October 10, 2020

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Hey friends!

It’s World Mental Health Day, so here’s a friendly reminder to take care of yourself. This year has been full of curveballs and drastic adjustments, but we’re all in this together which is comforting to keep in mind. 💛

I would like to take the time to discuss what my personal opinions are, regarding the whole mental health discussion. When I discovered that today was mental health day, I thought what better time to do so!

Taking a psychology class in college and witnessing my friends and family find practical solutions for their mental health situations have only heightened my appreciation for prioritizing our personal well-being. Still, I am weary of how our culture is beginning to romanticize caring for our individual health. Like repeatedly urging us to place ourselves first, using popular and somewhat vague hashtags like #selflove and #loveyourself. 

The other day, I saw a shocking Instagram post that said it’s actually okay to “let others down.” One example they offered of letting someone down was saying no to a friend’s invitation to a social event in order to prioritize alone time and self-reflection. I wondered to myself, is that really letting someone down? Not at all. What would be letting a friend down is initially saying yes to their invitation only to cancel on them the day of (which is something people do far too often, n'est pas?).

In other words, where is the line drawn between serving self and serving others? All the poorly phrased mental health prompts and recommendations that we see on social media could potentially be toxic advice for us to follow. 

What also worries me is the glorification of our emotions, as if it’s perfectly acceptable to allow our feelings to rule over us. 

As a Christian, I am aware of how our mainstream culture discourages the mixing of religious faith and secular therapy. But, I personally think that grounding ourselves in the truth while implementing practical forms of therapy to help alleviate our emotional burdens naturally compliment one another. I know that without my faith in Jesus Christ, my mental health situation would undoubtedly be a MESS. Because my emotions tend to betray me and drain the life out of me whenever I neglect to meditate on God’s healing love and remember that His truth is unchanging and His promises over me are faithful. 

When we allow Christ to rule over our emotions, He gives us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us through our mental struggles. I think that’s a beautiful, reassuring thing. So yes, we should feel our emotions and value them for what they are. But we should also surrender them to God. 

We also ought to treat others just as well as we treat ourselves. Whatever self-care we come up with, we should also implement in the ways that we care for others. That is sincere and godly love. Not the kind of fickle, self-centered love that the world believes in, but the kind that is everlasting, glorifying to God, and healing for us.

Those are all my thoughts on mental health! Thanks for taking the time to read and consider my perspective. I pray that you all are are finding ways to thrive in the midst of these challenging times and that you have people in your lives that you can encourage and be encouraged by. Remember, we’re all in this together! 🤗

Warmly, Madison Taylor


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