“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” -Maya Angelou
In many states, the pandemic is coming to an end, and that means getting back to what life looked like before. In many ways, our life will never really be the same.
Recently, I was reading about what trauma can do to your body. Interestingly, we sometimes don’t realize we are even experiencing trauma until a moment arises and we freeze. That overwhelming feeling of feeling out of control and not being able to understand why. Having dealt with past trauma, I feel I’m better prepared this time if something creeps into my thought process. Studies have shown that past trauma signs can continue long after the emotional trauma has finished. This may have an influence on psyche and body, including how you think, feel, and carry on. Remembering something that happened to you can put you back in that place. If I’m feeling anxiety because I haven’t tried something in a long time, I really try hard to face the task with a deep breath and a good attitude. Getting out again has been wonderful, but, as I’ve run into friends, some of them have wanted to share stories of losses they have suffered. This is really hard for me because I just want to make it better, and I know I can’t. I feel I can be that person who is there for them though. I will listen. Most of the time this is helpful for that person.
This is the perfect time to be kind to yourself and gently introduce a new healthy routine that makes life fulfilling. Depression and anxiety have affected so many of us this past year, and not being able to get out to seek help has made it so difficult. Maybe this is the first time you have been affected by a mental illness and maybe you we not sure how to deal with it properly. Sometimes just knowing I am not alone can be incredibly helpful. When I feel something in my life is not right, I’ll analyze it. I try to make my life better, not worse from it. I’m fortunate that I have a therapist who is there for me when I need her. But, there are so many outlets that can offer help.
You can call or text the NAMI Helpline at (800) 950-NAMI (or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.)
Here are some simple ways to take care of your mental well being.
1. Talk about your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
2. Keep active.
3. Eat well.
4. Drink sensibly.
5. Keep in touch.
6. Ask for help.
7. Take a break.
8. Do something you love and are good at.
9. And try and get a good nights sleep.
10. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
11. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol, and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. I only babysit my daughters dogs, they really do bring joy. When they are not in my home, I find watching the birds at my bird feeder can bring that same type of joy.
Good mental health is characterized by a person’s ability to fulfill a number of key functions and activities, including:
• the ability to learn
• the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
• the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
• the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.
Here is a great article I found about good mental health.
What have you discovered to help you with your mental health and well being? I’d love for you to share what makes you happy and mentally healthy.