5 Amazing Reasons to Attend A Support Group

Ever since being diagnosed, I have done a lot of research on things that would help me manage my mental health.  Support groups are a great way to manage your mental health in a positive way.  I have attended many support groups and I love all that support groups stand for.  Below are 5 great reasons to attend a support group.

  1. Shared Experiences – When you attend a support group, you meet up with people who share similar experiences and circumstances as you.  This allows you to feel comfortable. 
  2. Open and honest communication – You can engage in honest communication about your experiences with people who are familiar with what you are going through without the judgement you may face from those who are not in similar circumstances.
  3. Sense of community – You feel like you are a part of an exclusive club when you a part of group of peers who share a similar experience.
  4. Comparison of resources – Being in a support group is a great way to share tips, resources, and advice on your illness and treatment.
  5. Developing and understanding of your situation - When you surround yourself with people who share similar expeiences as you, you are able to look at your situation in a way that you may not have done so in the past.  This gives you a new outlook on your circumstances, and this may be for the better.  


If you are dealing with a mental health issue and are looking for a healthy way to deal with it.  Consider a support group.  It may be just what you need.  


5 Intangible acts of self-love











What is self-love?  It is defined by dictionary.com as a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.  While this is a great definition of what self-love is, what does it really mean to engage in acts of self-love?  Self-love and self-care have become very popular topics as of late and people are becoming very involved in investing time and energy in their own happiness and well-being.  This got me to thinking.  There are many tangible things that you can give to yourself that would fall under the self-love and self-care categories, but what about the intangibles?  The intangibles are just as important when you are trying to keep your mental health in order.  As I have been on my journey to maintain optimal mental wellness, I have compiled a list of 




5 intangible acts of self-love to incorporate into your life.  I have incorporated these things into my own routine and I have noticed a great shift.

1.Forgiveness for my past mistakes, and for those who have wronged me.
2. Non-judgement of my actions and thoughts.
3. Quiet time to just be.  This allows me time with my thoughts and for my spirit to talk to me.
4. Patience with myself and others, and recognizing that things take time.
5.Celebration of even the smallest wins. 

It is important for me to mention that I while I exercise these qualities on the regular basis, they require work and do not come easily.  I find myself in some situations where it comes easier to exercise and a little bit more challenging in others.  Life has gotten better because of my new practices.  I am very grateful that I found a new way of handling myself with love and care.  I am also excited to see what these new-found actions have in store for me.



The role of gratitude during the recovery journey



As a child, I’d always heard adults and wise older people say to “Be thankful for what you have”.  When I was younger, I never really paid much attention to the jewels that the older people would drop on me.  I never took the time to actually think about what those words really meant.  As I got older, I was engulfed in a haze of anxiety and I was caught up in the symptoms that my bipolar disorder was inflicting on my life.  I was never in a mental state to do any heavy thinking.  Or in a place to really ponder the wisdom that the world offered.  I was trying to stay above water and maintain myself from the happenings of everyday life. 

When I made the conscience decision that I wanted to get serious about my recovery and become stable, I began incorporating several mindful, and wellness practices into my routine. As I began on my journey, I did a lot of reading in the self-help genre.  This helped me so much with the way I viewed myself, and the way that other treated me, and how I treated myself.  Many of the books, and articles that I consumed all shared a common thread.  Throughout many of the readings that I had come across, a large percentage of them all spoke on the power of gratitude.  This was not a new concept to me.  Surely, I knew what gratitude was, but I had not been a person that included giving thanks in my daily routine.  I thought about it and decided that I was going to do something new.  The way that I had been doing things for the last 10 + years had not really been working for me and it was time to do something new. 

When I started giving thanks for all that I had on a daily basis, things started to change for me.  It was almost like everything was coming together.  Not in a shallow, materialistic way but in a personal, happy kind of way.  I was beginning to feel better about myself.  This was something that I had not felt in so many years.  Here were just a few benefits that I noticed as a result of incorporating gratitude into my daily routine:

  •          Increased sense of awareness
  •          More compassion, for myself and others
  •          More kindness
  •          Better relationships
  •         Better self-image  
  •         Increased clarity
  •         Sense of calm



While there are several other benefits of incorporating gratitude into your routine, these are the benefits that I have personally noticed.  Practicing gratitude is a great thing and will only enhance your situation.  So, go ahead and give gratitude a try, you will not be disappointed. 

5 Possible Solutions to Combat Overthinking


What is overthinking?  Well, simply put it means to think about something too much.  I can tell you that I have spent so much time and energy thinking and overthinking about topics that would have taken other people 5 minutes to decide on.  There was one point in my life not so long ago when I had to consult 4-5 people in my inner circle to get their opinion on a situation, discuss the problem, rehash what was going on, get their feedback and then decide.  Only to maybe rethink the problem a little more before making a final decision.  I went through that for years.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful and quite honestly, it gave me a headache. 
I exhausted myself, and I am pretty sure that I exhausted my friends and family with the fact that I could never make a solid decision on my own.  I need a consultation on everything from what style I should wear my hair to more serious decisions like should I go back to school.
Since I have been in recovery, I have had the opportunity to explore several subjects and ideas with my therapist as well as self-reflect.  The root of my overthinking was attached to the fact that I was unsure and not confident.  I also did not trust myself and my instincts.  Therefore, I kept overthinking every single decision that I was faced with.  Since I have taken the time to do some excellent work in therapy and taken the time to self-reflect, I have complied a list of 5 possible solutions to combat overthinking.

1. Redirecting – When you find yourself involved in a pattern of overthinking to the point where it is becoming stressful or too much too handle return your thoughts to the present moment.  What are you currently involved in that you can focus on? 

2. Meditation – When your mind becomes to cluttered and overwhelmed with thoughts, meditation is always a good idea.  This is a great way to clear the noise from you mind and rid yourself of all the overwhelm.

3. Pros & Cons – If you find yourself faced with a decision that you need to make, and it is the reason for all the overthinking, making a list of pros and cons may be a way to help you come to a quicker decision.

4. Talking to a Friend – Do you have a trusted friend or family member that you can go to with your dilemma? Talking to someone who can give you an objective opinion is a great way to get to the bottom of your situation and alleviate your stress. 

5. Strengthening Your Intuition – This is one that takes some work but is well worth it.  When you take the time to be still with yourself, you begin to develop your inner GPS. 

I have had the opportunity to utilize all the above solutions to combat overthinking.  They all worked well for me, but as I am becoming more in tune with myself, I gravitate more towards meditation and trusting my own intuition.  All the above methods are great as overthinking can lead to unnecessary stress and worry.  Any remedy that will rid me of stress and worry are fine with me. 

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-alone-black-and-white-dark-551588/

Publication Alert!!!!! Publication Alert!!!!!


I am a magazine junkie!  I love physical magazines, and I even love online magazines.  What I love most about magazines is the creativity that it takes to put one together.  Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work for a children’s magazine and I also freelanced for some women’s magazines.  My fascination for magazines run deep.  I am always on the lookout for the next best thing.  For me that is something that is creative as well as informative.  These days, my passion is mental health and demystifying the stigma surrounding mental illness.   When I found Blueprint, I knew I had struck gold.  This is an online and print publication that covers all topics related to mental health.  It was started by students from Cambridge University.  The website contains great articles and stories as well as creative works and beautiful pieces of art.  They tackle subjects such as drug addiction and sexual assault.  This was a breath of fresh air to see such a beautifully produced zine that focuses on a topic that is so near and dear to my heart.  It is worth a visit to the website for a fresh perspective on the issues that face those dealing with mental illness.