Mentally ill and in good mental health may sound like an oxymoron, but its not. Think about it, just as it’s possible to have poor mental health but no mental illness, it’s entirely possible to have good mental health even with a diagnosis of mental illness. Mental health exists on a continuum. Everyone has good and bad days. What’s important is how we handle them.
Good mental health applies to us all. It is about our ability to take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally and relationally no matter what kind of day we are having. It’s about managing our daily stressors and keeping them in perspective. Mental illness on the other hand affects a fraction of the population- stats reveal one in five people. There are many different illnesses, and they have different symptoms that impact people’s lives in different ways. For example, when you have met one person with bipolar disorder you have met one person with bipolar disorder.
The practice of good mental health requires us all to tend to our changing needs. This will call for different actions at different times. Perhaps going for a run or listening to your favourite music playlist or both, will provide a mood boost. Other actions may include, retreating from or engaging with others, taking medication regularly if that is what is required, and not to mention taking care of the basics like diet, sleep and exercise.
So, no matter where you are on the spectrum of mental health, know you are not alone. There is so much that can be done to optimize your well being. Know your limits and live within them.