May is National Mental Health month. Now, this is where some of you are ready to stop reading and in your mind you are saying “I don’t have mental health issues so this does not pertain to me”. I usually do not say this to people but…you are ABSOLUTELY wrong!! Just like each of us are aware of our physical health, we also need to be aware of our mental or emotional health. We all have times that we struggle with life and times where it takes a little more effort to cope with the stressors that are thrown at us. This does not mean that we all have a diagnosed mental illness and need interventions but we need to be aware of when we may need a little more help or support. Overall, your physical health may be perfect but I will bet that if you get the flu then you are likely to go to the Doctor to ask for some medicine. This does not mean that you will have the flu for the rest of your life but I am sure that most people do not have difficulties admitting that they have the flu and need some extra help.
So why is mental health any different? Why do we struggle so much to let others know that we are not ok and may need a little more help and support? Why do we tell that little white lie to people when they ask us if we are ok and we respond with the pleasant “Oh yeah, I am doing fine”? Why do we think that we always have to be happy and have everything figured out? Is it because we think we have to be “strong”? Is it because we do not want others to know that we need help? Is it because we do not want to burden others with our problems? I wish I had the answers to these questions. I wish I knew just what to do to get people to understand that our emotional health is just as important as our physical health and we need to work every day on ways to stay emotionally healthy.
When we experience grief is it normal to feel “off”. It is normal to feel sad, lost, drained, angry, scared, happy, and everything in between. Our feelings will sometimes change moment to moment and although this can be frustrating and confusing, it is still perfectly normal. But, we have to be comfortable letting others know when we need more. If symptoms of grief are interfering with our daily life more than we are comfortable with or for longer than we are comfortable with then we have to ask for help. Being able to do this makes you human, it makes you stronger, it helps remind yourself that you are important and deserve to be healthy. So today I am reminding you….Love Yourself!!!