Mental Health in 2020
Each morning when I open my eyes, I say to myself, I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy. - Groucho Marx
This year has changed us all. We are transforming. Let's talk about that.
Going through lockdown for nearly six months was not fun and to say the least, my mental health suffered a lot. A mix of depression and anxiety hit me weekly, to the point where it was affecting my physical health too. Heavy conversations with my closest friends and family kept me sane, yet didn't end the daily struggle. I wasn't myself and I knew that, but a huge shoutout to my best friend and sisters for helping me push through each day and end the summer as a much more positive person! I think that the majority of you reading this will have struggled in one way or another with your mental health this year, and I just want you to know that you are seen and heard, it's safe here.
*Depressive episodes, panic attacks, breakdowns, feeling burnt-out, low self-esteem, negative body image, worthlessness, feeling slouchy, are all things that I experienced. Although I am in a much better place right now, I'll tell you what it was that got me out of these dark states of mind.
The turning point. I guess when I started sharing more and more posts about self-care on my Instagram page, which has grown into such a positive community of over 1,000 beautiful people, I really started to embrace those down days. Not only was I encouraged to help others, but it was helping me at the same time too. Slowly, comments and direct messages from so many people began being sent to me about how my page helps them, how it spreads positivity in their life, how I say exactly what they need to hear, or just that I'm doing a great job. It gave me a beautiful message that I wasn't alone, and never am. Whatever I'm experiencing, has or is being experienced by someone else out there - and somehow, that gives me comfort. On dark days, you may feel completely alone no matter what conversations you have with loved ones, but just know, you're never alone. My DM's on Instagram are always open, and even though I'm not at all qualified as a therapist or anything like that, I can still listen as a fellow human being. Like I always say, we're all in this life together. Don't hold back, speak up if you need help or feel alone.
Gradually, my mental health improved near the end of lockdown and I was able to see some friends again, go out more, and just feel a little more refreshed than before. Those around me have started noticing some changes around me, and the way I carry myself now, and I guess it is all down my Instagram blog. It has helped others love themselves, and helped me see myself in a new light too. I'm submitting my Master's thesis this week, and although I am feeling a little confused about the future, here are some things I'm planning to do:
Learn Japanese (try and complete one online lesson per day)
Work on my YouTube channel with my sister (check our channel out @soulsistas)
Create exciting new content for my Instagram page
Post weekly blog posts on this site
We'll make it through,
Stay safe and take care.