We have come a long way in reducing the stigma and being aware of the importance of mental health in many ways, but we have a long way to go to continue this progress and just as importantly then, to ensure we have healthy resources, tools, and support as we need them. You see, mental health is just as important as physical health and spiritual health and should receive the same care and attention. Just as with the physical and spiritual aspects, mental health should not only become a discussion when there is illness.
Our mental health can be impacted by things such as trauma, stress, physical health, sleep, and connections to others, just to name a few. Many of us come to realize how important it is for us to become in-tune with our physical bodies. I face some health challenges that require this, as do many others. If I ignore the signals my body is sending me, I typically pay the price with increased pain and/or parts of my body being impacted more intensely by the lupus. It is just as important for us to be in-tune to our mental health needs.
For those of us who have experienced complex trauma, this can look like participating in therapy, learning to set and stick to healthy boundaries, ensuring we protect our peace, taking the time to also care for ourselves in addition to caring about others, allowing ourselves to take the time to do things that we enjoy, giving ourselves the same type of grace we extend to others so easily and not expecting perfection from ourselves while still continuing to strive to heal and grow, focusing on truths rather than fears, changing our self-talk, etc. These tools could be compared to the various types of physical exercises we do to keep our bodies healthy. You must vary the areas that you focus on because if you only work out using one specific exercise without looking at your health as a whole, you would become disproportionate. It is the same with mental health tools.
For those who have not experienced complex trauma, mental health is not only for those of us who have faced these types of challenges. We all face stressors. We all face challenges and hardships at different times in our lives. These things can impact our mental health if we are not watching over it to ensure that we are being mindful about how these things are impacting us and what tools we can use to maintain or increase our mental wellbeing. Mental health tools are not a fad and may not include some of the things we see advertised today that may not be accessible to many of us...spa days, luxury vacations, excessive shopping trips, etc. No, mental health tools should be the ways in which you treat yourself everyday by allowing yourself the rest that you need, taking the time to do something that you enjoy, maintaining healthy relationships, giving yourself grace, celebrating your growth, and taking the time to destress, etc. Let's do these things, and let's implement them consistently. Our mental health is important and impacts the other aspects of our lives as well. We deserve to pay attention and implement the healthy tools needed to increase and maintain or mental wellbeing.