Monday Musts: Managing my Mental Health
Hi, my name is Melanie. I am a 28-year-old social media manager by day and content creator by night, residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Online, I like to share content focused around self-care and mental health.
Mental health came to be my north star not exactly by choice but by the cards that life has dealt me. Namely, depression and anxiety. I’m passionate about openly sharing my vulnerability with the world because when I was a young woman, struggling deeply, I sought out resources online that simply didn’t exist at that time (2012-2016 era). I wanted to hear real stories of real people and their mental health journeys.
Over the years, I’ve developed a love for walking. The benefits to me include getting outside for some fresh air, obviously movement and catching up on my favourite podcast or phoning a loved one. Walking supports my mental health in so many ways and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
We don’t know what we don’t know. I like to lean on professionals whenever possible (I know it’s not accessible to everyone which makes me sad), but therapy has also changed my life for the better. Finding a good therapist is kind of like dating. You might have to kiss a few frogs before you find “the one” but it’s worth it.
I wouldn’t be living such a fulfilling, balanced and happy life right now if it wasn’t for the medication I take to manage my depression and anxiety. There’s still a stigma around mental health meds so it’s important to me to talk about it. Of course, it would be great if I were able to manage my mental health without meds because the side effects do kind of suck, but for some of us, medication is the best (not perfect) but the best option to maintain our quality of life.
My Partner, Mac
Choose who you share your life with wisely. Cultivate and nurture your relationship. Be open and soft with your partner. They are your safe space. I feel so lucky to have a partner that is so supportive of my mental health journey.
This one’s broad but if you deal with mental health challenges, you might need more self-care than the average person. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. My depression and anxiety take up a lot of brain space so sometimes I feel like I’m not giving enough to the people around me, but I have to remind myself that if I don’t take care of myself, I’ll have nothing to give.