MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: 5 Ways You Can Help
While May's Mental Health Awareness is half-way over, here at Brightbox we wanted to put a little ray of light out to all you women facing the invisible challenges you face everyday.
Some days are the best, the sun is shining, friends have texted you, the kids are behaving themselves, your partner has been helping with household tasks, you just couldn't ask for anything better.
Some days are the worst, it seems that the clouds have made a personal mission to weigh you down, the kids seem to be extra noisy and messy today, your partner forgot about that important event that has been on the calendar for a month, and the laundry combined with the dishes makes it look like you live in a barn.
It’s the little triggers that seem to constantly break you out into tears, angers, frustrations, a feeling as if you were drowning but no one is there to rescue you. That’s how it can feel having depression, anxiety, OCD, or even PTSD. I know that’s something I’ve felt as I’ve struggled through my own myriad of mental health issues.
When those meltdowns or triggers happen, we look to ourselves to “fix” them. Either through breathing techniques, lavender lotion or a telecounseling appointment. Yet it doesn’t seem to do the trick as we feel ourselves searching for some light on a dark, stormy night.
But then there are moments that help us break through our dark clouds. It’s when a family member or friend or even a total stranger does an act of kindness that is small, yet it makes all the difference in helping us battle our invisible battles.
Everyone wants and deserves to be loved, acknowledged, appreciated or recognized.
For me, I feel loved when my husband stops his work day to snuggle me as I cry, or when my chocolate lab takes a few moments to cuddle into my side while I take a Netflix break. For others it’s receiving a text from a friend asking, “Hey are you home? Can I come over?” or “I was thinking about you, I just want to let you know that you’re amazing. I’m always in your corner”.
With COVID restrictions in place across the United States, it’s been especially difficult for people who are fighting their invisible battles to have some of their valuable coping techniques like human touch, getting out of the house, or seeing family members & friends in person for their support.
5 Ways to Help Stay Afloat:
Although it has been difficult with COVID, how lucky are we in this day and age where you can call a family member or friend who is literally hundreds of miles away from you to share time with you then? Sometimes it's helpful to hear someone else’s voice aside from our own that helps us get out of our dark space, or even helps guide us through it. Helping validate our thoughts and fears. Knowing we aren’t alone.
Having a place where you can go either in your home, at work, a friend's house, or a spot at the park that’s accessible can be helpful in physically moving away from the negativity that can fill our head. In addition to having a physical place to go to, having words of affirmation or encouragement notes from yourself or others can help create that safe place wherever you go.
I’ve kept a shoebox since high school full of notes and cards from friends and family from over the years that I love to read through when I feel down. So no matter where I went or where I was at in life (college, conferences, internships, marriage) I always had a safe place.
Did you know exercise helps reduce stress and increase endorphin release? No need to go hard core. A yoga session, a quick walk to the mailbox, or even a meditation exercise can do wonders for your body and can help clear out our headspace.
Have 1-2 people you can depend on as support people to discuss ways they can help you (I tell my husband, give me 5 minutes alone and then come into my blanket pile to cuddle), and come up with plans & how to implement them for those inevitably tough days.
If you are struggling send a card to someone else, a bit of service helps wipe away those cabin fever blues. Likewise, if you know someone who is having a rough day send them a gift box or thoughtful note. A little act of kindness goes a long way.
At Brightbox, we believe that everyone has the right to spread joy in an affordable and easy way. With a variety of ways to share a little goodness like the “Keep Calm, Eat Chocolate”, “Sunshine Box”, and the “Celebrate Box” you’re almost guaranteed to put a smile on not only the receiver's face, but also your own.
This week we’re launching the “Pick-Me-Up” curated box to celebrate all of the little victories during Mental Health Awareness month because, as our CEO Shea Workman said, “What we all want is to feel remembered. To feel loved. To feel connected to someone.”
So go spread some joy, and share with us your experiences with #noticegoodpeople on Instagram and Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!