May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As someone with a degree in Public Health, I cannot stress enough about how important it is to take care of your health. When we talk about taking care of our health, we usually mean physical health. But it’s just as important to take care of your emotional health and mental health. In honor of May being my birth month and Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m going to write the most open and honest post ever published on my blog. Keep reading to find out why I really started blogging and why it’s important to manage your mental health.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
About Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 1949, May has been considered Mental Health Awareness Month in America. The observance was led by Mental Health America (MHA) and other affiliates. Through media, local events, and screenings, MHA and their affiliates have spread mental health awareness. Their efforts have reached millions of people and the non-profit organization continues to spread awareness about mental health. Mental health is often swept under the rug but should be discussed more often and openly. If this is something you strongly advocate, you can find ways to get involved.
Another issue that isn’t brought up enough is the co-occurring disorders that often come with mental health disorders. These co-occurring disorders could be drug addiction and substance abuse, among other things. Believe it or not, substance abuse also entails alcohol use. According to DrugRehab.com, “Of the 23 million Americans struggling with addiction, nearly 14 million also suffer from some form of mental illness, either stemming from or leading to substance abuse.”
For more information about mental illness and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse, please check out DrugRehab.com. Their site goes into further detail about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of mental disorders and drug use.
Why I Really Started Blogging
On my about page, I talked about why I started blogging. I wrote that I started blogging to help revive my love for photography. But that’s only one reason why I started blogging. The main reason why I started blogging was to tackle my anxiety.
Before I started blogging, I used to have really bad anxiety. I was in my last year as an undergrad, I had to juggle school with work and socializing, and I let toxic people stay in my life. Those toxic relationships and my lack of self-esteem worsened my anxiety. It would get so bad, it took a toll on my mental and physical health. My heartbeat would race and I couldn’t stay still. My mind would race, imagining unlikely scenarios, and often jumping to conclusions. I hardly wanted to eat and I lost 10-15 pounds. It would get so out of control, all I could do was just break down and cry myself to sleep. I often preferred to sleep than be awake because it was the only time I wasn’t thinking or feeling anything.
But I finally realized I had to do something about my anxiety in order to be a healthier, self-loving person. I started meal prepping and eating smaller portions more often. I got a gym membership. I started attending yoga classes. I started journaling and blogging again. I stopped giving toxic people my time of day. I stopped caring about what people thought or said about me. I even started seeing a therapist at my university. Basically, I put myself first and made it a priority to take care of my mental health.
Slowly but surely, I became a more confident and self-loving person. It definitely takes time and patience but change is achievable if you truly want it. I still have small episodes of anxiety but I’ve become more aware of my emotions and learned how to handle them.
I used to be embarrassed about expressing my emotions and asking for help. I thought it was a sign of weakness but it’s actually a sign of strength. Mental health is a serious topic that needs to be discussed more often. No one should ever be embarrassed to talk about their mental health and state. If you ever feel like you’re alone and hopeless, know that you’re not. There are plenty of mental health resources to help you, even if you can’t afford a therapist.
How do you manage your mental health?
Let me know in the comments! You can also add me on social media to get connected: