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Mental Health: Past, Present, & Future

Welcome back to Consider Yourself Hugged! Click here to listen to Episode 106. (***Disclaimer: I provide these notes as a skeleton for the show - nothing fancy 😄)

Welcome World Mental Health Day 2022. Yay. I'm so glad you decided to join. Of course, by the time you watch or listen to this, it will be past Mental Health Day, but that's okay. Today while I am in my studio recording, it is October the 10th, 2022 on Monday. It is 1:32 in the afternoon. So I thought this would be a great day to come out here and record.

I actually just finished doing a session on mental health for a company called OpenSpace; they are in the AI construction space. It was amazing and it's actually part of the reason or part of the story, part of the path I wanted to share with you today.

When I think of what World Mental Health Day means, it's a day for us to raise awareness, recognize that it's important, try to remove the stigma, move the conversation forward, all of that, which I've been trying to do for a long, long time, most of my professional career.

I thought today would be a good day to talk about my past, my present and my future. And I would like for you to also think, and I'm always going to ask you to comment on your past, your present and your future when it comes to your mental wellbeing. (Listen to the rest of the background story.)

Here are the 4 things that have helped me the most!

1. Journaling. I may have told you my son has developed an artificial intelligence journal that's interactive. I write something and it writes back to me and it gives me quotes and scriptures. So you don't have access to that, but if you haven't followed me via email, (click here) please do that. When it's ready to go, I don't know how long it'll be, but I definitely want to let you know.

Journaling is something I used to do and then I stopped doing, but journaling is forcing me to take those thoughts that I didn't even know were happening. We have this outpouring of emotion and these feelings and then we don't bother to take the time to sit down and really figure out what is happening here.

And it was the journaling that helped me realize that it was the voices that were coming back from the college, graduate school days, and from that webinar. Do you see how those voices said to me, "You have no initiative. You don't belong here. How can I trust you? You don't seem to know what you're doing." So then I think, "Wow, maybe I don't, maybe I don't belong here. I probably haven't worked hard enough. I should obsess more. I should plan more."

I found myself thinking I should memorize! The journaling helped me to sort out those feelings. So you may not have the interactive one, just write. You don't have to write complete sentences, just write to work those feelings out.

2. Lean on your belief system. Mine is Christian, Jesus-following. And your faith becomes part of you. Often it's in the tough times when you go back to that. So I began looking at devotions and Bible studies and scripture. Who does God say I am? That's what I needed to know. This morning when I was walking, was listening to my bible - in Exodus. You might know the story, God is calling Moses to go talk to Pharaoh.

And Moses is like, "Who am I to do that?" The exact chapter today where Moses says, "I'm not equipped to do this. I get tongue tied, I don't speak well." And God says, "Who do you think forms words for you? Who do you think tells people what to hear?" And I realized, that's important to me. So whatever your belief system is, lean on that.

3. Find someone who is gone through the same thing. And I would say "who is going through" or "who has gone through". Who is going through as long as that person is someone you can sort of commiserate a little bit with, BUT also encourage each other. Just make sure that won't be someone who will tear you down. But also find someone who has gone through, even if you just read about them.

It could be a friend, it could be a colleague, it could be someone that you know that you can actually contact and talk to. But it could also be that you just look that up. So I did, I Googled, "imposter syndrome" because I felt like that's what was happening to me. I've been doing this for 20 something years and suddenly I'm questioning myself in a major way. And so I looked that up with pastors and speakers and I found an article that was just perfect. It said, "The people that you are going in to speak to don't have the expertise in the area that you do. They're asking you to just share your story." But the thing that helped the most was "they just want you to be authentic." And I think that's what I was losing was maybe authentic wasn't good enough because I received this negative feedback.

But that's not true. That's not why I received that. Probably a number of things. My use of technology, I do get a little bit flustered sometimes and I mess up screens, but I try and I need to be an environment that will accept that of me and want me to share my authentic story.

4. Repeat. I've said this before too, but I shared with my son a couple of months ago. I got upset and had an emotional meltdown and then I was mad at myself for having the emotional meltdown. And my son said, "Mom, sometimes I learn something and then I think I've learned a lesson and then I do whatever it was again, but it was in a different situation. I have to learn it again."

So remember this process: journaling to figure out my thoughts, leaning on my belief system, which I want to try to do that more even when I'm not in turmoil, talking to or looking for someone who has gone through something similar for encouragement.

And then just repeat that. We all have a struggle from time to time. I hope this has been helpful for you today. I've gotten through two of my big ones that I have this month. People have been kind and encouraging and loving and all I can do is ask myself what do I think they need from me? Be authentic, share my story and know that the rest is going to be fine.

So share your story with us. We need to encourage each other, especially on this day. Thank you as always for being here. Send me your questions, send me your thoughts, send me your ideas, give us your stories, your success stories, your stories that you're still in.

Let’s close with the future.

Lately, I have been sharing one of the last things that I wrote in my my first book about my anxiety story, Life Without The Monsters. So I'm going to close with this excerpt:

Is my anxiety over? No. I will always have to work at thinking positively and at creating an environment in which I am surrounded by the joys God has given me. I have learned a great deal about myself over the years. I am a worthy person. God loves me, my husband loves me, my children love me. Family loves me (usually anyway 😅). I don't have to be perfect (and I'm not). I will make mistakes. Not everyone will like me. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

So take care of yourself. You are worth it and have a life with choices that make you healthier and happier. And until we are together next time, consider yourself hugged.

Thanks for joining today! As we’ve always asked in the past, please pass the show link along to your friends and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. If you’re a woman and you haven’t joined our private FB group A Place for Women, please do that now! It’ll be your source of encouragement.

And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗

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