Mental Health Monday

Oh hello, Monday... The long weekend was glorious, but it put me in serious "this is Christmas vacation" mode. Jonah Bell (our dog) was even groaning this morning as I got ready for work because she knew it meant she'd be alone all day. The rough life of a dog... 

Thanksgiving morning I headed out in all black for a peaceful run along the river with myself and a little NPR.

On my way to the river is this adorable little farmers market that I have yet to be able to visit. It's only open 10am to 6pm, summer through fall. Someday, I'll make it happen. I just love the look of the building. 

 The river and a little sun has a way of making everything right in the world.

There were several groups of people walking and running early that morning. I have opted not to race the past few years to save a little $$, but I do miss the festivity of a Thanksgiving morning turkey trot. 

I got home with 7 miles under my belt and ready for a Thanksgiving feast!

After I stretched and showered, we headed off to the Oregon coast to see my family. My cousin Brendel's boys are adorable and so well behaved at ages 2 and 3.

National Health Blog Post Month  

I'm participating in WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month this November. To read more of my posts, click here.

Mental Health

This was a topic from last week that I didn't get a chance to touch on. Overall, I'm always amazed how much our mental health impacts our physical health. It's so easy in our society to deny that we're over stressed or that said stress could have other effects on our lives.

Often times, if I'm overly stressed, I'll feel a cold coming on within a few days. In addition to maintaining healthy habits (pumping Vitamin C, drinking water, sleeping well), I also try to find ways to naturally destress by way of yoga or walks.

Ideally, I'd never get to this place where I'm sick because of stress, but only because I happen to catch a cold from someone else. As I see stress increasing, I have to be proactive in finding ways to chill out mentally and physically.

And what if you're dealing with something that you alone can't solve? 

In college, I went to a therapist at the University's counseling center for a year or so and it was extremely helpful. From day one, she was my ally and didn't judge me for my thoughts or feelings. She was simply there to listen and provide suggestions as to how to deal with/overcome things.

From that experience, I walked away thinking that everyone should see a therapist, no matter how small or large the things they're dealing with are. My counselor allowed me to feel more confident about myself and my beliefs and fully explore thoughts and issues I was dealing with. Who couldn't benefit from that kind of support?

The manfriend and I are also going to a little pre-marital counseling (which I'll talk about a bit more soon) so that we're best prepared for our journey together. While it's not typical "therapy," it has been a great way to discuss topics or feelings we might not normally dive into. 

What are your thoughts on mental health, staying mentally healthy, etc?


Elizabeth said…
YES! I adamantly agree that therapy/counseling is incredibly beneficial. I too went thru about 6 sessions as an undergrad during that identity transition---and I still hold on to some of the gems that he shared with me. As I'm continuing to process the divorce and move forward, I'm incredibly thankful for the counselor I've connected with--someone nonjudgmental and an outsider to say "yes, you're on the right path" or "consider this notion based on the research." Definitely helpful. That Tday run looks amazing! I don't know how some of you can routinely knock out so many miles day after day! :)
Amber said…
Yoga has helped me A LOT with mental health, as has breathing. I also visited a counselor a few times last year and she gave me some wonderful coping advice for different things in my life causing me stress.
Tasha Malcolm said…
I need to move to Eugene. In all of your pictures it always looks like you have the perfect weather. :-)
naomi said…
I love seeing my therapist because I get a non-biased perspective on my life from someone who is completely removed from the situation. It's helped me grow tremendously as a person. I think the world would be a happier place if more people saw a therapist. Really enjoyed the post (I'm a new reader).
That 7-mile route looks gorgeous! Great way to start the day of feasting.

Love your honesty & openness here. Stress is usually the only thing I get sick from, and it always takes me by surprise (though it shouldn't at all). I agree that everyone would benefit from "therapy" of whatever form - an unbiased third party who can support you & just listen to things you might not think to address otherwise!
I think it's great that you and manfriend are going to pre-marital sessions. It will only make you stronger, I am sure!

I think mental health is extremely important. If it's missing in your life, everything suffers. I know this because I struggled on and off with depression through a good chunk of my 20s. It's tough because it seems like there is still a stigma attached to admitting you have depression or some other mental health illness, but it should be viewed the same as something like hypertension or diabetes IMO. But I think we have come far in the last 5-10 years. I was on medication for awhile and also saw a therapist, both of which helped me big time!

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