This post on vulnerability and resilience is a guest post by Joy Payley. Joy is a freelance writer with some very useful insights into coping with mental illness.
I especially like her tip to “Get Informed”, because fundamentally, that is what this site is all about.
I genuinely believe that the more informed you are about what you or a loved one is going through, the more you will able to find a way through it. Ignorance increases your vulnerability and undermines your resilience.
Understanding depression, it seems to me, really does help.
So, over to Joy.
Get Yourself Ready to Bounce Back
When you or someone you love is facing mental illness or another significant hardship, you need to take care of yourself in order to deal with what you’re facing, so that you can come out stronger and healthier.
If your partner or family member is facing mental illness, it can be tempting to throw yourself entirely into supporting them.
If you are facing mental illness yourself, it can be hard to fight the ongoing destructive thoughts or tendencies, which can keep you from taking care of yourself.
Here are some tips for cultivating resilience, in order to bounce back from the hardship you’re facing.
- Get Informed: The first step to approaching mental illness in yourself or others is to understand the true nature of the problem you are facing. Ask questions of your medical practitioner, especially about the things that don’t make sense to you and about the various alternatives that may be available for your treatment.
- Break Down Challenges: When dealing with the large symptoms of mental illness, it can seem impossible to resolve problems with many interrelated factors. Instead of trying to solve everything at once, break down problems into separate parts, and try to tackle the smaller issues first. For example, instead of saying to yourself ‘How can I get rid of my anxiety attacks?’, start with writing down the symptoms of your attacks and identifying your own triggers and warning signs. Then consider smaller exercises you can take to mitigate an attack, such as deep breathing.
- Take Action: Despite the overwhelming nature of mental illness, you are never powerless. Even small actions, like writing down the contact information of a reputable counselor, life coach, or psychologist for your loved one, can help put you in control again.
- Maintain Hope: Take steps that help restore and foster your spirit. Whether it’s participation in a group activities, long walks in nature, or an hour with a good book, taking the time to nurture your spirit will be vital to keeping hope through the tough times you are facing.
- Love Yourself: The marathon that is recovery from mental illness cannot be approached without adequate sleep and healthy nutrition. Remember that making the effort to eat a sufficient lunch or get that extra hour of shuteye can really make a difference. Learn to show some compassion to yourself.
- Get Help From a Positive Coach: A well-trained coach, counselor, or psychologist can be the key to helping you recover from mental illness. Mental illness has a way of clouding reality and making it impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel; a coach can help you reconfigure your mindset and thoughts to work your way toward recovery.
Joy Payley writes for several blogs across the Internet, including this article writing service.
Main Image: Too Good To Be Forgotten acrylic on canvas, 66cm x 66cm, by Martin Grover.
Go to the main depression self-help category page.
Go to the TooDepressed.com – depression help and self-help home page.