Making the Mental Shift Into Fall

Every year around Labor Day, I start to make the mental shift into the fall season. I know I’m not alone in this (and I’m not here to talk about how amazing fall is, I promise), but I think there are important adjustments we make heading into this part of the year that aren’t always talked about. Seasons don’t only mean a change in weather; they also mean a change in lifestyle and a shift in our schedules. Fall is much more than back to school and changing leaves – it’s another opportunity to work on our mental health in a changing space.

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Making Mental Health Adjustments Part One: Adjusting to Symptoms

How do you adjust to changes in your mental health? I’ve never seriously reflected on this question, but I know why I haven’t – it’s because I’m always doing it! I’m constantly adjusting and adapting to changes in my mental health, and I know many other people do this on a daily basis. Even though we’re constantly adapting, it’s difficult to take the time and break down how this is possible. Today is the first of a two-part series on how I’ve made adjustments to my mental health; specifically, how I adjust to symptoms of mental illness.

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Breaking Down Mental Health Terms: What Are Crying Spells?

Language is one of the most important aspects of mental wellness, and how we talk about mental health can go a long way toward shrinking the mental health stigma. This recurring feature on the blog will tackle different words and phrases that I use when talking about my mental health. I know that other people use this language as well, and defining some of the more relatable terms can help others understand what it means, instead of having to explain it constantly. Today, I’ll be talking about the phrase crying spell.

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How to Handle New Symptoms of Mental Illness

After living with anxiety and depression for almost a decade, I’ve become used to the symptoms that occur on my mental health journey, especially since my physical symptoms manifest themselves pretty plainly. Since my mental health has a clear impact on my physical wellness, it got easier to recognize my physical symptoms and adjust. Though it’s been extremely helpful throughout my journey, it also makes things difficult when new symptoms of anxiety appear. Not only is it surprising to accept, it can be very discouraging when new symptoms arise – but there are ways to deal with it.

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I’m Sorry, I Lost My Train of Thought…Again.

One of the most frustrating aspect of living with depression and anxiety is that at times, my brain can get easily overwhelmed . Whether it’s managing negative thoughts or trying to process what’s going on around me, it doesn’t take much to get my brain going. However, when there’s so many thing going on, it can be easy for my to lose track of my thoughts – a common experience for people living with mental illness. So how does this happen, and what can we do about it?

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The Persistence of Negative Thoughts

I don’t always like to start off my posts with ‘this week in therapy’ but….this week in therapy, I absent-mindedly brought up the fact that my negative thoughts have been more present lately. When I reflect on my negative thoughts, I don’t really view them as something to get rid of at this point. They’re here, they’re not going anywhere, and I need to figure out how to deal with them. However, it bothers me that my negative thoughts are very persistent. They can come and go whenever they want, and the hardest time to deal with them is when I forget they exist.

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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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The Difficulty of Putting Mental Wellness First

Mental wellness is one of my favorite things to talk and learn about. Because of that, I’ve learned a lot about the ways that people incorporate mental wellness into their day-to-day lives. From therapy and meditation to physical exercise and coping strategies, there are plenty of ways that we tangibly put our wellness first. However, focusing on mental wellness in our daily lives isn’t as easy at it sounds. Why? Simply put, life happens – and that’s okay.

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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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What The Weather Does for My Mental Health

Out of the four seasons I experience where I live, it’s safe to say that winter is my least favorite of all. That’s not to say I dislike it – on the contrary, I enjoy most aspects of what winter brings. I have fond memories of holiday seasons, being a homebody during the cold nights and enjoying a little snow every now and then. But some of the things that make winter an enjoyable time are the same things that make it extremely difficult to manage my anxiety and depression. And while the other three seasons offer brief respites at the very least, winter often feels like a never-ending set of blistery days and frigid nights. It’s a challenge, but every winter I learn something new about how my mental illness functions – and today I’d like to share what I’ve learned this winter.

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