Hello, my name is Leslie Ortiz and I am a planner. I plan everything – my outfits, my meals, my day, my tasks, my hobbies, my downtime and my career. If I could plan more things I would. So maybe you can understand that moving has disrupted my “plans”. This does not mean that I am not excited and participating 100% in the move but there’s only so much you can plan 4 weeks in advance for a place you don’t really know that well. So I’m trying to be ~go with the flowy~ and I wasn’t doing a great job last week. I’m pretty sure I had a meltdown but I’m glad to say I recovered pretty quickly. I’m fortunate to have a super supportive partner and an extensive mental health history.
OVER SHARING TIME!
According to WHO, “mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Mental health conditions run in my family – everyone’s got at least one. We suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, manic-bipolar disorder, insomnia, anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, substance abuse issues and bad communications skills. Now, I am not shitting on my family. We are humans – humans go through tough shit sometimes and our brains need some extra time, attention and care to heal. Having witnessed and participated in the mental health treatment of my family members and myself have provided me with some tools, resources and resilience when shit hits the fan. WHEN WILL SHIT STOP HITTING THE FAN?! AND WHO CREATED THIS DISGUSTING PHRASE?!
My father had a stroke when I was 9 years old. Luckily, he is physically unaffected but his mind is. He now struggles to express himself and his emotions. Following his stroke my brother, mother and I began going to therapy sessions separately and together for about 5 years. I can’t say it was the best thing ever but there were some highlights. For me – it exposed me to therapy and has made me feel totally okay with accessing that resource when I think I need it. It is so nice to talk about the issues in your life to someone who is not invested in, involved with or judging you and your stuff. An objective opinion or suggestion can help you think about your situation in a different way BUT it’s totally on you if you’re going to do the homework and work on your state of mind.
From mental health treatment I learned that:
- Talking things through or into existence helps me achieve mental health.
- Medication has been helpful for my family members who have struggled with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Is that the only way? No. Talk to a medical professional.
- Resilience is a major key.
I believe resilience is essential to achieving optimal mental health. How you handle unfortunate, inconvenient and upsetting situations will determine how well you can bounce back from them. Now lets build some resilience! I personally built my resilience by going through tough family situations at a young age. At the time I personally felt the responsibility to keep my family from falling apart by growing up super fast and handling all their bullshit. This is not the way I think anyone should build resilience. Some much more realistic and less damaging ways to achieve resilience include:
1. Think positively
Send positive energy, intentions and words into your world. I truly believe we can shape our realities by believing in ourselves and all our good stuff.
2. Accept change as a challenge
This one is hard. Change can feel like a failure or mistake but if you think positively (see above) and try focusing your energy on what you can impact the most, change will just be a motivator or push in a different (maybe better?) direction.
3. Commit to something that you love
Having a purpose – work or hobby related can give you something to get up for in the morning. You can also commit to a friend, family member or partner by spending some sexy/fun/chill time with them. That’s always nice.
4. Maintain control over things that you can control
You cannot control other people, traffic, bird poop, mom’s Facebook posts or commercials. But you can control the environments you create for yourself and emotions they ensue. Being in control of the things you can control will help with building confidence and empower future decisions. ‘Cause you know you got this girl/boy/person! 😉
5. Take Time
As Forrest Gump’s mamma once said “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” As the shit comes a rolling or flying as it does – be sad, upset, cry, yell, scream, take your time and then work your way back up to #1.
If you can’t seem to get it together I’d like to encourage you to seek out professional help. There’s no shame in talking out your issues. You never know – it could help!
I hope this helps and doesn’t seem like some mumbo-jumbo self-help non-sense. I swear by these steps – even though this is the first time I’ve written them down.
Take care of yourself.
Comment, follow, like, share.
*Disclaimer: I said shit a lot in this post and I’m comfortable with that. I’m also not a mental health professional so don’t listen to anything I say.