By: Jimmie Sykes
The year is 2017 and its time we stop downplaying the seriousness of mental health. Everyone deserves a chance to possess a healthy mental. We must be aware of the things we are feeding to our mind and our bodies. Mental health is everything, and without a healthy mental we aren't able to function as properly as we should. I'm not a doctor or healthcare professional by any means, I'm just pushing awareness for people to seek help.
Food and Mental Health
We've all heard the saying "You are what you eat", but how many of us take that into context?
Healthy food is important in sustaining a healthy mental. Coming from where I'm from healthy food isn't easily accessible. It’s a double whammy for me speaking that I’m a college student from a lower to lower-middle clsss neighborhood as well.
Fast food restaurants on literally almost and sub par grocery stores grants us little to no nutritional value to feed ourselves for our mind to flourish. Access to healthier choices for our mind and body is a start. We have to monitor what we put into our bodies.
Most of the food I see in the stores around my house isn't even real in the first place. I've never seen a Whole Foods around either.
Mental health and Media: Watch what you're feeding your brain.
Graphic content in the media trains viewers to be subconsciously desensitized to whats going on around us. Whether it's intentional or not. Time after time when I turn on the news I see black men reported gunned down like dogs.
Whether its to his own kind or the police, its all just crazy. So crazy to the point where I don't even turn on the news anymore. I can’t even work in the news field due to this reason alone.
It's kind of hard shaking the feeling of paranoia leaving my house knowing it's a chance I can die in the streets today. Whether to the hands of my own kind or through an altercation with law enforcement.
It's not good to feel funny when I come in contact with them but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel funny when I do. That's just the life we're living.
Violence in the media is just all too accessible to society. We shouldn't be able to watch a person's last breath on the internet. As a whole, we must be more aware of the things that can mess with our subconscious.
WATCH WHAT YOU ARE FEEDING YOUR BRAIN.
When in doubt, talk it out, or write it out then talk it out. That works too.
Communication is key when you're going through some things. Not having someone to turn to when times get rough can take a toll on your mental. The feeling of feeling alone is not a good one and Its never okay to hold problems in.
I know venting to someone is easier said than done but its good to let it out. Even if you have to write for the time being, do just that.
If you know someone that is going through some issues try your best to be there for them if you can. If you need somebody to talk to (I'm always open to listen to them as well), confide your trust in a good friend that you feel comfortable with.
Even when it comes to getting professional help, it's hard to open up to them. One time when I went to the counseling office to get some help with the things I was going through, I found it hard to get personal.
I just felt as if some of the things that I shared with the counselor didn't get the best resolution due to the fact that we come from different walks of life. While the professional help situation can be iffy (at least for me it was), it's different strokes for different folks. Whatever route you have to take to ensure that you're trying to improve your mental health, go for it.
Now, lets talk about God and seeking help for our mental
When it comes to God and our mental health, we must seek other options than JUST praying to God when we are facing hard times. This is one of the reason why mental health awareness isn't getting through in our community.
Sometimes I feel as if this is all a set up where all we have in the black community is churches on every other corner to turn to when we are going through something. We can't make this our only solution. When our mental needs healing we need to go about the proper process to make sure we can improve mental health in our communities.
Tough times that you're facing can call for a physical presence rather than a spiritual. Tough to say but as religious and spiritual as a person may be, you still my care for your physical and mental.
This topic isn't made to offend but these are issues that needs to be addressed. No man is before God but if man can be there for me when I'm facing tough times then I'm going to need that.
Everybody needs a shoulder to lean on, and when you throw just God onto somebody that needs help in the mental, truth be told you're sending them to solitude. When you're going through some things, the last thing you should want to be is alone.
Personally, I don't know what depression feels like and my heart goes out to anybody going through it. I have days where I don't feel like being bothered but being left alone was not beneficial to me. That's what being aware of your mental health situation is all about though. Knowing what you're going through and how can you change your situation. One of my favorite quotes I turn to when it gets hard for me is:
From the older generation, we need an understanding
Coming from a young adult like myself, the younger generation goes through an awful lot. A lot of us don't know where to turn when it comes to opening up. We are real reluctant to turn to our parents at times because we feel as if they wouldn't have our backs during certain situations. The "I've been young before" line just isn't relatable enough. We need you to understand where we're coming from in 2017, not 1979. Times have changed, and to my older audience with kids, learn to understand them.
Last year I seen some strides in mental health and as a whole we must keep pushing and thriving for our health. Make this your priority and know that #MentalHealthMatters!
Peace & love to all.