Let’s Talk About Mental Health

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Life always has a way of working itself out. That is my mantra.

I tend to evaluate and reflect this time of year. Four years ago was the lowest I’d ever been. For a short time, I could not justify a reason to stay alive. I’d never hated myself and everything around me so much. And I didn’t let on that a single thing was wrong or off to anyone. I didn’t want to bother anyone, be a burden or an inconvenience. I thought the world might be better off without me; certainly would be an easy out for me and what I was struggling with, but I realize now it would’ve been the worst and most selfish decision I could’ve made.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot. A lot about myself, the life I’ve created around me, and how to do the best job I can at creating it. You are not simply given a good life filled with easy joy; you must want, work for, and choose happiness on a daily basis. I’ve learned about what mental health is and how important it is to take care of yourself, both inside and out. I’ve learned and recently come to terms with, the fact that it’s not a quick fix, but rather an ongoing battle. Anxiety and depression aren’t cured with one good day or happy thought. Wouldn’t that be a perfect world?
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The best advise I can give someone struggling with their mental wellness is to learn what you can lean on, what makes you happy. For me, among other things, family helps, my dogs help, stand-up comedy helps, getting outside helps, good food and good coffee help, and hockey helps. Find what you enjoy, the things that can make you smile even for a moment no matter what, and hold on to them with all you’ve got.

On another note, let’s not ignore the technology revolution we are going through. Our parents never had to deal with posting life online as a young, learning adult for anyone and everyone to see. Social media is awesome. I’ll admit I am on it during much of my day (although producing online content is part of my job) and I really enjoy it. We put our best selves out to the world through the internet, posting fun nights out, career accomplishments, and beautiful vacation spots. But it’s rare to see a post about heartbreak, someone had a panic attack that day or had a fight with a loved one. You put online what you want others to see, and that’s fine. Hell, that’s the point. Social media is great, but we must not forget that nobody’s life is perfect or void of struggle and disappointment. Life doesn’t live online, real life is real life.

Oprah said, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” I still struggle with asking for help and proving to myself through my actions that I matter. There is NO shame in talking about mental health, therapy, feeling like shit or pissed off for no concrete reason. It is okay to not be okay. If you have struggled with it or are struggling, I urge you to get help any way you can/that feels right for YOU.

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Every individual walks their own path, but we’re all just trying our best to get through this thing called life together. Be kind to one another and believe in the good things coming.
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Summer 2017

Another summer back home, working at That’s My Dog, and family love

Summer 2016

Family, home, outdoor adventures, and four-legged friends

20 Things I Learned in 20 Years

In no particular order….

  1. Wear what you feel most comfortable in. Personally for me, that’s sweatpants. No judgement.
  2. Don’t drive in snow storms, ice storms, rain storms…just not worth it
  3. Cuddle cute animals whenever possible
  4. Eat what you want, but nothing bad for you in excess. Health is still important at the end of the day
  5. Don’t buy things you don’t love
  6. And to go along with that last one; money is better spent on experiences, not material possessions
  7. If you want to get a college education, there is a place for you, that you will love and have some of the greatest years of your life in
  8. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or look stupid. No one except you even remembers it
  9. Listen to the music you enjoy with no shame
  10. Smile, give compliments, make a strangers day. It’ll make you feel better
  11. Work for what you have. It feels better than being given everything (and you turn out to be a better grounded human in my opinion)
  12. Appreciate all that you have and learn from every failure
  13. Turn off all electronics once in a while. Sleep under the stars next to a campfire on a summer night. Read as much as you can
  14. If you’re stressed, step away. Go outside and breathe
  15. Stop complaining if things aren’t going your way. Shut up and get to work. Actions speak louder than words. (Note: there is a difference between things not going your way and others intentionally holding you back)
  16. Family over everything. They are the one solid ground you can turn to when there is no one else there to hold you up. I know not everyone has tight family bonds, but everyone has someone. I guarantee you are not alone and help will be there if/when need be
  17. Don’t shove your personal beliefs down someone else’s throat. Just don’t.
  18. Life always has a way of working itself out
  19. Order the pizza. (unless you’re allergic, then don’t order the pizza)
  20. Do what you love and follow your passion. No matter what