I didn’t want to post about mental health ON World Mental Health Day, because I don’t think that one day is enough to inform, advocate, and show mental illness. Just like I don’t think that National Boyfriend Day or Valentines Day or a Birthday, should be the only time you show appreciation for someone that you love. Just like someone you love, mental health is something that you live with all the time.
As my anxiety has ramped itself up again in my life, I felt like celebrating World Mental Health Day would be appropriate.
I said that correctly, today we celebrate.
Mental Health takes about 6,530 forms. You can be bipolar, suffer with anxiety, have OCD, or live with hypochondria. It’s so much deeper than the “stereotypical” depression. Even those of you who aren’t believed to have a list of symptoms categorized into a diagnosis, you should also celebrate today.
Laying in bed for three days at a time because you don’t feel like you can pick yourself up anymore, that’s Mental Health. Panicking every. single. time. you’re in an uncomfortable social situation, that’s Mental Health. Self Diagnosing a disease based on all of your unreal symptoms, that’s Mental Health. Being happy in one minute, and FURIOUS the next, that’s also Mental Health.
That’s what we typically think of when we hear the advocacy of Mental Health Day, but what about the atypical?
When you break up with a boyfriend, spend three days crying, then dust yourself off and pick yourself up, that’s Mental Health. When you panic before taking a test, because you’re worried about getting a good grade, that’s Mental Health. When your endorphins are flowing throughout your body, because of an incredible workout, that’s Mental Health. When you count your calories for a diet, feel stressed after a long day at work, or get butterflies kissing your husband, that’s all Mental Health.
You see, a lot of people categorize Mental Health as needing a bunch of long worded medicines, trips to a therapist, and collapsing in a pile of tears. That’s true, but that’s not it. Mental Health is ALSO drinking a glass of wine after a long day, going outside for a walk after studying, or the complete happiness after eating Taco Bell.
I’m pretty transparent and I talk about my hypochondria and anxiety pretty openly. It’s something that I live with daily, panic about often, and it defines me. Mental Health day is a great personal reminder that 1) I’m not alone, 2) I’m not WEIRD, and 3) taking care of myself is extremely important.
We all live in ONE body for our entire lives, but it’s the body we live with every single day. So on Mental Health day, remember, even those of you who don’t have a categorized disorder, your Mental Health still matters. I say this in my blog pretty frequently, but we are indeed all in this together. You are never alone.
Let’s celebrate all of these things that make us unique, but also make us the same. Happy Mental Health day friends, remember that this is who you are and that it’s okay.