Creating a health mental space is square one of having happy and progressive relationships in all parts of life. This includes relationships with your parents, siblings, partners, friends and business acquaintances. It is an area that is so critical and core to manifesting, attaining and maintaining love in our lives but we often neglect it. Why? Because we often neglect ourselves! There is some much going on around us that is very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and not realize the toll the daily environment is taking on our mental health.
This is an area of person struggle for myself and one that I know many others suffer from as well so today I wanted to share some of my mechanisms I have found that have helped keep me on track.
1. Daily Devotionals
Not everyone is religious and you really don’t have to be to find benefit in daily devotionals. I use Joyce Meyer’s ‘Starting Your Day Right’ daily devotionals which is a Christian based book but the lessons brought forward each day can still be applicable and used separate from the biblical message. This book is short and sweet with a one pager for each day of the year. My personal preference is to keep it on my bedside table and before I even leave the bed in the morning I set my alarm for maybe 10 minutes earlier each day and take the time to read that days lesson and reflect on it peacefully before getting caught up in the whirlwind of getting my tail out the door to battle traffic and rush to work. There is also an app available in the Apple store as well as Google Play I believe who those that prefer the convenience of keeping it all digital.
I am absolutely obsessed with affirmations. My house is beginning to look like Gabrielle Union’s character in Being Mary Jane. I have sticky notes in important reminder areas such as my computer monitor and home and work, my bedroom, and bathroom. In fact in my bathroom I have taken it one step further and written my go-to affirmations right on the bathroom mirror in dry erase pen so I’m forced to acknowledge them every single day. To help keep on track during the day when a pick-me-up is required I also downloaded an affirmations app to my phone so I can quickly tap it if I need to get centered. It is a randomized app but somehow the message always seems to just fit! Search the Apple or Google store for one that fits your needs. My fave is “Affirmations” from the Apple store (and it’s free!)
When I need something a bit more focused and intentional I re-read ‘I Declare” by Joel Osteen. It is 31 daily affirmations/declarations over your life. Again they sometimes come along with a tie-in to religion but in this book especially I have found that the practical application to real life is super easy and relatable, whether or not you are a church goer.
3. Read, Feed your Brain
I have always been a bookworm from very young and as an adult I have found that always having a book, course or guide that contributes to self-improvement or is inspirational in your reading rotation also keeps your mental/spiritual growth in the right direction. I’m currently reading The Mastery of Love which I am using to help me step outside of my own personal relationship and give myself perspective and guidance. Choose a book or topic that fits your current life circumstances or delves into an area you know you have a blind spot or need development in.
I don’t need to go into a long explanation about the benefits of writing in a journal as I’m sure we’ve all heard it before. But I do highly recommend this. Whether you want to just have a little notepad app in your laptop, on your phone or do it old school style and physically write, the act of physically discharging that energy through writing and expressing those emotions and words is such a relief. Sometimes you can’t talk to your spouse or partner or parent. Maybe they are the problem, maybe you are still trying to sort your thoughts – word dump into that journal! A great healthy way to discharge that energy and avoid bringing drama into your life until you determine the right way to raise the issue.
5. Inspirational Audio
Finally, the last thing I do almost daily, especially starting off my day, is I listen to various sermons or inspirational speakers/life coaches as get ready for or drive to work. Currently, I stay on Joel Osteen’s channel, but I’m sure there are others to explore. I used to think that twangy little character was a fraud…but somehow I find his sermons very often hit home. I listen to him as he is the only one with a station but also recommend searching for a few good TD Jakes, Iyanlya, or other motivational folks videos and podcasts on YouTube and either stream while you get ready in the morning or if your data plan supports it, while you commute to work.
It is so very important to get your mental space off to the best place it can be as you start your day because inevitably life’s BS is going to try to challenge you as the day progresses and if you’ve filled your emotional tank you will be that much more resilient to it. We often neglect our mental health, especially as people of color, whether it be out of shame, lack of time, or simply feeling selfish for focusing on YOU when there are other priorities calling your attention away. Our mental and spiritual health needs to be constantly nurtured to be able to support the people around us, attract the people we want, and keep the people we have.
I hope those quick resources can be of help to you and I’d love to hear what some of your methods are. Post a comment below :)