. That might sound like it’s a lot to deal with, but there’s something that’s easy to forget when we talk about mental health and the challenges that people can face – each person, and each challenge, is unique. There is a sense of community and togetherness that is important when it comes to the mental health discourse (think about ‘you are not alone’ and phrases in that vein), but it can be difficult to remember that even though we’re in this together, each person is on their own mental health journey. This means that our challenges will be faced in many different ways, which can get left out of how we talk about mental health.

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When Relaxing Is the Point

As any reader of this blog knows, I tend to overthink things. Maybe it’s my anxiety, maybe it’s just part of my personality, who knows – either way, decisions aren’t made lightly when it comes to how I live my life. That’s one of the reasons I struggled over the weekend, but also one of the ways that I was taught a valuable lesson in how to spend and enjoy my time. I operate with the mindset that every single moment of my day has to have a vague, undefined sense of meaning and importance, and I’m starting to learn that this doesn’t have to be true. Sometimes, the only reason we do things is to feel good and enjoy ourselves – and that can be a very good thing.

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Learning to Find Comfort in Messing Up

I get annoyed at myself a lot. Like, a lot. Multiple times a day. Part of that is my natural inclination after years of experiencing depression and anxiety, but part of it feels like human nature. No one is is happy about every single choice they make. We’re humans and we make mistakes. The problem is, I can hear that a million times, but an aspect of that never sinks in. Failing is extremely uncomfortable to me, and even though I’m discovering why, that doesn’t make it any easier to manage.

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Fighting My Instincts Toward Negative Thoughts

I think a lot about instincts. Whether it’s the instinct to think something or feel something, I’m pretty fascinated by the concept of instantly having a thought or feeling throughout my body because of something I’ve experienced. Unfortunately, people who experience mental illness can often have natural instincts that create negative thoughts or feeling, which can be very frustrating. It’s difficult to live in a world where every instinctual thought about yourself is negative, but that’s the reality for many people who experience depression.

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Focusing on What’s Effective for Mental Wellness

When I write about mental health, I often use the word effective to talk about a certain technique or method that I’m researching or using. I’ve started to use this word more and more in the past few years, and it’s become one of the biggest ways I’ve measured mental wellness and how I manage mental health challenges. By putting a focus on how effective things are, I’ve been able to prioritize my mental health in a way I hadn’t been able to do before. Here’s why that’s important.

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Suicide Prevention Looks Like More Than You Think

TW: This post discusses suicide and suicide prevention.

In looking at what I wrote last year during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I found a lot of useful information in my posts. But as it often happens, I’ve learned a few things in the past year that have helped form new opinions and improve the way I view different aspects of mental health and wellness. And while it’s always useful to share resources and information (such as this post of mine from last year which does just that), I thought I’d share another insight into suicide prevention that isn’t discussed as often.

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The Difference Between Adjusting and Fixing

My posts from the last few weeks have me thinking a lot about making adjustments and self-improvement, and for good reason. My two-part post on making mental health adjustments allowed me to reflect on making the necessary adjustments to my changing mental health – whether that’s adjusting to my new symptoms or how this impacts the world around me. I also want to find ways to get out of my own head and feel freer in conversations, which is why I questioned if everything I say is actually that important. But my mindset is extremely important when it comes to making adjustments, which is what I wanted to write about today.

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Improving My Relationship with Failure and Mental Health

I thought a bit about how I’d title this post because I knew that regardless of what I wrote, I’d feel some type of way about this particular topic. Like many other people, I don’t have a great relationship with the world ‘failure.’ At worst, the word terrifies me. At best, I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m not perfect. I think we could all stand to improve our relationship with how we deal with failure, and I feel like incorporating that improvement within a mental health framework is a good place to start. I’m not always going to succeed at being mentally healthy. I have to be okay at accepting that, and here’s why.

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The Trouble With Being on Autopilot

I’m currently making my way out of a months-long mental funk, and things have felt a little off. That’s not to say that I’ve been struggling too much or things are unbearable. But sometimes you end up in a bit of a funk, and if that affects your mental health it can take some time to climb out of that hole. This time, I realized one of the main reasons I ended up in this funk was that I was on autopilot when it came to my mental health. Though being on autopilot has its benefits with getting through our day-to-day activities, it can also contribute to negatively affecting our mental health.

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