Wow! “I didn’t account for this…”
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Please allow me a moment of your time to voice my experiences and perspectives on mental health thus far.
Yes, anxiety is exhausting, and depression is suffocating, and bipolar disorder is scary, and schizophrenia is a beast! Soooo, how do we shift our perspective from problem solving to healing and discovery?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
Mental health stigmas have plagued our community for centuries and generations. Yes, our history of experimentations, withholdings of imperative information, loss of self-governance and stereotypes have all fed into our belief system about mental health.
Discovery is the new shift. Moving the bar forward to higher standards for ourselves, families and communities is a safe and healthy alternative to mental well-being.
First, moving the bar forward and higher for yourself is self-love. Self-discovery and self-awareness play a key role in how we choose to self-care. Discover what brings you peace, joy and purpose and be mindful to implement this into your daily life.
Self-awareness can be awakened with self-reflection. Asking yourself to peel back the layers of your journey thus far can be painful and involves self-work! The process of mental healing can be tough; BUT the blessings of mental freedom and balance gives you space to breathe and think.
Healthy choices are often born out of thinking clearly.
Shifting from burnout to moments of stillness can invite healthy choice modeling for you and your loved ones. Engaging our family/household in healthy mental health practices, such as wellness check-ins with each family member, shifts isolation into family support. “All hands-on deck” for household responsibilities, agreed household expectations and household accountability can establish family cohesiveness. A reasonable, healthy family mindset is more effective than a family suffering from secrets, isolation and generational struggles. Shifting from saving our loved ones to supporting our loved ones through mental health struggles can alleviate personal strain and guilt.
When you begin the mental healing process for yourself and family, the next level to consider is community wellness and support.
As a messenger of encouragement and self-care, becoming mentally balanced most often takes a personal desire to heal and do the work. Do your research now. Interview mental health professionals for your personal wellbeing, ask questions about support groups in your community that fit your needs, build relationships with those who can empathize with your mental health journey. Allow your personal space to be a reflection of what brings you joy, peace and mental rest.
All my lived experiences of the mental health journey have been quite insightful.
I started my healing process by first doing the mental work for myself, and then I started having healthy conversations with my family about generational mental health, building connections with mental health professionals within our community, participating in mental health training events, becoming a social and emotional educator within our community, supporting our youth on self-awareness and self-regulation, building healthy relationships with our parents and supporting the efforts of mental health programs and support groups within our community.
In closing, mental wellness matters, and you deserve a lifestyle of mental well-being. Make the shift from suffering to healing. Implement a daily routine of mental wellness check-ins for yourself.
Self-care is asking yourself, “How are you today?”
LaTonya Carson McCulley is the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator at the MLK Center in Indianapolis.