Hey everyone! It’s been a rough few weeks and writing has been kind of hard for me. As I mentioned on my Instagram the other day, I went to the doctor for a routine check up and my PAP test came back with abnormal cells. Needless to say, that was scary! It got scarier when it was confirmed that I had pre-cancerous cells that I would have to go under the knife to remove. Um no! I was not expecting that! My anxiety and depression kicked in and I’ve been trying to write down my thoughts to help cope, which is why I really wanted to chat about journaling to help with depression!
It can be really hard to even figure out where to begin when it comes to talking about depression. There’s a lot going on in your mind that you may not even understand and writing it all down can be a daunting idea. So I came up with ten journal prompts to get you writing about your depression.
For my journaling, I like to list out what’s upsetting me and then by process of elimination, I can pinpoint what’s causing my depression (assuming its an event and not a chemical imbalance in my brain, which sometimes it really is!)
How to Get Started
Sometimes just getting started is hard. But it gets easier when you get into your groove. I like to create the right environment to write in. Dim the lights a bit, light a candle, get a warm cup of something, put on comfy clothes, and grab a good pen. Thoughts and feelings just seem to flow after that!
Choose one or even several of the prompts above and just write until you have nothing left to say. Sometimes I write every single day and other times it’ll be once a week. Some days I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I need to write about it to understand why I feel the way I do.
Please reach out if you’re having a hard time getting started! I’m always happy to help! Journaling may not dissolve your depression, but it can make it a lot easier to understand.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about love. More specifically, loving someone that has mental health issues. I was going to write a whole post on how to love someone that has anxiety and depression but then I realized I had already written something similar (which you can read here.) So instead, I’m going to write a blog post, or rather a letter, to my husband. He’s been learning to navigate my mental health issues just as much as I have and acknowledging that your loved ones are often impacted by your issues is pretty important I think!
It can be hard to really show your significant other how you appreciate them for all that they do when it comes to your mental health. So maybe, they’ll appreciate this letter. Without further ado, David, this letter is for you:
Thanks so much for sticking by my side through all the ups and downs of my depression and anxiety. I know it can be frustrating and scary at times. Please know that I appreciate all that you put up with. It’s overwhelming for both of us and very confusing for you. I see the pained expression on your face trying to figure out if it was something you did that caused my anxiety to act up. I watch you trying to come up with a way to fix it for me.
It’s sometimes really difficult to explain how I’m feeling to you knowing that you really can’t understand it. It can be really lonely and isolating. But the times when you just sit next to me and hold my hand, reminding me that although I’m fighting a battle you can’t see, you’re there to fight too. That’s really the best feeling ever!
I know sometimes you may feel angry or sad that I’m not acting like my “normal” self. I know you’ve watched my entire face drain of emotion and go blank when the depression sets in. I’m sure it can be really upsetting. I’m sure I’ve ruined a few dates and even entire weekends thanks to this and for that I’m really sorry. But still you love me and plan another amazing date for us knowing that it could happen again.
You’ve probably secretly Googled “what causes depression and anxiety” hoping to find some answers that may help you understand. Everything you find is probably not all that helpful to you and doesn’t get you any closer to understanding what’s going on inside my mind and body. That’s got to be frustrating for you! When you love someone, you want to do everything you can to make their life better. But for me, sweetheart, you can’t make my mental health issues go away. They’ll probably always be there. But as long as you’re there too, it makes living with it so much easier!
Having said all of that, I want you to know that your support and the time you spend listening to me explain how I feel makes everything so much easier. I feel like no matter what comes of my depression or anxiety that I’ll be able to live! And maybe even thrive! You and I are a good pair. And even though my mental health isn’t top notch, our world together is.
All my love,
Who else is glad January is over? It’s one of those months that only exists because it has to. February is a little better in that it’s a month full of pink, chocolate, and a ground hog that may or may not see it’s shadow (but he’s the cutest thing ever!). None the less, it’s a month that can also drag on and on. Winter, although beautiful in it’s own right, is not my favorite season for mental health reasons. It’s just hard! Sunlight is hard to find, coats keep us concealed, and central heating gives us dry skin. I’ll pass. So what can we expect this month in terms of mental health?
Hope for the Coming Weeks
We’re almost half way through winter! Finally. In my opinion, winter starts as soon as Christmas ends. Christmas is really it’s own season. Right around the first week of February however, we start to feel hope! March is just around the corner! The birds will be singing, the earth is starting to wake up again, and Michael’s Craft Store is full of Easter greenery. There is hope indeed!
Loneliness (Looking at You Valentine’s Day)
Ah, Valentine’s Day. The dreaded holiday of single people. I remember being single not so long ago and thinking the holiday was silly. Even as someone who’s married I still kind of think it is. And as an independent gal, I’ll buy my own flowers and chocolate if I want them! However, for many single people, it can be a really lonely time. It seems like everyone on social media is out on a date and you wonder when it’s going to be your turn. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, take yourself on a date or meet up with some friends. Get the wine and cheeseboard and treat yourself to some roses! I’ve always thought that before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself.
Stretches of Depression
Even though we can FEEL spring coming, February can still be depressing. Many of us will probably experience a few stretches of depression throughout the month. These are most likely to occur during rainy or snowy weather thanks to the sun hiding behind the clouds. It’s important to go outside and get fresh air in your lungs and take vitamins! Meditation and keeping a journal can also help during this time.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Just like in January, this will still be something many people deal with well into February. S.A.D. impacts mental health as well as physical health at times. The mind-body connection is real people! Since this disorder can be difficult to treat, it’s best to tell your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing to know what kind of treatment will be best for you. BUT know that you are not alone in the way you feel. Many, many people understand the feelings of sadness and exhaustion.
People, like some animals, often feel the need to hibernate this time of the year. The cold and wet conditions tell us we need to stay inside to thrive. Unfortunately, this usually leads to feelings of isolation and exhaustion. The more we stay inside and in bed, the more isolated and tired we feel. Have you ever slept for 11 hours straight? You usually feel like you can sleep even longer. That’s like hibernation, except in humans, it usually just ends in a splitting headache and feeling depressed. Get out of bed and be among people, even if you don’t want to.
February isn’t always a fun month. But taking care of your mental health is the best way to get through it. My grandmom always used to say “it’s always brighter in the morning,” and the morning will come sooner than you think.
Hey everyone! I’m really excited to share this blog post with you because its all about normalizing mental health! As you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness month! I make it part of my blog’s purpose to spread awareness and share my struggles with all of you in the hopes that it will help at least one person not feel so alone. But today’s blog post is more for those that don’t suffer from mental health dilemmas but want to help those who do!
Mental health is slowly becoming a topic that isn’t taboo or brushed under the rug. But we still have a long way to go! Normalizing something that’s important to all of us (we all have a state of mental health!) can make such a difference in our society! If you aren’t sure of how to promote awareness and normalize mental health conversations, here are some tips!
Watch your language
“I need my crazy meds today.” I’ve caught myself saying that before and its not ok. I’m not crazy. I need medication to balance my brain chemicals. That’s it. Avoid saying things to others that might infer their “craziness.” Questions like “did you take your happy pills?” should be replaced with “did you take you medication?” My medication doesn’t make me happy necessarily, it simply keeps my mind healthy!
Understanding what happens in the mind to cause anxiety, depression, and even suicide is important. Learn about mental illnesses and why they occur. Share what you know with others. Recognize the signs of poor mental health and offer a listening ear to those who may need it.
Share Your story
I was at a dinner the other night with some of David’s business acquaintances. Another lady and I were talking about medical diagnosis and things of that nature when I mentioned that I was seeing a doctor to get help with my depression and anxiety. She looked surprised and quietly admitted that she’s been on medication for years. All of the sudden we were sharing stories and opening up about our struggles. It was liberating! And it felt normal, not shameful. Share your story if you have one and if you don’t, listen to someone else’s and engage with them.
Normalize it in the workplace
More and more workplaces are hosting clinics and “lunch and learns” to talk about mental health in the workplace. If your company hasn’t hosted such an event, suggest it! Ask your HR department to bring in an expert to talk about self-care and helping others who may struggle. Starting this conversation is one of the best ways to normalize mental health care in your work place.
Share on social media
If there’s anything my generation has learned on social media its that change can often start with a simple post. Update your Facebook status recognizing May as being Mental Health Awareness month. Remind professional acquaintances on LinkedIn by sharing a scholarly article. Share this blog post with friends and family to keep the conversation going!
Mental health is so important and recognizing its impact on our society is a step in the right direction!