May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I am someone who has dealt with years of living with anxiety and depression. I have loved ones extremely close to me who also deal with various degrees of mental illness. Often times we don’t know who internally suffers because most of us are great at masking what is going on inside.
I’ve have shared in other blogs about my challenging upbringing and many of the things that contributed to my mind not being in the best state for years and years of my life. Sometimes the state of your mental health is a combination of genetics and your environment, a past traumatic event, or just dealing with fears and stress of the unknown because you’re dealing with variables in your life beyond your control.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times over the years I woke up feeling empty, questioning my self worth, lacking confidence in myself and just simply having a hard to reconciling my past and all of the abuse I had dealt with when I was younger. One of the biggest challenges for me was also stop worrying about my future and living more in the present. After all, none of us have control over tomorrow, but not obsessing over what we can’t control is a difficult thing for many of us.
I recently turned 39. I’m very much a late bloomer when it comes to living my best life, feeling confident in my own skin and discovering the things that drive me in life. I can say it’s never too late and I’m extremely grateful I caught on now! Below are some insights that have helped me overcome many of my challenges and thought processes that have held me back from living better and it’s my hope that someone out there find these insights relatable or helpful. Just know you’re not alone even if you do feel like you are.
- Exercise and diet mean more to me than just leading to the body I am happy with. I was someone who used to be obese at one time because I had horrible self-destructive habits. Once I slowly started taking the necessary steps to be a healthier version of myself on the outside, so many internal changes happened within me too! As a woman I can wholeheartedly say that loving the body you’re in really does spill over to other areas of your life and contribute to a healthier state of mind. Picking up a barbell was the best decision ever because it paved the way for me becoming much more confidant today. Also, that shape all women want comes more from lifting weights!
- I became spiritually grounded. This is going to mean something different for each of us, but for me, rededicating my life to Christ was a huge game changer. “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2
The level of anxiety I used to deal with is not nearly as bad. I trust each day that God has my best interest at heart. Despite challenges, I wake up knowing I’m in good hands.
- Each day I focus on things I am grateful for rather than what I don’t have. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the comparison game, but I have embraced the fact that I am unique just like everyone else. My journey and life blueprint will be different. I have my own set of quirks, but also talents and gifts that are within me. I promise if you search within yourself even if you’re struggling in life there is likely at least one thing you can be grateful for.
- I work daily on overcoming any limiting beliefs that tend to creep in. Being grounded in my faith has helped me overcome this so much. Many of you have followed my first bikini competition prep journey. I’ve currently been in prep for over 20 weeks now (I’ll be blogging more about this later), and the biggest thing prep has taught me is that I CAN do this. I started this journey already being comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to pursue this goal for the challenge and well over 20 pounds lost now I’m shocked at what happens when you work past barriers.
- I have focused on improving my daily discipline game. By holding myself accountable to the promises I make to myself it has helped me with everything else in my life. I am a better employee, friend, and overall society contributor! Today I truly enjoy serving others because it makes my heart happy. Discovering my “why” and leveraging the things I am good at rather than focusing on what I am not good at has really helped me to get out of that negative space I have been in for so long.
- I no longer take things personally. Everyone has his or her own issues, situations, and emotions to deal with. We also all value different things. This does not mean people are intentionally trying to hurt you or be mean. I have also stopped caring less about what others think of me if it comes from a bad place. The truth is everyone will not like me and that’s ok! Constructive criticism is always welcomed by me, but people who have nothing better to do than judge is more of a reflection of their own unhappiness and I have all the empathy in the world for them!
I could write more, but these are the basics that have served me well. I am way more grounded today than I ever thought I could be. There was a time in my life where I had no hope for a better mindset, but now I see and know differently. I don’t have perfect days, but taking the wisdom I have now and implementing what makes me grounded has provided me the means to be my best self and I thank God I’m finally at a place of peace. If you found any of this valuable please feel free to share and connect with me. I can be reached at email@example.com