Behind this smile… #mentalhealthmatters

I’m a full 2 weeks late in getting this published, and it is the recovering perfectionist in me that must state this first….I am a work in progress.  We are all a work in progress. 😉

I’ve been feeling the urge to write more again — there’s been a lot of writing, without a lot of sharing.  So here we go! <3 

Behind this smile is someone who struggles with anxiety and depression.

Behind this smile is…

  • a sister who lost her brother to suicide.
  • a daughter who does her best to support her mother’s mental health needs.
  • a mom who fixates on how to best support her children’s mental and emotional well-being.
  • a woman who has close friends who are struggling right now. 

The thing with mental health is that it’s often unseen.  Unspoken.  And it is a piece of who we are.

Some days are easier than others and I am extremely grateful that for me most days are in a positive light for me.   I am fortunate that I can typically manage my anxiety with exercise, breath-work and other tools I’ve learned in therapy. (Read more about my journey to therapy.)  I have surrounded myself with people who help me see and feel reality, so when my thoughts start to spiral, I’ve got anchors to bring me back.   

These past few weeks have been hard though – the busy-ness of life is back.  The season of life I am in is full (mostly by choice.)  Inner demons try to question my worth, my enoughness.   Amidst the internal dialogue, that which is mental health, I believe exists a truly happy, positive, upbeat, driven and loving person, who still had hard days.

Behind these eyes is someone who even on the tough days, SHOWS UP FOR HERSELF EVERY SINGLE DAY (and is damn proud of herself for it.)   

I have learned as we share pieces of our stories, it helps us all recognize we are not alone.

Mental Health Awareness Day was last week BUT the message that #mentalhealthmatters must be shared daily.   

My own struggle, and the struggle of those around me, is why I am involved in my local chapter with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  It is why on days I really don’t want to exercise I still make myself do it – as I recognize movement directly impacts my own mental well-being.  It is why I am passionate about helping others work through mindset change and building long-term health habits.   When the base of who we are is strong, we feel better.

Mental health is part of our optimal health.  It is a piece of our overall well-being.  Being aware of and taking care of our mental health is part of our own self-care.    

I am also a living case that being our best selves, and feeling like our best selves, takes work:

  • I am still learning to not beat myself up.
  • I am still practicing moving away from perfectionist tendencies and all-or-nothing thinking.
  • I am aware of how I speak to myself and continue to work to speak more kindly.  
  • I am learning to ask for help, regularly.
  • I am learning what optimal health truly is  to me (mind, emotions and body)and working to regularly optimize and prioritize the building blocks of my own health (hydration, nutrition, purposeful movement, sleep and mindset & stress management.)

I truly try to practice what I preach.  It’s a journey, not a final destination.  I celebrate progress, not perfection.  I am constantly reminded both within my own journey, and amidst my coaching with other women, that change is possible.  Getting out of ruts is doable.  And it starts by truly prioritizing our selves FIRST.  

Prioritizing our own selves is a necessity. Thriving, not just surviving, can be our goal.

Taking care of ourselves first, includes taking care of both our physical bodies AND also our emotional and mental well-being.  I do believe that working to shift our mindset and creating sustainable healthy habits does help with mental health.  I also recognize at times individuals do need to seek out help from mental health professionals.  I will continue to help #stopthestigma and #bethevoice to help #stopsuicide and continue to preach that #mentalhealthmatters  

My passion lies in helping others build the confidence to take small steps in the difficult direction towards change.  Each step, leading them a bit closer to the person they wish to become.  A small step, leading them to discover that everything they need to feel like their best self is already within them.  It takes practice and repetition, but leading our best lives IS DOABLE and we DESERVE IT.  

In order to make personal growth, we must first assess where we are starting.  Take a few minutes to reflect on where you are at:  

  • How do I truly want to FEEL?
  • What does optimal health mean to me?
  • What parts of my life are currently giving me energy? (activities, people, places)
  • What parts are draining?
  • What things do I do or can I work towards doing, that help me feel like my best self?
  • Who can I turn to when times are challenging?

Next time you ask someone how they are doing, truly listen.  When someone asks you, share your truth.  Life is hard.  Life is messy.  We are in this together.  One step at a time, my friend.  One step at a time.  

If you find there is a disconnect between  where you are currently at and how you want to feel, I’d love to  connect and see if I can help you get back on track and work towards feeling like your best self.  You are invited sign up for a quick discovery call  here.  I also invite you to join my email list here.  

If you or someone you love are in crisis, call or text 9-8-8, 24/7 ☎️📱 (Suicide and Crisis Lifeline) 

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