Episode 1: Is Mental Health for Me?

This is a question that has had varying answers throughout my life. In my youth, I believed I am a strong black woman and could take whatever came for me. This mentality, which others saw as resilience, is one that would mislead me. I used my identity and the identity of my ancestors as an excuse to tolerate uncomfortable situations. I was to constantly maintain a persona of having everything together at all times.

When the topic of mental health arose, I thought it was only for people who had symptoms that greatly affected their daily living. I believed I could go to school, work, maintain relationships, and balance the overall factors of life pretty well, so mental health talks weren’t for me. I didn’t realize that while I had managed these factors to keep myself afloat, there were better ways to living a happier life.

Life has its ups and downs but there are ways to be in a better mental space when things happen. While exploring the realm of mental wellness, I observed the importance of being vulnerable with yourself and adopting healthy coping mechanisms. I began talking to others around me and came to the realization that I am not alone in trying to figure life out.

There are people overwhelmed with life’s possibilities, facing anxiety attacks, navigating imposture syndrome, fighting exhaustion, rediscovering their passions, rediscovering themselves, and a plethora of other things. During these conversations, we talked of how each of us made the best of our situations. This is how I got introduced to aerial fitness and therapy. I came to the realization that I should do mental health checks like I do my physical health, not only when I feel as if I have no where to turn.

This change did wonders for me. I became more resilient because it became easier to healthily manage my emotions and let go of things outside of my control. Now instead of thinking is mental health for me, I ask what I am doing to improve my mental health?

When you hear mental health, what do you think? Has your opinion on mental health changed? If yes, why? If not, why? Do you think there’s a place for you in this era of mental health awareness?

I’m going to be exploring different every day topics that affect mental health and how identity/culture can affect how you navigate these issues. I will be covering topics like job inquiries, romantic relationships, education, friendships, conflict resolutions, colorism, family life, hair, identity confusion, etc. I hope that you all will go on this journey with me and engage in discussions to understand one another and grow. Keep on a lookout for blogs and videos from me!

Until next time,

Queen Vanessa

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