For many years mental health in the black, brown, and just creative culture has been looked at as some sort of myth. For my black and brown people; have you ever had people in your family or simply in your circle tell you "only white people get anxiety" or "only white people go to therapy?" If they haven't been that direct, has it been something along those lines ? For my creative people have you expressed yourself through your artwork and no one bothered to ask if you were ok, but instead applauded at those tears you shed expressing yourself from a real place of hurt? For those of you that said yes I feel you! I want to break down the symptoms of mental health to help you identify with what you're dealing with and help you break free of these symptoms through understanding and finding ways to cope.
I am here to tell you; those tears, tight chest, depression and whatever other symptoms you've been dealing with pertaining to mental health is not imaginary. It's very real! I have been so open with my journey when it comes to dealing with mental health issues and I may not be a therapist or practitioner but I'm here to guide you along a journey of healing in the best way that I can!
Mental health comes in multiple forms and sometimes we can't see it because it comes from a generational cycle of pain and distress. Other times it's right in front of our face and we choose to ignore it. However, the only way to heal is to confront what we are dealing with in an ethical way. There are many ways to confront the pain, soothe the pain, and subside the pain in a healthy way. Let's talk about some healing methods for dealing with mental health issues.
Dissect and redirect your past
Especially as a black beautiful divine being we come with so much baggage and we carry that into our lives without the proper guidance of letting go and reusing the energy somewhere new. From ancestral issues to family issues to relationship issues I ask that you look deep within your self to figure out what is bothering. Figure out what is causing you your stress. Figure out what is causing you your pain. Whatever it is redirect that painful memory and use it to make you stronger. Use it as motivation to heal so you want feel it anymore. Dissect and redirect your past!
Talk to someone
Getting help is one of the most obvious and "put out" answers, however, many times we are scared to confront others or share our deepest darkest feelings. We fear ridicule, judgement and biased especially as a black male or female because we are often looked at as angry or crazy. I will say a couple of years ago this was my thought process for many years. This is why I lived parts of my life feeling like an angsty teen aka "misunderstood, lost, and alone." When I finally started getting help I was on my way to a new, better, and lighter me. I became happier, PERIODT! Talking to someone doesn't mean running straight to a therapist but it can start some where close with just someone close to you whom you trust.
Disclaimer: IF YOU ARE SUICIDAL OR YOU FEEL YOU CAN HARM SOMEONE ELSE PLEASE CALL 911 OR THE SUICIDAL HOTLINE:
Journal & take notes
If you are a loyal member of sage me down then you know one of my go to's to any type of problem is journaling. Journaling is a huge sense of relief and reassurance when you can visually see whats going on. If you don't want to fully journal on what's going on emotionally, then take notes of things that calm you down and that make you happy so you can't look at that when you feel you are having a break down.
Create a breakdown box
This tip is one that I feel so many people should use not only with break downs but for general self care. Create a break down box for when you feel you are at wits end however, these things will help you get through it. Somethings I suggest is a candle, a crystal for relaxation, palo santo to heighten your senses, a journal, bath salts for a soothing baths, and what ever else calms you down like a tea, soup, comfy sweater and etc.
Find your happy place
Coping can be hard when your environment makes you feel suffocated or trapped. Not only do you need to change your physical environment you need to change your mental environment. Go take a walk and clear your mind, get some fresh air so you can think and process your emotions properly. If it's the summer time walk to the nearest park and breathe in the fresh air, if it's the winter go to the nearest coffee shop in the snow and just look at the white winter wonderland as you decompress over a tea or latte.
So many times we don't take into account the simple things like breathing. Most times the answer to relief is taking in a deep breathe. Lift your hand straight up to the sky, interlock your fingers and take in deep breathes, then harshly let out deep breathes. Let go of your hands, push out your chest, slowly take in deep breathes letting in all the air into your lungs then let go and when I say let go I mean let go of all that baggage and depression into that breath you just let go of. If you need more techniques on how to breathe there are multiple youtube videos on yoga and the art of breathing.
For more information on dealing with mental health issues continue to do your research... If you would like more articles on specific mental health issues like the prior article I did on anxiety please comment below.