Mental Health Awareness Month x Non Corporate Girls Podcast Challange
One of the most recent popular Netflix's Originals Dear White People shares a little insight on how men are built to hide any real emotions. On episode 8 Troy the campus president provides an explanation for his outburst: “Straight guys are encouraged to never express the range of full emotion, causing it all to be bottled up inside, only to be expressed by sports". This is why sports are such a big deal on college campuses like Winchester. Interesting right? NON corporate girls created a challenge for their followers to take time to address mental health through meditation, journaling, or a postive mantra. Here at Morir Soñando we decided to join these ladies and in a way to promote Mental Health awareness for the men in our lives. Well, we accepted the challenge and partnered up with our husbands, siblings, and sons to promote and find ways to help men deal with mental health and self care.
Challenge #1: The Husband.
I partnered up with my husband and went shopping for some bath bombs. I learned that for men it is hard to be vulnerable and to take time to pamper themselves without looking/feeling feminine and weak to others. Although hesitant at the beginning he really enjoyed the meditation time in the tub with the bath bombs and myself. There I guided him to breathe in and let go of all the days' dumps. I helped him focus on the positive things and on his future goals. When he exited the bath he said that he felt so light and at peace. We promised each other to continue at least once a month in order to help mental health awareness in the future.
Challenge #2: The Brother.
My brother and I have always been really close. We shared a lot but since we both moved out we haven't been able to catch up like we used to. As a male in his late 20s, I know he faces a lot of challenges that can cause high levels of stress. He works 6 days a week, is in a relationship, and has aspirations to do so much more for himself and our family. There was a point where he shared with me that he was really depressed and stressed. He felt like things were not going well for him. For someone like myself looking from the outside in, to me this was surprising. You would think someone with a beautiful partner, a nice car, and who seemed to be living life to the fullest wouldn't feel like that. This is when I learned that us women might handle some of our stresses differently and I decided to teach my brother some things to help with his mental health. This approach was not physical as we have very busy schedules but I knew I can help him spiritually. I texted him every morning saying three things I was grateful for and asked him to reply with 3 things he was grateful for. This helped him set the tone for his day. Focusing on what he had rather what he didn't. This exercise helped him not stress so much over his problems but be thankful for the positive in his life. My brother still continues to do this practice and is a simple way to help others be mentally aware of their thoughts and their moods through out the day.
Challenge # 3: The Son.
I accepted the challenge of mental health awareness and partnered up with my child. I tackled this challenge by understanding the effects that social media might be causing to the mental health of today's generation of children. My child has a smartphone which I am not a fan of, but as a concerned mother I do need him to have one for communicating purposes. I've read some articles on how kids being too attached to their phones can be unhealthy, and it could increase their chances of developing depression or anxiety. Many times at events or parties, most kids are stuck on their smartphones tweeting or texting, but no one is really engaging or interacting with one another. Can this affect their communication skills? In the past and especially during this challenge some things I've learn to enforce are rules and boundaries with my child. When we have dinner or any family events no phones allowed. I want to make sure my child is enjoying the time and talking and listening to others. I make the effort to make sure to be present with the people I'm spending time with as an example to my child so he can see the importance of it. With this I make my child aware that is ok to give the smartphones a rest and enjoy the moment. I read an article online where they mention: "Something is clearly happening," said Julie Lynn Evans, "because I am seeing the evidence in the numbers of depressive, anorexic, cutting children who come to see me. And it always has something to do with the computer, the Internet and the smartphone." Is this true that the internet and the smartphones are causing mental health issues to today's generation of kids? As a mom the advice I can give is to have a close relationship with your child and monitor the use of their smartphones or any devices they might have and set rules where both of you can agree. So far its been working for my child and I. He has been able to be in a more pleasant mood, and actually is enjoying himself rather than stuck to a phone screen.