I have many thoughts in my head; they are constant – a constant buzzing of what’s happening here, or maybe that’s not happening there. For the last few years of my life, this buzzing has been accompanied by this sense of tension, the tension in my arms and legs, a tension that makes nights go as sleepless. Many of you are reading this and knowing where I am going; I too hold hands with the worlds of anxiety, depression and mental health.
Mental health or put more broadly – how we think, feel and behave is a topic that affects many and in my opinion, due to the power of social media has gained a large presence as an important topic of conversation. My first dive into this world began rather simply; I am a social worker and one who says phrases like “mental health is my jam”, because it really is my jam.
My first experience in the field threw me into a new world with a new language and new experiences. My eyes were open to stories that I had never heard before and face to hold those stories to, and there has been no going back since. This was done in the nice – my world changed in meeting new people with different experiences than myself. The way of change but also in the – a few years later I had my first walk with anxiety, panic attacks which eventually led me to drop out of school during the last semester of my junior year in working towards getting my Bachelors degree in Social Work. Boom! It seemed that in an instant, I become one of the stories that I spent years learning how to walk through. I was on the other side, and it is in all things a complicated experience in which has taught me so very many lessons and tips that I have made it my mission to share.
Breathe. Put your feet flat on the ground, deep breath in & deep breath out.
This is my favorite of them all, now while I could go really in-depth with this one but the main premise behind it, is retraining your thought patterns.
Go from telling yourself that you can’t, to you can.
From thinking the world is going to end to offering the suggestion that everything just might turn out ok.
Tell yourself you’re fabulous.
That you’re worth it.
Tell yourself to slow down and pace yourself.
Talk to someone else. After you’ve talked to yourself, talk to someone you trust. These methods have been the most key to managing my mental health. Creating a network of people who get it, who can hear me, and validate me. I acknowledge that I have a leg up in this seeing that many of my peers and many of my friends work in the profession but even, so my most trusted voices are the family and friends who are close to me who are willing to listen.
Educate yourself. This useful tool of social media has some beautiful pockets filled with love, affirmations, and more importantly, spaces for learning. Find a professional who uses social media as a platform to educate and share their wealth of knowledge.
As a final, yet still critical thought, please know that you are not alone on this journey. This world can be messy, chaotic, and as cumbersome as it can hold people who are waiting to hear our voice because it deserves to be heard.