Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Taking the Positive Road to Wellness

The biggest obstacle when it comes to mental illness is often times staying positive.  How can you be positive when each day seems  like an uphill battle instead  of a pleasant experience?  The answer may not be easy, but it is possible
20 years ago when I received my diagnosis, I believed I could handle it. How ever, it took many years to be at a place where I could understand what the doctor's told me.  I'll be honest I still don't always listen, but I have a better understanding of what I need to do and how to stay well. 
The same mind that turned on me is the one that helps to keep me on the path to wellness.   Staying positive despite the symptoms that come with mental illness  but it is possible.  
  1.  Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen to you, stand by you and lift up when you are down.  Hearing their positive words are difficult at times, but it's just what we need.  Don't push them away, no matter how much you want to, they are the ones who care and in time their words will make sense. 
  2. Make time for yourself.  This one is  hard, as often we feel alone and the last thing we want is to be alone on purpose, but this is different.  Taking time for yourself, is doing what you want for yourself.  Forget about the world for awhile, find what makes you happy or what used to and do it.  You may have to push yourself at first, or even the first five times, but keep going.  The feeling of worth will come and boost your mood and confidence. 
  3. Write! I can not express this one enough.  You do not need to be a famous novelist, or perfect with your handwriting and language, this is only for you.  Putting your thoughts on paper, helps clear your brain of all that clutters it up and brings us down. If you fear someone reading what you write, use a computer program that requires a password.  It is OK to be selfish at times. 
  4. Get outside.  Yes, another big step!  Nature is one of the best anti-depressants there is.  In our 24/7 world, we do not get outside enough.  The demands of our lives, families and work take us away from what we need most.  Going for a walk a couple times a week will help you relax and clear your mind.  I used to walk quite often and looked forward to the freedom, but life took over and I stopped.  I saw the difference.  I am back now to hiking and the peace that comes with it is welcome. 
  5. Go easy on yourself.   Easier said that done, I know.  We blame ourselves for this illness we live with, but it's not our fault. We didn't wish this on ourselves, like any illness some get it, some don't.  Society does not make it easy, the stigma keeps us quiet and hidden, it's not our fault.  Don't let their words take hold.  
  6. Smile!  Even when you seem to have forgotten how to, smile.  It may feel fake, but do it everyday.
  7. To me, the most important of all - Music!  Put on your headphones or turn up the radio and play your favorite songs and lose yourself in the melody, the lyrics.  Music has a power like no other, use it!
By taking care of ourselves  we have a much better chance of a positive life and once we have that, the sky is the limit.

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