On Saturday, I went to a women’s health fair where the focus was on physical and mental health. There was a plethora of great advice on how often to keep active (150 minutes a week), the importance of an accountability partner, fitness activities such as Zumba, walking or kickboxing and the health benefits of incorporating more plant-based and unprocessed food into your diet. I loved that it was from the perspectives of a nurse, Destinee King and a holisitic wellness coach, Yvette Leverette. What better way to bring traditional and alternative methods together?
What was particularly impactful for me was Tyrell Clayton and Jamia Mills’ (Heart to Heart Mental Health Services– www.heart2heartva.com) presentation about the importance of taking care of your mental health. I especially loved how they stressed treatment measures by asking us if we had cancer, would we wait to get help? Would we put it off, hoping it would go away? Then why do we do dare do that with depression and anxiety disorders? These conditions have the potential to spiral into something else entirely that could threaten not only the quality of our life but our very life. They also outlined the 8 dimensions of wellness and spoke about how mental health is the origin of everything (positive and negative). I was moved that I was hearing about treatment being a fully integrative approach from a clinical social worker, a young Black man open to talking about his experiences on his mental health journey. Jamia’s perspective and story was valuable, too as women are 40% more likely to develop depression.
After leaving the fair, I had many thoughts come up (some influenced by the event and others were a reflection of what’s going on with me) and I want to share them here:
Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
Keep going to the events (sometimes you can’t make it but you know what I mean).
Keep educating yourself.
Keep supporting others’ events.
Keep buying others’ books and products.
Keep exercising–even if it’s marching in place or dancing around the living room like a maniac.
Keep trusting that you will find your place.
Keep confiding in trustworthy people.
Keep working at your relationship, marriage, friendships..even if you have to put your pride aside to ask something as simple as…”What happened?”
Keep taking classes.
Keep getting help whenever you need it and keep giving whenever you can.
Keep your ears open even if you have to close your mouth.
Keep shouting..there’s a place for silence and there is a place for a VOICE.
Be open to whatever this world has for you….it will let you down, lift you up and teach you over and over again until you become the lesson.