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Increasing Understanding of Mental Illness

Supporting Others: Mental Health Awareness Month- Tools to Thrive

Written by Kristen Reese; Associate Director of Rediscovering You

“While one in five people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in their lives, five out of five people will go through a challenging time that affects their mental health. There are simple things that every person can say or do to help the people in their life who are struggling to get through the tough times,” Mental Health America states on their website. In this last week of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to highlight one more of the Tools to Thrive- Supporting Others.


We don’t all have the same experiences or the same opportunities. Recognizing that in the people you encounter everyday can make you a more empathetic person. Everyone needs help at some point in their life. “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good,” said Carl Rogers, Psychologist.


Mental Health America shares tips on how to support others. Here are my thoughts on three of them.


1. Practice active listening- This is easier said than done. I would want to jump right in and share with the person something similar I’d been through. I wanted them to know I was relating to them and I understood what they were going through. There is a time for this, but let them tell their story how they want to tell it. Give them the space and time. Put your phone away and give them your undivided attention.


2. Ask what you can do- Don’t hesitate to ask directly what you can do to help. It shows you care, and you want to be there for them.


3. Keep your word- If you tell them you’ll meet for coffee on Saturday, keep that date! There are times when actions speak louder than words. It’s hard enough for someone to be vulnerable with you. If at all possible, don’t back out on them. If you need to cancel, make sure you reschedule and that the individual is safe.


For more tips, visit https://mhanational.org/supporting-others#2




Creating Healthy Routines: Mental Health Awareness Month- Tools to Thrive

Written by Kristen Reese; Associate Director of Rediscovering You

The next tool to thrive from Mental Health America’s toolkit I want to highlight is “Creating Healthy Routines”. This one has been a big one for me the last couple months as we have all been asked to quarantine. At first it was nice to get up when I wanted, go for a walk when I wanted, and work when I wanted. I found myself needing to work on the weekend to make sure I was getting in my 40 hours. I wasn’t getting a full day off of work, which started to affect my mental health.

After two weeks of doing things whenever I wanted, I had to put myself on a schedule. The first thing I did was make sure I put in my work hours during the week (most of the time). I mapped out my work day by the hour. This didn’t mean I couldn’t be flexible when things came up, but I went into the day knowing what I wanted to accomplish for the day. Then, I made sure to schedule some self-care time every day. Yes, every day (I mean, what else are we going to do right now)! That could be going for a walk, reading, writing/journaling, listening to music, or even watching television or a movie. No matter the circumstances you need to make sure you schedule enough time in your week for self-care (see a previous blog for tips). You need to take time to recharge your batteries.

On the day-to-day I was in a better mood when I stuck to the schedule

. I found I could get things done without as much stress, because the priorities of the day were established for me. With not knowing when I’ll actually go back to my physical workplace, I had to take control and stick to a routine. “I like having a routine, because everything else… is so unpredictable,” said Jordana Brewster, actress. I could not agree more.

See what tips for success you can utilize to create a health routine for yourself at https://mhanational.org/creating-healthy-routines.



Owning Your Feelings: Mental Health Awareness Month- Tools to Thrive

Written by Kristen Reese; Associate Director of Rediscovering You


There is a Japanese proverb that states, “Fall seven times and stand up eight.”  The first time I heard the saying, it resonated with me. I have always been a resilient person.  I’ve been knocked down by life or lost sight of a goal more times than I can count (definitely more than seven).  Each time I had to dig deep within my heart, and each time I learned something new about myself. One day I realized the lessons were the whole point of the struggle I just endured.


So, how do you become more resilient?  The first step, for me at least, was acknowledging and accepting my own feelings.  Those would range from frustration, dejection, to betrayal. I didn’t want to “feel” any of these things.  If I did, it was just “poor me”. The thing is- it’s okay to feel those things. The key is to not linger in the feelings.  When I let myself be frustrated about something for a couple days, it opened up space on the third day to then think about the next steps I wanted to take. I let go of the frustration, and focused on what I could control.  I stood up!


For Mental Health Awareness Month, Mental Health America has shared some “Tools to Thrive” on their website.  Check out the ones specific to “Owning Your Feelings” at www.mhanation.org/owning-your-feelings. (Spoiler: A few of my favorites include: Don’t ignore how you’re feeling; build your emotional vocabulary; and consider the strength of your feelings.)



Feel free to drop us a comment about how you “own your feelings”.  We can all learn from each other.

ABOUT US >

Rediscovering You is a 501(c)(3) mental health nonprofit.  We believe that no individual is defined by their mental or developmental health challenges, and works to empower individuals to rediscover what makes them who they are outside of their illness.

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The information provided on the Rediscovering You website, Facebook, or other social media platforms is presented as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, skill, and judgment of a qualified mental health provider.

 

Rediscovering You is a mental health education, awareness, and advocacy organization, and does not provide treatment advice or clinical services. 

 

 If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time,  you can be the difference in getting them the help they need.  Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text 741-741.

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