four ways to take better care of you

it’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and my mental health tends to be something that i talk about often. so here i am, talking about it again.

people don’t always understand what it means to struggle with your mental health. i haven’t always been good at caring for myself or letting others take care of me. it’s really easy to seclude yourself when you feel like no one understands what you’re dealing with. i did that for a long time, and in that time i learned to take steps to better care for myself because i had very few people to do it for me.

i am learning to be honest about my needs and allow people to help me get what i need, but for a long time i was very alone in my journey towards better mental health. i have put together four steps i have taken in my mental health journey to allow me to think more clearly and love myself better. we always do so much to care for the people around us. here are four ways to take better care of you.

  1. see a therapist.

it has been s o vital to my growth and healing that i have seen a therapist. it has been not only beneficial for me, but also for my relationship that i am able to see my therapist every week. whether i’m dealing with every day stressors, like getting my oil changed, or days of the year that are often tougher than others, patty is my g o – t o. seeing her not only allows me to have someone who understands the things i deal with every day, but it also gives me a place to express these things in a way that doesn’t make me dump them on my relationships. it’s a win for everyone, because it allows me to have healthier relationships that aren’t bogged down by negativity all the time. seeing patty encourages me to cut out toxic relationships, puts me in my place when I’m not seeing clearly, and allows me to express my emotions healthily and helps me figure them out. (plus, she’s totally someone I’d want to be friends with — something that allows me to be so comfortable with her.)

2) know your triggers.

one of the most beneficial things for me — and also the people around me — has been learning what triggers my anxiety or my depression. if you spend a lot of time with me, you have probably heard me talk about how financial stressors are huge triggers for my anxiety. knowing my triggers not only helps me avoid them but also plan to diffuse them. (this is one of the ways having a therapist can be so helpful — it’s often nice to have an outside view on what might be triggering your experiences.) because i know the things that often make me anxious, i can better prepare myself to keep myself from situations where i might start to panic. being aware of my situations and surroundings allows me to live a healthier and more stable life.

3) have patience in your corner. 

having people in your corner is so important. there are two qualities i look for in friends that i want in my corner: patient and supportive. people who are patient with you and supportive of you will always let you experience what you’re feeling while you’re feeling it. no one needs someone who suffocates their feelings; that just creates toxicity and unhealthy relationships (which often cause me alllll the anxiety.) supportive and patient people are the best to have in your corner because you k n o w they’re not going anywhere. it’s vital to your health to have stability, especially in your relationships. no one wants flakey friends in their life. (Now, if only I can BE this type of friend, too.)

4) create space for yourself.

this has been multi-faceted for me in my pursuit for a healthier mental space. it has been so important for me to create space for myself: create space to heal, to feel, to love, to be angry, to doubt, to hope. create space to read, to do yoga, to take a bubble bath, to listen to podcasts, to binge watch f.r.i.e.n.d.s, to play with your dog, to take a nap. create space to pursue your heart’s deepest desires. create space for friendships, for relationships, for you.

i hope these four things can help you if you’re trying to love yourself better. as always, you are more loved than you could ever dream. know that it’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to hope, and it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to learn. know that you’re never alone. when you’re struggling, reach out. find a friend. let m e be that friend — i’d absolutely love to. i just think you’re remarkable, and i want you to think that too.

if you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here.
if you feel too much, don’t go.
if this world is too painful, stop and rest.
it’s okay to stop and rest.
if you need a break, it’s okay to say you need a break.
this life – it’s not a contest, not a race, not a performance, not a thing that you win.
it’s okay to slow down.
you are here for more than grades, more than a job, more than a promotion, more than keeping up, more than getting by.
this life is not about status or opinion or appearance.
you don’t have to fake it.
you do not have to fake it.
other people feel this way too.
if your heart is broken, it’s okay to say your heart is broken.
if you feel stuck, it’s okay to say you feel stuck.
if you can’t let go, it’s okay to say you can’t let go.
you are not alone in these places.
other people feel how you feel.
you are more than just your pain. you are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.
there is still some time to be surprised.
there is still some time to ask for help.
there is still some time to start again.
there is still some time for love to find you.
it’s not too late.
you’re not alone.
it’s okay – whatever you need and however long it takes – it’s okay.
it’s okay.
if you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here.
if you feel too much, don’t go.
there is still some time.

(jamie tworkowski // there is still some time)

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