Have you ever tried to run a marathon without any preparation? Probably not, right? If you’ve run a marathon then you know how labor-intensive it is, the number of hours and dedication behind it. Waking up every morning or evening runs trying to beat your last time. Even if you are not someone who’s participated in one you know there’s hard work behind it. In a lot of ways, your mental health is like a marathon. You don’t wake up one morning and decide you’re over your depression or you’re done with anxiety. Mental health takes time and dedication, it means doing the small things to move the needle just a bit more, from leaving the house when you want to stay in or checking something off your list you have been avoiding. Making those small efforts mean working towards a healthier version of you.

With 1 in 5 people struggling with mental illness, mental illness does not discriminate and covers a large spectrum and affects those around you.

The topic of mental health has come a long way. It has been a long battle to end the stigma behind it. When the subject of mental illness became a discussion it led to a lot of fear and public scrutiny. Being mentally ill would mean ostracization in society. Because of this, the topic ways avoided leaving those struggling alone to fight their battles.

Studies have found that your mental health is a major component of your physical health. From migraines, headaches, high blood pressure, high cholesterol to hair loss all of them can be attributed to your mental health.

So what does mental health look like? There is no “right way”, mental health looks different for everyone because everyone is different. However, learning ways to focus on yourself and finding people who are focusing on their health can help you on your journey. From learning ways to mitigate stress and anxiety, or going on walks and practicing meditation. Finding professionals who can help you understand what’s going on inside your brain. Also finding others who are dealing with what you’re dealing with shared experiences helps create a community. It may be hard to find others who share your struggle but there are different ways to find a community. Sharing your experiences amongst a community of peers who know your struggle and have similar experiences helps you understand yourself better.

Max Fritzhand

I have always loved to write and am a thoughtful writer. It's one of my many creative outlets - right next to cooking and gardening. I was involved in my school's journalism program, having been published in newspapers and scholarly journals

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