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Monday Motivation to Strive for Optimal Mental Health

Posted May 08 2011 11:38pm

Hello everyone! I hope that you have had wonderfully relaxing weekend. I have so enjoyed reading all of the beautiful, love-filled Mother’s Day posts on my favorite blogs. As someone who will become a mom in the near future, it is both exciting and nerve-racking to see all of the fabulous qualities that I hope to embody as a parent.

My day started off with a bowl of whipped chocolate chia banana oatmeal and peanut butter followed by a lakefront run in the beautiful sunshine and cool breeze.

P1020310

(I wish Chicago weather was always like this!)

After my run, I performed a circuit of ten to twelve reps of the following exercises:

  • Pull ups
  • Squats
  • Push ups
  • Deadlift-Row combo
  • Squat-Military Press combo
  • Frog Crunches

Then I took a few minutes to stretch with a few of my favorite tension-releasing yoga poses. The combined effect of running, strength training, and yoga simply can’t be beat!

I am always a little sad when I can’t be with my family on holidays. Fortunately, Skype lets us to do the next best thing and have a virtual family chat fest. In addition to catching up with the recent happenings, we reminisced about old memories spurred by the pictures in the  post for our wonderful Momma .

skype3

So many good times… sigh…

This past week I enjoyed reading so many wonderful posts written by my favorite fellow bloggers. Two posts in particular, Mental Health Month by Lynne and Mentally Right and Cherry Delight by Lindsay , caught my attention and subsequently inspired this week’s ‘Monday Motivation’ topic: striving for optimal mental health.

If you’ve read my ‘ About ’ section then you know that I struggle with anxiety and depression. My symptoms started at an early age, however, because I often to manifested them physically, I couldn’t identify the root cause. In college, my anxiety and depression worsened and I developed a general sense of unhappiness, unease, and overall fatigue. Unfortunately, still assuming that my troubles were physical and not psychological, I used the two most accessible methods of coping: exercising and eating.

In the years that followed, I fought tooth and nail to stop hurting my body, and eventually, I succeeded. When I did, I was so happy to have recovered from bulimia and exercise addiction that I never stopped to ask myself whether there were issues that I still needed to address.

When I entered nursing school this past January, the stress of the program triggered a severe escalation in my anxiety and depression. Each day I struggled to get through my classes hoping that the next day would be easier, yet it never was.

naptime

When I had to leave my program after just three weeks, I was devastated. After spending so much time, energy, and money to prepare for nursing school, I had no choice but to seek treatment.

With the guidance of a psychiatrist, I started taking anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication and my mood slowly improved. I met weekly with a therapist and together we explored the history of my illnesses and I began to understand how I have been fighting depression and anxiety all along.

The reason I share this story is because I want you to understand what a difference professional mental health treatment can make in your life. My problems aren’t solved and I can’t do everything people without anxiety and depression can. However, thanks to the professional guidance I have received, I am okay with my limitations because I have so many talents and blessings to be grateful for. I am happier than I have been in a long time and I have treatment, in addition to the loving support of family and friends, to thank for it.

my start

If you think you might be struggling a little or a lot with a mental health issue, please seek professional treatment. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Check with your health insurance provider to locate affordable resources.

The non-profit organization  Mental Health America can also provide referrals for mental health professionals in your area.

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