With the widespread success of COVID-19 vaccines, we're inching closer to the normal we've been dreaming about for over a year. I can't wait to gather freely with friends, family, and strangers again. But some of us are experiencing anxiety about post-pandemic life. The question is: Will it really be back to normal, or will we have to adapt to another new normal?
Mental Health for the Digital Generation
Living with mental illness or mental health challenges can be frustrating. It can complicate the stuff of life, such as making and keeping friendships. In the last post, we explored some obstacles mental illness throws in the way of friendships, as well as a vital first step in friendships: becoming a friend to yourself. Now we'll turn to some practical tips for making friends when you are dealing with mental health difficulties.
Whether it's a relationship that ended or a job that fell through, dealing with rejection is a huge part of life. More important than rejection, though, is how you handle it.
If you have difficulties with friendships and mental illness, you're not alone. Friendships are trickier than TV or movies make them seem. Also, living with mental health challenges--whether it's a diagnosed mental illness, personality disorder, or anxious thoughts and low mood that aren't diagnosable but still bothersome--adds a layer of difficulty to things that other people take for granted. You don't have to be forever frustrated by friendships or the lack of them. By starting with yourself and gradually moving outward with purpose, you can have quality, meaningful friendships no matter what mental health challenges you may face.
You probably have friends or family members who deal with mental illness. And you probably want to help them. You just might not know how. That is okay. It's normal to be hesitant about how to support someone with a mental illness, especially if you don't experience the same things yourself. You don't want to do anything wrong or say something that will trigger them. Here are a few general ways you can help.
Comparing yourself to other people is a natural human tendency. We all do it, often without even meaning to. If you find yourself comparing yourself to people, that definitely doesn't mean you're a terrible person. It might mean, though, that you feel anxious and inadequate sometimes or a lot of the time.
It's tricky to determine when to get help for depression. You, like me, might think: "Am I even depressed, or am I just lazy?" or "Why am I making such a big deal out of this?" I tried to convince myself that I didn't need professional help, that I could figure it out on my own. But getting help for depression was one of the bravest and best choices I've ever made.
Healthy relationships, whether they're friendships, romantic relationships, family ties, or connections with coworkers, are important for our mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, not all relationships are healthy and positive. Some are downright abusive, and others, while falling short of abuse, are toxic. Here are six early warning signs of toxic behavior to help you spot dangerous actions and attitudes before they escalate or you become trapped in a relationship that may harm your wellbeing and interfere with your quality of life.
I'm not great at mental illness recovery. How do I know I'm getting better? A lot of the time, I can't even see progress. I think I'm improving, and then my mental health takes a dive. It feels like this will never end. And maybe it won't. I will probably deal with mental illness for the rest of my life, so I've found some useful tools for measuring my progress in mental illness recovery.
If life has you running ragged and often feeling chaotic or even out of control, this is a sign that you are very much a human being. For many reasons, life can be incredibly stressful, and stress robs us of a sense of balance and serenity. Take heart, for there is great news. You can create inner calm, and it doesn't have to be one more chore on your overwhelming to-do list. Here is a way to cultivate inner calm in just five minutes a day.