Trusting Your Mental Health Journey...
Mental Health; fortunately, a much more open conversation point in society today. With an ever-growing number of individuals experiencing some form of negative mental wellbeing, it’s time to break stigmas around feeling this way and generate more positive conversations around mental health experiences. It’s clear that there has been progression over the years when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, with more people building an understanding and taking it seriously. But of course, there is still much more room for improvement.
Nearly 7 years into my mental health journey and I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, mentally or physically. As frustrating as it is, especially on the bad days, it’s a long-winded journey with a lot of unavoidable trial and error along the way; whether it’s finding the right medication, doctor, coping mechanisms, professional help etc. Although I’m in no place to say I’m ‘recovered’ or ‘healed’, there is always still reason to continue fighting and my motivation for this will be different to yours.
It’s about finding your motivation and what empowers you to become the best version of yourself.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to happiness (if only!). Along the way, there are guaranteed to be hurdles, pushbacks and no doubt some negative experiences that may stick with you, but it’s always about how you bounce back and use these experiences to better yourself. You learn things along the way, about yourself, what you need and what’s best for you.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still work to be done to break stigmas around coping mechanisms which are often seen as a sign of weakness; medication, therapy, CBT… But we should all be working towards changing this mentality. Whichever mechanism you choose to help yourself, trust your decision. Eventually, you’ll figure out ways to help yourself, but most importantly, never judge yourself for how you do it.
It’s not always a quick and easy road to recovery, hardly ever quick, but it’s possible. I still struggle to believe it myself most days, but “you’ve survived 100% of your bad days up until now”… It’s all about perseverance and how you bounce back. Use those around you for support, speak to someone about how you feel, trust your judgement and journey.
My previous post on Wellbeing in the Workplace helped to generate conversations around mental health in a corporate space. This post, is about you and your journey.
To help get you motivated to take the power into your own hands, I’ve made a note of some focus points which may help you find your feet again:
Professional Help: Whether you’re booking a doctor’s appointment for medication, researching CBT Therapists, finding potential counsellors or group therapy or just someone to talk to, professionals are knowledgeable on mental health and wellbeing, and will help get you onto the right path. There are additional resources from MIND which are accessible 24/7, 365.
Trust those around you: Ensure that you’re using your support network to your advantage. It’s hard to admit that initial concern for your mental health, but you family, friends, your partner, colleagues, are all people who will help take that weight off your shoulders.
Self-Love: always make sure to put aside time for yourself, we often neglect our bodies. Whether you choose to exercise, meditate, journal, nap, do a skincare routine or just read a book, prioritising what you and your body needs is more important than ever. Have a research online and find classes
Additional Resources for Crisis:
Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email email@example.com or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).
Switchboard. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email firstname.lastname@example.org or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
Trust the process. Have a little, patience.
*Written as a contribution to the Forward Ladies blog. See the full post 'Trusting Your Mental Health Journey' here.