For the past year, I have been on a mental health journey to heal, deal with grief, trauma, and anxiety, practice self love, find my self worth, and find peace within myself. On this journey I have found that there are some important must haves in order to make progress towards this goal. In this episode I discuss these twelve Mental Health Must Haves you need while taking care of your self.
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I knew that if I was going to speak on this, I had to speak on my own experiences and what was going on with me mentally. And in doing so, I feel like I have stepped into my true light. Welcome to the bright side of life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host, Melissa Bright. And this week, I am doing something different. I am actually going to be doing a solo episode all by myself, which I have not done since episode seven or eight, where I basically tell my story of my life. So this one is a little a little bit different. But I'm really excited for it because I had an epiphany recently. And I kind of wanted to be able to give my listeners I've been going on this mental health journey. I feel like for the last year, definitely for the last year when I started therapy. And there's some things that I've learned along the way, tools, all these things. And I have basically named them the Mel's mental health must haves. And this is something that I feel this list and I'm going to be giving you guys is something that I feel is definitely important when you kind of decide that you're going to go on this mental health journey, because I do feel like it is a decision that has to be made. So that's kind of what we're going to be doing today. I hope you guys stick around, I have about 12 things that I want to list. But I'm sure once I start going through this list, there's probably probably going to be a couple more, but I'm really excited about it. I hope you guys get some value out of it. And while also going through my list, I'm going to kind of say how I basically have applied them in the last year to my life and my own mental health journey and why they have been have been beneficial to myself. But very quickly, I also want to thank my listeners for coming along with me on this journey. This is now Episode 39. I've been doing this for almost a year now. And it would not have been possible without all of you guys. So I just want to say again, that I appreciate your support very, very much. If you guys want to show other ways to support the podcast, you can head on over to the website, you guys can do donations. I also love when you guys do reviews, because that just helps other people learn about the show and see how it can also benefit them because that is what I'm here for. So let's just go ahead and dive right into today's show. And let's just get into the first one. So like I said, I kind of started my mental health journey back in the beginning or in the middle of 2020. And if you have listened to any of my previous episodes, or if you listen to my story, part one and part two, I think are episode eight and nine. I lost my mom at the age of 25, which will be 11 years this year. And when I lost her I basically went 10 years with what I feel like was living in denial of her actually being gone. Didn't really deal with the grieving process didn't go through the grieving process. I honestly feel like I was stuck in the denial phase for a long time. Not that I thought my mom was still alive, but just a lot of stuff that I had not just dug up and kind of just went through that process which caused a lot of pain and turmoil inside myself. A lot of people know on social media that I lived with really bad anxiety pretty much right after my mom passed away until up until very, very recently, I was dealing with really bad anxiety. So with that being said last year, everything kind of came to a head I was watching a movie with my daughter fried green tomatoes, which is a movie that I watched with my mom when I was a little girl all the way up until she passed away. And I had not watched that movie for quite some time for the very fact that I knew that it would probably be very emotional for me. My daughter asked me if I would watch it with her last year. I said yes, I thought I was good to go. And finds turns out I was not good to go. I was a sobbing mess. My daughter went to bed and just all this stuff kind of like came came to a head And my boyfriend came in the room. And you know, I was I had to text him because I was just so scared to tell him that I needed some kind of help, you know, the pandemic was not helping my depression then on top of this, me missing my mom and wanting to talk to her. So that was a night that my boyfriend said, we need to get you into some type of therapy. So that was July. So about a year now here we are in July of 2021. So I started my therapy sessions with better help, which is who I've been doing my therapy with for the past year. And so with my therapy sessions, with my podcast, I have came up with these, this list of things that I feel are the most important whenever you want to go on this mental health journey. And I keep saying when you want to go on it, I definitely feel that this is something that you have a choice that you consciously have to make. Because up until last year, I knew certain things about myself. And now I have learned so many more things about myself. So a couple things that I knew about myself prior to 2020, I knew that I didn't have a lot of patience. Um, it's something that my mom and my dad both didn't have a lot of a little bit of anger issues, but nothing that I thought was like too crazy. Just certain things that I knew that I have picked up from my parents behaviors, but going through therapy and all kinds of other stuff, I have now realized so many other things. So I don't repeat myself, again, I am going to give you guys my list. And some of the some of the first things I will say are I would say number one and number two, and then the other things I would say I've kind of just included in them. And my first thing that I would say is mental must have is you must have awareness of your mental health, you must have awareness that something is off with you, you must have awareness that something is missing from your life, or just some kind of awareness that you want to become better you want to heal, you want to get rid of your anxiety, you want to get rid of your depression, you want to get rid of your anger, whatever it is the mental health journey that you feel that can bring you happiness can bring you peace. And I'm not saying that these things are all 100% across the board. Okay, these are the things that have worked for me. But the number one thing I know, that had to happen was I had to finally become aware that there was some kind of issue going on inside myself. Yes, I knew I had anxiety. Yes, I knew that happened a lot because of my mom. But I had to keep going further and further and further and ask more questions. So the very first thing is you must have awareness of your mental health. How good is your mental health? Are you taking care of your mental health? Are you letting things suck energy out of you? Are you a very, very dramatic person? Are you always in some type of drama, just having the mental awareness of it is a very first thing. Because prior to 2020, I don't think I had a lot of hope, a whole lot of mental awareness about my mental health. And then 2020 happened and it was like holy crap, I'm depressed. This is why so on and so forth. The second part of that, I would say the number two thing that would be most important is a willingness to want to get better, a willingness to want to heal, a willingness to want to get rid of anxiety, a willingness to become happier, a willingness to have peace, whatever it is that you want, that you don't have right now you have to have some kind of willingness. What I did not have for myself prior to last year was I lacked a lot of self love, I lacked a lot of self worth, I lacked confidence. I was crippled with anxiety constantly. A lot of things were going on. And I had to be willing to want to make a change. And with that also becomes Okay, well now I'm willing but what what is it that I have to do? What are these things that I'm I'm willing to do. And those things are a whole nother laundry list that I will kind of get into a little bit later. But just the willingness to want to change and that I feel like this is number one and two in my own opinion because first of all, you have to be aware that maybe there is some kind of issue going on. Mine has been a big hole big picture of wanting to get better with wanting to deal with my mom's loss. So dealing With grieving the grieving process, wanting to get rid of my anxiety, wanting to heal, wanting to not be angry anymore, wanting to deal with trauma, wanting to be at peace with myself wanting to be proud of myself, all these things, okay, so I have to be willing to put into work in the work to to want to change. And sometimes it might not be the laundry list that I have. But unfortunately, this is the laundry list that I have. So one and two, First, you must become aware of it. And then two, you have to be willing to want to change it and do the work. So then the third part comes in. And this isn't, like I said, this is kind of where this is just the number of things, but not necessarily an order. What I have found so beneficial to me, is the education behind the way that I operate, why I operate the way I do, all the way back to my family. The way my family was how I was brought up learning about anxiety, learning about my perfectionism, reading self help books, listening to podcasts around mental health, educating myself just to understand myself more, understand people around me more understand relationships that I'm in every day, whether that's with my daughter, with my boyfriend, with other family members, understanding those. So education is something that I it's something that I preach so much, because without education, you can't really become aware of all of these things. I did not even know that I was a perfectionist until I talked to a therapist. And she asked me, Do you think that you might be a perfectionist? And of course, my answer was no. And then I remember when I used to work out. Back in like 2014, I was doing a workout program. And it was an all or nothing deal for me. If I fell off the wagon, even slightly, I would just think I was the worst person in the world. I was terrible. I shouldn't be doing this program. I'm not worth doing this program, I'm not worth taking care of my body, so on and so forth. So it was a very all or nothing mentality. And that's why perfectionist seem to do that they set their standards super, super high. And so once I realized that I was like, okay, so I became aware that I was a perfectionist, I became aware of some of the reasons why I became a perfectionist, which was because of the way that I was raised, always being told how to do things and that they needed to be done better, or this wasn't right, so on and so forth. So education would be my third list on the mental must or mental health must have is you must have education, and you must learn about these things. No matter what it is understanding anxiety, for me, anxiety, I understood that I had it. I understood, I guess kind of what it was, I understood the root of it. But I didn't really understand that anxiety was a fight or flight response that my body was physically doing when I thought that my body was in some kind of danger, it would have this physical reaction to it. So then, what I knew my anxiety was is I felt that I would get scared. Okay, when I say scared, think of it. So me and my boyfriend and my daughter would be out camping. And the next day I would wake up. And it's a Saturday, it's a beautiful morning, we're cooking and I have just crippling anxiety, I have anxiety because I'm scared that any moment that this great moment that I'm having with my family could be ripped away from me like my mom was. So that's how I was scared. So then my body would just ruin that moment the whole time. But then when my therapist kind of told me like, this is what your body is doing, you have to kind of have this conversation with yourself, Melissa, am I truly in danger right now? Or is there something going on inside my head that is trying to trick me or tell me otherwise. And once I knew that I was having a fight or flight response, I was able to control my anxiety much better. And I knew Okay, I'm just having I'm just having breakfast with my family. Nothing is going to happen right now. I don't have that certainty. But at the same time, I just kind of have to be okay with that. So just giving another example of of anxiety or of education, around certain things, whatever it is that you're trying to understand or trying to fix about yourself or become aware of so on and so forth. The other one on my list is when you're going through this process of healing, or trying to start take care of your mental health or any of these things. Two of the biggest things that you have to have for yourself is grace and compassion, to things that I definitely did not have for myself prior to last year, I was extremely hard on myself. And through this healing process, through this therapy, through everything that I've been doing for the last year, there comes ups and downs with this healing process. And sometimes I'm doing really, really good. I'm using all the tools that I'm learning in therapy. And there's other days where it is like it has all went out the window, I have forgot all my tools, I don't know how to cope, I don't know how to manage, I don't know how to communicate, I don't know how to do any of this. And then I get pissed off at myself and mad at myself and feel like I went all the way back to step one, when that's simply not the case. But I have to tell myself, Melissa, this is going to be a continuous journey of healing, a continuous journey of educating yourself a continuous journey of becoming aware of your faults of your habits of your whatever it is fill in the blank, and you just have to have some grace around it. We can't simply snap our fingers one day, and we're just going to be cured, or healed, or better at everything, especially when these are traits, habits, characteristics, all these things that you have been doing for all of your life. And most of my stuff, I know now that I've been doing most of my life, such as not having patience, being kind of like short fused with people not understanding why they're they don't think the same way that I do, assuming that we are on the same page about things, all of this. So like I said, there's some days that I do really, really, really good with my grace and compassion. And I'm like, Melissa, you're doing fine, one step ahead, like just one step at a time girl. And that's the thing that I have to remind myself is that this is a journey, and it's not going to be perfect. And it's going to be messy, and there's going to be hiccups. But you just got to have the grace and compassion. So another one of my mental health must have definitely. And of course, we can't talk about all of this without talking about the most important which are having the actual tools to get better to go on this mental health journey to heal, recover whatever it is, tools, what are you talking about? What does that mean? I'm talking about things like therapy, that is a tool. journaling, that is another tool, audio journaling, running, exercising, talking things out with your friends, communicating all of these things, and there is a whole other list, there's all kinds of tools. And once you get them, and then another situation comes up that is similar to a past experience, you can pull out one of these tools, and use that instead of going back and reverting back to one of your old ways. So for me, one of my simple things, and I just talked about this on my social media is I sometimes can very easily feel misunderstood. And instead, like I just shut down and I kind of just start yelling because I feel like the other person can't hear me. My tools that I need to realize is I need to go back and I need to kind of ask myself a list of questions is like, Okay, what is this person's intention? What is what are they really trying to say? What are you really trying to say, so on and so forth. And just just kind of go back to the literally like a tool bag that you have. And if you can't get these thoughts out to whoever you're trying to communicate, sometimes you got to journal and something that I've started doing because it's so hard to try to find time to journal therapy, yoga, exercise, everything that that can that needs to be done. And so I'm like, okay, sometimes I got to pick and choose which ones are going to work for me right now because I just simply don't have time. But I really found that audio journaling, I pick up my iPhone, I go into the little like voice memo thing, and I just start talking into that. Whether it's just a brain dump, whether it's something that I just need to get out of my head to just not let it suck up any more energy. I go do that and I love it. And so instead of having to write five pages of literally three minutes of stuff that I could just do a voice memo on, I do it and I love it. And it's like my own little journal entry. So that's another tool. Some that I forgot to mention, obviously, meditating is one that is huge. So yeah, obviously, having the tools is huge, huge mental health must have. And then one that I am still very, very much working on is you must have patience, you must have patience, not only with other people, you must have patience with yourself. First, we'll talk about ourselves, this is going to go back to the grace and compassion that you should have for yourself, you also have to give yourself some patience, this is not going to be an overnight thing, this is going to be something that is going to be continuous work all the time, it is not going to change overnight. So you just have to be patient with yourself. And if you make a hiccup, just know that we aren't perfect. And try to correct it next time. That's all I can say. and patience is one of the hardest things for me to be okay with. Because of how I was raised, I did not, neither one of my parents had patience. So therefore, I don't give myself a lot of patience. And I usually don't give other people around me patience. This is more usually dealing with my loved ones. For instance, my boyfriend or my daughter, they probably see it the most where other people won't see it. But just practicing patience, and that is something literally practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, take a deep breath before you go to say something, take a deep breath before you want to yell, whatever it is that you can do, just start trying to practice as much pain patients as you can. And then this is one that I contemplated putting on here. But I feel that it's one that has been most important to me, and it's having a support system. I definitely have talked about this on social media, I haven't shed a whole lot of light on here, obviously, because I do you know, interview style. But my boyfriend and I have been together for five years now we have known each other for 18 years, if not longer. And I you know, we broke up, I feel like three years ago when things are really, really hard for us. And when we go back to look at those times, it was we were not communicating with each other, we were still learning about each other's behaviors, characteristics, so on and so forth. We were trying to learn how to communicate what we were trying to say but then having the other person understand it, this whole thing. But in having my boyfriend for five years now and him seeing me kind of transpire into this new person. He has also seen me have really bad habits of not having patience or becoming angry or getting really sensitive or filtering something in my brain that it was totally taken out of context and not I took it the wrong way. Without having him to kind of check me on these things to call me out on these things. I don't know if I would have became so self aware so quickly. I also want to note in this that my boyfriend this when I say he called me on my shit. And he became made me aware of these things. He did not do this in a demeaning way at all in any kind of way. He did not say, hey, you stupid be You're crazy. You need to learn how to do this. That would probably infuriate me and make me go crazy. He didn't do it that way. He would just simply say, hey, do you think that maybe you enjoy chaos, or that's what you use. That's what your life used to be like, or, or your childhood used to be like that. So now you thrive on chaos or something. I'm just throwing out examples there. A long time ago, I would not even entertain these ideas of stuff that he would say I would just I'm looking to react constantly constantly constantly looking to react. I finally started listening to what he had to say. So I'm going to touch a little bit more on that also. But the support system of Brandon has been here with me for so long. He has been through a lot of my my bullcrap. He has had to listen to me yell A lot of times, take in words that he has said that has been so misconstrued because of my sensitive nature that I have because I, my childhood so on and so forth. I finally started listening. And I finally started asking his intentions like his his intentions are they're not to hurt me. They're to help me there to help me become a Were there to help me not do this next time there to do this. And so having that support system was really important to me. And I want to speak on him because he was the one that has seen me from not only my worst days, to now, definitely coming leaps and bounds from where I have been just even three years ago. And I also want to mention that this does not mean that you know, Brandon is perfect or anything, and it's like, oh, everything is just Mel's fault. And she has to work on it. We're not saying that at all. We're just saying that I know a lot of my baggage that I have had in a lot of things that I have learned in my character traits from my childhood, unfortunately, have been taken out on branding, because I haven't learned how to deal with not having patience or my sensitive nature. So that's where I have had to learn and how to how to become aware, where he has never any of his baggage issues. He's never taken that out on me at all. So there's a little bit of a difference there. So I'm very, very happy for his support. And I am very happy that he continues to tell me Hey, I've seen a change, and Melissa, where she used to do this. Now she doesn't do this, where she used to deny, deny, deny, she doesn't deny it anymore, where she used to double down on this, she doesn't do this. But please note that I am not perfect in mishap still happen. That some there's new situations all the time that happened. And we just have to keep learning from them and keep communicating with each other. But if I did not have him, who has one told me you know, maybe it's best that you go into therapy, but to call me on my Bs and me actually listen and pay attention to him because of his intentions were good, they were to help me not hurt me. That support system is huge. So if you, it's not required that you have a support system to work on your mental health, no, but if they are aware of it, and you tell them like hey, I'm going to therapy, or Hey, I might be going through some changes lately, and this might not be comfortable for for you or you might remove them from your life entirely, depending on the situation, you know. So just having that support system kind of aware of what you are going on and embarking on, also. Okay, I feel like I've talked a mile a minute, but I'm actually like, really happy with this. So we're gonna, we're gonna keep going. Thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast. I have been using betterhelp for almost a year now. And the progress that I have made in my mental health has been incredible. I just want to tell you, my listeners a little bit about better help to see if it might be a great fit for you. Their mission is making professional counseling accessible, affordable and convenient. So anyone who struggles with life challenges can get help anywhere, anytime. They offer four ways to get counseling, from video sessions, phone calls to live chat and messaging. It's also available worldwide, you will be matched with your counselor and 24 hours or less better help offers a broad expertise in their network. So it provides users with access to specialists, they might not be able to find locally. Financial Aid is also available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com slash bright side of life, that's better help.com slash bright side of life join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash bright side of life. That's better help.com forward slash b r i g h t side of life. The link will also be in the description section of this episode. Another one mental must have is you must ask questions you ask you must ask questions to yourself. I have started doing this so much. And it has helped a lot. Why am I feeling this way? What is making me angry? What is making me fearful? What is making me filter this in the way that I'm hearing it when this isn't the what the other person is saying? Why am I acting this way? What happened to me as a child? All these things? I will say and I don't think I've mentioned this on the podcast yet, but I have recently read. Dr. Bruce Perry in Oprah Winfrey's new book called What happened to you? And it's all about neuroscience and I'm probably gonna butcher this but a lot about him. And trauma and resilience. And a lot of people always ask themselves, what's wrong with me? Why do I act the way? Why do I act this way? Why am I angry? Why don't I have patience? And a lot of it? That's not the question. It's what happened to you as a child, to make you learn these behaviors that your brain developed to act in such a way. And I'm sorry, if I butchered that. But it's an amazing book, it was very, very eye opening, once again, educating myself on these things, so I can really understand myself. So you have to be willing to ask these questions to yourself. And that's what I've really have benefited the most from, especially if it's conversation with me and my boyfriend. And I will take a step back, and I'll be like, Okay, what is it that I'm really trying to convey? What is it that I'm really wanting him to say? What is it that I'm really hurt about? What is it that I really want him to hear me say? Because sometimes things can be surface level, and the partner thinks that you are upset about you don't get the choices of where you want to eat, where it could be a deeper issue, let's just say for example, I just don't feel like I'm heard a lot of times just throwing that out there. I'm not saying that this is applicable to my boyfriend. But that's where if you get angry, you're like, Okay, am I really mad that I didn't get to pick the restaurant? Or am I mad? Because in several cases, I just feel like I'm not heard. So these are the kinds of questions you want to ask yourself. Because if all of a sudden your partner is like, why the hell are you pissed off that you didn't get to choose McDonald's this time, you got to be able to communicate, hey, so it actually doesn't have anything to do with McDonald's, it actually has to do with I feel a little bit unheard, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So you just must, you must be willing to ask questions, not only for yourself to understand, but that has definitely been been probably one of my big biggest benefits is asking myself, why do I feel this way? What's making me feel angry, all those things, and getting really to the deepest root of the issue as possible. Because this, the sooner that you get to that, I feel like the less complications you're going to have in the future with not only yourself, but with future with your partners, with your kids with whoever that you have relationships with. Because if you are sensitive about something and you're in your boss says something and you freak out, or you cry, and you're just like, what's going on? What's going on? This isn't making sense to me, you really got to ask yourself like, Why Why am I so sad about this? Am I sad that I didn't get this promotion because of money? Or is it because I feel like I've worked really hard and I'm just not being seen. So just throwing some examples out there, literally off the top of my head. So I hope that makes sense. Just ask questions. And then if you have a therapist, don't be afraid to ask her questions if him or her ask questions. If it doesn't make sense to ask questions, Hey, can you Why Why? Why do you think I would be feeling this way, so on and so forth. Then this one is also really, really big for me for mental health, mental health must haves, I feel that you must become vulnerable, not only with yourself, but also with the people around you. Because I just feel like it's being honest with not only yourself, but then again, the people around you. And when I started my podcast for people that do not know me outside my podcasting, if you have seen me followed me on social media know me in person. I didn't really speak too much about mental health, up until last year when I was really really struggling. And then I decided to make a podcast kind of about mental health. And I knew that if I was going to speak on this, I had to speak on my own experiences and what was going on with me mentally. And in doing so. I feel like I have stepped into my true light because I have had numerous numerous people reach out to me, telling me that they are going through something similar that they are feeling the way that I'm feeling that they appreciate that I'm opening up about it, but they don't really you know, feel comfortable with doing it, but they just want to know that. Hey, thank you for you stepping up to do that because it's giving me strength also. And so now I literally say that vulnerability is my superpower that I I do not want to hide anything, I don't want to hide any of my character flaws. Because I want people to know that one, I'm not perfect that one, I'm never going to be perfect to I am a constant work in progress. Three, there is never an ending journey. We're just one day, I'm just going to be perfect and healed and everything's gonna be great. It's a work in progress, not saying I haven't came leaps and bounds not saying I'm not healed. But it is a constant work in progress. And so for me, I just have to keep talking every single day about mental health struggles about mental health triumphs about where I am today. So people can feel normal, and they're like, holy crap, another person actually feels the same way I do another person, I felt like I was the only one on this planet that felt this way about whatever it is, I have to keep using my voice for that reason. So people know that they're not alone. Because in 2020, I felt so alone. Even though the whole world was going through such a depressed time, I felt the only one in the world that didn't have money that felt like they were relying on their boyfriend for to pay their bills, so on and so forth. And I finally had to open up about that. And now that I have more and more people have came to me, which tells me, Melissa, keep sharing your story, keep sharing your story about your childhood, keep sharing your story about your relationships, keep sharing your story about your daughter, whatever it is, keep sharing it. So other people in this world don't feel alone. And I know that sometimes whenever you are vulnerable, that it it, you think that it makes you look weak, but I promise you, there are going to be people that try to use it to their disk or to your disadvantage. And I understand that at this point. I don't want to hide anything. So what what do you want to say? Do you want to say that I have anger issues? I already know it Do you want to say that I have selfish tendencies, okay, say it, it's not shit that I haven't already admitted to myself, or to the people that I love around me. So you can't hold it against me anymore. And it's all things that I'm going I'm continuing to work on. So if I'm continuing to work on it, no, I'm not going to be perfect, but at least I'm working on it, and I'm owning up to it. So that is the power that you get to hold when you are vulnerable. And that's where I want to be. I'm gonna step off my soapbox now. And then another huge part, which this is another thing that I am really, really working on, is putting your ego aside. Oh, that's a hard one. That is a really hard one. It's really hard one when you don't know what your ego is, and the difference between your ego and your inner voice, your thoughts in your mind and your intuition. It's really hard. But your ego is usually the one that's going to deny shit, when you're being called on things, your ego is going to be the one that doesn't want to admit things, whenever you're probably wrong. Your ego is probably going to be the one that is super reactive at the very beginning. If you get into a fight, that's going to be all that's going to be what the ego decides to do. The ego wants to kind of keep you safe and comfortable. Or, yeah, not really want you to test the waters wants to keep, like I said, keep you safe. So you just got to keep the ego in check. And you got to really like dig deeper and ask your heart, ask your intuition. What is what's really happening? What's going on? What is it trying to tell you because the ego is still still still trying to get you to do these things. And so that's where I feel it was beneficial for me to get vulnerable with myself to really start asking myself these questions. See all these things play into each other. Once I'm vulnerable with myself, and I don't allow the ego to take over. Then I asked myself these questions of why am I acting the way that I am? What is truly going on? What is the deeper issue that's going on? So putting ego aside. Then the next and we're almost done with this list and I hope you guys are getting some value out of it. I hope it's making sense to you. We'll keep going. Another one next on the list of Mel's mental health must haves is you must, must must must must listen. Once again, you must listen to yourself. You must listen to other people. Let's start with ourselves. First, you really need to listen to yourself in what your heart and what your intuition is telling you. If you are wanting to become a better person, what ever that means or you just want to get, you just want to be at peace with yourself, you want to be happy, you want to be more confident, you want to have self worth, whatever it is, you got to start listening to what it is that you want. And then also shutting down your mind. So your mind doesn't keep you safe and all these things. You just got to listen to yourself quiet. Just sit in a quiet place and just listen. And then jot down notes if you want to what is it that your hearts telling you that you want? Asking yourself these questions? Why am I angry? Why am I pissed off? Why am I so sensitive? Why am I doing that? And then listen, well, I'm angry because I feel fill in the blank. I am impatient because fill in the blank, which you shouldn't be impatient, but you get what I'm saying. You just have to keep asking yourself, and then listening to your answers and then deciding, okay, is that a good reason is an excuse? Are you denying it, so on and so forth. And then listening to other people. I have a really, really hard time, sometimes not listening to people and always looking to react, I'm not actually hearing what they are saying to me, I'm just ready on the defense to say what it is that I want to say. And that's not effective. You really have to listen, especially because there's hits in the book that I read of what happened to you with Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey, but there's actually proof about how your brain like how things come into your brain. And it's usually from the bottom to the top and the top is the most. I'm going to mix this up, rational, emotional, like that's where your emotional part is, I'm pretty sure. Anyways. But once you start getting in an argument that all shuts down, and it doesn't even get any further than the bottom part of your brain. And that's why you can't that's why you're just reacting with all this emotion and you actually can't like think of things to say. And then when you go away, and like an hour later, you're like, Oh, yeah, I should have said this. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. That is because literally that part of your brain has kind of like shut down and hasn't even allowed you to go to that. I'm not a psychiatrist, nor am I a doctor. So I'm not explaining all this really well. It's all inside the book. Such a good book. But yeah, that's what I was trying to say about that about listening to yourself and listening to listening to other people and just making it a mindful thing. Listen, listen, listen, don't listen to react, listen with intentions, listen what they are trying to say, because that is going to be taken from them. Much better. Oh, Melissa actually looks like she's she's really trying to hear what I have to say instead of Melissa's just looking to react and to snap on me. And that's what she's trying to do. So listen. Okay, I'm down to my last two things. And I'm sure there is a much, much longer list of mental health must haves. You know, I of course, I scroll print Pinterest, I look at all this stuff. This is a list that I came up with by myself, thinking of all the stuff that has helped me so much in the last year of my mental health. Of course, I could say mental health, you need to go outside and be in nature, you need to do breathing exercises, so on and so forth. I do agree. But these are the things that I feel like are like the nitty gritty that if you are ready to go on this journey of taking care of your mental health, of healing, of trauma, of wanting to be at peace with yourself. I've listed all the things that I'm trying to fix with myself. These, these are the ones that have helped the most. So another one that is kind of similar to you must listen is you must look inward. You have to look inward to yourself, you're trying to fix yourself, stop looking to out, stop looking outwards for outside validation. It doesn't matter what other people it doesn't matter what other people think of you, you have to do things that are best for you. You have to take care of yourself. This is what I'm talking about whenever you know if you have a support system and then you start going through therapy and realizing they might not be the best support system for you if you need to get rid of them. You just have to look inward toward yourself and start asking yourself all these questions and just listen, ask, listen, ask, listen, ask back and forth, back and forth, and stop giving other people power to make your decisions that are for you. You can't do that. Yes, of course, Hey, friend, what's a good restaurant that I can go and sit on a patio? That's good. Or I understand you have to go to people sometimes. But sometimes, people, and I'm very, very known for this. So all this stuff i'm saying is I am guilty of, I used to seek outside validation, because of my childhood, because I never got validated as a little kid, because I felt like I was always fucking up as a little kid, because I couldn't do anything, right, because I was always told I was doing something wrong. So I'm always seeking outside validation. Is this good enough? Is this okay? Am I doing this right? Am I doing this wrong? Can you keep reassuring me? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Where I have to look inward? and Melissa, are you happy with it? Or is this good enough to you? Are you happy with how far you have came? And then that goes in all with the work of the perfectionism and all that, like I've had to work on all this because if I did look inward, then Melissa would say no, that's not good enough, you haven't reached this an attainable level yet. I had to work on all that stuff. So looking inwardly, more than seeking outside validation, also looking inwardly, because you don't need like the toxic people in your life, or energy takers. Whether that's a TV, whether that's the news, whether that's a screen, whether that's drama on Facebook, no matter what that is, this has got to be your mental health journey, and you got to take care of yourself. So look inward, instead of always looking outward. And then the very, very last one, I saved it, I feel, I don't want to say I feel like it's the most important, but it's definitely up there on the list. And I feel like it's one of the most hardest to explain to people. Because I feel like this journey looks different. But the very last one that I have on my mental health must have is that you must sit with your pain. And you must sit with being you must be okay with being uncomfortable. Um, this is really hard to kind of explain because I can't necessarily sit here and say that I've sat in a chair and I'm just like, Okay, come on over here pain, let's just sit and be together for a while and let's just be uncomfortable for a while. I that's not what I have personally done. I have just done a lot of reflection and a lot of asking myself questions, a lot of listening to myself a lot of deep, like, what's the deeper issue, that is how I have sat with my pain, and, and have kind of been uncomfortable with myself. And I've really reflected it, and I've admitted things to myself. So that's what I'm saying. When I say that you have to like you must sit in the pain and be uncomfortable. But it's one of the most important because if you don't and I've had several, several, several people come on here with me to explain the same thing. Whether it was Brianne Davis, whenever for her book that she wrote, where she says, You can't go up or around or below your pain, you just got it, you got to sift through the shit and you got to like, sort it all out. Like there's no escaping it whatsoever. And that is 100% true, because if you keep running and you keep running from this pain, no matter what it is, from your childhood, to last week, if you do not address it, it will come back in it or it will never go away. It is taking on some some form of trauma or stress that you might not even be aware of. And the biggest thing that I can say and the biggest example I can give is for 10 years after I lost my mom, I worked at a restaurant. I was busy all the time. I was 25 years old. I was a single mom to a 10 year old girl. I was busy as hell not dealing with any of it. So here I thought wow, I really dealt with my mom's death really, really well. I haven't cried over her didn't get have like drinking issues, didn't resort to drugs or anything to do deal with any of this pain. But then here comes 2020 the pandemic and it just hit me like a ton of bricks and all this stuff that I like I wanted to talk to my mom so bad. I wanted to tell her about everything that was going on. A lot of anger issues, a lot of guilt that she wasn't here anymore. All these things resurfaced. And then also the anxiety, the anxiety had physically been in my body for 10 years, taking on all these different forms inside my body, some making me nauseous to my stomach, some making me physically like ill with stomach cramps. So the pain, the trauma, all this stuff is going to take on a form if you keep just pushing it down. So you gotta you got to sit with it no matter what no matter what that is, even if it's going to a restaurant. And just kind of having having a meal by yourself, if that's going on a walk by yourself, if that's doing some exercises by yourself, what whatever it is, however, you kind of do your self reflection, you get to decide that but that has what it's looked like, for me is a lot of self reflection, a lot of spending some alone time with myself, a lot of asking myself these deeper questions a lot, educating myself on all this stuff, reading books, listening to podcast, so on and so forth. So, that is it, I am going to quickly run down all of these again, to if you wanted to jot these down, just in case you haven't. If you want to go back to it, that's totally okay. So but these are my mental health must haves, number one must have awareness. Number two, you must be willing to do the work. Number three must have education, educating yourself. You must have grace and compassion for yourself in this journey. You must have tools like therapy, journaling, exercising, meditating, whatever the tools are, find some and find what works for you. You must have patience with yourself. You must have patience with other people. And you must keep working at it. This one isn't such a must. But I do want to put it in there. Having a support system, because they can really help you become aware of things that you might not already be ready to admit to yourself. You must ask questions, ask questions to yourself, ask questions to your spouse, ask questions to your kids, ask questions to your therapist, ask questions so you can understand more. You must be willing to become vulnerable. Not only with yourself, but also with other people. I understand it's very, very hard to do. But just maybe try it, see where it gets you see where it gets you. You must put that ego aside. Put the ego aside, put it down, put it away. You must listen not only to yourself, but to other people. Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen. And listen, to actually listen, don't listen to react. You must look inward, stop seeking outside validation look inward, look inward for your journey, your self healing journey. And then the very, very last one, as I just said is you must sit with your pain and you have to become uncomfortable. That is where the change is going to come from. That is where the healing is going to come from. That is when everything I promise you changes. Because I feel like I am a completely different person than I was a year ago. I am not saying everything is fixed. I am not saying everything is healed. But I have came a hell of a long way than I was a year ago. And that is because I have done every single thing on that list. And then some. And I I just know that you can do the same. So with that being said, I really, really want to hear all of your guys's feedback on this. I want to hear what has worked for you. I want to hear if there's anything on that list that you maybe had an aha moment that you're like, Wow, I didn't even really consider that. Maybe you had already been doing it. But you didn't realize you were doing it. I want to know any other ones that might not be on the list that I haven't even, you know, I didn't list because I'm sure there's there's several out there that I didn't mention. So this is all to benefit all of us. I am all about learning and educating myself and we have all went through a lot of stuff. We are still going through things so I just want to hear from you guys. I am on Facebook group the bright side of life. You can find There I am also on Instagram, the bright side of life on Instagram Also, you can always email me you can do that straight from the website. at the bright side of life podcast comm you can do it there, I just want to hear your guys's feedback on on these mental health must haves and see how they resonated and I truly, truly hope hope that they helped with you. I hope that I did not ramble for the last hour, and I hope that they were helpful. And as always, if you would like to support the bright side of life, you know that you can always go to the donation page. On the bright side of life, we have the whole buy me a coffee thing, which is just a way that you can basically do the donations without really doing them, you can buy me a coffee, pizza, a glass of wine, whatever it is. And that just helps with you know, the equipment with everything the monthly fees, the monthly subscriptions, because we have tons and tons for for putting podcasts together. And then of course, reviews, reviews, reviews, they are so super helpful for getting the word out to new listeners. So they know that if this is something that they would benefit from that they would like to listen to, that they can listen to, you can always do that. And you can do all of that straight on my website. I think that's all I have. I also want to hear if you guys enjoyed this, the solo episode, I am considering doing a couple more of them. Kind of doing a little bit of a mixture. But the only reason why I would do solo episodes is of course so I can give you guys some value. You guys can learn something. So I wouldn't just be this rambling session of whatever. So I hope that was that wasn't what this just was. And besides that, I think that's it. We will start off with some new interviews starting next week. And then as always, guys, if you know anyone, anyone that may need to hear about these mental health must haves from me, please share it with them because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.