Happy World Mental Health Day! Tips and Tricks For Owning Your Low Moments
Today is World Mental Health Day and I just wanted to write a quick note to acknowledge all of you who suffer with a mental illness of you own. You’ve made my blog a success, and you’ve given me the confidence to be my true self and own my mental health waves. You’re the reason I am succeeding in my career, my personal goals and my writing and I’m so thankful for the amount of you who have come forward to speak with me personally over the last two years.
I’m always open and transparent about my mental health, but that doesn’t mean I share everything. Lately I’ve been in a funk of depression (I’m not clinically depressed, but I have depression spells) that has been really difficult to snap out of. Everyday I’m exhausted and feeling low. I’ve been warned by both my doctors and friends with Hashimoto’s that this phase is par for the course in growing with my illness, but it doesn’t feel as easy as it sounds to expect these waves. I’ve been writing a lot more, but not sharing the pieces because it feels better to use them as therapy.
Every low moment has its balancing high. In the past two years of my extreme mental health attention, I’ve learned to believe that and trust my strength to get me through any bad day, panic attack, or general concern.
Knowing it’s World Mental Health Day reminds me it’s okay to feel the way I do. And it’s okay you feel however you feel as you’re reading this. There is no right and there is no wrong when it comes to emotion. We are human. And it’s a beautiful thing to feel those things...that is when they aren’t eating you alive. And even when they are, we’ve all got to remember that we’re strong for fighting it even in the worst of times.
Here are some things that have really helped me cope lately. I hope they can help you find peace, too.
Schedule in your own time
I’ve been in a few weeks of anxiety, moodiness and overall mental turmoil, so I canceled my plans, I called into work, and I sat in my bed for days. I watched TV. I read three books. And I focused on myself through self-designed time. I feel so refreshed from hitting the pause button. I know that’s a less-than-convenient thing to suggest: I’m lucky to have a job that understands the priority of mental health, but I know that isn’t the case everywhere. Just remember you are the most important thing to take care of. When you are healthy or learning to be, the rest will follow. Put yourself first and be selfish.
Surround yourself with supportive people
My boyfriend and my best friend visited me during my hideout, and the positive support and encouragement they gave me was welcomed. It’s really hard to find people that won’t question your illness. I know this because I went through YEARS of having people tell me I’m too weak, flaky and selfish. I’ve also spent years hearing others diagnose me with their own conditions. You know yourself, and the right people know you, too. Find those who understand, and work to understand what they haven’t experienced, and stick with them.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the blog A Beautiful Mess. It’s crafty and adorable, and has inspired me to get creative. I don’t know how to sew, or do too many cratfy tricks beyond holding a paintbrush for that matter, but looking at others’ creativity has inspired me to use my own. I’ve been writing about my current state, my relationship and all sorts of feelings, and putting them down by hand. Sharing my own writing in a new way (you can see some on my Instagram) has helped me feel like I’m making something that matters.
Find a distraction
Sometimes you’ve just got to zone out and try to forget your emotions for a little while. I’ve found myself in a wormhole of Jimmy Kimmel and Queer Eye YouTube videos, laughing and forgetting how bad I’ve felt before. I also got immersed in a new book (647 pages kept me entertained for a while) and read for hours to take a break from my own thoughts.
Find one product that calms you down, and carry it with you always
My favorite calming product is Mario Badescu’s seaweed night mask because every time I apply it, the smell reminds me I’m going to be okay. I also carry essential oils with me to sniff whenever I need an aromatherapy boost. My products may not work for you, but find something comforting that you can use as a mini escape anywhere you go.