To Mental Health Week Part II: A First Look
A little over a year ago, I created OMG's first (and only) themed week. Mental Health Week was one of the busiest times for the blog, in terms of the amount of content, views and messages of thanks and encouragement. It was heartwarming to hear from people all over, how the posts from that week, in particular, were so impactful.
It's been my mission since day one to create engaging and informative content that lifts millennials up, shows that we're not alone in our struggles, and hopefully acts as a beacon of light, even in our darkest days — which frankly, if you've watched the news in the past twelve months... 😐
This year has been one of the most challenging — strike that — the most challenging of my twenty-seven years of life. I moved seven hundred miles from home (and my dog-brother), started a new job, dated (and failed), etc. I faced a new set of challenges, in addition to my tested-and-true personal mental health struggles. And frankly, I still face these struggles on a daily basis.
Let's get social! Within each post, you'll see a question like the one above. These are meant to get you thinking about your own mental health, happiness and perspective on life. Leave your answers in the comments on Instagram or Facebook!
It was a guy I was dating that, after listening to me share my baggage, convinced me that I should give therapy another shot. It's been just over two months, but I can say that I've come leaps and bounds from where I was. While I still have a lot of boxes to sort, unpack and process, I am beginning to feel so much more confident in myself and where I'm heading on this journey we call life. Not to mention, as you inch closer to thirty, you really start to question what the fuck you're doing with your life — especially when you're eating instant mac and cheese, wrapped in a throw blanket, re-watching the Big Little Lies series for the fifth time... this week.
Since moving, I've been chasing my idyllic Eat Pray Love experience. While I didn't actually read the book until this month, it's the essence that I've been after. Finding myself, exploring the newer and improved me, and pushing the boundaries that I've shackled myself to in the past. Disclaimer: you can't have too many transformative experiences if you don't break up with Netflix and leave the house from time-to-time. And, while I may not be tearing up the town, or sailing the Sound like I envisioned before moving, I have had a couple really big "Aha" moments, thanks to my journey of self-discovery.
That being said, I've had a bit of a perspective shift since we last broached this subject. While I have always understood that anxiety, depression, grief, and beyond, affects all, there was still something in my head that portrayed mental health in a darker light. It could have been my perceptions, insecurities or even society, but let me be crystal clear when I say: being cognizant of your mental health and treating it accordingly, isn't just for people who deal with the afflictions above — it's for every person, regardless of sex, age, religion, shape, size, color, or class. Your mental health affects every facet of your life, and the purpose of this week is to get us all to come to terms with the importance of talking about it. Of sharing both the Insta-worthy good and the dark and twisties. Of asking for help, and offering your support to others. It shouldn't be hush-hush, it's not a dark cloud and it doesn't make you crazy, or less than anyone else. It makes you human.
TL;DR: I've got issues, baby, and you've got 'em too. I've started piecing more puzzle pieces together and I'm thrilled to officially usher in Mental Health Week, Pt. II! Cue the classic Vicki Gunvulson, "Woohoo!"
I feel bad that I've essentially moved and abandoned you guys — and I hope that you'll forgive my extended absence. I'm excited to use the next week to fill you in on all the happs. I'm sure we'll laugh, we may even cry — but it's all good. We're family now, after all. 😘
This week, on One Millennial's Guide:
This July, while on a walk with a guy I was dating, we stumbled onto the topic of therapy. More specifically, how we could both benefit from it. For some context, we were trying to determine if we should take our "relationship" to the next level, and before taking this step, decided to air our dirty laundry, to be sure that we knew what we were getting ourselves into with one another. Read more…
6:00 PM, March 23, 2017. The sun was far off in the horizon, with that Californian golden hue, dancing with the mountain tops it would soon slip behind. The air was crisp, the sky was clear, and all of the unknowns in the journey that laid ahead filled me with nerves like I had never experienced. I pulled out of the driveway, snaked around the neighborhood I had spent nearly my entire life in, and got on the 101 headed north.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase work-life balance? Like most, you probably think of having a job that doesn't include late nights, weekends or emails on your off-time from a overbearing micromanager. While that's definitely a part of the puzzle that is work-life balance, millennials need to continue thinking beyond the ideas of yesteryear.
It's no secret, I'm not a feelings guy. When people express their emotions in front of me, especially overtly lovey and definitely when tears are involved, my entire body tenses up and I get that weird feeling in my throat that makes me feel like I'm about to yack. My pores open, I'm instantly radiating heat and I start scanning for the quickest exit — literal or figurative. My friends, family and I joke about me being emotionless — and collectively pity my future child(ren).
Today, we're talking self-care, baby! More specifically, how un-plugging long enough to data-dump can clear the mental fog swirling around our heads. Taking a little me-time isn't just for the stay-at-home mommies in search of thirty seconds of peace for a quick glass of a red blend and maybe a Twizzler or two — although, they're probably the most-deserving. This time should be built into everyone's schedule, because, "Mental strife, shitty life!" (Yeah, not even I think that one will stick. 👀)
Staying in bed all day, avoiding social activities and experiencing the annoyance (and agony) in the thirty seconds your phone is ringing until you can get back to whatever you were doing. No, we're not talking about my Saturday nights — we're talking about the funk you're in. Errr, we're in. Funkville, USA — Population four: Me you, Ben & Jerry. 😂😅 I can't with my own jokes today.
Phew! Mental Health Week has officially come to a close. (Two days later than it was intended to, but better late than never right?) This week was definitely a challenge, and it makes me appreciate both the full-time and when-I-have-time bloggers so much more. Blogging ain't easy, folks — and to those that are able to make a career out of it — I envy you, your patience and your dedication. You're a boss.