Time for an Appreciation Post!

A few months ago marked four years of My Brain’s Not Broken and I will be honest – I did a terrible job of marking this milestone. Like many other people, 2021 has felt like a whirlwind of a year, and it’s felt almost impossible to keep up with everything. Every day brings tasks to accomplish and challenges to overcome, and if you don’t stop and look at the bigger picture, you miss some things. So I thought it was about time I got back around to sharing an appreciation post – for the many wonderful people who read this blog, and the amazing things I’ve experienced from sharing my mental health journey for the last four-plus years.

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What Do I Do With My Emotions?

Part of living with depression and anxiety means that sometimes, my emotions are…heightened. I don’t always know the reasoning behind it, but there are a lot of emotions I feel more intensely than I’d like to feel. I know a part of this is my empathetic nature, part of it is life and part of it is just in my personality, but it can be tricky. I don’t always know what to do with my emotions – and in some situations, this can get in the way of being mentally healthy.

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When It Comes to Mental Health, Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy

People say it all the time – easier said than done. That phrase can extend to a lot of different situations for a lot of different reasons. In fact I don’t think I realized just how often I said it (to myself or to others) during my day-to-day life. And while I think that this extends to plenty of situations in our lives, there’s no area where this plays out for me in a clearer way then when my mental health is involved. When it comes to mental health challenges and finding ways to improve my mental wellness, it is always, always, always easier said than done. Because even though mental health solutions might sound simple, they are anything but easy.

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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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It Sounded Better in My Head

One of the more prominent aspects of my anxiety is my difficulty with conversation. Most of that stems from social anxiety, which (according to the National Institute of Mental Health) is “an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others.” Having conversations with others, especially people I don’t know all that well, can make me very nervous. I’m often worried I’ll say the ‘wrong thing’ and ruin a conversation, which is why I often avoid them. The biggest reason I end up in these situations is that I have an unrealistic view that every interaction I have with someone should be ‘perfect’ – which is what I want to talk about today.

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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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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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Making Mental Health Adjustments Part Two: Adjusting to Yourself

Adjusting to changes in your mental wellness isn’t easy. There are so many ways things can change, and since every person has their own unique story and personality traits, there are a million directions these changes can go in. In part one of this post on making mental health adjustments, I focused on how to adjust to new or different symptoms of mental illness, and wrote about the effectiveness of adjusting to one symptom at a time. Today, I want to focus on making mental health adjustments that help us build a healthier lifestyle – not just adjusting to our symptoms, but adjusting to how mental health affects our well-being.

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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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