Journaling: A Step Closer To Knowing Yourself

Journaling

Journaling has a ton of benefits to coping with mental health challenges. Journaling is a coping skill that I personally have found myself turning back to time and time again in my mental health journey. Doodles, misspelled and smudged words are welcomed as it enhances the experience.

The reason I journal is because it relaxes me. Journaling permits me to release my emotions without fear of judgement. I let my emotions pour out onto the page – good or bad. Which is healing to give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling in the moment.  It’s a form of meditation because it allows you time to reflect on your day or things that you could be dealing with emotionally. Writing about something that I am struggling with allows me to slow down and take time to process what life can throw at you and deal with those feelings in a comfortable and safe way.

Journaling can help you feel more – you. Creative writing allows you to understand yourself. In my mental health journey, I have struggled with a sense of self. I would constantly ask myself “Who am I?” and “What do I want out of life?” While I realized these are some hefty questions to be asking myself, I didn’t even really know where to begin to answer questions like that. Through journaling, I discovered that I am constantly changing and so are the answers to those big questions. So it’s okay to not always have the answers right away and it takes time to learn about yourself, your needs, and the world around you.

 

 

I have found that being able to write down and reflect on my thoughts gives me confidence to speak my mind. A common obstacle for people struggling with mental health symptoms, myself included, is being able to voice our opinions. Journaling lets me practice speaking up because I can explore my opinions about something without feeling like I’m on stage. It just takes the pressure off having to immediately understand my thoughts on a particular subject or I can dig deeper as to why I do feel a certain way. I don’t just do this with big issues either. Sometimes I will just write about random things like music or books in order to feel comfortable about forming an opinion and expressing it. I am often surprised at what I discover about myself. Over time, I think it gets easier to express myself to others because it’s been practiced in my journaling.

If you have journaled before and found it difficult to get into, I suggest doing a bullet journal. A bullet journal is different from regular journaling because it can be just quick sentences or a way to organize your thoughts. When I bullet journal, I usually draw a little happy face or sad face depending on my mood for the day. Then I will just jot down short sentences about my mood or symptoms. I also write down things that may have affected my mood like the weather or how much sleep I got. It’s a tool to recognize my feelings and be able to track them. Sometimes I will share my journal with my doctors so they can better understand what is going on with me. If you have never journaled before, I suggest giving it a go. You will find how to make journaling work for you. For me, it’s the combination of free writing, drawing, and bullet journaling. Journaling is a custom way to express yourself, thoughts, emotions, and moods. It has helped me in my mental health journey and I believe it could help others experiencing mental health symptoms too.

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Talking About Mental Health with Your Supports

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A support system is group of people and organizations who positively impact your life. Support can come in a variety of ways. It could look like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a peer, friend, or even a pet. Research shows that having a positive and understanding system of support is an essential piece of recovery. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to avoid talking about their mental health challenges with their loved ones.

It’s not easy to do. Many people are fearful to admit that they’re not feeling well or that something is “off.” This is often due to stigma. People may wonder if their friends and family will see them differently or judge them harshly for the challenges that they’re experiencing. Instead, they try to mask what is going on, causing isolation and making the individual feel even worse.

If you are having trouble talking about mental health with the people in your life, you may be wondering how you could possibly tell someone. This is completely understandable. How can you put how you’re feeling into words? How will this person respond? If this is the case, these tips might help you to feel more confident and prepared to have this conversation.

 

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Talking About Mental Health with Your Supports

Talking-About-Mental-Health-Featured

 

A support system is group of people and organizations who positively impact your life. Support can come in a variety of ways. It could look like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a peer, friend, or even a pet. Research shows that having a positive and understanding system of support is an essential piece of recovery. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to avoid talking about their mental health challenges with their loved ones.

It’s not easy to do. Many people are fearful to admit that they’re not feeling well or that something is “off.” This is often due to stigma. People may wonder if their friends and family will see them differently or judge them harshly for the challenges that they’re experiencing. Instead, they try to mask what is going on, causing isolation and making the individual feel even worse.

If you are having trouble talking about mental health with the people in your life, you may be wondering how you could possibly tell someone. This is completely understandable. How can you put how you’re feeling into words? How will this person respond? If this is the case, these tips might help you to feel more confident and prepared to have this conversation.

 

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Putting Yourself First: Self-Care

Self-Care-Featured-Image

Self-care is about caring what happens to you. It means doing something that is creative, fun or good for you. In other words, purposefully making your needs a priority. Self-care may mean exercising and eating well to maintain physical fitness and good mental health. It can also mean spoiling yourself a bit—something as simple as indulging in a piece of your favorite candy or playing the guitar for an hour. Anything that helps you be you and stay you is considered self-care.

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Putting Yourself First: Self-Care

Self-Care-Featured-Image

Self-care is about caring what happens to you. It means doing something that is creative, fun or good for you. In other words, purposefully making your needs a priority. Self-care may mean exercising and eating well to maintain physical fitness and good mental health. It can also mean spoiling yourself a bit—something as simple as indulging in a piece of your favorite candy or playing the guitar for an hour. Anything that helps you be you and stay you is considered self-care.

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LifeWays Annual Celebration 2017

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Segue, Inc. is proud of all consumers and staff, and we are delighted to celebrate four very important people who have been recognized by LifeWays at their 2017 Annual Celebration last month.

 

 

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LifeWays Annual Celebration 2017

LifeWays-Annual-Celebration

Segue, Inc. is proud of all consumers and staff, and we are delighted to celebrate four very important people who have been recognized by LifeWays at their 2017 Annual Celebration last month.

 

 

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4166 Hits

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America Organization to shine a light on the importance of mental health and wellness. Each year in the month of May, advocates and activists across the country participate in activities to increase awareness, educate the public, and give a voice to individuals who have mental health challenges.

Why is it so important to bring mental health to the forefront? 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness and nearly 1 in every 25 individuals live with a serious mental illness in the United States. One of the most vital reasons we talk about mental health is because mental illnesses touch the lives of just about every single American – whether they themselves are experiencing mental health symptoms or they have loved ones who do.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America Organization to shine a light on the importance of mental health and wellness. Each year in the month of May, advocates and activists across the country participate in activities to increase awareness, educate the public, and give a voice to individuals who have mental health challenges.

Why is it so important to bring mental health to the forefront? 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness and nearly 1 in every 25 individuals live with a serious mental illness in the United States. One of the most vital reasons we talk about mental health is because mental illnesses touch the lives of just about every single American – whether they themselves are experiencing mental health symptoms or they have loved ones who do.

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5162 Hits

How to Stop Stigma from Stopping You

How to Stop Stigma from Stopping You

Stigma is when a person is misunderstood, shamed or discriminated against due to things that are out of their control. This is something that many people with mental health challenges face on a day-to-day basis. For people with mental health challenges, sometimes stigma comes in the form of mocking and cruelty. Other times it is subtler: family and friends misunderstanding you, avoiding you, shaming you and blaming you for your challenges. Unfortunately, our society sees people with mental health challenges as strange, lazy, or even violent.

 

Because of all the negative beliefs surrounding mental illnesses, we begin to internalize those feelings – believing that they are true. We get frustrated, blame ourselves, or try to hide the issues that we face. This often takes an even bigger toll on our mental health. But there are things that you can do to change the way that you think of yourself and learn to speak up to those who lack understanding and awareness.

 

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3248 Hits

How to Stop Stigma from Stopping You

averie-woodard-111831

Stigma is when a person is misunderstood, shamed or discriminated against due to things that are out of their control. This is something that many people with mental health challenges face on a day-to-day basis. For people with mental health challenges, sometimes stigma comes in the form of mocking and cruelty. Other times it is subtler: family and friends misunderstanding you, avoiding you, shaming you and blaming you for your challenges. Unfortunately, our society sees people with mental health challenges as strange, lazy, or even violent.

 

Because of all the negative beliefs surrounding mental illnesses, we begin to internalize those feelings – believing that they are true. We get frustrated, blame ourselves, or try to hide the issues that we face. This often takes an even bigger toll on our mental health. But there are things that you can do to change the way that you think of yourself and learn to speak up to those who lack understanding and awareness.

 

Continue reading
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