I did a bad thing. I read the comments and everyone knows you NEVER read the comments! ? A few days ago one of my quotes made it onto Wordporn and I read the comments. The quote was “Don’t use rest or self-care as a reward for being productive. If you need a break, you need a break, it’s not something you should make yourself earn at the expense of your mental health.”
There were some less than lovely comments:
“This mentality is what’s wrong with people today.”
“Don’t cater to your mental illness.”
“Stop using mental health as an excuse for laziness.”
One comment was:
“When did mental illness become fashionable?”
But here’s the thing – we all have mental health even if we don’t have a mental illness. And while I am so passionate about providing tools for anxiety and depression, I also know that it’s not everyone’s experience.
I don’t think I realized until that moment that some people just don’t know what mental health means. We understand physical health – we have to eat to nourish our bodies, we have to sleep, we have to drink water, and have some sort of movement, wash our bodies, and breathe. Those are things we go to take care of our physical self. And most of the time we aren’t sick when we do those things, we do them to *prevent* getting sick or wearing our bodies down.
But when it comes to our mental health we see those same basic needs as a luxury or as self-pity. Stress can have a huge impact on your physical health and yet it’s still hard for us to make it a priority.
Yet we don’t do that for our mental health. We can go days without doing that thing we know will make us feel better because internally we have been taught to reject it because so often the things we do look like laziness. Because we’re giving our brains the rest they desperately need.