Mental Health is Wealth
If it wasn’t obvious from my most recent blog, the focus this month is all about self-care! It is January after all. Gyms everywhere are still full of the residual “New Year, New Me” population… All jokes aside, self-care isn’t just about how you feel externally. Although my face mask regimen has contributed to my newfound glow, those self-care moments are also meant for checking on our mental health. We must be more intentional with listening to ourselves rather than finding ways to justify our irrational behaviours.
Why don’t we talk about our mental state more often? We can sense when we aren’t okay… those moments where we start making poor decisions; where we lie to ourselves and eventually stop holding ourselves accountable for our actions. Sometimes it may even go a step further. We may really struggle to get out of bed or we lose sight of the goals that once motivated us. Of course, I am not a licensed professional, but I can speak from personal experience when I say all of the above are potential symptoms of mental health disorders.
Trust me, I know that sounds scary and let me start by saying NO you are not “crazy.” 1 in 5 adult Americans experience some sort of mental health episode, if not annually than most definitely, during their lifetime (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Whether your personal episode is due to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other diagnosis… know that you are not alone. Mental health does not have to be a taboo topic, especially as a POC. We are already disadvantaged because we have less access to facilities, doctors, and other important resources. Why would we actively choose to further limit ourselves?
Personally, 2017 was a conflicting year for me. I had so much to be grateful for… I got to travel to beautiful countries, I met incredible people, and I ate SO MUCH good food! Yet something still felt off… Being a flight attendant isn’t always as easy as it looks. It can be a lonely and isolating life. Although you’re surrounded by wonderful co-workers, it’s still hard when you miss holidays and other special family events. Between you and I, I also got re-involved in a relationship that was detrimental to me. Needless to say, my anxiety peaked, and I felt myself slipping into a depression… The kind where you’re almost fully functional; you know you’re not okay but others may not necessarily notice.
Depression and other mental illness symptoms don’t have a “one size fits all” guide. We all experience differently. When you’re in a bad space, all you may need is someone you care about to check in on you. However, other times, it can be more severe. Please do not ever allow embarrassment or fear to hinder you from seeking the help you need. Sharing intimate moments with a licensed professional could be the emotional release you didn’t know you needed… and again I say this from experience.
Luckily for me, after going through my struggles all year and making major life changes to boot…I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful soul just in time for the new year. She also happened to be of Brazilian descent and therefore introduced me to a dope tradition. In Brazil, Le Festa de Iemanja is meant for people to give offerings, usually in the form of flowers, to the goddess of the sea. On the last day of the year, shorelines in Brazil are filled with people celebrating and giving offerings to Iemanja. They also intentionally allow 7 waves to crash unto them. The purpose is to release what may have hindered you in years past and welcome what is coming to you in your future. You can learn more about this festival and the goddess if you click the "here" button below! But you guessed it! I spent my 2017 NYE on a southern California beach.
- I shed a few tears as I committed to releasing a relationship and a friendship that I held onto for far too long.
- I committed to consistency in my life, but more importantly, when it comes to blogging and achieving goals.
- I committed to accountability for my mental health. I am no longer allowed to “coast” through life if I start to feel like I am drowning.
From that night and on forward, I am also following the same journey I’m going to suggest to you! I challenge each of you to write down the last three things you justified to yourself this month or write down one goal you’ve been “waiting for the right time” to start on. Each time you have a chance this week and every week hereafter, consciously make the effort to work through, talk about, or just embrace the things you wrote down. I promise you’ll feel nothing but relief in the coming weeks. Not only because you will manifest the things you speak of… but also because being more open and listening to yourself can trigger positive responses in your everyday life... It's not a cure, but it is a start.
Thanks for reading and Happy Tuesday my little caterpillars <3