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The Myth of Mental Health

Lean in y’all, it’s time for another real conversation, and this time it’s about mental health. Now I know there are still people that think that this topic is only for those people,” – you know what I mean, the ones who seem “crazy,” “off” “the ones you have to watch.” But I have news for you…mental health impacts us all.

First, you have to realize that there is a difference between mental health and mental illness. Mental illness is a diagnosed condition or disorder that involves changes in emotions, thinking, and/or behavior (defined by the American Psychiatric Association). We will definitely talk more about this in a later post.  But the concept of mental health is just another aspect of your overall health, a combination of your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and act. Health isn’t just your physical health. It encompasses your mental health as well. The same way you go to your doctor for physical check-ups, you should definitely be checking in on your mental health as well. Because life is harddddd. And in this year of 2020!! It’s gotten harder!!

This year, we have been faced with events that honestly feels like something out of a movie! The pandemic, quarantine, civil and social unrest are just the big things. But when you add the small things!….whewww. Essential workers working overtime and not being able to take a vacation. Parents and teachers navigating an entirely new version of school and education. Families being separated due to high risk health factors. Weddings and social events cancelled or postponed. I don’t know that we’ve ever felt more isolated, triggered, and tired than we are right now. And it’s hard to navigate, especially if you still feel the stigma of mental health.

But here’s the truth.

Your mental space shows up in your daily actions.

You dreading getting up for work or Sunday evening/Monday morning blues.

Your power struggle with your boss.

Your clapback or burst of irritability when someone is “trying you.”

Your chronic isolation from your family and friends (even virtually).

Your weepy moments in bathroom shower.

Your love for arguing with complete strangers on social media.

Your deflection with humor.

Your lack of empathy for others.

The list can go on and on and varies from moment to moment.

I’ve been there. Frankly, I was there just yesterday!

And it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It means you are human. It means your thoughts and emotions are real and impacted by what you are living through. It means some intentional attention and care for your mental space is needed.

I think we can all agree that our lives have changed drastically this year. Why do you think your mental health wouldn’t change either?

Let’s work together on dispelling the myths of mental health. Let’s own every part of our health and pursue wellness on every level.

See your mental health differently.

See yourself.

And know I see you too.