It seems like there’s constant pressure to feel good, think positively and look on the bright side — no matter what we’re struggling with or how we really feel on the inside. While optimism and positive thinking have their place, the simple reality is many people deal with mental health issues regularly. As a result, they may feel ashamed or embarrassed about it, partly because of the stigma associated with mental health issues. It’s not easy to talk about your feelings or reach out for help, and it can be even harder to know how to cope with it all.
We are here to say it is OKAY to talk openly about our struggles with mental health and share tools for how we at Prospect Farms and our partners manage our own mental health challenges. We believe it’s so important that we’re pressing pause on everything else this week to focus on our Mental Health Week Initiative in partnership with the River Fund— which begins today, October 10, in honor of World Mental Health Day and will continue all week long.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, talking openly about mental health is one of the best ways to break down stigmas. By educating ourselves, being conscious of how we talk about mental health, and showing compassion for each other, we can fight mental health stigma and make a real difference for ourselves and our community.
Here at Prospect Farms, we’re committed to authenticity at every turn — and that includes having open and honest conversations about mental health. We’re dedicated to raising mental health awareness and reducing mental health stigma, so we wanted to take this time to talk about how it’s OK to feel however you feel and provide you with some tips on how to feel better and find an improved sense of balance.
It’s OKAY Not To Feel OKAY
The stigma associated with mental health problems hurts for two key reasons. One, people with mental health issues must deal with their symptoms and concerns that result from their condition. Two, they have to deal with the prejudices and negative opinions held by other people and society as a whole.
We don’t always want to admit to ourselves that life isn’t easy or “great,” and if you spend a lot of time on social media, you might think that everyone else is feeling fantastic and living their best life, and you’re the only one feeling bad. The fact is, the World Health Organization estimates that 25% of people worldwide are affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives — so if you’re struggling, you are not alone. Know that it's OK and normal to not always feel OK mentally and emotionally.
Allowing yourself to feel what you feel is a crucial part of being an authentic person and an essential part of the healing process. It’s not your fault if you feel down at times, even if you don’t have a mental health condition. And if you don’t have a perfect life, welcome to the crowd — we’re all like that.
Yet, the unfortunate fact is that many people blame themselves or engage in self-criticism when they feel down, which only worsens their feelings; and many don’t know what to do to help themselves feel better or how to seek help.
Signs That You May Be Struggling
Different kinds of mental health conditions can manifest through a wide range of symptoms. Not all mental health issues require professional intervention, and sometimes you may just need to take a step back to evaluate what you need right now. It’s also important to note that some mental health symptoms can be serious enough to seek professional help.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to identifying mental health issues, there are some clear signs that could indicate that you’re struggling and need to take some time out for self-care.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Mental Health Issues
Early identification and intervention can help prevent a problem from becoming worse. Some of the signs that you’re struggling can include:
- Sleep disturbances (sleeping too much or too little).
- Appetite changes.
- Feeling down or sad more often than usual.
- Mood shifts (feeling very high or very low moods).
- Feeling like you can’t (or don’t want to) engage in your usual activities.
- Withdrawing from friends or social activities.
- Reduced energy levels.
- Problems with concentration or focus.
- Irritability, nervousness, or tension.
- Excessive worry or fear.
- Feeling angry or hostile.
- Feeling like you just can’t cope with daily problems.
Our goal is to build a safe space where our broader Prospect Farms community feels comfortable speaking openly about the common signs and symptoms of mental health issues and some tools and rituals that we practice in our own lives to help manage. However, we are very aware that some mental health conditions come with more serious signs and symptoms that can indicate that you should follow up with a qualified professional, especially if you experience more than one symptom at a time.
Furthermore, if you or someone you know are struggling with feelings of self-harm, it’s important to seek immediate attention by calling 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line. The Lifeline isn’t just for people who want to hurt themselves; it’s also for people in crisis and those who need to talk to a real person who understands what they are going through.
Mental Health Week Initiative
Prospect Farms and our partners believe that mental health awareness is crucial for reducing stigma and helping you live the best, happiest and healthiest life possible. Our Mental Health Week Initiative is one way that we’ve chosen to support our community through honest conversation about what really matters.
Our goal for this week is to share tools for how Prospect Farms and our partners manage our own mental health challenges. This ranges from aromatherapy, exercise, empowering rituals and spending time outside. There is no one size all model to managing your mental health, but what is important is that we prioritize it through conversation and community.