How has the pandemic affected you mentally? What things did you learn about yourself during the course of this pandemic that you didn’t know before?
The pandemic definitely set me way back in my progress. I was doing very well and didn’t have anxiety attacks as often as I used to. When our state was shutdown, I had back to back panic attacks for a week straight. I couldn’t sleep, eat, or leave my house. I was constantly nauseous, shaky, and sweaty. There was no relief. During those first few months, I experienced depression for the very first time. My symptoms continued for a couple of months and during that time I found a therapist. Through counseling, I learned what triggers my anxiety and new skills to cope with change. I learned that meditation is essential for me to keep my mind in a healthy place. Change is always going to happen whether good or bad and I must be able to change and transition as well.
Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important?
If we cannot prioritize our mental health, we cannot give 100% to any other area in our life. We cannot thrive, love, give or be fully present when our mental health is in shambles.
How would you normalize the stigma around mental health?
I believe in community and conversation. If more people know that they’re not alone and can truly feel that they have a place of support, then they can have hope in getting through their struggles with mental health. I also believe that things like therapy need to be presented in a more positive light. I waited for 4 years to see a therapist because my family looked down upon the idea of therapy.
What do you think is the main cause of mental health?
I think there’s a lot of reasons we struggle with mental health. Our environment, technology, family unit, diet, and household products all contribute in some way to our mental health. All of those areas have changed with each generation and in a way have gotten worse as time has passed. We’re fighting wars everyday that each of these elements create.
Do you think religion plays a role in recovery?
I believe God is essential to recovery. Every time I’ve tried to heal or help my mental health in my own strength I fail. I’ve experienced the biggest difference when I’ve included God in my journey of healing. He created everything we see including our bodies. He knows best how to heal it.
How does Be Well help the Mental Health community as a whole?
Be Well shares resources for everyone, but I saw a great need amongst young women especially in Christian circles. I think these women are sometimes brought up in an environment where they’re degraded for having anxiety or depression. Just because a woman struggles with her mental health doesn’t mean she lacks faith in God or lacks a relationship with Him. In fact I think the women that struggle sometimes have the best relationship with God because they’re in need of daily communication with Him. The goal of Be Well is to let those women know that there is nothing wrong with them and that they’re not alone.
I see that you’re the founder of Be Well. Could you tell us a little about the initiative and what your long-term goals for it are?
I didn’t have a place or person of support when I first started struggling with anxiety. I had lots of friends, family, and church but I still lacked the information and community I so desperately needed. Be Well was started in hopes to create that community and share information. Our goals include bringing team members on for care of our followers and reaching women all over the country (maybe the world) through social media and in person gatherings.
What does mental health mean to YOU?
I think mental health encompasses our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state. It defines how we handle change, stress, loss and life in general. I believe everyone wants the bare minimum of being well in their mental health.
What else would you like Revive to know about you?
I still struggle with my mental health and have not “ARRIVED” by any means. I can’t even believe Be Well exists because I’ve never had the confidence to share anything that I thought could help someone. I hope this inspires someone more women to share their stories.