Yes, Breathe. Breathe in, Breathe Out
Just to clear the air here - or my mind, I breath in and out and feel the heaviness go away. Then I pause to think... Should I pick up the phone and reach out to my friend, my true tested ones and say I need you, help…
So many things to consider as one in four people live with a mental health condition. These may be loved ones, people you are in relationships with, they might be family members, parents, siblings, anybody and it’s okay to have these conversations, demystifying the stigma of mental health and mental illness. So how can we do better? How can we love? How can we care more? How can we be more present?
Destigmatize our minds, if we accept ourselves, our fragility, our humanity for who we are and not what we want to be. We understand mental health condition, educate ourselves a lot and equip ourselves to be able to help better.
We listen and ask the question ‘What do you feel is right for you? What would help you? What can I support you with?’ It’s important to listen, pay attention and just allow people to speak and really express themselves. We Create healthy boundaries for ourselves and for them. Be present, be active in each other’s lives, show up when needed and ensure that we are also taking care of ourselves. We can’t pour from an empty cup; we have to take care of ourselves first.
I find myself open to unlearning because there are so many things to assume that changes my mind. I have come to understand that the fact that this person has this experience is different from the experience of another person. When I’m present, that means I’m willing to support them in different ways, it might be coming to therapy with them, it might be cooking for them, it might be helping them clean their rooms, it might be going shopping or preparing a meal, just going on a drive to help them feel better.
What can I do today to help and support myself or someone living with a mental health condition? It’s start by just breathing in and out. . .
To celebrate World Mental Health Day, this article was transcribed and abridged from a video by Oluyomi Olusunle.
Yomi Olusunle is a mental health advocate, writer & brand strategist.
You can find her on Instagram @theyommie_