May is mental health awareness month.

I’ve noticed a lot of moms lately going through postpartum depression. And my heart goes out to them. No matter how old their baby is… a few months or a few years. Be easy on yourself. Raising kids is hardwork. You’re not alone in this. Some moms make it look easy, but I guarantee you aren’t seeing all the tears or bad days they’ve had.

Postpartum Depression is a dark cloud of despair that drags you down and you don’t see any way to part the clouds and see the light. But I promise, it gets better. You can defeat that beast, but you’ll need some allies to help you. Find some trusted friends or family that can help you as you work through it. It’s freaking hard to go through all on your own (but it is possible, I promise that too). Also there is no shame in talking to your doctor to get help, there are all kinds of solutions out there for it… it’s just finding which option works the best for you.

Mothering is not easy.

Go easy and you don’t have to meet any unrealistic expectations at all. If you put on clean clothes for the day and everyone was fed, you accomplished a lot. Seriously, that day is a win. And it’s okay to have days where everything goes wrong, you haven’t showered in a week, you’re eating Taco Bell a 3rd day in a row and the laundry probably needs to be rinsed again since you forgot to put it in the dryer a few days ago. You know who has those kind of days… real moms. Those are the kind of moms I can be friends with.

My friends share the funniest stories about stupid things their kids have done, and I laugh because mine have done the same dumb things. I’ve had my kids flood the kitchen on purpose so they could play in the “pool”. For real. It’s not easy. Go reward yourself for putting up with all of it. I reward myself by dyeing over all the white hairs they’ve given me over the years, thank you kids. BTW, Loreal Preference covers white and gray hairs really well, just saying.

Adulting is freaking hard even without kids.

Be gentle with yourself. Even if you don’t have kids, ignore all those noisy people asking about your personal life and go be you. Do what you need to take care of yourself. Go make some friends that have your same interests. Go on a solo trip. (I’m thinking of taking my own solo trip soon). Or go make some cookies.

If you’re still in school, be easy on yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in tests, exams, final projects and burn the candle all the way down on both ends. It’s sooo easy. And teachers aren’t always reminding you to take care of yourself. Don’t forget to stop and take care of yourself. School is a blip in the grand scheme of things, you can get through this. I had to remind my kids that all this testing they are doing doesn’t matter in the long run. (They’re high achievers). I love them no matter what their scores are and I just want them to be happy and healthy, not stressed out and sick. Mental health should be a priority.

Take care of yourself.

Go buy a book you want to read for fun, pick up a new hobby, go to the movies or a concert with a friend. Do something to reward yourself and celebrate tiny victories. So what if it’s your 3rd time trying to pass that stupid final, you’ve been studying your butt off to get there. Go celebrate that you will pass it some day.

I know I have some dudes reading this, but this next paragraph is for my ladies out there.

You are amazing, and it’s hard being a woman today. Yes, ladies have more rights than ever. They’re breaking glass ceilings and shirking the conventional expectations. But juggling it all is also taking a toll. Know your personal limits. If you need to take a mental health day (or week), do it. Women are the mothers of future generations. Make sure you are taking as much care of yourself as you are for everyone else.

Don’t forget how much you matter and how much value you add to your communities. There are things that you do that no one else can! Don’t ever minimize your contribution to society.

You matter.

It’s okay to have bad days, everyone has them.

There are an end to bad days, you just have to take them one day at a time. If they’re really bad, just take them an hour at a time. You will go on and make a difference. Don’t forget that the rainbows come after the rain.

Now, for all my guys out there.

You take care of yourself too. I know a lot of guys feel like everything falls on their shoulders and society has taught them they have a certain role to provide and protect for others. I know it takes a toll. Don’t bundle up all those feelings. Find a friend you can talk to, yep, talking helps. You would be surprised how many other guys are going through the same self-doubts you are going through. The same feelings of inadequacy and being stressed. I know most guys aren’t big talkers when it comes to feelings, but we need to change that. It’s normal to have feelings and even more normal to share them. You’re not weak for having emotions, you’re human. Being in touch with your emotions and being able to communicate them makes you sensitive. And the world needs more sensitive people. Heck, the world needs more sensitive guys.

Now to close this post, here’s my final thoughts…

If you or a friend are struggling with depression and need help or someone to talk to 24/7, here’s a free and confidential option.

I’ve recognized the signs and helped several of my peeps come back from suicidal thoughts and go on to live their lives. Taking care of our mental health is important.

It gets better, I promise.

If you can get through the next 5 minutes, you can get through this.

Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed about how you are feeling. A lot of people have had the same feelings you are having, you’re not alone. And if no one else has said this to you yet, you matter and we need you in this world. The world is a better place with you in it. Just hold on. Get through the next 5 minutes.

Find a friend or family member you can talk to about your feelings, and if you feel too scared, then call this number and just talk to them. There are people that can help, you don’t have to go through this alone. And there is no shame seeking help. If you’re wondering what to expect when you reach out for help, read this and it will help you find answers.

You are brave to seek help.

I believe in you. You can get through this, I know you can. You’re stronger than you think you are.

We can all help to prevent suicide, by learning the signs and helping to reduce the stigma of asking for help. Please learn the signs so that you can help people in your community. Sometimes, they just want to feel heard and you can be that person that listens and helps them. Be there for them, make that connection. You can #BeThe1To listen and connect. Learn how to help.

#BeThe1To Help

That’s all for now my loves. Know that I am thinking of you and always reading the pulse of the community. Our next post is about the trends I’ve been watching this month and some fun ways for you to follow them or join them. I truly hope you have a lovely day! Go prioritize your mental health!

xoxo, Rachel

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