Mental health. This past Thursday, on January 28th, 2021, was #BellLetsTalk day, which is a Canadian campaign surrounding mental health. While I recognize that this day/campaign is controversial, I am using this as a stimulus for me to open up the conversation on my blog about mental health. This topic is something that you hear about more frequently now on social media, but usually not on a personal level. I think it is important to recognize that we must not have one designated day to talk about mental health, but should be willing to have that conversation daily. While this is something I believe in, I have never openly posted about my own mental health struggles. With that being said, here I go…
In the last few years, I have noticed myself feeling anxious about things. Recently, my feelings have only progressed and deepened, especially with the pandemic where there has been so much isolation. I looked into the things that I was feeling, and I recognized many of my “symptoms” being those that fall under the category of both social and generalized anxiety. For a while, I felt that I needed someone to talk to, and decided to begin my search to look for a therapist. I looked and looked and finally came upon a therapist that I was interested in. While part of me wanted to contact her and look into the concept of therapy further, another part of me was apprehensive. I didn’t feel like I had time for therapy, and I was worried about what my friends and family would think. I now understand that there is always time for your own mental health and well-being. Last semester, around mid-October, I hit a point where I felt like I couldn’t cope on my own any longer, and that I needed professional help. It was then that I finally booked a consultation with the therapist that I had been wanting to contact, and began my journey of therapy.
While I have not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder by a doctor, it has been quite helpful managing my mental health and anxiety with my therapist. Therapy gives me the opportunity to share my feelings with an unbiased person, and the opportunity to explore my mental health. I am provided with solutions, and coping mechanisms, and ways to better understand myself. Things that my therapist has suggested to me are guided mindfulness meditations, as well as grounding exercises, which have been very helpful to manage my anxiety and feelings. I was nervous about starting therapy, but I am glad that I did. My family and friends who I have told have supported my decision, and if anyone has questioned it I have been able to calmly explain my decision. I have also been able to open up to my friends about my anxiety, and have found that there are more people in my life than I thought who have similar feelings, or who also have wanted to start therapy. If you are reading this and have been considering therapy but have been apprehensive, this is your sign to start. While it may not work for everyone, it is important to try it out. Also, the very first therapist that you contact may not work for you, and that is okay! It is important to not let that stop you from bettering your mental health.
There is such a large focus on physical health, but mental health is just as important. If you are struggling with your mental health, know that you are not alone, and there are many resources out there to help you. There are many local mental health resources to look into, as well as hotlines, which you can find here. We need to end the stigma surrounding mental health by uplifting one another, providing resources and opening up the conversation. While it wasn’t necessarily easy for me to open up, I think it is important for me to use this platform to share my own experiences.
I hope that you were able to connect to, or take something away from reading this. Just remember, you are not alone.
Take care of yourself,
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