Self-Advocacy

When it comes to mental health, you are your own best resource. Well for some people, this may sound scary, it is a fact. Whether diagnosed with a mental illness or not, mental well-being comes down to what you are willing to do for yourself in all domains of life; mentally, physically, spiritually and relationally. Certainly, resource help is available for those who require additional supports such as; psychiatric, psychological, and pharmaceutical care to name a few. However, at the end of the day it is about what people do with these treatments that give them the best chance to improve the quality of their lives.  For example, medication alone is not enough. One must be intentional about setting up healthy routines that provide adequate sleep, diet and exercise to get our dopamine (happy feel good hormones) flowing. Try to maintain hobbies even when you aren’t feeling them. Pay attention to the activities and foods that boost your moods versus those that deplete your resources and leave you feeling worse. You might be surprised by what you discover. Credit yourself with the small steps like getting out of bed, having a shower and/or eating breakfast. What may seem like simple tasks for some, may be monumental for others who are struggling. Remember, this too shall pass. Hold on to the hope that better days lie ahead. Reach out, ask for help and be willing to receive. You know how good it feels when you help others, so let people do the same for you when you need it most. Don’t let fear stand in your way for the potential negative encounter. Remember, every human encounter has the potential to be a compassionate one. Be your own self-advocate.

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