Mental Health isn’t discussed enough especially in the black community. Mental Health is our entire life, it’s in every step that we take and in everything that we do. Neglecting my mental health lead me to depression, health problems, and relationship conflict. I was aware of every single thing, I was my own enemy. I knew I had to get back in control of my life and doing so meant letting some things & people go. I am so proud of who I am today and thankful that I was that girl who was depressed, who didn’t love myself enough, didn’t believe in myself, believing what others said about me. Everything that I thought would break me made me 10x stronger, it showed me how to fight, it showed me how to show up for myself every single day until I solved the problem.
TRUST ME. I am far from perfect, but I’m working to be damn near close to it. Everything starts from you, every thought, every action, everything. Once I realized this, I realized that I can create positive change in my life just as well as I create the negative. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But as I said earlier it is a DAILY COMMITMENT. Always aim to do your best and keep trying until you reach the best version of yourself.
I haven’t always had my mental health under control, It’s a day by day work in progress for me. I can truthfully say I’ve had more self-sabotaging habits like procrastination, comfort eating, being around people who didn’t have my best interest. None of which were contributing to the woman that I am today or the woman I was aiming to be.
I honestly use to be afraid to talk about my mental health, I felt like I couldn’t trust people and I also felt that I was alone. But, truth is we are more alike than we are different. And with GOD you are never alone!
My dark days have made me truly appreciate every single great day that I have in my life. I do my best to fully embrace the moments that aren’t easy for me, and my days that I am not my best self. Because truth is we are going to have those days where we are down and out, we are going to have those days that we don’t eat or even want to get out of bed. Healing is a part of your journey and as long as you don’t stay STUCK! I’ve learned to develop a SOLUTION mind set even on my worst days, it’s not an easy fight but I love myself enough now to not completely let myself be STUCK.
The biggest thing for me was getting out of my own head and taking steps to really get control over my MIND, THOUGHTS, and ACTIONS!
“You will find out what God is capable of if you never give up”Steve Harvey
1. Focus on where you are in the moment
Stop and Breathe, you are exactly where you should be in this moment of your life. If you’re in a season of growth or searching, be patient with yourself. It’s okay to feel every emotion, fill your mind and space with positive things & affirmations “I’m growing”, “I’m learning”, “This season is temporary”.
Be Grateful and Thankful For Everything – Whenever I deal with any form of depression, I always list out every single thing that I’m grateful for. I’m literally grateful for my eyes, my health, absolutely everything I can think of I write it out. I promise you this is a game changer, I use to get so caught up in what wasn’t that I forgot what actually was!
2. Make Peace With Your Past
Accept your past, forgive yourself. I went through this time in my life where I had to look myself in the mirror and constantly tell myself I love myself & I forgive myself. I’m not proud of every choice I’ve made in my life but I am thankful for it because it helped me grow. Facing challenges are so necessary for your life, even if they are things that are 100% your fault. Once you accept your past and speak to it, you are in control. I don’t let my past control me anymore, I accepted who I was at that time and the choices I made and made peace with it. You are always a work in progress.
3. Accept Yourself
We compare ourselves way too much, which leads us down this road of depression and anxiety. God made us in his image, anytime I go into a space of crazy comparison I try to think of how God thinks of me. We are all beautiful in our own way, more ways that we can’t even see. But most importantly it’s the inside that matters, the words that you speak, how you treat others. Sometimes you have to switch your perspective to see the beauty in yourself. I’m probably the worst when it comes down to comparison and I’ve had the hardest time accepting who I am in the past. It’s something I work on daily, but I love myself more than ever now and I appreciate who I am now and who I am becoming. Comparison is the thief a joy, you are you, and that alone is special. Depression taught me that “Girl you have to figure this shit out”. I can get a million compliments but that doesn’t mean anything if I don’t feel it within, you have to love yourself/ accept yourself before you can believe it when others say it.
Reading has done wonders for my life. My reading game has changed in the past year so much. I read over 10 books last year. When I use to encounter depression or any type of anxiety in the past, I literally just use to sit in my “mess”. I started reading and it literally changed the dynamic of my life, it will help you to be more optimistic. I read a lot of self help books last year, and It was worth every penny, and every minute. Reading helped my mental health! Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
My book list can be found here!
5. Journal (Proven to help Mental Health)
I wake up to my journal and go to bed journaling. Journaling is an accountability tool for me. I write out what I’m grateful for in the morning and all the great things that happened in my day. This helps so much it sounds simple but I’ve been happier and I find peace on my not so happy days with keeping a journal. I linked The Five Minute Journal: I’m using below.
6. Therapy is OK for Mental Health
There are so many negative stigmas surrounding Therapy, and thats mainly why a lot of people choose not to go. I know plenty of people who go to therapy and I’ve heard only good things. You can use therapy as long as you need it, take your time. Who cares if people judge you for going to therapy, your # 1 priority is you, not what other people think. I have not been to therapy but I’ve considered it numerous times. I’ve just worked really hard to get out of my own mess. You don’t necessarily need therapy but If what you are doing is not working, please consider it. No battle has to be fought alone.
7. Confide in a someone
Let someone know what you’re going through, it’s okay. I had to get out of my own way with this one and I still do. I never want to feel like I’m a burden on others, but it’s okay and safe to ask someone what they are able to take on. It opens that door, like I respect your mental space. So confide in people that you know you can trust, mental health is serious and most people are understanding that more now. Again, you are not alone.
8. Positive self talk to help with Mental Health
I am constantly speaking affirmations to myself, all day, and everyday. Sometimes I fall short but majority of the time I am constantly speaking my affirmations out loud. Try not to let your thoughts consume you because then it become a repeated cycle. My daily affirmations “I’m worthy”, “I am whole”, “God is working things out for me”, “My Life is amazing”, “I can”. Anytime I start to think negative, I’ll start by saying my affirmations.
9. Get Moving/Walk/Exercise
When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to work out. I had too, I was so sad and literally wouldn’t move out of my bed or leave my apt. So, I was just like you know what I’m going to start going to the gym. I literally started working out everyday, sometimes twice a day. It helped soooooo much, it helped me get out of my head. Dance, take walks, do whatever you need to do keep yourself positive. None of the things I listed are an overnight fix, but it’s a start.
10. Cultivate yourself in your alone time
Use your alone time wisely. Practice meditation, do things that you love to do. Read, learn something new. Learn how to be okay when you’re alone. Date yourself, don’t ever loose site of yourself. Center yourself in your alone time. In my alone time when I’m not around people, I use that time to read and do things that I like to do alone like long baths. Pretty much anything that makes me happy when I’m alone, whatever I feel I will enjoying doing in that moment I will do it.
11. CRY! RELEASE!
Whoo! Let me tell you, crying is necessary. Crying is a form of breakthrough for me. I feel so so so much better when I cry. Crying is not a weakness y’all. I don’t see how people never cry, when you cry you are releasing and you need that release to heal. Be okay with every part of healing and sometimes that includes crying. Pick yourself up, you are great, you are never alone, God is with you.
I know everyone has different spiritual beliefs and religions. If you are a prayer, whoever you believe in as a source PRAY TO THEM. Pray aggressively, talk to the higher being just like you would anyone. Set space and time for praying. The easiest thing for me to do when driving is to turn on music, but i’ve dedicated my morning commute to praying. I pray whenever I feel any attack, I immediately go into prayer whether it’s out loud or in my mind.
Mental Health is serious, I hope this post shed some light. Always remember you are not alone, there is nothing you can’t do or be. You are worthy, and you are loved by the most high. Be patient with your progress, greatness does not happen over night, but you are strong, you are powerful enough to fight through whatever as long as you don’t give up!
I love you all, thanks for reading! I linked all mental health lines below!
For those in the USA:
For urgent & confidential 24 hour support: Lifeline
To find local support in your State: TWLOHA
To find specific support & resources: MentalHealth.gov
Find the right help & support for you: MHA