Saturday, 10 May 2014
Mental Health, for all!
So, its Mental Health awareness month. If you don't like reading about mental health, WHY ARE YOU ON MY BLOG?! Anyway, your welcome to read on even if you don't want to. (Yes I did right this on a mentally interesting day). So I'm going to try to post a bit more about mental health, about ways God has given me of coping, and about other random things I think of. If you have ANY mental health questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer them.
I want to make one point, right at the start, this is very very important for you to understand, ok? We all have mental health. Just like we all have physical health. And we can have problems with our mental health without being completely consumed with illness, just like we can with physical health. You can have a stressful day, just like you can have a pulled muscle, and it'll affect your health, and some things will help it, others will not.
So we have to look after our mental health, and respond to it in a helpful way to keep it healthy. Am I making sense? And those with a mental illness need to take extra care of their mental health in the areas that are ill. Just like if you had diabetes you would look after your blood sugar, take insulin, avoid certain foods etc. With mental health, an example would be, if you struggle with depression, make sure you have the support you need, any medication you may need, and avoid anything that will make it worse. I may not be making sense, but I really hope I am.
As a christian, I believe that God wants us well, he wants us healthy, and he has paid the price. This means we need to try and make respectful choices that keep us healthy, and obeying him in what he asks us to do to help our health, both mental and physical.
For me, having a mental illness, I need to learn about myself, about my triggers and about what will help me cope, in order to live as healthily as possible. A lot of this involves trusting in God at the moment, as I still have so much to learn in order to help myself, luckily he already knows, so if he asks me to do something I see as pointless, I have to try and trust him and do it, because he knows what is right. Equally, and this is sometimes harder, he asks me not to do something, and I have to try to avoid it, because he knows what is best, he knows and can see far more than I can. And in time I believe he will teach me more and more about myself and about how to handle my health, but only when I'm in the right place to understand it.
For you it may be different, because everyone is in a different place, you may not have a mental illness, but your mental health is still important to look after. It may be a case of small choices, like when your having a bad day, seeking what God would have you do to release and deal with the emotions and thoughts, instead of what you want to do. Which could mean having a bath, or spending time with him, or spending time with someone else. It could be that he has given you coping strategies as gifts, like running or dancing or singing or writing poetry.
Or it may be that you have been ill, mentally, and you need to recognise your previous triggers and learn about new ways to cope with them while you are well, so that before it gets overwhelming you are already looking after yourself and your mind.
Whatever situation your in, I encourage you to ask God to help you explore your mind, trust him, obey him, thank him, cry on him, turn to him, etc. He values your mental health, and he accepts it as it is, and will guide you through it all.