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Taking care of our Mental Health

Hey loves happy Sunday!

Something my daughter said a few days ago got me thinking. She said she needed a mental health day and went to visit her girlfriend up in New Paltz .
The use of the words Mental Health touched me because that is so important. So often we get distracted by events and daily life we neglect signs our mind and body are shutting down.

It could be something as simple as forgetting an appointment or as serious as having a panic attack.

Our minds and our bodies are always giving us signs. They are always shouting "hey take care of me." The problem arises when we turn up the noise and continue to ignore. Dealing with these issues is crucial to our mental health and proper function of daily life.

illustration by pinterest.com

As my daughter has gotten older I've noticed that she doesn't do well with juggling school full time as well as a full time job. It wasn't until over a year ago when during final exams and her crazy work schedule that I noticed a change in her behavior and her health began to decline. She was short tempered and always tired and sleepy. She would come home and talk very little before retreating to her room. Being that we have always been heavy talkers I found it very strange but waited till after her exams to have a sit down.

It was in this lengthy conversation that she revealed her issues with Anxiety. She shared how the work load had gotten to her mentally and physically and how she felt like she could barely keep up. She was experiencing rashes/hives and her skin was breaking out. Her eating was poor and depression was setting in. As her mom I was sad to hear all this because as parents we don't want our kids to feel and carry heavy loads but my lesson was I can't do everything for my child.

I shared with my daughter that I felt she needed to find tools to manage these things in her life because sadly as she got older life would only have her juggle more balls up on the air. We discussed simple things like drinking Tea during the day and taking walks on her lunch break. But the biggest revelation and admission to herself was that she could no longer work full time and attend school full time. She didn't want to give up the money but realized that it wasn't worth the damage to her mental health. In the long run having a nice bank account wasn't and isn't worth a mental breakdown and full body exhaustion.

illustration by  madechos.com

Kids believe it or not carry a lot of stress and very often say very little about it. Sometimes as parents we give the wrong cues by the words we tend to use. We may say things that come across like some of these feelings are part of the package but regardless of the responsibilities life throws our way we must stop and take care of our physical and emotional state.

Depression and Anxiety can show themselves in many ways such as the ones I mentioned my daughter displayed but there are many others we can look for too such as...
-sleeping too much
-bing eating
-excessive drinking
-lack of interest in friends
-secrecy increase
-crying out of the blue
-arguments for no reason
-doing poorly in school

This time of year is also a sensitive time for many because Holidays bring up many mixed feelings. Most people assume everyone has a family they share these times with but that is not the case for some and over the years I have learned that more people deal with loneliness during the Holidays than at any other time during the year. While most are planning big dinners or setting up travel plans some are thinking of connections lost or broken.

illustration by quotesgram.com

I'd like to suggest that in addition to watching for signs of Mental Health issues with our children that we keep an open mind about people's experiences during the Holidays. Invite conversations so that feelings can be discussed and solutions can be found. Open your hearts and home to someone who may be in need of some kindness.
Some coping techniques can be...
-going for walks
-volunteering
-journaling
-counseling or therapy
-a spa date
-a movie night
-Mediation
-Yoga or other type of exercise
-reading

What are your thoughts? Have you dealt with Mental Health issues? Have you experienced Depression or Anxiety? Do you feel ashamed to share these feelings? Is it even anything to feel ashamed of? Share your experience with me.

Always stress free xo
Mari

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