Having a Mental Health Plan

20200209_133849You cannot meditate your way out of a panic attack.  It’s literally impossible and to even try exacerbates the fear.

It’s hard to open your heart during a deep depressive episode where you cannot even open your eyes to get out of bed.

While we live in the age of quick-fixes, of instant gratification, this is one area where healing requires patience and a plan.  There is no pill that will end anxiety or depression instantly.  Even a benzo is relatively short-lived, and once it wears off symptoms can return with doubled intensity.  The best action is to develop a map, towards the journey of your own healing.

Recognize: This is perhaps the most difficult step; becoming aware  and real about the possibility that you are struggling internally.  Realizing that the feeling of inner gnawing has been going on for days, months.  That it has intensified, and you are changing your habits.  During this time, it is important to reach out to other people that your trust or professionals qualified to help you and to notify them that you are having a hard time.  This is a brave and tremendous first step.

Build a Strong Base: In my mind, this begins with what you are physically putting into your body and where your energies are going in your daily life.  Look critically at your diet, are you eating to feed and nourish your brain?  Supplemental vitamins can be hugely supportive in boosting neurotransmitter levels, especially the B vitamins.  Remove anything contributing to inflammation, highs and lows in your energy, and depletion of your inner reserve.  Then, turn to look at the structure of your life around you.  What boundaries need to be set, where do you need to step back, to say no?  What’s missing in your life, what needs to be created or initiated?  These are good places to start.

Daily Small Things: It’s small changes that resonate well with you, committed to over time, that build up and contribute to improved mental health.  Especially like energy practices, which help you to become aware of your own personal energy and boundaries.  I also like meditation, which comes in many forms can can suit many different minds.  Create a daily schedule that strengthens your mental health.  This schedule can look different based on individual needs.  Some people need more activity and stimulation while others need more quiet and simplicity.

Healing is gradual.  There is no such thing as one day sick, next day cured.  It is useful to keep a journal and notes.  You may begin to see, oh, here I was depressed for three days in a row last week, but this week only Tuesday felt really hard.  Or, I had continuous, vague anxiety a month ago, but now I hardly notice it at all.  These notes can give you encouragement to keep going, and can help you to track what is working well for you.  It can also be useful while working with a professional, to remember and share your experiences between appointments.

Self-empowerment goes a long way towards the healing of the self.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  You are the expert on you.  Trust that you can find your way, and stay open to seeking new things that work for you as you continue on your journey.

 

What do you do for your own mental well-being?  Please comment below!

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