How Mental Health Challenges Can Lead to Success

You know, it hasn’t even been two months since I wrote about how amazing Naomi Osaka is for looking out for her mental health, and here we are again. Our hero this time? Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast of all-time. Putting aside the fact that Biles doesn’t owe us anything (and in fact, has already given us more than we deserve), her decision to withdraw also shows us how important our mental health is – and how severe the consequences can be when we ignore it.

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Breaking Down Mental Health Terms: What is Dissociation?

When I write or talk about mental health, I can sometimes get too into the weeds and not properly explain some of the terms or definitions of some of the words I use. Language is extremely important to me in the way we talk about mental health, and clearly defining what certain terms mean (as well as their context) can be helpful to how we talk about mental health in the long run. That being said, I’ve decided to start breaking down some of these terms that could be more helpful to understand, and the first term I’ll be breaking down is dissociation.

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The Importance of Taking Time Off

We’re in peak summer time here in the United States, which means beautiful sunny weather, sometimes scorching temperature, and figuring out the age-old question of going on vacation. This would be a good time to post about why vacations are important for wellness, but since the logistics of going on vacation are still pretty difficult (worldwide pandemic and all), I decided to go even broader with my message. Even if we can’t get away this summer, it’s still important to take time off. Whether it’s from work, school, the lifestyle of a grinding entrepreneur, etc. there are many benefits from taking time off to relax and restore your wellness. Here’s why!

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The Tunnel Vision of My Mental Health

When I think about the way I manage mental health, I think a lot about tunnel vision. If you’re not as familiar with the concept, tunnel vision is often used as a metaphor when someone is focused exclusively on a singular goal or way of doing things. Even though it’s often used as a metaphor, the literal definition of tunnel vision is a loss of peripheral vision. There are pro’s and cons to having tunnel vision when it comes to our mental health – let’s break down some of the main ways they occur.

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Wrapping Up Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

Hi everyone! Since Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve read and seen this month that have inspired me on my own mental health journey. I also wanted to create a space where I could reflect on the writing I’ve done this month and how it could be helpful on your mental health journey as well! Let’s dive in:

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Focusing On Mental Health And What’s Next

This month on My Brain’s Not Broken, I decided to intentionally focus on the pandemic’s impact on mental health. We’re also closing out Mental Health Awareness Month, and I’ve been very pleased to see the content that people have created and the wonderful ways that people have embraced conversations about mental health. Today, I want to focus on what’s ahead – not necessarily on what our mental health should look like after the pandemic (if that’s even a thing), but what we can do now. We’ve been living this way for 15 months now, and that’s brought a renewed focus on how we can better take care of ourselves in many ways, including mental health.

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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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Doing What You Need to Get What You Need

Sometimes the word productive gets on my nerves. It’s unfortunate, because in a lot of settings the word is helpful. I like thinking about the work I do in terms of productivity – whether it’s my job or passion projects on the side, it’s important that I’m productive because I love the things I do and I want my work to reflect that. But the second people started slipping the word productive into how we live our personal lives, I knew it would be something that bothered me. I can see how daily goals set around productivity and efficiency can help someone accomplish many things, but in my experience, that sort of mindset never helped me get what I needed to be mentally healthy.

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I Can’t Always Do More – And That’s Okay

In a surge of excitement earlier this week, I decided I’d go get a haircut in-person for the first time in more than a year. The pandemic and my anxiety are the main reasons I haven’t done so already, and while I didn’t regret that at all, I got excited because I found a place to go that I might feel more comfortable in, that wasn’t as busy and didn’t have as much going on. But then things shifted.

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