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9. Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

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What is the importance of mental health and why?

It can be really easy to write mental health off as if it's only pertaining to people who have really intense mental illness or super traumatic diagnosis. And while, yes, that is true, and it is such a burden for those people and something that's obviously very relevant in their life, but everybody has mental health. 

Mental health is a topic that is being talked about more & more each day. It’s such a great thing to be talked about more because everyone needs to own up to the fact that life is really hard and mental health is hard, and nobody has a super easy journey. If we can have these conversations, it just takes that weight off of our shoulders in thinking that we're alone. It won't necessarily make everything all fine, but at least we know there's nothing wrong with us. 

What are some healthy ways to rest and rejuvenate that aren't just like scrolling on social media or binge watching a show?

“Mental health and rest are BFFs. But for me. A telltale sign that I am kind of starting to struggle and go into a little bit of a funk is when I'm just running too hard and I'm too busy sometimes. Especially as an entrepreneur and whether you're a college student or whatever. There are definitely seasons that just require more work and more hustle and that is okay. And that's just part of life. If I were to sit here and say, you should really get 10 hours of sleep every night and be outside for 7 hours a day and do all of these things, that's just not realistic all the time. 

You have to set expectations that are manageable and realistic. And the reality is a lot of us are just super busy. So for me, it's kind of, “Okay, how can I take inventory of my life, my work life balance and mental health to be proactive?” So rather than trying to rest after I'm already in a funk is really hard because it takes so much longer to kind of dig yourself out of that.” -Grace

Have a weekly check in with yourself How am I doing? Have I been resting? What do I need right now in order to give my best to life, into God and to others around me, into my work? It really just comes down to trying to be more self aware. 

“So in terms of ditching Netflix and scrolling and all of that, I think it's really healthy to just create small boundaries that you can follow. So, for example, I don't bring my phone into my room anymore when I go to sleep so I can't scroll. I personally am not a Netflix watcher. I don't really watch a lot of TV, so that for me, isn't a struggle. But if you saw my screen time on my phone, it's horrendous. I scroll way too much. So that's kind of my thing that I'm trying to conquer and fix.” -Grace

How can I create space for myself to get refueled? And so looking at that from a spiritual avenue, looking at that from a physical avenue, looking at that from a mental avenue. 

How could someone take a step forward in caring for their mental health? 

First of all, just encourage you to be okay with your struggles and don't be ashamed of them. Like we said, you're human, it's OK to struggle. It's normal to struggle, we all do. So first of all, just be okay with that and sit in that and let God love you in that. 

And so with that, I think the first step is to evaluate where you're at. 

  • So what are the things that you really struggle with? 
  • Are you struggling with work life balance? 
  • Are you struggling with your friendships? 
  • Are you struggling with confidence issues? Internally? 

Pinpointing those things that are maybe triggers for you is really important and just kind of coming to terms with the help that you maybe need. 

We all feel like people have it worse, and so we're ashamed to go get help or seek out counseling or whatever it is. But I would just encourage you to be okay with accepting help in some capacity. Maybe you don't have some legitimate diagnosis that is okay, but that doesn't mean you can't open up to a friend, talk to a mentor or go see a therapist and talk to somebody. There is no harm in taking a step towards healing. Nine times out of ten, I think it's really fruitful for the person on the receiving end to hear, “Oh, wow, Whitney struggles too.” “Oh, wow. Grace struggles too.” I think it's really beneficial for both people, and maybe by you opening up, that other person will open up as well. 

What is one piece of advice that you want every young Catholic woman to know? 

“Nothing truly good comes from easy/convenient decisions or smooth sailing in life. There's a lot of just natural beauty that we have in life. Walking outside and seeing the sunrise and just there's so much beauty around us. But I think a lot of the things that are truly, truly beautiful and fruitful in our lives are things that take a lot of hard work and things that are not necessarily easy. Mental health plays into that so much because as we go through hard things, there is beauty that is coming from these struggles. And so knowing that, I think, helps us push through a little bit more and gives us a little bit more hope in kind of what God's plans are.” -Grace


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