Us moms have so many weights that we carry. Much of those weights that don’t necessarily belong to us but were given to us to bear. We are trying to heal all the wounds, sweep all the floors, calm all the storms around us. We pile on more and more until we collapse under the pile of “obligations”. Teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown every other Wednesday. We chuck all this up as a part of “life” while life is being sucked right out along the way. We must find a better way for us to cope and process.
Did you know, research shows that women are more likely to have a mental health disorder? As a woman who has had her fair share of mental strain, I am not surprised by this data.
Mental health is an issue typically explored in extremes. It can carry a stigma and often be a topic left untouched to avoid what follows the revelation of mental instability. However, leaving this area unexposed and uncared for can leave us with bloody gapping wounds we’ve put band-aids on hoping it will heal itself. Phycological break down has a wide range of severity. Many of us assume that our daily stresses and anxieties are just a part of life, without giving much thought to how these daily weights affect our total health. Countless illnesses have been linked to stress (i.e., anxiety disorders, depression, obesity, asthma, diabetes, and many more) and yet we still sweep stress under the preverbal rug so that we can keep pushing through life without missing a beat. We’ve mistakenly deemed these heavy burdens “normal”. Normal? If this is our new normal, then we are in trouble and headed for a mental emergency inevitably.
Our mental wellness plays a key role in our overall effectiveness in life. A mind that is overworked and unsteady is eventually going to show in our physical performance. So, what can we do to combat this seemingly ever looming issue?
The first step in any successful strategy is to take inventory and assess. Take some time to pray and ask yourself so hard honest questions about where you are mentally. Are you having bouts of depression, violent thoughts, anxiety? Are you often in mental chaos? Do you feel mentally out of control? Once you have a good grip on where you are, don’t be afraid to do some research on the topic. Read up on symptoms, side effects and other helpful information regarding mental health. Ask family members if they have dealt with any psychological issues. And finally, reach out to get the help and support you need. “With counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22. Find a friend, a pastor, a professional, who can be a safe place for you to talk, process some things that may be harming you, and encourage you along the way.
Take the steps to wholly care for yourself. Your mental health means your total health.
J.E. Berry is a speaker and the author of The Truth About Happiness: Exchanging the falsehood of happiness for Christ’s lasting joy. She is a wife and mother of five children. J.E. has a heart for outreach and seeing people come to know freedom through a relationship with Christ Jesus, specifically women who have yet to see their God given destiny because of lingering bondage. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ. Such as people pleasing, unhappiness, un-forgiveness and much more, to try and lend a hand in unveiling the culprits so that we can move forward in victory. She carries this same passion into each area of ministry she is active in.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that focuses on seeing no single mom walk alone. The organization serves more than 50,000 single mothers annually from around the United States and more than 2,000 in Greater Baton Rouge through their support group network, outreach event, educational classes, online communities, and more. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.