Disclaimer: All of our warriors willingly shared their stories without being coerced neither did the editor include her views in the shared story segment of this blog post.
Anxiety, fear, tearful moments, etc., are almost inevitable when living with a chronic illness. It is crucial to prioritize your mental health to live above the chaos.
Doing this might seem uncomfortable, especially if you are used to bottling up the stress that life daily presents. You might feel selfish even, but when you aren’t mentally capable, how can you be kind to anyone else?
Prioritizing your mental health is the most generous thing you can do for others and yourself. When you improve your mental health, you can be everything you want to be for others and more.
I have six (6) simple ways for you to prioritize your mental health right now, but I want you to read how Kadine prioritized her mental health and how that helped her overcome clinical depression.
Kadine’s Mental Health Story
Kadine Cooper, or as her clients call her, Coach K., is a Career Transition Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker.
For over 16 years, Kadine has been helping companies, and great talents find and build mutually rewarding relationships.
As a Career Transition Coach, she has empowered women to build and leverage their brand and unique value propositions to land their next leadership or senior role and create the professional and financial freedom they deserve.
Kadine is passionate about helping women stuck on the corporate ladder build a career brand that will set them toward a more purpose-driven, dream career and life. Her superpower is coaching executives who experience the stress and impact of walking the tightrope between being a high achiever in the workplace and being the best at home for their families.
- 6 Ways To Prioritize Your Mental Health – Calm Blog
- Sorry Not Sorry: My Mental Well-Being Is a Priority – The Mighty
- It’s okay to not be okay: 5 Tips for prioritizing your mental health
- How to Prioritize Your Mental Health – Real Simple
- 6 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health | by Doctor On Demand
1. What is your mission or passion, and how is it connected to your journey? Use this question to explain your journey and how it connects to what drives you to spread awareness, what you are passionate about, or your mission.
My mission is to live a fulfilled life of freedom and abundance, to be resourceful while making an impact and empowering other women with and without mental health issues to do the same. To take back their power, take control of their life, be their own advocate, and BE the CEO of their life, career, and business.
I know what it feels like to be clinically depressed and sleepwalk in your life and career as you try to maintain being a high achiever in the workplace because that was me for 13 years after having my second son. Mental health is not something you discussed growing up in a West Indian household, and sharing your personal business is not something you talk about with others.
I am passionate about seeing women generally thrive in their careers, not just survive. I am passionate about women knowing and owning their worth, advocating and standing up for their values, and moving forward in a trajectory that supports how they choose to live their lives.
I want all women to know what is possible for their careers and provide them with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to move on a path to success.
2. What challenges did you face in your journey, and how did you overcome them?
Sleep deprivation, stress, frustration, feelings of being a failure or not good enough, self-doubt, and feeling that I would never be healed from this debilitating illness.
I overcame it by changing my thoughts about my illness. I adapted some daily habits and rituals, such as spending more time in prayer and meditation, asking others to pray for me, journaling, speaking and writing positive affirmations, reading personal development books, and attending workshops on personal development.
But the biggest thing I did was I stopped hiding and wearing a mask and let my true thoughts and feelings show. I became my true, powerful, unapologetic, fierce self, and I want other women to do the same.
3. What is the most important thing(s) you have learned from your journey and the mission/passion it led you to?
The most important thing I learned is not to wear a mask, to radically accept all my flaws. I also learned to embrace them, learn from them, and move on.
I learned not to keep it a secret because my story and journey could be for the benefit of others and might be able to save someone’s life.
4. What do you recommend to others facing the same challenges now?
Ask for help; we are neither superhumans nor untouchable nor immune to illnesses.
Get the help and treatment you need from a medical or psychological professional.
5. How do you use your platform to bring awareness or support your mission/passion to help others?
I use my platforms to share my story and the story of others. I share tips and strategies that have or are helping me regularly.
6. Please provide links to your platforms that you would like others to access your information, i.e., Instagram, Facebook, or website.
My social media handles are:
Ways to prioritize your mental health
There is no perfect or defined way to prioritize your mental health, and it’s a personal journey where you filter out what’s best for you. But I hope these simple ways shed light on how you can better improve your mental health.
1. Engage in talking therapy
Nothing beats pouring out your heart to a great listener. For person A, your great listener could be your spouse, while for person B, it could be Jesus. It could even be your therapist. Do you see why I said different strokes for different folks? But whoever it is, never think you should bottle up your anger and frustrations.
2. Set apart time for meditation
No matter how busy your day gets, spending 30 minutes for a moment of reflection is a great way to be in control of your mental health. Analyze your day, including your feelings and emotions.
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO STAY FOCUSED WHILE MEDITATING, CHECK OUT THE CALM APP
3. Practice journaling
In the process of engaging in point 2, journal your thoughts and feelings. Write what went well and what didn’t. With this knowledge, you can take incredible inventory and use the results to improve tomorrow.
4. Boldly stand by your decisions
“Your no is your no.” Let no one intimidate you into changing your decision. If you can’t be at a friend’s birthday party because your body feels weak, never let that friend guilt-trip you into changing your mind. You deserve that rest.
5. Listen to your body
Our body gives the best signals, trust me! Learn to listen to those signals.
6. Have fun often
You are more than your chronic illness. Do you remember that outing that made you smile so hard you could pee your pants? Repeat it. Always have fun!
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
Dear warrior, there is no pride in hiding your dark moments nor an award for the most stoic person! Yes, you have a chronic illness, and it’s not always rosy, but when you cultivate healthy habits, as Kadine shared, your optimal mental well-being creates a healthy atmosphere for your healing.
In case you’ve forgotten, here are the habits Kadine recommends that you can benefit from practicing:
- Ask others to pray for you
- Journal your journey
- Speak up, and
- Confess positive affirmations.
I will end it here, but my heart is always with you! Stay strong!
How do you prioritize your mental health?
Please share with the Essential Journey Spotlights community in the comment section below.
Editor’s note: Your story is vital in our journey to educate and shed light on the successful lives that people with chronic illnesses lead. To share your story with the world, click here.
READ Lisa’s STORY HERE: Mindful Eating and Veganism: An Inspiring Journey to Living Healthy