More and more, people are having open dialogue about mental health and the importance of taking care of your mind. There is never a shortage of information on what to wear, what diets or workouts are going to make you lose ten pounds in a few short weeks or the latest makeup trends. If you want to know about how to look good in a selfie, the resources are endless. It was not until recently that society, and probably more so in African American culture, that we began to talk about this more candidly. Many celebrities have also chosen to use their platforms to bring more awareness to the topic.
Taraji Henson, who has shared with the world that she sought treatment in the past, has started a mental health foundation in honor of her late father. Michelle Williams, former member of the biggest girl group in recent history, has been open about the decision that she made to seek help for her own mental well-being. Even boisterous radio personality Charlamagne Tha God has shed light into his personal struggle with anxiety and put it in black and white when he authored the book entitled “Shook One”, where he talks about how his severe anxiety held him back in many areas of his life. The list goes on, probably even more with names of those that just have not become comfortable enough to share their stories.
At a time when the world is working so hard to keep resolutions to lose weight, make more money, get a promotion or this or that, it feels like taking better care of our minds should be at the top of our list. After all, having everything else in seemingly perfect balance yet ignoring the lack of peace or clarity or living with stress, fear or anxieties is like taking a beautiful car on the road for a long trip with a little bit of gas. How far will you go? How long with this last? When will you break down? The number of people that live silently with mental roadblocks is staggering. Chances are, many of the people you encounter daily live with anxiety, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress from childhood issues, inferiority complexes, just to name a few. Yes, these are all things that can have an effect on your mental and/or emotional well-being and there are professionals that specialize in a wide range of areas.
I do believe that having goals is important. They keep us going, they give us a target and a sense of direction. I also believe that looking your best matters as well and can, in many cases, give you a mental boost. If, however, there is something that a raise at work or a new lipstick cannot fix, maybe it’s time to dig deeper. Try reading a book about what you’re feeling mentally, emotionally or socially. You can order it on Amazon and have it sent directly to your door. Make an appointment with a professional. They are bound by confidentiality agreements. The rest of the world does not have to know if you do not want them to. You deserve to live at your fullest potential. Show yourself some love and take care of your mind.
Even some of the people that we look up to the most in our lives struggle with mental and emotional well-being issues. Whether on screen, on air or in our own families and communities, this is true. Know that if you are going through something that feels like it is beyond your control, there is nothing wrong with you, you are not alone and there are resources.
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