4 Things That I Learned about Relationships and Mental Illness

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Relationships can be hard and they take loads of work.  They can be even harder when one of the people involved in the relationship has a mental health disorder.  


I have been involved in several relationships, many of them were before I knew that I had anxiety and bipolar disorder.  When I look back on those times, I can see that my symptoms were clearly showing themselves. Of course, I can across as negative, unhappy and out of control (to say the least).  

Learning about my illness and symptoms have really shed light on how my mental health disorder affects me and relationships with other people.  Having this information is key to making relationships work as well as maintaining my mental health.


While relationships and mental health are a topic that I can go on for days about.  I have learned so many things, but here are 4 important things that I learned about being in a relationship and managing your mental health disorders:


1.Take care of your mental health and learn about your symptoms and triggers so that you can educate yourself and your partner.  Education is so very important when dealing with mental health disorders. Once you have the information you can make a plan of action.  

2.Communicate your thoughts and feelings so that both parties are on the same page.
  When you are honest and open about your thoughts and feelings you can determine when your symptoms are appearing and how they can be dealt with.

3.Know that you are not your illness and you are in control.  This will eliminate some of the negative thoughts and feelings that you have about yourself.


4.Have a support system outside of your partner.  Having a strong support system is so very important when managing a mental illness.  Having support channels outside of your partner could alleviate some of the stresses that may come along with your partner being your only source of support.  


These are just a few things that I have learned about relationships and mental illness.  Do you have any tips for maintaining your mental health and relationship? I would love to hear from you. Let me know your tips!





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Rumination!  It's Exhausting

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How naive was I to think that anxiety just caused me to worry constantly.  

I really did think, )years before my recovery journey) that anxiety only caused constant worry.  Not regular worry like forgetting something off of your grocery list, but major worry. Many times about things that were highly unlikely to happen.  I would worry about romantic relationship problems, when I was not even in a relationship. Or another example would be to worry about a conflict that had not happened.  I thought about what the conversation would sound like with the other person, and then on top of all of that, I would be upset by the outcome of the imaginary conflict. I just came up with scenario after scenario and over and over I would worry so much about things that were not even a problem.  


Now, I do have quite an imagination, but these thoughts were always unpleasant and I ended up upsetting myself after having these thoughts.  There was a time when the harder I thought the more upset I would get and I would display physical symptoms because of this. I would feel nauseous, have headaches and things like that.  It was pretty out of control. Little did I know that for all of those years I was ruminating. According to Psychology Today ruminating is “simply repetitively going over a thought or problem without completion. The repetition and feelings of inadequacy raises anxiety and anxiety interferes with solving the problem.”  In other words, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ruminating is exhausting.  

I was caught in a loop of stress and anxiety and would focus on the negative, instead of the positive.  I say it all of the time and I am going to say it again. Maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle change.  One of the major lifestyle changes is mindset which is so important. When we change our thoughts, we train our brains to look for the positive as well as seek out solutions.  


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Boundaries, Everybody Needs Them

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I am always looking for tips, tricks, and suggestions on how I can live a more mindful and intentional life.

For me, being mindful and intentional about my actions have helped me greatly as I have been on my mental health recovery journey.  As I have mentioned so many times before, maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle. Taking medication and going to see a therapist is just a piece of the puzzle.  Adopting positive habits, healthy eating, and exercise are all things that I have incorporated into my routine to achieve stability.


I have learned over the last year and a half that protecting my peace of mind and my energy are crucial to achieving stability.  

What does that mean to protect your peace of mind? Well I would imagine that each person will have a different answer to this question.  For me, protecting my peace of mind means setting boundaries for myself and others. I was for years, a person that did not set any boundaries.  This allowed people who would come into my life to treat me in ways that I did not like or approve of. Here is the thing, we all are entitled to be happy and live the lives that we desire.  When we do not set boundaries, we allow others to treat us in ways that may make us feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. We are in control and we do have a say in what happens to us.

I finally came to the conclusion that I should not be shamed by anyone  because I live with anxiety and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder and anxiety are illness, chronic ones. I must demand that I am treated with respect and dignity. My illness does not define me, but what I can define are boundaries.  I can determine how I am treated.


https://pages.convertkit.com/b4f4efbe7e/94d48bee47

My Top Mental Health Care Tips

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I have been on this mental health journey for over a year and a half.  

I have for the last year and a half been consistently taking care of my mental health and mental illness.  As I have said many times before, maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle. Once I realized that this was a lifestyle, that is when things started to look up for me.  This illness is a part of my life and maintaining it is a part of my lifestyle.


I have learned so much about myself and my illness on this journey.  

I am still, learning new things everyday and I enjoy the discoveries that I make.  I want to share my top five mental health care tips that I have compiled over the last year and a half.  This is not everything that I have learned but I think this is a good list to use when navigating through the oh so tough journey to mental health recovery.


My Top five (5) Mental Health Care Tips:


  1. Maintaining a Mental Illness is a Lifestyle - I have said it about a thousand times but this is so true.  Maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle change. There are changes that have to be made in order to maintain good mental health.  Realizing this is a step in the right direction.

  2. Find A Good Mental Health Care Team - Do you have a hairstylist, or barber that you trust your tresses with?  Are you so committed to him or her that you wouldn’t let another lay hands on your hair?  That is how I feel about having a good mental health care team. Your brain an important organ and having a team that specializes in caring for your brain is a must.

  3. Eliminate Negative Influences in Your Life - This may seem like a no-brainer but I have to say it.  All negative influences and relationships should be considered and evaluated.  Mental Illness can be alot to deal with. The emotional changes that occur can take a toll.  Having factors that are not conducive to maintaining a healthy mental lifestyle will make your journey much tougher.

  4. Get Some Rest - Again this one may sound like it is obvious, but we can take our bodies for granted.  Getting the proper amount of rest essential. That not only means going to bed at night for the recommended 8 hours of sleep, this also means to listen to our bodies when we feel tired or exhausted.  

  5. Do Things that Make You Happy - Do you have hobbies that you enjoy?  Have you thought about it? If you have not, it is time to make a list of the things that you do.  Do them, as often as possible.


I could go on for days talking about all of the lessons that I have learned but I am going to stop here.  There is more where that came from. But, if I could offer one piece of advice to go along with this list it would be this: Mental Health Recovery is Possible.


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https://pages.convertkit.com/b4f4efbe7e/94d48bee47

Self-Love Brings Mental Clarity

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Last year seemed like the year of self- care and self-love.  

Everywhere I turned I saw “self-love”, “self-care” and “self-awareness”.  It is safe to say that 2018 was the year of “self”. Last year, I was heavily engulfed in my mental health recovery journey.  I must say that 2018 was a year of intense learning and self discovery for me. It was one of the best years in terms of my own personal growth and development that I had ever experienced.  2018 was a good year for me. Along my journey I made some major changes that were conducive to maintaining mental health stability.


Maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle change.  

At least in my opinion and experience. I had to change my diet, and incorporate some form of exercise into my routine.  This was in addition routine therapy appointments and visits to my psychiatrist for medication management. My therapy in the beginning of this journey was very intense.  I was seeing my therapist every week until I got a handle on myself and my situation. Besides focusing on the CBT skills that were going to help me deal with my bipolar disorder and depression, I also found that I began rekindling the relationship with myself.  


Rekindling the relationship with myself was an awakening for me.  

I started appreciating the qualities that I had ignored for so long.  After almost a year, I had discovered the wonderful person that I was. I was sad that I had neglected myself for so long and but happy that I was making the relationship with myself right.  This was the true path to self-love.


I can honestly say that when I began focusing on myself, and caring for myself, I started to fall in love with myself.  Self-love brought about mental clarity to me.


I have created a new 7 day challenge called “Loving Yourself to Mental Clarity”.  

This is a free challenge. I created this for people who are looking to strengthen their relationship with themselves as well as gain mental clarity.  Mental health disorders can leave you with low self-esteem and a diminished sense of self-worth. The challenge was designed to quiet noise of all of the outside influences in order to find the answers to your life’s questions on the inside.


If you are ready to love yourself to mental clarity, please click HERE.


You will not be sorry!  



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