Today is World Mental Health Day.
I am sure this means different things to different people; we’re all on different paths… As a mental health counselor, it’s a day to reflect on what I have done over the last year to help those in need, and to help lessen the stigma about mental health challenges in our community.
I don’t really believe in labels or diagnoses, but I help people who have had traumatic experiences such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, people who could use help building self-esteem and self-love, and people who have difficulty with negative thought patterns holding them back. I help people who have been suicidal in the past, who struggle with panic attacks, and who struggle with shaming and harming their bodies. It’s more common than you might think.
For some of us, today may be a reminder of a friend or loved one who has passed, a time to plan action to help over the next year, or a day to look back upon your own mental health journey. We are stronger as a community when we come together and are vocal about our mental health.
I pulled the “Comparison” card today from my Osho Zen Tarot deck, which I use as a kind of mindfulness technique as I drink my morning tea or coffee. This card feels relevant today as we fight to reduce stigma about mental health challenges. Even though I feel we have less stigma about seeking counseling now versus a few years ago, I feel there’s more work needing to be done.
We compare ourselves way too much to others, especially as women (looks, clothes, sizing, relationship status, career, skin, hair, “happiness level”)
You never truly know what’s going on with someone deep down. They may not even know. But why compare two lives that are completely different? What are you gaining from your comparisons?
The only comparison worth doing is within yourself. Are you doing your own personal best? If not, how do you feel about your own journey? Are there any changes you’d like to make to get back to a better head and heart space for yourself? What progress can you identify within yourself (even if it’s something small)?
If there are changes you’d like to make, I invite you to talk to a friend or loved one, counselor, or religious or spiritual guide. You can join the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and attend a peer or family support meeting, or learn more about reducing stigma in your community. http://nami.org/
As always, please get in touch if you’d like to have a candid conversation about how I may be of benefit. www.bethanygrove.com/contact
You can connect with me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bethanygrovecounseling
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Or give me a call at 410-656-9119