Do any of these statements sound familiar?
“Should I talk to someone about this?”
“Oh no, what will my family say?”
“Only crazy people go to therapy. I know I am not crazy.”
Whether these thoughts come from within yourself or externally through a friend or family member, these questions can feel heavy and daunting when we have been struggling mentally for so long. The exhaustion from poor mental health can be as draining as a cardio workout.
Our hope is to share our insight and bring forth an understanding that an individual’s mental health is just as important as their own physical health.
Mental health, by definition, is: the state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
Explore with us the multitude of roles that you embody every day in your various relationships, both personal and professional. In these different roles, there is a lot of give and take. Within our relationships (platonic, sexual, co-workers, friends) there is an ebb and flow of give-and-take, share-and-receive.
What requires — and expends — emotional energy? A short answer includes the consistent output of care, love, nurturing, discipline, setting and respecting boundaries, following rules, being the “bigger person,” or even picking up the slack of a co-worker. The distress kicks in when that energy exchange is no longer an actual exchange and reciprocation stops.
When we become mentally fatigued, some self-talk may feature the following statements:
“I am a good person, but I am exhausted.”
“I get taken advantage of.”
“They cannot do it without me.”
Mental exhaustion can occur when we are spreading ourselves too thin, trying to take care of responsibilities without the preparation, action, and maintenance of self care. When we neglect our mental health, it takes its toll at a steep price.
Indicators that our bodies are impacted by emotional distress include:
- Sleep disruption
- A marked increase or decrease in appetite
- Disruption with social lives, being “too tired” to hang out with friends
Through our experiences, we have noticed one common denominator in individuals that are experiencing exhaustion or distress. That factor is routine. Routine is a mental health functionality that measures productivity, creates a framework, and brings normalcy to our lives.
A goal of Mental Health Awareness is to help individuals gain insight and understanding of their own habits and patterns within their routine. Some questions to ask yourself as a self-monitoring tool are:
“Am I struggling with my sleep?”
“Is it hard for me to get things around the house done?”
“Why am I not hanging out with my friends as much? Could I be isolating?”
If you answered yes to any of these questions and desire a space to explore the issues impacting your routine, then answer “yes” to the second question at the top of this article. Then consider: Why not let that person be a mental health professional?