Mental Self Care

What does self care mean to you? Are they simply the golden buzzwords of our generation or is there some value to this notion?

I think that it is imperative to take care of yourself, so I will always encourage it. We know that a proper self care routine takes time, but usually we understand this and make the time to ensure the perpetuation of our wellbeing.

If I want to maintain healthy hair, then I will take the time to cleanse, condition, deep condition, sleep on silk to keep it soft , style it properly, and stay away from harsh products.

If I want to maintain healthy skin, then I will take the time to wash and moisturize my face, wear face masks, and be mindful of the type of makeup I wear.

If I want to maintain healthy teeth, then I will be sure to brush, floss, and go to the dentist when I need to.

If I want to maintain a healthy body, then I will most definitely take the time to eat fresh and nourishing foods and generally stay away from foods that are overly processed. I will exercise, drink more water, and get adequate rest.

The thing is, I know what I need to do to stay healthy, but it all comes down to the execution. I intentionally set aside time (sometimes a lot of time!) for these things because I’m worth it. I am worth the time and effort, and you are too! But know that it does take time and it does take effort. There’s no way around that.

The same is true for our mental health.

It grieves me because I don’t always have the courage to take the proper steps for optimal mental self care. For some reason, I have viewed my mental health as inferior to my physical health for serval years. I knew what I needed to do to take care of my mental health, but I didn’t always venture out and do it because I felt like it didn’t matter as much.

Evidently, I am breaking out of that crippling conception. I have come to the realization that my mental wellbeing is vastly significant and should be treated with the utmost care. If I need to retreat into the wilderness for a couple of hours just to clear my head, then I’ll do it. If I need to leave a scenario because it’s ultimately way too taxing on my mind, then I’ll do that. If things get a little too severe and I need to talk to a professional, then I will not be afraid to go and find one!

Why? Because my mental health is worth it. I’m worth it.

And you are too.

If you don’t glean anything else from this, here’s what I want to emphasize:

Do not be afraid to do what it takes for your mental health.

If you think you need medication, go seek that out. If you think you need a therapist, go get one. If you think you need a change of environment, change it up.  If you need to make a lifestyle adjustment, go for it. If you simply need a chat with a close friend, call them up. Just take that first step! You deserve to be the absolute best version of yourself.

A word of caution: I am by no means telling you to ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’. If you feel like you’re drowning and you need help, do not suffer alone and try to fix it by yourself. Go get help! But it takes great audacity to reach out, and that’s what I’m encouraging.

I am hopeful that we can progress toward a culture that is open and honest about various struggles in regard to mental health. We are certainly making strides, but we still have a long way to go. Let’s normalize the conversation and dilapidate the stigmas. Do not believe those pesky lies that you and your mind lack virtue. You are irrevocably and undeniably worth taking care of.

 

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Ephemerality

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In regard to ephemerality, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the current that society sends us. All it takes is one glance to realize that we’re floating adrift, haphazardly tuned into another frequency that is selling us a false sense of urgency for things that have no lasting value. Quite frankly, it’s the redeemable aspects of life that remind us to shift our focus. Daring is the fact that each day brings us closer to the end. Why should we cast our best thoughts and energy to frivolous fantasies? We could cultivate something that goes far beyond our own expectations and leaves a lasting mark for generations to come.

Reminiscence

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In regard to reminiscence, I often think back to origins, where I was born and raised. That place holds great significance in my heart as it is where I formed my first friendships, spent quality time with extended family, and laid the foundation for my adult life. One could argue that the place I am living in now is better in a multitude of ways, yet it is hard to let go of what’s familiar to you. Oftentimes I am at a loss due to not adjusting as well as I feel I should. Surely a year should be enough time, but I was wrong. Perhaps that’s all a part of the process, striking a balance. Learning to embrace where you came from but continually stepping forward into new opportunities.

Aptitude

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In regard to aptitude, we each hold a gift, a remarkable talent that cannot be matched. Eloquently, it boils over into divine exuberance as it becomes more and more pronounced. To embrace these things is to cherish the passions that prominently dwell in us. The virtue of being truly cognizant of that potential paired with the tenacity to see it come to fruition is highly laudable.

Fortitude

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In regard to fortitude, perhaps it’s safe to say that at some point we have all felt the treacherous bite of fear as it’s venom sinks deep into our veins. Uncertainty has a way of tauntingly clasping the hearts of those who dream big, or who even dream at all. True, happily ever afters are never promised and what lies ahead can be startling. Sometimes life presents us with situations that seemingly leave no choice but to run and hide; yet there is something simmering underneath the surface. Something that compels us to step forward despite the current climate of opposition. Tap into that, for your influence is great and the world needs to hear what you have to say. It’s time that we channel the strength and bravery to say it.

Solace

IMG_5509In regard to solace, we seem to think that our needs are too great, that our emotions are too complex to embrace the substantial qualities that are available for us to thrive. Like rubies in a wasteland, we tend to overlook the treasure hiding in plain sight. When we slow down, reflect, and appreciate, we allow the bud of gratitude to grow and flourish. Likewise, the weeds of entitlement begin to shrivel up. The paradigm shifts and we are graciously reminded of a new hope.

The Oaks

There is a rumbling through this boisterous land

a rumbling of pain that echoes amongst the passageways

The oak trees absorb it with their roots and have retained it for hundreds of years

they quake as the capacity reaches a maximum, for it has conditioned them

the soil is degrading and the nutrients have been stripped

they have coped for so long that it has become nothing but normal

their bark is hardened and the core of their trunks have clinched like a fist

yet it still stands with dignity, with poise, with abundance

 

At the dawn of a newborn sun, the rain fell

it was a vibrant and refreshing rain

rejuvenating, nourishing, poignant

like the crisp, cool breeze off the ocean

on a hot summer day

the oaks took one elongated sigh of relief

a sigh of release

the breath that flowed from within sang back to the rain

a new song

a song of hope

a song of restoration

a song of healing

the melodies rang through the earth

and became stronger with each measure

the harmonies became more intricate with each line

and every note delivered the sonic resonance

that had been so aptly ignored for centuries

 

but its only the beginning

a brave start

one that is inevitable