This post will be short because May is actually Mental Health Awareness Month. I will devote the entire month to mental health topics. Therefore, I just want to share some things that help me and others I know to stay on the right track with our mental health.
I do want to address something so important that gets overlooked at times: ANXIETY.
Everyone gets anxious at times but there are actually people who suffer anxiety so badly that it causes neurosis. We have seen on TV shows and movies how people make fun of the “neurotic” characters, but imagine watching people like that in real life. I bet you know some people who display this type of behavior or…maybe it is you.
It’s OK. This is a safe space.
I know many people in this category. They are hardwired this way. I know people who have anxiety so bad it causes paranoia. Well, you can’t “change” people like that because it is hardwired. They can get help through therapy but there is no cure for this behavior. I wanted to address this because I think the past two years showed us what can happen to some people when anxiety takes over.
Deep anxiety stems from the feeling of losing control and fear of the unknown. Many people in our society have to have complete control over the people and situations in their lives. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. When life doesn’t go the way they need it to…some people absolutely flip out. They take their frustrations and anger out on everyone.
This is why it is so important to recognize generalized anxiety disorder or deep anxiety in your family and friends. There are ways to help them. One of the best ways to help them is talk therapy. It costs nothing. It costs them nothing but it does take some time from you. People with a lot of anxiety just need someone to comfort them. They need to know their feelings are valid and there are solutions. It will all be OK. They just need to calm down.
I suggest talking to them as much as you can when you see them getting anxious and irritable. Irritability is a big sign that they have an anxiety issue. They might pace around a lot and need to keep busy…some people call it “nervous energy”. They “keep busy” to not have to focus on the things they can’t control that are worrying them.
This is what nervous energy can look like: excessive talking, repeating the same things, consistently talking about the things you need to get done, constant cleaning, too much shopping, and constant cooking or baking for more people than is necessary. When all of these things become impulsive or compulsive then there is an issue.
We can help the people we care about with some of their anxiety by figuring out the source of some of the anxiety. If some of their anxiety is about completing certain tasks, maybe you can offer to help. Maybe they need to go to the supermarket and pick up several items but also need to finish some cooking. You can offer to pick up their items at the supermarket and then drop it off for them. This will allow them time to finish their cooking and give them some relief to cross off something else on their to-do list. If wanting to clean out their garage is causing them anxiety, offer to help them clean out the garage. Maybe they are nervous about their next doctor’s appointment. If you know going to the doctor or dentist makes them anxious – be the person to take them.
We are all in this together! We have to help serve because that’s what God called us to do. He called us to be servants. We have to lead when we feel the need to lead. Let’s help those around us with their healing.
Mental Health Boosters
Here are some options to help “boost” your energy which benefits your mental health.
- Cross a task off your To-Do List
- Do Breathing Exercises
- Play a game/work on a puzzle
- Work on a fun project (sew a blanket, make jewelry, find something to build)
Peace and Blessings.