The average individual when asked what ‘Mental Health’ means to him/her would say something along the lines of “Having a sound, clear, active and interactive mind or being able to deal effectively with stress whether physical or mental with minimal breakdowns as well as building healthy relationships”.
I’d say “Mental Health is a combination of our emotional, social and behavioral health highlighting the state of our minds and relationships, how we handle them in the ways we can and the ways we can’t control and ultimately how this is reflected unto our very essence as individuals and collectively as a society.”
In this present day, a lot of people have heard about mental health not excluding the old. Although the young have a better advantage due to the multitude of content available about Mental Health on the internet at their fingertips, which in itself is both a blessing and a curse. The information available could either be very helpful or downright misleading.
Mental Health has so many facets that can’t even be exhausted anytime soon but here, I’ll talk about the root of it all: A potent belief in Self-Help stemming from Self-Love. You are Your Own Strongest Link and Anchor!
It’s important to realize that you and everyone around you is at the risk of having one mental illness or the other and that it’s not a death sentence to be mentally ill, there’s always a way around it. There’s help! Don’t forget it because fear and ignorance escalate every situation.
Know today, you are your own major responsibility. Everything that has to do with you is your responsibility. Your Words? Actions? Thoughts? Emotions? Decisions? Life? All Yours!
Yes, there may be people who are there to lighten your load, to help you along the way, to ease your stress or to just be there for you, that’s beautiful and you should appreciate them. Still, they might not be there and that’s okay too! Be your own strength and your own backup plan. Am I asking you to be Superhuman? YES, Why not?! You’re well on your way there anyways.
It is your job first to take care of yourself, everyone else doing that is an added advantage. The earlier you realize that, the better. It’s easier to make progress when you accept that the only major support you’re entitled to is yours and no one else’s.
It’s okay to feel sad sometimes or maybe now it’s all the time, or to be depressed, have anxiety attacks, bipolar or anorexic episodes and lots more on that scale and the urge to do nothing about it or just give up kicks in. What is not okay is actually giving up. Nobody else can lift you up better than you. Nobody else can do you like you.
There are times when we feel we are over certain things but then it hits us all over again and it’s like ‘No! Not again! I can’t deal with another episode of this!’ and we start to beat ourselves up over things we have no control over. Remember that it’s okay to be weary again, to breakdown and fall apart even after things were under control. You’re not weak or inadequate, you’re simply human and we struggle with our feelings, thoughts and emotions. It’s all a part of the process. We heal time and time again and that’s fine.
Also, your timeline is your own and no one else’s. Never allow someone else’s progress or achievements to make you feel slow or not enough. Your pain and struggles are your own and nobody has the right to invalidate them no matter how worse they think they have it. Bad things happen to everyone and we all struggle, the difference is in how we deal with it and how much strength we infuse into ourselves to carry on. You matter and don’t you ever feel less!
Here’s a shout out to everyone who has been struggling lately but still gets up and pushes a little bit harder and further every single day without giving up.
And to those who are at the edge, this is a reminder of just how strong you are even when you do not think so at the moment. You’re strong and beautiful and filled with so much love that you can give yourself even when you do not see it around. No matter how tough it looks today, tomorrow will be better! Hold on! You are your own strongest link and you should not lose yourself!
Start taking care of yourself, seeing better, feeling better and you start to attract better. Stay true to yourself, cry when you need to, scream your pain out loud and then pick your own pieces and continue. If you find help along the way, be grateful and if you don’t, let it be an extra incentive to push harder.
A few positive words to yourself can make a difference. Even that is hard to do sometimes, but when has anything good been easy? So, the next time you feel sad, stressed and lonely or like a failure, get a mirror (preferably a large one), look into it and make positive affirmations. “I’m strong! I’m amazing and capable of great things! I’m a fighter and a King/Queen! I’ve held on this far, who says I can’t go on? Things will get better; I’ll show myself all the love I deserve that’s an ocean and more! I see my strengths and I love them, I see my weaknesses and I’ll be better, I care about who I am before others can, I see potential in me, I’ll go places and nobody can stop me. I have me to rely on and that’s my first strength. I am Enough!” Say beautiful things, feel beautiful and then, do not just sit! Move, Strive, Create, Feel, Rest, Love and Grow!
I hope you know that you make this world a little more beautiful in your own special way just by being in it. Find yourself in a world where everyone is losing themselves! Be intentional about loving and helping yourself! Be intentional about you!
I’m Jokotade Okuribido, a 3rd year medical student interested in writing and creating content that explores the different aspects of life with attention to detail and the intention to entertain as well as educate.