Finding Mental Wellness During Uncertain Times

On Tuesday, I wrote about what my approach to mental health has been like during the pandemic – an approach that includes a bit of pessimism, an emphasis on focus and a willingness to let out my emotions when I need. The more I wrote about these things, the more I reflected on how I’ve been able to maintain mental wellness as often as I could during the past year-plus of this pandemic.

One of the more difficult things I’ve come to terms with is that as long as we’ve been living this way, I still haven’t truly processed what we’ve gone through, and what we’re still going through. Truthfully, I’m slightly nervous of what that will look like for my mental health. But the bigger question on my mind is, how do you process something when you don’t know when it will end?

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A Pandemic Approach to Mental Health

For Mental Health Awareness Month this year, I’m placing a focus on the pandemic’s impact. At this point, I’ve been working from home for 15 months, my life has seen drastic changes, and I have hit more mental walls than I ever thought possible in only a year. Part of me hoped I’d never really write about my mental health approach from this last year and a half. Now that this is the second Mental Health Month in a pandemic, I decided to share parts of how I’ve been able to find peace and wellness where I could find it. This approach includes a dose of pessimism, an emphasis on focus and a willingness to let out my emotions when I need it.

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Four Ways to Spread Mental Health Awareness

I’ve said this plenty of times before on the blog, but I talk about mental health a lot. It’s a topic constantly on my mind, and the more I discuss it the more it comes up in every day life. I view mental health as a key part of people’s lives, which is what makes Mental Health Awareness Month so important as a mental health advocate. But how do you spread awareness about a topic as broad and far-ranging as mental health? Where does a person even start? Today, I’m sharing four of the biggest ways that I spread mental health awareness in my work, and how each of these ways works to shrink the stigma and start a discussion about mental health.

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

It’s May, which means that it’s another big month for mental health! May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, an annual event that raises national awareness for mental health. While mental health awareness happens year-round, this month is a time for specific conversations about shrinking the mental health stigma and advocating for the mental health policies and services that people need. Different organizations will have various themes, and this month is a good time for the mental health community to come together and advocate for what we ALL need to maintain mental wellness. Here are a few campaigns to keep an eye on this month!

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Coping With Chronic Mental Health Challenges

I’ve knowingly lived with depression and anxiety for more than eight years. Even though I’ve grown in a lot of positive ways over that time, there have also been many challenges and obstacle, a lot of which existed primarily due to depression and anxiety. A while back I realized that matter how many steps I take to improving my mental health, obstacles will always exist. They might look different during various parts of life, but they will continue to happen, challenging my mental wellness in a now-familiar pattern. It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of living with a chronic mental health condition, but there are things I’ve learned over that that improved my approach to living with depression and anxiety.

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Talking About Mental Health on the (Inter)national Stage

TW: This post discusses suicide/suicidal thoughts.

Like millions people around the world, I watched Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Interview this week. I thought it was very good for many reasons, but since this is a mental health blog I’ll stick to what we do and what inspired this post, which is how Meghan Markle spoke on her own mental health. The way she shared her story and how she connected the dots reminded me of the value of public figures to opening up about their mental health.

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How We Glamorize Mental Illness – And What We Can Do About It

It’s safe to say I talk about mental illness more than the average person (okay, much more than the average person), which means I can get so focused on specifics and details that I miss things that are outside my scope. Over the years, mental illness has become more and more glamorized and honestly, I missed parts of it. I mostly ignored this content because I thought I knew what the causes were, but it’s much more complicated than I’d anticipated. So today I’d like to address one aspect of why it’s dangerous to glamorize mental illness – and how easily it can be perpetrated.

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Seeing the World Through a Mental Health Lens

Everyone has their own unique way of seeing the world. While many of us see it in a very similar way, there are still personality traits and life experiences that make our point of view unique. Some people refer to these as ‘lenses’ through which we see the world. The lenses I see the world through have changed through the years, and recently I’ve seen them change for the better. One lens that I continue to see the world through is a mental health lens. This lens impacts how I see the world in a major way, and shapes the choices I have and the decisions I make. Now I want to share what that means for me, and how you can incorporate it into your life too!

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Mental Health Impacts Everyone

World Mental Health Day is a date that’s marked on my calendar every year, and while I usually write a post for that day (you can see last year’s post here and my 2018 post here), I was busy participating in something different this year. I am a Mental Health Advocate for Rethink Mental Health Incorporated, and on October 10th, they hosted a World Mental Health-athon on Instagram by bringing on their advocates at the top of every hour to talk about their own mental health stories and why mental health matters. When I was on Instagram Live for my portion, Rethink’s founder made a good point during our conversation that I wanted to expand more on today – that everyone deals with mental health.

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How Are We Handling a Mental Health Crisis?

I’ve hinted at this on the blog, but I’ve been in a mental health crisis before. More than once, actually. This isn’t the time or place to discuss those crises in detail, though, because I want to focus on how I felt, what I did, and how all of that made me feel safe and secure. Based on my personal experience, I’ve had to basically teach myself how to have a mental health crisis. It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s what I had to do, and I think I am better for it. So now I want to share my experience.

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