Love Yourself First

As most of you know, I recently ended a long, strenuous ten year journey through my education. Whether it was an assignment or internship, my education has been the center of my attention for over a decade of my life. Many long days and nights collectively contributed to years of dedication and motivation to be the best person I can be. Through this experience, I have been fortunate to have the support I had and the opportunity to gain a role where others look to me for support in improving their insight in being the best person they can be too. In the field I’ve chosen, you have to continuously build on the strengths of those who cannot outwardly see them due to their physical, mental and emotional vulnerability. Often times it’s unpredictable nature requires adaptability and thinking outside the box to be most effective. I love what I do. I like to think that most people who contribute to being the “healers” of the world have once needed to be healed themselves and this is our way of giving back. The demands of my job give me a purpose and keep me distracted from the chaos of my own life at times.

As most of you may not know, like many of the people I support, I personally struggle with the vulnerabilities of mental health. I’ve experienced anxiety and I’ve felt depressed. While I wont get into the details of it all, I want to discuss the importance of mindfulness. Personally, I define mindfulness as a general awareness or perception of one’s behaviors, emotions and environment. This ranges from triggers in high stress areas to social anxieties. The significance of mindfulness allows us to not stress about the small stuff, to let go of things we cannot change, and move on from things that hold us back from recovery and well-being. This may include activities such as yoga, meditation, grounding and breathing techniques.
I’m writing this because I want to do what I ask of so many of my patients – step outside the comfort zone and move towards healing. I am a big believer in if you want to witness change, you need to make changes. I hope to start this new journey with a clearer understanding of myself moving forward. After all, I can’t ask others to go where I don’t go myself.
Lastly, please don’t fall for the stigmas associated with mental illness. Understand that it’s ok to reach out and ask for help if you need to. It doesn’t make you “weak” or any less capable. You have to take care of yourself including your mental health. If anything, you grow stronger in your willingness to be open to help. You’re all worth it. Be strong & always keep fighting.
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