When Getting Healthy Doesn’t Look Like How Experts Say You “Should” Do It

Let's Get Real: When Getting Healthy Doesn't Look Like How Experts Say You "Should" Do It

Let’s say you have a mental illness and you are bound and determined to get well and healthy.

I’m on this path with you. It’s hard I know.

In this internet age, we all take to the closest search engine and try to find the easiest, best, most medically approved, most recommended ways to do something, right?

If you go type in “How to treat depression/anxiety naturally”, you’ll get over 10,800,000 results. That’s a lot of stuff to wade through to find the advice that works for you, right?!

Yeah, so to sum up those thousands of results, the main advice most experts say is as follows:
1-Go see a Doctor
2-Educate yourself
3-Eat healthy

Now, I’m not here to tell you that those expects are wrong. Honestly, they are right. Those are all things you should be doing (I highly advise number 1 and 2!). HOWEVER. I am here to tell you that it’s still kind of bullshit.

You’re depression or anxious and tired and can barely face getting up for the day let alone think about making a healthy meal or going for a run in the winter. Maybe you’re like me and have a toddler who still won’t sleep through the night all the time so there’s no way I can get a solid 8 hours of sleep no matter how hard I try.

And ya know what else I’m here to tell you?

It’s okay.

Your wellness routine doesn’t have to look like the experts tell you it “should”. There’s no way you’re going to be able to force yourself to do some of the things they tell you to do.
It’s important not to beat yourself up if you can’t manage to get up and work out everyday. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t ready to start making weekly meal plans and finding awesome healthy recipes on pinterest. Don’t give yourself a hard time about any of the things you can’t do. Remember the things you are doing and make a list of other things you can do to improve and feel better.

The most important thing to remember is that you are trying. Are you seeing a doctor? Are you journaling? Are you educating yourself? Are you taking time to note your achievements? Are you working on you?

Are you making progress? If the answer to any or all of the above is yes…that is what is important and what you need to remember.

I can’t count the number of years I’ve been battling depression and anxiety but I do know that I have never felt mentally okay enough to take care of myself with food and exercise, yet. See the word ‘yet’ in that sentence. Remember it and use it. I have very few anxiety triggers left and the big one deals with food so I’m starting to think about it and journal and talk with my therapist about the trigger. I’m almost ready to have the energy and wellness needed to focus on my eating habits and make better choices. But before now?

Before now, it was enough that I’m seeing a therapist. It’s been enough that I’m working on myself daily and trying to improve. It’s been enough that I’m consciously cultivating healthier habits in other ways. It’s been enough that I’m on medication and working towards other goals and not giving up.

My wellness plan will never ever look exactly like the expercts say it “should”. I would love if I could have 8 hours of sleep and eat healthy and get 30-60 minutes of exercise a day but I’m not there and I won’t ever completely be there. What about you? Probably not, is my guess. I can’t honestly say that anyone could possible have a wellness plan that looks like what it “should”.

And guess what ladies? It’s all okay. Want to know what really helped me accept all of this? My art therapist (she really rocks!). She’s been the first doctor or therapist to remind me that it’s okay if I can’t exercise right now. I’m working on other things and the rest will come later, when I’m ready for it.

Just remember: the most important part of your recovery and wellness plan is that you are trying, you are working, you are improving and you are fighting.


Share: Tell me what you wellness plan looks like? Do you take the advice of the experts? Are you still fighting?

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  1. Posted 01/20/2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    i’m bipolar and have ptsd. i must say that i don’t read too much into time frames as far as where mental health experts think i should be. i feel that as long as i’m moving forward or stable, i’m doing pretty well. i also know myself well enough to know when i’m slipping or need more help. i think that’s all anyone can do! :)

  2. Posted 01/20/2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    ps. what program do you use to make your blog post title images in?

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Let’s Start Talking on 05/09/2014 at 7:01 am

    […] Why I Blog About Mental Health * The Importance of Honoring The Self and Taking Time for Wellness * When Getting Healthy Doesn’t Look Like How the Experts Say You “Should” Do It * Why It’s Important to Determine Your Personal Triggers and How to Get Started * Your Story […]

  2. […] I’ll suggest keeping up on your exercise and eating healthy, but just like any mental illness, we can’t always do what the doctors say we “should”. […]

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