May is Mental Health Awareness month, and if you’ve been around this blog for a while you know that’s not a topic I shy away from. I’ve even had a few podcast episodes about it, and will have another one going live tomorrow about this topic, but I wanted to share some unconventional ways to help you mental health journey today.
My mental health journey started in 2003 after I lost my mom suddenly. It felt like my world was flipped upside down in an instant. The life that I knew up until that moment was suddenly taken away from me and if it hadn’t been for my incredibly supportive and loving step-mom I don’t know if I would’ve dealt with the sudden change as well as I did. I know I say it a lot, but I was truly blessed when it came to the step-parent department. She was the one who encouraged me and my sister to start seeing a therapist and working through whatever emotions we were dealing with. Now from my experience that isn’t common, especially in the Black community so I have to applaud my step-mom for doing what a lot wouldn’t have done.
I’ve spoken quite a bit about therapy, and you guys have probably even heard some of my friends praise psychiatrists and medicine, and those are great and definitely tools that I think everyone should use in some form. But I’m at the point now where I see my therapist once a month, unless I need an emergency session, and some of these tips that I’m sharing below have helped me kind of re-calibrate in a sense.
Work it out – Elle Woods said it best, “…endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill people”. We all know and love ‘Legally Blond’, and Elle was right. The high that comes from working out, whether something high energy like cardio or a HIIT, or even yoga leave you with an endorphin high that will change your whole mood. HAULYP is actually in the middle of our 5 Week YP Fit Challenge, and this week we’re focusing on cardio. It’s so easy to want to retreat into myself when I’m not in the best mood, but sometimes all I need to do is get out and sweat. Plus it improves my overall quality of life like heart health, metabolism and even concentration. I will definitely be bumping Beyonce’s new live album during this weeks’ workouts.
Take a break – Guess what y’all, sick days aren’t just for physical illnesses. I was taught at a young age that mental health days are just as important as regular sick days because they are regular sick days. I’m blessed to work for a company that allows us to have a separate bank for vacation and sick days and I take advantage of that. Yes, I use my sick days for doctors visit and when I’m physically ill, but sometimes a mental health day is necessary. Sleep in, have that cup of coffee at home, journal, get a massage, take care of yourself because you are a priority.
Get a release – I don’t know about y’all, but I’m in a totally different headspace after an orgasm. I’m more relaxed and can even tackle certain problems from a clearer headspace. So whether I’m getting it from someone I’m dating or if it’s manual stimulation I try to have a few of them a week.
Take a nap – I don’t know why naps times aren’t a thing for adults. I was just telling one of my best friends yesterday that weekend naps are necessary, but if we’re being honest daily naps would be awesome. Like orgasms, I’m in a completely different headspace after a nap and often times that relieves a lot of tension I carry in my body. And y’all know the tension I’m talking about; the tight jaw, high shoulders, strained eye tension. Something as short as a 15 minute nap can change all of that.
Now these are just a few ways I combat stress in my life, and they help a TON with my mental health. I’d love to hear about what helps y’all so please feel free to comment below or email me and let me know!