People spend money on physical rehabilitation when there is a physical challenge or disruption. So why not spend money on mental rehabilitation when there is a mental block or disruption? Your body cannot function optimally without your healthy mind. Today I stand in sister solidarity with Bassey Ikpi @BasseyworldLive for #NoShame Day and The Siwe Project. “The Siwe Project is a global non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the global black community. The goal of the organization is to widen the public dialogue regarding the lived experiences of people of African Descent with mental illness. By providing opportunities for dialogue and the uplifting of new narratives and discourse, The Siwe Project aims to encourage more people to seek treatment without shame.”
I spend a lot of time on and offline speaking about green living, healthy eating, fitness, and occasionally emotional wellness. Mental Wellness is a major component in being healthy. If you are having thoughts that don’t serve your greatness, are self-destruction, or have a negative impact, therapy/counseling is a life save and game changer. Because of Bassey’s commitment to sharing truths and supporting our communities who have stigmas surrounding mental health, I feel compelled to participate and be an advocate.
My life has been fairly enjoyable with the occasional hiccups and learning lessons. But what most wouldn’t recognize is: a young girl who dealt with abuse on different levels; self-doubt in a schooling system that questioned my capacity of intelligence because of my color; wanting to have the long flowing hair because maybe mine wasn’t good enough. Occasionally, and even still, I have a brief moment in time where a feeling of discomfort in my own skin creeps up. It lasts for about a minute or two. Then it is gone like a gust of wind. It could be many things. If I ask my fellow empaths, it could be something more. Whatever it may be, the obstacles of live, especially if compounded, do take a toll.
I have never been afraid to say and am an advocate for the notion that everyone deserves a day, month, week, year(s) of therapy. It is a slow and healing process. Doesn’t how much money someone has, what labels they wear, how exuberant they express they are so happy with their life…every person has a moment where it just isn’t enough. And guess what? It is ok. Call a friend, a comrade, a loved one. Suffering in silence is not an option. We deserve so much more; We deserve to have a day of grooming our mentality to a state of health and optimism because we say so. And part of that journey is taking care of your self physically. That is why I have this site…to be a resource of wellness and renewal. I choose optimal living. I hope you do to.
1. Get plenty of exercise. It has been common knowledge that exercise is necessary for good physical health. In recent yer, studies have shown that it also is very supportive for mental health. Regular exercise improves mood, relieves anxiety and may reduce risk of developing depression.
2. Eat Nutrient Rich Foods. It is evident that food alters your mood. Thus, the right nutrients make all the different. A diet high in healthy Omega-3 fats, antioxidants (from vegetable and fruits), folate, Vitamin B, floats, and of course, Vitamin D will contribute to optimal mental wellness. There is also evident that the following foods may contribute to mental challenges: alcohol, caffeine, high-fat diets, gluten, dairy and sugar. If you have a history of mental illness in your family, it is a good idea to reduce the intake of those items and/or completely supplement with foods from the first list.
3. Sunlight is Your friend. In recent years, clinical studies have surfaced illustrating a direct correlation between depression and low vitamin D levels. That is why many people in the winter months suffer from seasonal depression, as we are cooped up inside to avoid the cold weather. Getting outside for a least 30 minutes a day can adjust any mood and support high levels of Vitamin D production.
Join myself and @BasseyworldLive this Friday on twitter with hashtag #NoShame as we discuss these natural wellness tips and more for optimal mental health.