Mental health affects everyone, though it can look different from person to person. At No Rain, we believe that having these conversations is the first step in creating a world where mental health is normalized and people can easily get the support they need. I thought I would share a little bit about my mental health journey and how it has impacted this brand.
Looking back, I don’t really remember a time in my life when I haven’t dealt with anxiety, though I couldn’t put a label to the way I was feeling until later in my life. I was 13 when I had my first panic attack. I remember going to my mom, truly believing that I was dying, and her explaining to me that I was likely having a panic attack. This was the first time I had heard the term, though I still didn’t really understand how I was feeling until years later.
For me, my anxiety is very physical. Throughout high school, I always felt like I had this constant inability to breathe normally. I of course assumed I had issues with my lungs, and never would have considered it had everything to do with my brain and nothing to do with my physical body. It wasn’t until college, when I started having conversations with my friends and mental health in general was being talked about more, that I recognized what I had been feeling all these years was anxiety. Through these conversations, I also realized that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. Most of my friends were struggling in similar ways, though it looked different for all of us.
Having these conversations and putting a label on how I was feeling was the first step for me in better managing my anxiety and generally taking better care of my mental health. I’d be lying, though, if I said it didn’t get worse before it got better. In my late teens and early twenties, my anxiety got much worse, and I suffered from some pretty bad panic attacks. There were also periods of time where I just felt very down. Over time, I’ve learned what works for me in these situations and have gained tools to better help me manage my anxiety.
I’ve only recently started going to therapy, something I would encourage everyone to try even if you don’t necessarily feel like you struggle with your mental health. It took me years of telling myself I should start therapy to actually get myself to do it. Now that I’ve started, I have found it really helpful to talk about how I’m feeling and sort out everything that's going on in my head. My therapist has also provided me with additional tools to help manage my anxiety and low periods.
Though I've gotten better at managing my mental health, I know this is something that's never going to go away. For me it comes in waves, I’ll have periods where I’m feeling pretty good, and other times when I’m not. During these not so good times, it can be really hard for me to find the energy and motivation to do small things like cook myself dinner or go for a walk let alone try to run a business. Even in time’s when I am feeling okay, I’ve found it hard to balance taking care of myself and my mental health while also working full time, keeping up with household chores, making time for my friends and family, and other hobbies and things I enjoy doing.
Everyone's experience with mental health is their own, and what we do to take care of ourselves looks different from person to person. This is just my personal journey, and I’ve decided that taking care of myself and my mental health has to be prioritized above anything else. Everyone has good days and bad days, and I’ve learned to appreciate the bad days for what they are. Overall, I think we could all show a little more compassion for ourselves and others because you never know what someones going through or when someones just having a bad day.