Tomorrow is the first day of Mental Illness Awareness Week.
For a lot of us this means our newsfeeds will be filled with all things mental health. Posts about removing the stigma, posts reminding us we’re not alone…
And obviously this is very helpful. I’m sure we can all agree that it would be nice for our culture to be more aware of mental illness in all it’s forms and to know how to help when necessary. And it’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones who experience the things we experience.
But I also know that this week of talking about our mental health can start to feel a little too heavy for some of us. Sometimes we need to take a break from focusing so much on the things we struggle with. I know because that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling for a few months now.
So I decided my contribution to this week of Mental Health discussion would be a little different. I’d like to give you a week of Daily Smiles so you can start your day off right.
Before reading all those posts about mental illness, start with something positive and go into the rest of your day with your heart feeling good.
This is where my head’s been at:
(If you’re short on time, go ahead and skip to the “Welcome to Your Daily Smile” section to find out what you can expect and how to sign up)
I’ve been going in and out of a depression for months, barely keeping my head above water. I surfaced just long enough to put out an article about my depression one week, then within days I was back under again, feeling like I was drowning inside. I stopped writing. I couldn’t even look at my blog without feeling like a total failure. It was just one more thing I wanted to give up on. It felt like yet another thing I thought I could be good at only to find that I was wrong once again.
I’ve never kept up with anything in my life, never felt like I was good at anything… I don’t feel like I have accomplished much at all. My biggest accomplishment was losing 25 pounds when I didn’t think I could. Losing that weight was the first thing in my life I could look at with pride and say “I did that”. That accomplishment was the thing that gave me enough confidence to start my blog in the first place. It was the only reason I thought that maybe I could do this.
So I’ve been spending a few too many weeks trying to avoid even thinking about the blog, and focusing soley on finding some way, any way, to feel better. As I often do when I’m depressed, I’ve devoured hours and hours of standup comedy and podcasts hosted by my favorite comedians. This has been partly an effort to distract myself from how low I’ve felt and partly a way of searching for usable advice from the people I consider my idols.
Comedians tend to have a knack for looking at life in a truthful way while having a sense of humor about it. They’re especially good at looking at the darker parts of life with honesty and humor. This is something I admire about them, and something I try to incorporate into my life and my struggle with mental health.
If I’ve learned anything from using comedy as a remedy for depression, it’s that starting your day with a smile or a good laugh is a hell of a lot better than starting it by scrolling through your social media feed. Seeing photo after photo of people happily playing with their friends in the sunshine is great and all, but when you haven’t left your house for a week and it’s raining for the fourth day in a row…that’s probably not what you want to see. So I started forcing myself to begin each day by finding something that would put a smile on my face.
This is what led me to Your Daily Smile. I wanted to contribute to Mental Illness Awareness Week, but I couldn’t stand the thought of writing about how crappy I was feeling for the hundredth time or researching some random mental health related subject just so I could put out an article. It felt like focusing so much on my mental illness was sort of perpetuating it and sending me further into my depression.
After a lot of frustration and nearly giving up a few times on my writing altogether, I realized the best thing I could contribute was a break from all the mental illness talk. Even if it was a small break, I think a lot of people could really use it. If I was feeling this way, maybe some of my readers were too.
So… if you think you’d benefit from a tiny break in the discussion for some positivity, I’d like to invite you to start your mornings smiling with me. Let’s begin each day of this week with a smile on our face.
I’m sick of feeling sad. Maybe you are too. I need a reason to feel good. I want to wake up and laugh my ass off in the morning, or feel my heart swell because of some beautiful story I read while I ate my breakfast. I want to start the day right, and I want you to start your day right too.
Welcome to Your Daily Smile:
For all of Mental Illness Awareness Week, I’ll share something each morning that will give you a reason to smile, which will hopefully set a positive tone for the rest of your day. These daily posts will not be my typical novel sized articles (you’re welcome).
They’ll literally just be a post sharing something I found that made me smile that I think will make you smile too. For the most part that’s all it’ll be, but I may write a bit here and there if I feel inspired to do so.
I know it’s not the norm for a blog, but hey, sometimes you can only do what you’re able to do and right now this is what I have in my heart to share. It’s what I need, and I’m willing to bet that you could use it too. I will be writing my normal articles again soon. I just need to get my head right first, and I think this is just the thing that will help me do that.
You can either come back here on your own each day to get Your Daily Smile or you can sign up below to receive a daily email with a link to that day’s post. Totally up to you.
Just be aware that today’s the only day you can sign up!
Of course I’ll be including info on where I found each day’s Smile post so you can share it with others from the source or you can share it from this blog and people will still be able to find the original source.
I hope this helps you as much as I think it will help me.
Lots of Love <3 and Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On
By the way…
I’m thinking about creating a 365 day email subscription for Your Daily Smile, so if you have anything you think I should share as a Daily Smile, I would love to check it out. Post it in the comments below, shoot me an email or contact me on social media.