The Importance Of Mental Health Awareness Day For Moms

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The Importance Of Mental Health Awareness Day For Moms

Every single day as a mother should be Mental Health Awareness Day in my book. Motherhood is a hard job with constantly evolving metrics of success, your direct reports constantly changing mood swings, needs, and effort levels, multiple offsite events per day and week, and other duties as assigned. These are just your responsibilities as a “supervisor.”

I haven’t even touched upon personal responsibilities for yourself as a human being with a body occupying the universe, the home you live in, a partner if you have one, other family and friends, and oh ya, that paying career for those of us who also work “outside the home.”

 

The pressure on one’s mental health is unrelenting.

I was fortunate to grow up in a household with two parents who were progressive enough in the early 90’s to understand that importance of mental health. They talked about it and took care of their own in their own ways. My father usually listened to music, indulged his passion for high-fidelity audio equipment, went on bike rides and hikes. My mother also loved being outside, gardening, home improvement projects, and watching escapism shows like Star Trek and Deep Space Nine.

When I hit puberty, it was clear they would also need to take care of my mental health and teach me how to nurture it. I suffered from social anxiety as a young adult and bouts of depression. This became most apparent on a family vacation to my favorite city, London, when I had a panic attack in the Denver International Airport. I remember I was mortified, sad, and scared that my parents and brother would be upset with me as it caused us to miss our outgoing flight.

Alternatively, they took care of me and arranged for a later flight. We were able to go on the trip and I will always remember how wonderful it was. I also remember coming home and my parents getting me professional help to deal with my mental health issues. And talking about them with me often.

Talking about mental health awareness often is key, I believe at any age, for us all to navigate this rollercoaster called life. It’s so easy to get into a feedback loop in your own head that can then alter your reality or perception of reality, hurt relationships, cause physical pain including panic attacks, and worse.

In the past decade I believe as a society we have gotten better about talking about mental health and being okay with not being okay.

 

My current favorite show is Ted Lasso for reasons including it being set London. I love how the show has all these complex characters, with successes, shortcomings, and secrets that make them far more relatable. The fact that Ted is this positive, uplifting, public-facing football coach that is dealing with his own relationship issues, depression, and anxiety in the not-so-background, at least by Season 2, is endearing.

 

Moms: Secure Your Mental Health Oxygen Mask First

I hope that as mothers navigating raising children in a very complex society, that we can all remember to take care of our mental health and secure our oxygen masks first, as flight attendants instruct in the event that cabin pressure drops.

The “cabin pressure” plummets at different points during the day in my world so for me, securing my oxygen mask first may include any combination of the following list.

 

Here are some ideas for self care which you can practice every day, not just on Mental Health Awareness Day:

 

  • Taking my medicine, vitamins, and supplements regularly without interruption
  • Spending time outside
  • Listening to music
  • Going to the pool
  • Taking photos of nature
  • Exercising
  • Reading a book 
  • Scrolling social media
  • Reading the news
  • Watching MY shows or movies 
  • Comfort food
  • Naps and more naps
  • Writing
  • Shopping
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Home decorating or improvement projects
  • Taking care of my skin and hair
  • Salt baths
  • Cleaning the house (ideally while listening to music or a podcast)
  • Doing nothing but sitting or laying and visualizing people, places, and things that make me happy

 

Mental Health Awareness Day is October 10th every year. But every day in the life of a mom should be mental health awareness day. Please tell us in the comments, what have you done today to practice self care and tend to your own mental health?

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A Colorado native living in Southern California for more than 20 years, Charla is a trained print journalist (Bachelor of Arts, Literary Journalism from UCI) with an MBA in Marketing. Her passion for communications, creativity and community guides her professional and personal life activities. Currently, she is Communications Specialist for Cox Communications. She is responsible for external communications and public relations in Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara. As a volunteer, Charla is first Black President of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Orange County chapter where she has served on the board of directors for five years and Director of Communications for the UCI Black Alumni Chapter, which is also a board of directors position. In her downtime she likes to dance, practice pilates, walk and listen to music outside, do home improvement projects, read mainly nonfiction books, and hang out with her family and friends. She considers herself a pro power napper as well. Charla resides in Irvine with her husband Robert, stepson Robbie, and daughter Harper.

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