Now that we have made some progress on improving our spiritual connection, we can work on our mental health. Mental health is extremely important because it shows how resilient we all are. We, at Iyami Naturals, believe that one should take care of their mental state to keep going and keep pushing. I spoke with several friends and asked them what they do to help maintain mental health. Here a few ways to help you keep your sanity:
Talk about it: Sometimes it feels really good to get it out. If something is weighing heavy on your heart, let it out and let it go. The black community has a long standing stigma about seeking a professional for mental health because we tend to think that someone will look down upon us or judge us. Listen….. I’d rather you judge me for talking to a psychologist as opposed to you judging me because I never talked about it and became bitter from it. Depression is real y’all and in all seriousness depression is not pretty. I cannot stress enough the importance of communication.
Happiness is a state of mind: If you think that happiness comes from another person, then you have another think coming. Honey, happiness starts with you and the joy within. You can have everything and be miserable or have the bare necessities and be extremely happy.
Photo credit: Alicia G. Tyler
Laugh: “Joking and being funny is definitely a good coping mechanism and mental health practice.”, says Nikki Blak, poet and author of Uppity Negress and upcoming book All My Exes Want Me Back. Laughter is good for the soul and laughter is contagious. Find your funniest friend and call them up for a good laugh. Go to a comedy show. Write a mad lib. The added bonus: laughter helps you lose weight…. I’m just saying.
The 3 A’s: Johna Taylor of Queens of Cuisine Catering Service says she follows the 3 A’s, “When there is an issue you’re dealing with that’s causing you stress or etc… you must practice the 3 A’s: you can choose to AVOID the issue, person, or thing and go on with your life. ACCEPT it for what it is and that it won’t change so you may have to. Or ALTER it by compromising in order to preserve your sanity.” Sometimes you just have to walk away from the situation to keep your cool.
Do some dining: If you are a foodie like me then you will find food to be great for maintaining your sanity, especially dining with friends. I am not talking emotional eating here. That is the opposite direction we want to go. I am talking eating, laughing and having a good old time with your friends. You don’t even have to eat. It could be as simple as going to a local café, getting your favorite drink and actually sitting down to laugh and chat with a friend or pulling out a good book. You will find that the dining experience is very calming…. Or maybe that’s the effects of the wine.
Do a puzzle: Doing puzzles help increase patience, concentration and help ease your mind from whatever is stressing you. When I was younger, my parents had this huge puzzle that sat on the dining room table. Every time people came over to visit they would have them sit at the table to talk. Without realizing it, whoever would sit at the table would start connecting puzzle pieces. Eventually the puzzle was finished, but it helped people to get their frustrations out without even knowing it. They would leave the house happier than they arrived.
Paint and sip parties: These parties are so fun. You can have them at your house, go to an art studio, or visit various restaurants that may be hosting them. Typically there is an instructor that supplies the tools needed and the patrons supply the libations. If you have not gone to one, you are missing out. This is a very relaxing social event that you will want to keep going again and again. No two paintings are alike. You get to express your creativity while having a good time. The best thing is that you do not have to know how to draw to do it.
Take a vacation: We work so hard in our day to day lives, not thinking about taking a moment to sit down and relax. A vacation is how ever long you need to just recuperate from the hustle and bustle. You do not have to leave your house to take a vacation, unless your house is just as hectic as the rest of your life. Go to the park. Go on a girlfriends get-a-way. Leave the city for the country. Take a walk. Go to the spa. Go get your hair and nails done. Just take some time to think about you and maintaining your happiness.
Most things are easier said than done, but sometimes things are easier done than said. Everything always starts with you. So please take care of your mental state. Do not be afraid to speak up and seek help.
What are ways that you maintain your mental health?