Blog Posts

Increasing Understanding of Mental Illness

Written by Kristen Reese; Program Director of Rediscovering You


Recently I had a wave of bad news rush over me. Then the waves crashed into me again, and

again. I was knocked down, overwhelmed, and helpless. I wondered how this could be happening, right now, when life was already hard due to the pandemic.


I disconnected from everything for a day. I didn’t respond to text, Facebook, etc. Instead I read and I listened to music. I didn’t think anyone had anything to say I hadn’t already heard until I read, “If you are uncomfortable- in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused- you don’t have a problem, you have a life. Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy,” said Glennon Doyle in the book “Untamed”.


I took time to reflect on this statement. I opened my mind to this new perspective. What I took

away was: When you put your heart out there, especially when the outcome is uncertain, you’re living life; and when you get knocked down, take the time you need to heal, but make sure you always get back up. I also realized that everything is not about me. Sometimes you got to let people go because that’s what they need.


There will always be good times and hard times. I choose to focus on the good times and learn from the hard times. This leads me to a song I heard for the first time the same day. It’s called “Hard Days” by Brantley Gilbert. The course goes like this;


“If you never had hard days

If you never had a heartbreak

Never had more than you can take

Or carried the weight of life on your shoulders

Would you feel like you earned it?

Would you live with a purpose?

Or ever know your own strength

If you never had hard days”


Words are big for me. They hold weight. Sometimes I need to reread things to get the full

meaning. There are times I put a song on repeat to absorb the lyrics. May I suggest the next time you are overwhelmed by what’s going on around you, pick up a book or turn on the radio. The words you hear could lift you up on the hard day.




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.



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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