I was in the middle of preparing for the small group that I host a few weeks ago, when God gave me a major revelation as it pertains to moving from Just surviving to thriving with your mental health.
So often I find, in my practice and also in my own life, that we know exactly what to do to help our situation, but the real challenge is having the heart to do it. How many times have we said, I know I need to get the proper rest so that I can feel and be my best, but then continue to over-commit ourselves to things? How many times have we failed to properly take our medications, knowing exactly how they should be taken? How many times have we chosen to suffer in silence, knowing that we need to find someone to talk to? How many times have we failed to give time to exercise and eating well, knowing that our inability to move towards being healthy physically, also hinders us from being well mentally? How many times have we simply chosen not to, because we didn’t feel like it?
So why do we not do the things that we know we should do and how do we correct it? What God showed me, is that we fail to do the things we know we should do because we don’t have the heart to do it. It’s not a matter of we don’t know what to do, its more a matter of lack of motivation to do it! We continuously put things and others before our own self-care, failing to realize that we are only effective in helping others if we are operating from a full cup. We can’t give someone what we don’t have. As we pour out, committing ourselves to the responsibilities of life, we have to be very intentional about making sure that we are getting what we need to be filled back up. When you are dealing with a mental illness, having the heart to get well and stay well, should be a top priority. One that remains a top priority throughout the duration of life.
So today, I want to offer you some practical steps to help you make sure that you always have a heart to get well, and stay well. As usual, i’m not saying that my way is the best way or only way, but I simply offer you what has worked for myself and many of my clients, dealing with mental illness.
- Rediscover a love for yourself. Sometimes it takes us doing some deep soul searching to point out things about ourselves that we love. Other times, it’s rather simple. I encourage you to spend some time doing exactly that. Find something to love about yourself and build from there. Once you discover something that you love about yourself, do whatever you have to do, to make sure that, that thing in your life is magnified. For example, if you love how giving you are towards others, your mission should be to make sure that you are always in a position to give, whether it is in your time or resources. You have to do all that you can to stay well, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to give to others, therefore creating one less thing to love about yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable. Sometimes tough love is the best love. You need a few people in your life who will recognize when you do not have the heart to do what you know you need to do, and who will call you out on it. We don’t need a yes man… we need a no man who will let us know that we need to make some changes and then stick by us as we work to do just that.
- Constantly Seek to Gain new Knowledge. I mean we all know that the world is ever growing. New knowledge is presenting itself every day and people like myself are committed to making sure that we are able to obtain that knowledge. One way to ensure that we maintain our heart to do what we know is right and be well, is to commit to filling ourselves with new knowledge. No one way is ever the set in stone way to conquer our issues with our mental. What works for one person may not work for another and what works for a time period, may not work months later. We have to make sure that as new knowledge becomes available, we are aware of it and utilizing the things that may be beneficial to our personal battles with mental illness.
Today, My desire for you is that you will be able to maintain a heart to get better and stay better. Trust me, I understand that the struggle is definitely sometimes real, but the goal is to overcome every mental encounter. I believe in you. I know that you can and will move from just surviving to thriving and I’m rooting for you the entire way.