Hey friends. It’s been a minute since I last posted on here… three whole months. They were full of joys & sorrows & struggles & growth. Through the good & the bad days, I’ve seen a resurfacing of mental health issues that I’ve dealt with in the past. I’m not going to lie to you, it was so discouraging seeing symptoms of anxiety & depression sneaking into my life again. A couple of years ago, my mental health was greatly deteriorating & I sought medical help, & was on an anti-depressant for about a year. I thought that I had found victory in my mental health, as I had been much more emotionally & mentally stable recently, but the past few months have been full of crippling anxious thoughts & a heavy darkness that I just can’t seem to shake. It’s taken a toll on my health, friendships, & general quality of life. I don’t want to go back on an anti-depressant right now, because I don’t think that it ever solved my issues before, but rather suppressed my symptoms. I want my body & mind to heal this time, and I’m willing to embark on this journey slowly & gently. I’m no where near healed, but I’m functioning again. As I’m learning more about my physical, emotional, spiritual, & mental health, I’ve found a few things that really do seem to help. Remember to always seek the wise counsel of medical physicians before following any of my advice!
- Probiotics. I’ve read several studies lately showing a correlation between gut health & mental health. There seems to be a great connection between our brains & the right balance of good bacteria in our bellies. I’ve started taking a probiotic supplement daily, as well as adding in many probiotic-rich foods into my diet, such as kombucha, kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, & fermented veggies. A healthy gut is good for my over all health, and it’s an easy way to support better mental health.
- Essential Oils. I’m not going to recommend a certain brand or blend to you, but oils are powerhouses, & they’ve been so helpful in aiding my healing journey. Find a reputable company that you trust, & look into their mood-enhancing blends. Or try a single oil like lavender, which is especially calming, or bergamot, which boosts downcast spirits. Rub them on your temples & chest & feet, diffuse them in the air, or simply smell them out of the bottle. I keep my calming blends with me at all times in my purse — I can’t tell you how many times they’ve brought peace to my anxious mind!
- Ashwagandha. Also known as Indian Ginseng, this powerful root works to support, not suppress, your body when it is experiencing stress. I’ve only been taking it a few weeks, but I’ve heard that as it builds up in your body, it can help quiet your mind & relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety. I’ve found that it already gives me the ability to have perspective, or to reason myself out of being anxious or depressed. It gives me clarity & draws me back to reality, & helps my body feel more relaxed. It’s considered safe for long-term use in moderate doses, so I feel okay about taking this supplement internally.
- Fill your ears with truth & grace. The last thing your mind wants when it is spiraling out of control is something else to take in, but I’ve found that calming music or podcasts can help so much in distracting me from the downward spiral. The distraction isn’t a fix for the problem, but songs & stories filled with truth can remind our minds & souls of the reality that the Lord is in control, & that we are His. Singing along to songs that declare the truth about who God is can life those clouds of darkness far away. Scripture memory is also such a weapon against mental & spiritual attack. Repeating the promises of who God is, & who we are because of that reality, makes the truths sink a little deeper into your soul & take root. Those roots will bear fruit in your life, & you’ll find your mind resting on the promises of God instead of filled with worry.
- Supplication with thanksgiving. In Philippians 4, Paul literally gives us a remedy for anxiety:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Phil 4:6-7
God tells us to make every request know to Him. Instead of bottling up our anxieties & being filled with worry & negativity, He tells us to simply share our troubles with Him. And what does He give us in this exchange? His peace, which surpasses all understanding, & guards our hearts & minds in Christ. It’s a peace that we can’t comprehend — it surpasses all of our understanding. But it’s real, & we can experience the sweet gift of His peace when we dump our problems at His feet instead of holding on to them with tight fists. But how are we to give him our supplications? With thanksgiving. It’s when we praise the Lord for what He’s done that we experience His peace. Look outside of your bubble & praise God for the mighty works He has done for you. He’ll bless you with His peace, & your gratitude might just overflow into the lives of those around you. God did not create you for brokenness, but for wholeness, & He is advocating and working in & through you until the day He returns & all is made as it should be. Until that day, keep praising Him & seeking health for His glory. You are loved!
Have you ever struggled with your mental health?
What are some things you do to pursue mental & spiritual wellness?