My mental health care has always been something I pushed to the side. Growing up, it wasn’t really talked about and often was used to describe someone who was “crazy”. Whenever I was dealing with something the response was usually “just try harder” or “you’re not focused enough”. Everything always seemed so much more difficult for me even though I kept trying my best, it never seemed good enough.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is 991 pages long. NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY-ONE!
If each of us went through this book with a fine-tooth comb, I’m sure we would find a little bit of ourselves written on at least one of the pages. Why do I think that? Because mental health is HEALTH. Plain and simple. You eat veggies to stay physically healthy so why wouldn’t you try things to stay mentally healthy as well. Our bodies are different, just like our brains are different, so how we care for both of them will be … you guessed it! DIFFERENT.
We need to take away the shame and the stigma that comes along with mental health care. We shame people too much when it comes to mental health and why? Because their brain works differently? Guess what? Everyone’s brain works differently, some people just hide it better. If 2020 taught us anything it is that we cannot be afraid to have tough conversations. Call your friends, call your family member and don’t just ask them “how they are doing”. Try asking them “have you done something recently to care for your mental health?”. That 1-minute question might make you uncomfortable for a second but what you don’t realize is maybe that person was praying for someone to finally ask them.
We all need to remember mental health care is important.
We all need to take care of our mental health and wellbeing, so I’m going to be sharing with you my top 5 ideas of what I am doing (or at least trying to do) to make sure I prioritize my mental health.
1. Checking In With My Doctor: Thanks to COVID I am very behind on numerous doctors/dentist appointments and have to make time to reschedule them. Regardless of the long list of things I have to do, these are the top priority. I will be discussing with my doctor how I can go about getting tested for anxiety (I believe it’s called high functioning anxiety). I have been needing to do this for some time and always told myself “it’s fine, I can handle it” but the truth is, I can’t and that’s okay. It’s okay that things get a little difficult and it’s okay that I need to ask for help. If you think you may need to ask for help too, please consider it. You are not alone in this.
2. Signed Up For An Online Coaching Program: The Stable Mama Movement led by Johanna Buss. It is hands down the best investment I have made in myself. I took Johanna’s free boot camp for a week and I swear when that week finished I sunk back into old habits. A week was not long enough so I contacted Johanna when I saw her discounted price and signed up. For the next 12 weeks, she will be helping me organize the chaos of my life between my child, work, my business and my personal life. She is a blessing to those busy mamas out there trying to find the perfect balance.
3. Going For A Daily Walk: Between being on maternity leave and COVID invading our lives, I put on my “lazy pants” and never took them off. For me personally, my clothes have become tighter and I have been having terrible mood swings. Granted, I have had a lot of changes in my life recently, but nevertheless I am determined to get in a nice walk every day.
Looking for more tips? Here are 5 ways to celebrate a good day.
4. Adult Colouring Books: Okay hear me out, they have so many different versions to feed your soul. They have tattoo designs, swear words, Disney and you won’t believe this but I recently found out that they have a “People of Walmart” version. Grab those coloured pencils friends!
5. Singing ALL The Disney Songs: Again. Stay with me on this one. There are days when I am here all day with my daughter who has more energy than the actual Energizer Bunny. Between caring for her, writing my book, starting a business, and working a part-time job, I am exhausted! What better way to keep my kid entertained, get in a workout (if I throw in a dance routine) and let out all my frustrations. Best part? No one is here to see me belting out “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
How do you take care of your mental health? Are you a new mom who is also having a tough time? Leave a message in the comments below, I’d love to share ideas to brighten your day.
Jessica Kemp is an up and coming children’s author with her first book set to release fall 2020. She was born and raised in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario before moving to Toronto in 2012. A graduate of the Child and Youth Care program at Ryerson University, she worked many years in child care before pursuing her dream of becoming a writer. Most recently, she created her brand “The Jessi K Adventures” in which she discusses her upcoming book, as well as her life as mom and wife. Every children’s book that Jessica releases will have a portion of the profits going towards a charity/organization.