Taking Care of Your Mental Health as a Creative

In honor of this week being Mental Illness Awareness Week (also known as mental health awareness week), I wanted to tackle a more serious topic on the blog today. Mental health.

As a creative, there are lot’s of things we’re told to keep top of mind, and mental health isn’t always one of them. The online creative community, as wonderful and beneficial as it can be, has definitely shifted the way people think about themselves and their work.

Everyone seems to be thriving on Instagram. We watch bloggers unbox thousands of dollars of free product, land huge sponsorship deals and it’s inevitable not to wonder why not me, when will I finally find success?

The comparison trap is easy to fall in and so dangerous to creatives. It stops you from seeing the value that you add to the online space and causes you to focus less on your gift and more on what you think you lack. The more we consume, the more likely we are to compare and get caught in this vicious trap.

And it truly is vicious.

I’ve mentioned it here and there on the blog and social media, but 2016 was a really tough year for me and I was definitely mentally unhealthy for most of it. I would have days or weeks where I didn’t want to do anything, getting out of bed was a chore. I missed deadlines, produced weaker content and nearly lost my passion for blogging and creating content.

Somehow I convinced myself that if I was going to be better, I just needed to work harder, and do it myself.

I was wrong.

It wasn’t until I finally decided to let me friends in, to talk to a counselor and face what we really going on in my head and heart that I finally started to feel better. And be better. And today, I’m so much better. 2017 Amber is a completely different person than 2016 Amber and I’m so proud and blessed to say that.

Everything changed after I started to focus more on being mentally healthy. I fell in love with reading again, and haven’t stopped reading since. I started cooking more regularly, I rebranded the blog and started working on new content that I actually connected with, I challenged myself, I started dating again.

I finally felt like me.

It’s so important to me that we normalize being mentally healthy. There are so many stigmas surrounding mental health, mental illness and seeking help or treatment that we have to lift. The state of the world can be so saddening, and we all need to heal and cope in ways that are healthy.

We have to talk about these issues. Take them seriously, and support those of us battling things within themselves.

So let’s keep this conversation going. Let’s Talk About It is a new documentary focusing on mental health within the Black community. A community where mental illnesses are, sadly, often downplayed or swept under the rug. I’m so glad to be able to share this video and shed light on a topic that isn’t discussed nearly enough.

You watch and share the full video here, and support by tweeting it out using the link below.

VIDEO: In honor of #MIAW, Let's Talk About It https://vimeo.com/236783216 Click To Tweet

I think everyone will find something they relate to here. I hope it educates, empowers and makes an impact on you today.

In the comments, if you feel comfortable, I’d love for you to share ways that you maintain good mental health. I hope we can keep talking about this issue not only this week, but all year long.

Top photo/feature image taken by Courtney Smyth

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