This post took me a while to write, to be honest, I’m currently out at lunch with one of my closest friends catching up after a rough week.
Last Thursday was International Mental Health Day, for the entire week I was pondering what would I talk about… mental health has always been one of those topics which have been difficult to talk about, because it is so personal to me. However, a part of being ‘The Layman’s Doctor’ means living by example… and it means being honest and open. For many of us mental health is a close and personal topic- that we don’t talk about! Possibly because there is so much stigma and discrimination against having an issue with your mental health.
I went to an event where one of the speakers said “you can’t control what happens but you can control how you react.” Those words have been echoing in my head, especially this week.
So let’s get to the point, what does protecting your mental space mean?
At first I thought it meant pampering myself, having spa days and drinking a glass or two of wine after a rough day… but now I realize it means so much more.
It means being honest with yourself, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Which is how I got to my theme for Internal Mental Health Day- patience.
When you decide to take charge of your mental health, it doesn’t all change overnight. It’s a journey where there might be falls and relapses. Taking care of my mental space means being patient with myself while I’m on this journey.
It means understanding that it took a long time to get to the place where I am now, and I cannot change in one go. It means acknowledging that small consistent steps will make major changes in the long haul.
Your mental health, should be a prioty. As a group we must speak out to fight the stigma, staying silent is hurting us. Things like therapy, journaling, thinking about feelings should be the norm.
As a person, I acknowledge that my health is not just physical, but involves my mental wellbeing as well.
How do you protect your mental space? Let me know below!
Samantha C. Johnson.