In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought it only appropriate to talk more about my own mental health. Not-so-fun fact: I struggle with anxiety. General Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, that is. However, I wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety until I was an adult. Even though I can clearly recall my struggles with anxiety as a preteen and teenager, I didn’t understand what anxiety meant at the time. I just thought I was “overreacting”. I thought I had to suppress that and hide it from people so they wouldn’t think there was something wrong with me.
Being diagnosed has helped me come to terms with my struggle. Accepting that I’m not always okay has helped me become more aware of my mental health. I’m learning more about my anxiety triggers and how to cope with my anxiety symptoms better every day.
If you’re struggling with anxiety:
- Talk to a doctor about how you’re feeling. It’s more than okay to accept medical help.
- You’re not crazy. Don’t let people call you crazy or say that you’re “overreacting”. You are valid. Your feelings are valid. Your brain just doesn’t function the same as other people’s brains, and that’s okay.
- Take care of your body. As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Don’t forget to eat healthy foods and get adequate sleep!
- Focus on your beliefs. For me, that’s my faith in God and His works. Focusing on how wonderful God is and trusting in His plan has helped me personally find strength in the face of anxiety. My mental health journey has even drawn me closer to God.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”