How to Handle Mental Illness and Be the Best You

For 8 years now, I have faced an up and down battle with my depression. The high school me had no idea what was happening to me nor did I see what the years ahead held.

I went from relationship to relationship and friendship to friendship trying to find that “happiness” everyone talked about. But I was looking in the wrong place and dealt with more heartbreak.

Depression was not always easy for me to face and deal with. But since then, I made a promise to myself to find the best ways to handle it in a healthier way.

“I refuse to let my depression control Motherhood for me.”

What is Mental Illness?

We all know the definition. It is a term used to classify conditions that directly affect a person’s mood, behavior, and thinking. These are all areas which these disorders affect.

Now knowing that, I can explain what it really is like. It may look real simple for a person on the outside to say, “Push through the pain! You’re strong,” or “You’re making those feelings up. You really don’t hate yourself or your life.”

People on the outside don’t understand that this is not something that we can push out of our lives. It is not something that we can turn off with a switch and turn it on when we want to.

These disorders affect our brain. The very organ in our body that does a million and one things every second of every day. It controls our thinking, movement, speaking, coordination, senses and even tells us when to breathe! It controls every part of our body.

Now imagine having a part of that brain not function right. It throws the whole balance is off completely.

Whichever disorder you or someone you know has, the way their brain functions is not like someone without a mental illness. One or multiple parts of the brain, depending on the disorder, does not function the way a healthy brain would.

While it is widely known that the chemicals in the brain cause these disorders, there is more to it than just that. Stress, life events, medications, and/or other health problems can magnify these disorders too.

For me, I had a traumatic event that circled around abuse in a relationship. This event and that relationship magnified my depression which led to a trickle effect of other problems. Before this though, I had been struggling with self-confidence, self-doubt, and feeling happy in my own skin. It became the icing on the cake you could say.

How Depression has Affected Me as a Mom

Since becoming a mother, an aspiration I had for much of my childhood and teenage years, I realized it is harder than I had expected.

After having my son, I tried so hard to be the “perfect mom” for him. I wanted to do everything right and do everything that I had planned to do.

This attitude soon led me down a road that made it hard for me to find happiness in my life. I felt like I was constantly focused on giving my son everything I had and then leaving myself with nothing. I kept “failing” in my own eyes and started to dislike myself even more every day that had passed.

This led to affecting my life outside of being a mom. Friendships, family relationships, my marriage, and work relationships were all impacted in some way.

When I found out I was pregnant with the girls, I knew I needed to change and find a way to manage this better.

Best Method to Manage Mental Illness To Be the Best You Can Be

*Now in no way am I a certified professional and can diagnose a condition. But I have lived through dealing with depression and have learned healthy ways to manage it better through using this method.

When you realize that you are struggling with a mental disorder, don’t hesitate to get the help that you need. Even if you are a new mom and you have been feeling off, tell your doctor and they can help direct you to the right people.

While therapy and/or medications isn’t for everyone, there are other alternatives to MANAGE it better. It won’t make it go away1 but it will allow you to focus on motherhood more.

  1. Organize your day (schedules, routines,planning events/outings).
  2. Only DO what you can handle that day (3-5 tasks/goals should be what you aim to accomplish)
  3. Check in with yourself throughout the day (Be aware of your limits/write them down)
  4. Build a Support System
  5. Read, Journal, Vent

This method has helped ME so much this last year. It took some time for me to get used to following this but it really works!

Being a mom of 3, I am constantly needed for something. I am always going and giving. Allowing myself to control an aspect in my chaotic life, keeps me grounded on my worst days.

Whether you are a Mom, Dad, college student, or an adult dreaming of a great life, this method could really help you through. Obviously this doesn’t drive away the disorder but it gives you some sort of power over your mind.

Take it one day at a time!

*Now in no way am I a certified professional and can diagnose a condition. But I have lived through dealing with depression and have learned healthy ways to manage it better through using this method.

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  • Chloe Daniels

    Only doing what you can in a day– like picking 1-2 things you absolutely want to achieve has been so helpful in helping me manage my depression and anxiety. It is SO helpful in realizing you can do something even when your brain tells you you can’t ❤ You got this lady. Great post!

  • Leighann

    When I am feeling overwhelmed I find that picking one big task to complete a day really helps me not get anxious with everything else I didn’t do. I feel productive even if I didn’t finish everything on my todo list. Great information 😊

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