Shutting Down My Family Saved My Mental Health

I have decided that I will no longer associate myself with any members of my family. That includes my mom, dad, and two siblings. I already made up my mind that I will no longer consider them part of my life from now on. I consider them dead. I know some of you will see me as an ungrateful daughter because of that decision. Well, I can’t blame you. Society has this ideology that family ties are the most important thing in the world. Unfortunately, for me, it is not.

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What Triggered That Decision?

Maybe for some people, I am too harsh with my decision and think I am overreacting. But when you belong to a family that does not contribute to your emotional, mental, and spiritual growth, you don’t stay. You leave. You prioritize your overall health because that is the only thing that can help you get through with the challenges of life.

Honestly, I understand that I should be thankful that I grew up in this world with a family by my side. However, for my 24 years of existence, I entirely cannot recall anything that my family positively contributed to my development. My father was a drug addict. Even when I was little, I struggled to focus on loving him because of his unfavorable habits. He often scolds and hurt me for no reason. My dad was so mean that every time he comes home and sees me, he finds a moment to abuse me physically. He would kick me, choke me, and pull my hair. There was this one time when I was in 3rd grade; my father shaved my head. I had to lie to everyone about it because I do not want them to think that I was living with a dysfunctional family.

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The thought of my father being abusive is not the only problem I experienced. My mom, who was supposed to take care of me, was never there for me emotionally. I was supposed to love her because I thought she understands. However, she chose to tolerate my abusive father. Sometimes, due to her lack of self-confidence, she points fingers every time she makes mistakes. My mother does not care if I get beaten up physically. She was just in front of the whole scene, staring and ignoring the abuse. At a very young age, I was confused as to why my parents treat me miserably. I was made to believe that there was something wrong with me, which made my mom and dad act abusively towards me.

As I live my life with doubts and confusion, the struggle did not end. My sister, who is supposed to be my confidante, became my worst enemy. When I was in high school, she was jealous that she thinks my parents love me more than her. She had this messed up thoughts of me, being a favorite daughter because I was sleeping with my father. My sister was so unbelievable that she even spread rumors at school that my dad and I were having an affair. She was so crazy that she went on stabbing me with a scissor just because I told everyone what she said was a lie. She entirely believed her story even though she knows it was never the truth. My sister always acts like a saint in front of other people. But when it is only the two of us, she physically tortures me.

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Growing up, I know my life was miserable. But I didn’t complain. I thought maybe I can still find some good reasons to stay with my family and forgive them for everything they have put me through. But everything ended when my brother sexually abused me. I was so devastated that my blood-related sibling raped me. I was sick to my stomach that I endured the pain of emotional, mental, and physical torture to find myself getting raped in the end. My brother, who was often absent in my life, committed the most unforgivable crime. He was a monster, and I cannot fathom to think about forgiving him for the rest of my life. All this time, I thought my childhood was normal and that every child also experiences it. But I was wrong. I am emotionally and mentally damaged, that I now suffer from multiple mental illnesses.

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Now for those people who are judging me for condemning my family, who are you to judge? What makes you think that shutting down my family is wrong? After knowing my side, will you still be able to convince me to forgive and continue life with them? What makes you think I can tolerate a dysfunctional family that physically, emotionally, and mentally tortures me all the time? If you experience the things I experienced, I welcome your opinion. But if not, leave me alone.

 

How To Help Your Friend Deal With Their Emotional Health Problems In Quarantine

We have all been affected by the pandemic – either physically or emotionally. How much it has changed our lives vary. Some people have coped well despite being quarantine; some may not and may even be going through an emotionally tough time.

The thing is, it will be difficult to notice symptoms of emotional issues in our friends because of the distance. When you notice that your friend suddenly becomes withdrawn, overemotional, pessimistic, or angry, it means they need your support. These are what you can do to help them cope even when you are distances apart.

Keep In Touch Regularly

One of the emotional health issues that a lot of people are experiencing these days is isolation. Ronald E Riggio, Ph.D., notes,Isolation can lead to serious health problems in the long run.”

He adds, “There is some evidence that extreme social isolation can contribute to the development of heart disease, increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. The stress of isolation raises cortisol levels, which can raise blood pressure and A1C levels in the long term.”

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If your friend already has emotional health problems, like anxiety and depression, sudden and prolonged isolation may worsen these issues.

So, the first thing that you can do for your friend is to keep in touch. You may schedule regular catch up sessions with them and talk about anything – their feelings, their daily lives, or plans. Planning for your next travel can give your friend something positive to look forward to while in quarantine.

Be Ready To Listen With No Judgment

Another thing that you have to remember when talking with your friends is to listen with no judgment. People suffering from anxiety or depression already has plenty of critical inner voice within them. So, when they want you to listen, they mean you do so without adding to that already negative voice. 

As a rule of thumb, avoid giving unsolicited advice. Also, defer from undermining your friend’s emotions by bringing the spotlight to you and how you would have behaved if you were in their position.

They also don’t need you to tell them what’s wrong with the way they’re thinking. Doing so will make them defer from opening up to you again, and may result in isolating themselves more.

Ask What You Can Do For Them

And when in doubt, ask them what exactly they need. Asking for clarification or elaboration shows that you are listening intently in what your friend is saying. And that helps build trust and rapport in your relationship.

Also, it will help you a clearer idea of what you can to help your friend deal with their emotional health issues. Also, it means that what you do for them will be what they may exactly need.

Go Extra With A Meal Or Grocery Care Package

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If you are not that good with conversation, there are other ways to show care and support to your friend in need.

One of those is giving them what they may need while in quarantine – like grocery or skincare package. These necessities can easily be overlooked when someone is already overwhelmed with their emotions. So, sending them what they need can help relieve some of these worries.

You can deliver them on your own or look for alternatives online. There are a lot of options available if your friend lives far from you. 

Do Something Together

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Besides talking and sending care packages, you can also spend quality time with your friends by doing fun activities at the comforts of each other’s homes.

Schedule a convenient time for both of you and watch movies, play games, or learn new things together. Engaging your friend with enjoyable activities helps them cope with their emotions and lets them look at the brighter side of things. 

Encourage Them To Seek Professional Help

Lastly, the best thing that you can do for them is to encourage them to seek professional help. As much as we can offer our love and support for our friends, we do not have all the answers to help them deal with their emotional health issues in the long-term.

Fortunately, online therapists and counselors are available and reachable despite the quarantine measures. Assist your friend in finding the best one that fits their needs and their budget.

The coronavirus pandemic may have physically distanced us from our friends and loved ones. But there are still a variety of ways to connect and support them, especially those who need us the most. Ease their loads and help them get through these stressful times with a more positive outlook in life.

Are You Taking Care Of Your Mental Health This Pandemic?

As the world faces a pandemic, our leaders rushed to impose strict quarantine measures to control the virus. These measures pushed most of us into our self-isolation – from lockdowns, closure of establishments, and prohibition of mass gatherings. Although these measures are for our safety, it can cause sudden disengagement from society.

The whole situation can take a toll on our mental health. Assimilating into this new way of life and balancing all the uncertainty can be mentally exhausting.

In this article, we are going to discuss the effect of the pandemic on your mental health. We have also listed down suggestions on taking care of your mental health during this time.

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How The Pandemic Can Affect Your Mental Health

With over 3.3 million cases and counting, the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading. Fear of contracting the virus can have an impact on our mental health. We worry about our safety as well as the safety of our friends and family. This fear and uncertainty can turn into anxiety, especially with news of worsening conditions every day.

Quarantine measures to control the situation also forced us to change our lives drastically and abruptly. Loneliness can also manifest as we practice self-isolation measures. These negative thoughts can worsen, as the activities we usually do to cope with or seeing loved ones may be temporarily prohibited.

The impact of the pandemic – uncertainty, disrupted daily routines, financial pressures, and social isolation – can cause stress and negatively impact our mental health. This effect can manifest into various symptoms such as lack of sleep, concentration problems, uneasiness, irritability, and even substance abuse.

Everyone is at risk. According to Dr. Jared Skillings, PhD, ABPP, “I think we’re going to see both new cases of people never had having a mental health issue where that comes up for them now and I think we’re going to see a resurgence of people who had a mental health issues come back because it’s going to bring a lot of things to the surface that are difficult.”

How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During A Pandemic

During this time of the pandemic, it is not only enough to practice measures to avoid the virus itself. We must also practice steps to ensure that our mental health is sound. We have listed down some suggestions on how you can take care of your mental health.

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  • Establish A Routine And Set Boundaries

One of the mentally exhausting effects of the pandemic is abruptly changing our daily routines. As we follow pandemic measures and settle into a new way of living, it is essential to establish new habits and set boundaries. It can help give back structure to our disorganized state of mind.

  • Limit Consumption Of News And Identify Stressors

Every day we are bombarded by news about the pandemic, and this can increase anxiety and fear. Although keeping up to date with news is essential, try to limit your exposure to them. Set a schedule to get updates and ensure that they come from credible sources.

  • Live A Healthy Lifestyle

Being physically healthy can be beneficial to your mental health. Getting enough rest, eating properly, and exercising can help improve overall mood. Being fit can also help build the immune system not only to avoid the virus but also to feel good physically.

  • Connect With And Check Up On Loved Ones

The threat of the virus and being forced us into isolation can make us worry about our loved ones. Not seeing them and knowing that they are at risk can make us uneasy. To ease some of these feelings, find ways to connect and check up on them regularly.

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  • Relax And Meditate

As we are always in our homes, you might think that you are still relaxing. However, idling is different from relaxing. It is vital to set uninterrupted leisure time to relax and free your mind from stress. With a lot of things happening simultaneously, you can also explore meditation to take a break and help you cleanse your mind.

Moving Forward

Taking care of our mental health can help us be more capable of dealing with such a challenging time. A healthy state of mind will enable us to adjust easier, continue doing our tasks, help others, and support loved ones.

Although people react differently to situations, these occurrences can be overwhelming for anyone. It is essential to keep your mental health in check regularly. By recognizing how the pandemic is affecting you, you will be able to take care of your mental health better.

 

How To Stay Healthy And Fit During An Outbreak

In the last 2017 health literacy conference, there was an emphasis on better management of overall health, especially on unpredicted situations. And now that the world is currently suffering from an outbreak, the conference’s reminder of staying fit and healthy is now a priority. However, many people are losing confidence because of the limited things they can do. And since people around the world are on lockdown due to the spread of the virus, there’s a challenging concern for solutions. Fortunately, there are quite a few things one can do to stay healthy and fit even on home quarantine.

Exercise – Exercising at home is one of the best things individuals can do to stay healthy and fit. The work out does not have to be that rigorous, though. As long as it caters to the need of the body’s physical enhancement, that is okay. Since everyone is on quarantine, people might want to try using some items available in their homes to improvise fitness equipment. They can use tables, chairs, water gallons, and the stairs.

Is It Time To Move To A New City?

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Gathering all your belongings, leaving things or people behind and moving to a new city may all sound good ideas. However, you cannot deny to yourself that they can also be considered scary or frightening. The truth is that many people are afraid to step out of their comfort zones. As such, if you are also feeling the same, be sure to own up to your feelings so that you can get better as soon as possible.

Having a mindset of being a lifelong learner can be beneficial. Whether that means pursuing more education, learning new skills, a new language, or something else, these can lead to accomplishment. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

In today’s article, we are going to provide you with a list of indications or signs that would tell you if moving to a new city can be great. Before anything else, you must always tell yourself that no one should force you to do something that you are not happy. Hence, if you decide to move to a new area, make sure that you are the one who makes the said decision.

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You Hate Your Job

 

Does going to work daily feels like dragging? Are you unappreciated by your boss and underpaid at work? Do you think that it is the right time to quit your job for good? Take note that the more you stay in the office, the more unhappy you become. If this continues to occur or happen or a long time, there is a possibility that you will suffer from depression. If this is the case, then do not be afraid to hand in your resignation and move to a new city. However, put in mind that you must first arrange all matters and handover documents before you do this officially.

 

You Feel Stuck

Ignoring or denying emotions may deprive us of important information. It also disowns an authentic part of our experience. — Noam Shpancer Ph.D.

There will be a lot of times in your life when you could not help but compare yourself to others. You will start to realize that many of your friends or even acquaintances are moving on with their lives. On the contrary, you are still in the stage of your life when you have no idea what to do. It seems like you are stuck because of the current circumstances in your life. If you feel stuck, then do not be afraid to get unstuck. All you have to do is to start your life in a new place.

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You Broke Up With An Ex

 

No matter how civil and proper the break-up is, you still could not prevent yourself from not feeling bad. No matter what you do, a big part of your life will feel incomplete. It sucks to wake up one day and realize that you are no longer together with the person you love. If you want to avoid this pain and become a better version of yourself, then do not be afraid to take a risk. Go to a place that you have always wanted to visit and start to build your life from there.

Grant yourself whatever your physical self needs to heal and stay happy. — Snehal Kumar, PhD

Moving to a new city can be scary yet rewarding. All you have to do is to determine whether this step is what you need in life. Be brave enough to close old chapters and welcome new beginnings.

 

 

Do You Need To See A Therapist?

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One of the everyday struggles of people suffering from a mental health issue is deciding if it is a good idea to seek correct professional help. The truth is that talking to a therapist is still considered as a taboo in the society. It is the reason why many individuals are afraid to admit that they are on therapy or counseling. It is also the reason why others fear to book an appointment for treatment or advice.

Many people develop “white-coat brain lock” when it comes to asking questions.  Others feel inferior and are intimidated by what they believe to be the doctor’s superior expertise. — Joe Wegmann P.D., L.C.S.W.

If you feel this way, then make sure to read the rest of this article. Remember that at the end of the day, what truly matters is your ability to handle everything that takes place in your life. Do not let certain practices or traditions prevent you from having a good experience. Never make the mistake of foregoing therapy sessions just because you are shy or concerned about what others may say.

 

In today’s article, our primary focus is to talk about the various reasons or indications of why you must see a licensed therapist as soon as possible. Never ignore the signs.

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Stress At Work Is Killing You

 

If going to your office makes you want to hurt yourself or think of ending your life, be sure to consider talking to a mental health expert as soon as possible. Do not be foolish by convincing yourself that things are going to turn around in your workplace. Sometimes, you have to be brave or courageous enough to accept that a lot of aspects at work can be stressful. If you need someone great to help you process the situation, talk to a therapist.

Often, our coping mechanisms become skewed, and we find ourselves even more overwhelmed, with a warped sense of self as a result. — Maia Delmoor, MS, LPC, CAADC

You Went Through Divorce

 

Ending the marriage with your partner may be the best decision that you have made for yourself. However, just because you decided to call it quits does not mean that you will not experience pain. Because of this, you must find a way to manage your emotions right after the separation. An excellent or smart way of doing this is to get in touch with a therapist. Look for a professional who specializes in helping divorcees.

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Depression Is Apparent

 

Another thing that you must never ignore is recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression to yourself. Did you have a traumatic experience recently? Is something bothering you? Are you always worried about several things? If you answered yes to all these, then seeing a therapist can be a good idea. The said professional could help you understand your situation even more. At the same time, he can also teach you effective ways to eliminate depression. Nonetheless, keep in mind that winning the battle against depression may be a long road, but it will be worth it.

 

Conclusion

You may notice that you can’t handle it all alone and that is okay, you don’t have. — Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC

At this point, it is crucial to convince yourself to try therapy sessions as soon as possible. You must give it a try so that you can find out if they work for you or not. Never let the comments or remarks of other people prevent you from reaching your dreams.

 

How To Survive A Life-Shattering Divorce

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The end of a marriage can mean the end of your life, especially if you have spent several years with your former spouse. While you may feel that way at the moment, you must believe that your current emotions are only temporary. One day, you will wake up and realize that the divorce was bound to happen. You will be able to see that you are better off with your ex-husband. If you stay in an unhappy marriage, you are only going to make yourself suffer more.

 

However, before you reach that stage, there are still other sad and painful moments that you have to go through. All these things will make it hard for you to move forward with your life. Do not fret because, in this post, we are going to provide you with a list of the ways to follow so that you can survive a life-shattering divorce. The journey is not going to be easy, but with the right attitude and mindset, you can make things happen.

 

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Cry Your Heart Out

Crying may be the strongest act of self healing and self nurturing. Tears of grief nourish the seeds of growth. — Jane Bolton Psy.D., M.F.T.

Do not be afraid to be emotional right after the divorce. Remember that you have every right to get mad to your husband, as well as to feel a lot of pain. Take note that it is essential to go through the process of feeling hurt so that you can become better. Do not be ashamed to cry your heart out until you get exhausted. Once you get tired, you will begin to think that those tears are not worth it. According to experts, crying is therapeutic. It is ideal for letting yourself become liberated by expressing your sad feelings through tears.

 

Have A General Cleaning

 

Right after a divorce, it is logical that your husband will start to move out of your residential house. This is usually the case, especially if you have entered into a compromise agreement concerning properties. Most women choose to possess and own the house and lot. Once you are already alone in the said property, be sure to conduct general cleaning. Try to rearrange the furniture and put all your husband’s stuff in a box.

Stress can refer to big traumas or even small traumas that disrupt our daily activity and ability to function. It creates a lens, or filter, for how we deal and cope with various situations. — Maia Delmoor, MS, LPC, CAADC

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Bond With Your Kids

 

Always instill in your mind that the separation is only between you and your husband. It means that you still have an ongoing relationship with your kids. Make sure that you will not mess it up. All you must do is to see to it that you will spend quality time with them. Just like you, they are also grieving because of divorce. What is essential is that you are together as you try to face a brighter and better tomorrow. Spend quality time with your children while they are still young.

Give yourself time to reflect and reconnect with your values, goals, and priorities. — Snehal Kumar, PhD

Conclusion

 

Life after divorce can be the best part of your life, as long as you focus on making it happen. Save yourself from too much negativity and loneliness. You must stop dwelling in the past if you want to experience happiness once again. Fix yourself first before you enter the dating scene.

 

 

Can You Help A Depressed Friend?

One of the things that you must remind yourself continually is the significance of watching your mouth before you talk. Keep in mind that whatever you say to someone can have a long-lasting effect on him. As such, you have to be careful whenever you will give a comment or remark towards another individual. This task can be more challenging if the other person is a friend who is suffering from depression.

Supportive relationships are particularly helpful to accepting a mental health problem. — Lauren Mizock Ph.D.

Take note that a depressed friend can have a lot of things going on in his mind. Hence, your goal is to see to it that you will not become one of his burdens. At the same time, you must also find a way to extend your help or support to the other person. Make sure that you know how to reach out to him so that you can provide the right amount of aid. In this article, we are going to share some of the tips that you need to remember if you want to help a friend get rid of his depression.

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Be A Good Listener

 

The first thing to consider is to be an excellent person to cry on or to open up to. Make sure that you let your close friend know that he can always come to you whenever he needs to talk about something. Let him know that you can lend your open arms and ears whenever he wants to discuss some issues in life. Keep in mind that your availability can mean a lot to a friend. All you must do is to learn how to listen to your conversations. Encourage him to open up.

We are still stuck on a model of leadership that’s about power. I think many leaders think talking about their anxiety or depression makes them seem weak. — Camille Preston Ph.D.

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Have Fun Together

 

Another great idea is to research the things that your friend enjoys doing. Make it a top priority to do more of the activities that he likes. Aside from this, you must also find a way to look for other stuff that you think can help in eliminating his depression. Do not be afraid to make suggestions about new restaurants to try or new hobbies to engage. Keep your depressed friend busy so that he can have less alone time with himself. Remember that a depressed individual who is always alone can be prone to having suicidal thoughts.

Even a moderate program of exercise has been shown to boost brain function, help us to heal faster from injuries, and also to reduce depression. — Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Learn More About Depression

 

You must also understand that all the things mentioned above will not make sense to you if you lack knowledge about depression. Remember that going through depression is not just an emotional state. Your friend is going through this mental health issue because there is something wrong with him. You cannot just tell him to get over it immediately. You cannot force him to feel better overnight. The best and ideal thing to do is to educate yourself more about depression. In so doing, you will become better and more sensitive when it comes to dealing with him.

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Take note that with your little help and assistance, you can already make a big difference in the life of a friend with depression.

 

Link Between Sleep And Depression

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There is a link between not sleeping and depression. If you have been diagnosed with the disorder, your therapist will tell you that you might have trouble sleeping. It’s either you won’t be able to sleep quickly, or it will be hard for you to stay asleep. Some sleep for an hour or two, and then, wake up. It’s tough, and that’s how depression affects people concerning their sleep.

Continue reading Link Between Sleep And Depression

Easy Ways To Enhance Your Mental Health

 

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The overall psychology of a human being is never complete without his mental health or simply put, the state of his mind. Looking good and healthy is vital for a person’s well-being. However, feeling good about one’s self and of others, and being able to handle one’s emotions when he is faced with everyday challenges is of paramount importance. There may be times when you must seek professional help and treatment for emotional and mental stability, but first, you must know how to enhance your emotional well-being by yourself. Below are some easy and convenient methods of building resilience, improving mood, and enhancing your overall happiness and contentment in life.

Mind The Present. Focusing on a specific topic, thing, or issue in your life in one particular moment enables you to release the bad or unpleasant feelings that you have suppressed from the past. You can begin by being aware of the simple routines that you do every day, like taking a shower, riding your bicycle to and from work, or eating salad at the office pantry for lunch. When you pay attention to these physical routines, the smell of the food you eat, and the sounds of the atmosphere that you love will help you maintain focus on the now. When you become oblivious, snap yourself out of it and go back to what you were just doing.

Be mindful of perpetuating stereotypes, devaluing others, and sharing inaccurate information. Further, if you hear this type of language, perhaps you have the opportunity to open a dialogue and politely dispel the underlying stigma. — Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC

Engage In Physical Activity. When you exercise, your release endorphins and other hormones that aid in stress relief and positive mood changes. Additionally, working out has proven time and again to be an effective antidote to all forms of depression and anxiety. Find time throughout the day to add exercise whether you’re at home or at work. If you’re at your workplace, use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you’re at home, do some hiking or walking early in the morning to take advantage of the vitamins from the sun.

Practice Positive Self-Talk. Studies prove that feeling and thinking positive about yourself has a powerful effect on your mental well-being. When we think negatively about ourselves – when we wonder if we’re good enough or if we’re capable enough – we are creating bad energy within us. This goes out of the body through temper, anger, insecurity, and yes, depression. So despite some rough patches along the way, just keep telling yourself, “I will get through this because I am strong and there is nothing I cannot handle.”

Stigma needs to be disputed to allow for a new sense of self to emerge. You can still be a fantastic worker, parent, friend, or community member even with a mental health problem. — Lauren Mizock Ph.D.

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Be Grateful Everyday. It might not seem like it, but if you really come to think about it, there is always something to be grateful and happy for every waking day. Feel thankful for the abundance of food, clothes, friends, family, and significant others. Be happy that you’re working and earning and are able to buy the things you need – and sometimes the things you want. Your heart will be full when you feel gratitude inside, and there will be no space for negativity.

Be A Blessing To Others. Knowing and appreciating the fact that you are blessed allows you to be able to help others and inspire them that they, too, can become blessings to those who are underprivileged. When other people value you, you think more positively and act more confidently, increasing your emotional and mental integrity. You become good at discovering the good side of others and even better acknowledging your own.

Eat Healthily. What you eat will determine how well you function the whole day. Nourish your brain with lots of fruits, vegetables, and more liters of clean water. Nourish your body with lean and healthy food like fish, chicken, and lean meat, plus the nutrients that you get from the fruits and vegetables. This way, your physical, emotional, and mental functions can perform optimally.

Studies have shown that different dietary factors can affect the brain’s ability to repair and renew its nerve networks and also lower inflammation throughout the brain. — Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Find Someone To Talk To. There are times when you can’t seem to handle what’s in front of you, and this challenge will tend to pull you down the drain. Before it gets the best of you, confide in someone close to you – your sibling, parents, and friends – and unburden yourself of the inner turmoil. If and when these significant others can’t be available for you, perhaps you might consider talking to a therapist – a professional who is more than capable of helping you sort whatever issue that’s troubling you.

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Begin Today. The status of your physical, emotional, and mental health ultimately depends on you. You alone have the power to make the first step towards improving yourself. Please don’t wait until you’re drained of your energy and your will to live before you prioritize your overall well-being. When you feel that you are stronger, that is the perfect time to do it, because then you so capable of forming positive routines and interests. Start now, but don’t be in a hurry. Gradual but sure goes a long way.