If you’ve been following me over on Instagram or reading my emails you know that June was a crap month for me. It was the anniversary of the death of a close friend of mine and it really hit me hard this year. If you’re on a mental health journey I’m sure you’re familiar with what I experienced last month. I got very sad and all of my healthy coping went straight out the window. It was not my finest moment you guys. I ate a lot of fast food and spent a lot of time laying in bed. It sucks to have a bad mental health month but I did learn some important lessons. Here’s what I learned from having a bad mental health month.
My natural inclination is to beat myself up about it but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my mental health journey is that I have to be relentlessly compassionate with myself.
Maybe you’ve been hanging onto a mistake you made or you’re guilt tripping yourself over not getting something done. I’m going to challenge you to be as kind to yourself as you possibly can. We have to recognize that being on a mental health journey is freaking hard and
we must be gentle with ourselves while we heal.
Even when we are disappointed in ourselves.
Even when progress is taking a lot longer than we want.
Even when we make a mistake and can’t believe how badly we fucked up.
Create a Self-Care Plan
Here is my plan to treat myself with kindness this month. I am going to do my best to make this a month of compassion and healing. If you’re struggling with negative thoughts be sure to listen to my new podcast about the gratitude exercise I have been using to reset my mindset. It’s been a game changer for me you guys and I think it can help you too. I wrote out a full self-care plan for the month to help me get my mental health back on track. Here is what was on my list.
-Stick to my workout and healthy eating routine (check out my Transformation Tribe here if you’re interested in joining my health and fitness mentoring program).
-Read some books just for fun
-Write in my journal
-Do a ton of gratitude rampages
-Re-listen to my favorite self-help book
-Double up on phone appointments with my therapist from BetterHelp
-Spend time with friends and family
-Swim in the ocean
-Pet my dogs
Trust the Journey
I know if you’re struggling right now this is probably an annoying thing to hear but I believe that all of the crap I am facing with my mental health is for my highest good. I know it is going to teach me valuable lessons that I need to learn and it’s going to make me stronger and help me make a greater impact in the world. I know that this is only one phase of a very long journey and even though it sucks to feel like I messed up last month I am going to be able to create the kick- ass life that I want in the end. Reminding myself that everything will work out for my highest good helps me move forward without beating myself up or feeling like I really failed or messed up.
I hope this post helps someone and if you’re having a bad mental health month it helps you realize you’re not alone. I have a ton of other posts about anxiety and depression and I would love it if you checked them out.
Depression has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve been through an insane amount of ups and downs but I’ve learned a lot from those experiences and I thought I would share with you a few things that have helped me. Here are some of the things I learned from depression.
Anyone who has spent any time around me knows I am not naturally a very patient person. I generally am always in a rush and trying to get more things done in a day. Managing my depression has made me learn to be patient with myself. It’s easy to get frustrated if you don’t see results right away but the truth is when you’re depressed results come slowly. Even taking medication can take weeks to see any results. I’ve learned anytime I’m trying something new I shouldn’t expect immediate results. Going to the gym has become one of my main coping mechanisms but it took about a month of working out consistently to start feeling better.
It’s easy to compare yourself to your friends or peers but you don’t really know what challenges they are facing. The truth is managing depression is really freaking hard and takes a ton of energy and focus. It can make doing other things way more difficult than they are for other people. Comparing yourself to other people isn’t going to help you on your journey, it’s just going to make you feel worse and make life even more difficult than it already is. Just stay in your lane and become super focused on yourself and don’t use other people to judge yourself. They don’t have the same struggles that you do so it’s impossible to compare yourself to another person.
Celebrate Small Victories
When I am depressed it can take a long time for me to get back to feeling like myself again. Focusing on small victories every day helps me stay motivated and not completely defeated. Having depression means that sometimes my functioning is lower than other times. When I’m going through a difficult period I focus on the small things I am doing instead of all the things that I’m not getting done. Burying myself with guilt about not getting more done only makes the process take longer. I’ve learned to just give it time and focus on what IS getting done and to celebrate those accomplishments. If you get out of bed today celebrate that even if you couldn’t go to work or do the things that you usually do.
I wasted years of my life being depressed instead of talking to a therapist. If you’re struggling I encourage you to reach out to someone for support. I have a whole podcast episode about reaching out for help you can check out here. It can take time to find the right people to help you but building a support system is crucial to your recovery. I’ve gone through a number of therapists, Doctors and even friends before I was able to have the right people around me to help me get better. Start by reaching out to one person and see if you can start putting together your own support system. I have a mental health support group you can join on Facebook if you’re interested in getting support online.
I know when I am so depressed it feels like things won’t ever get better. However, I’ve been in that dark place enough times to know that is a lie that my mental illness tells me. Even if it feels like recovering from depression isn’t possible for you trust me it is. If you need a pep talk check out my podcast episode about recovering from depression.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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