Struggling with mental health has really put a wedge in my progress as a singer and vocal coach. It held me back from achieving goals that I desired to reach for and accomplish.
I’ve been struggling with mental health for a looooongggg tiiimeeee. I’m more concerned about recent years, the past 3 years to be exact. I really just didn’t feel good, majority of the time. How can someone be confident and radiant externally, with all the hurt, confusion, and turmoil going on inside? I couldn’t show up for myself or my business like I wanted to. I wanted to be in a band and writing great music, surrounded by friends and a community to be a part of. It was hard to accept that I just couldn’t feel well enough to be “there” for all of that.
I shouldn’t really regret the time that I spent feeling so down. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe the setbacks I faced were for my own good. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me to receive all the blessings that I am receiving now. Maybe there were lessons that I needed to learn first. Maybe there was personal work that I was meant to do before I could help other people. For whatever reason I experienced mental health issues, I won’t be holding back my experiences in shame. I want to voice my struggles so that people who are sharing my experiences may feel less alone, and see that being vulnerable about it is allowed, and valuable, and appreciated!
“Don’t SHOULD All Over Yourself”
I heard someone say that in the online coaching world, and it resonates so deeply with me. I have an annoying tendency to beat myself up. I have perfectionist tendencies. As I was experiencing a chronic lack of motivation, lack of self-worth, isolating myself, feeling low energy, unable to sleep well, unable to enjoy things, and the list goes on, I had feelings of GUILT because of the things I wasn’t able to accomplish while feeling so ill.
Guilt. Of all things, guilt.
“Why can’t I work harder? Am I lazy?”
“I should be doing ‘XYZ’ things…”
“I’m supposed to love voice. I’m the vocal coach, I should be practicing and setting an example for my clients. Why is it so hard to force myself to do the thing I love?”
“I should be more like ‘them’.”
Sometimes we can’t help the things we go through. Sometimes we have no control over the traumas we experience. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That’s why talking about mental health is so important these days. To be held, or hold yourself, to the same standard as a mentally healthy individual is unfair. It’s like an unfair advantage. “Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree” right? If you’re struggling, just know that doing your very best is enough. Sometimes when you’re doing your best it doesn’t even seem like much gets accomplished. But that’s just going to have to be enough, because you can’t be pushing yourself so hard when you literally can. not. do. the. things.
When something doesn’t feel right, when you feel like you’re carrying a boulder up hill and the struggle feels like it’s too much, cut yourself some slack. It’s the least you could do for yourself. Allow yourself the space to grow through it, to heal yourself and manage your pain. Slow down, take your time. Forcing yourself to be productive when you simply can not, and then proceeding to be ashamed of yourself for not measuring up to society’s or your own expectations, is a form of self-sabotage. Don’t set yourself up for failure if you’re gonna kick yourself when you’re down. (I should take my own advice, lol. Oh, self-sabotage. One day I’ll be rid of you. I hope.)
Some things that have really helped me with my mental health are:
Community & Support - Surround yourself with people who have your back and allow you the space to be yourself. Emotionally intelligent people.
Sleep - Rest is important for emotional health and processing your daily experiences.
Diet - You are what you eat. Food is fuel. Eat cleaner, feel better. Gut health, etc.
Exercise - Move your body every day.
Journaling - Put your thoughts on paper and out of your head.
Personal Development - Books, Podcasts, YouTube Videos.
Investing in a mentor/biz coach - Getting to reach my goals sooner.
All we have is right now. Forget about all the time you’ve “wasted”. Don’t dwell on it, wasting more time. Just focus forward and aim for where you are heading. Slowly but surely your efforts will add up over time, and you’ll find yourself advancing in life like you dreamed it to be!
I love you all, wishing you wellness, happiness and fulfillment.