Top Five Tools for Mental Health

Some days anxiety is the furthest from my mind. Other days it seems front and center. Lately, my mind is becoming more of my friend. I have taken these last nine months or so to find what works for me. I think it’s important for us to realize we aren’t slaves to the battle in our mind. We can learn to win the battle… but we’re not gonna win it if we just sit back and take it.

I personally need to get in front of my anxiety. I’ve listened to my body to know how it responds to certain foods, supplements, and essential oils. I also had to become more aware of my energy and emotional well being. I had to learn to say no to things that were not serving me, and make time for activities that fueled my soul. Here are some of the things I put into place to reduce anxious feelings.

1. Counseling: Y’all, if your anxiety is taking over your life then GO GET HELP. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help. I cannot stress the importance of having an objective view into my thoughts and life. My counselor, Lorena, has a way of peeling back the layers during our counseling sessions to really get to the root of the problem. 

I also want to stress the importance of finding a good counselor. You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort to find someone you will work well with during this time. So, do some homework: ask around, check out reviews, and read up on some of their background. Also, even if someone looks amazing on paper, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for you. I’m sure you didn’t marry the first guy you dated, right? Well, it may also take a few rounds of counselors to find the match for you. It took me three other counselors to find one who I felt was right for me.

2. Supplements: Some people love supplements, and some people hate them. I say, you can’t personally hate something you’ve never tried before. I had tried my share of supplements in the past. I was already taking a natural, whole food vitamin, and while it may have been helping me physically, it surely wasn’t helping my mental wellbeing. So I stopped taking my former vitamin, and decided to try out doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack after hearing others find results in their mental health from it. Y’all, it’s a game changer.

When I started taking doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack a few years ago, I felt a significant difference in my mental state: I slept better, my mind was taking less trips down that super dark road, I had more energy, and even my husband noticed a difference. Now, it’s a must have, non-negotiable for me. I encourage you to do some research, and try out some high quality (don’t just go to your local drug store and expect quality) supplements. To learn more, go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber .

3. Community: This is huge for me. So many times someone is struggling with a mental illness, it become easy to believe the lie that we are all alone. This is not true! Many of us have family and friends that we can go to to share and seek support. I personally have a handful of girlfriends I can go to, and I know they are by my side and praying for me.

Do you feel alone? I understand that sometimes in new seasons we’re in a place of making new friends. Go do it! Join a church/Bible study, find a fitness group, or check out some networking events. Facebook makes this incredibly easy. I know the process of getting to know people can be difficult for us introverts, but it’s worth it.

4. Essential Oils: These are life to me. I know, some of you may think just I’m promoting essential oils because I sell them, but I sell them because of how much they’ve helped me and my family. If you don’t wanna buy them from me, cool! But don’t buy them from your local super market. I’ve gone over the quality differences before, so I won’t spend time here. Find a doTERRA leader that you trust to purchase from, and have them walk you through your best options.

I’ll be writing a separate post on specific essential oils you can use to reduce anxious feelings, uplift your mood, and help you stay cool. In the meantime here are a few general guidelines. Citrus oils are super uplifting. These are great to diffuse throughout the day. Woodsy oils like Cedarwood, Frankincense, or Sandalwood all will have a grounding effect. These are awesome to put on topically when you’re feeling frazzled. There are also some awesome blends doTERRA already has made for mood support.

5. Faith: My relationship with the Lord has grown so much in this season. I’ve realized that for months I was trying to earn my own righteousness. I was trying to check off boxes, stick to the list, and striving for perfection. Friends, this is an exhausting road to take. If this sounds like you: just realize our righteousness comes from the Lord, He loves us unconditionally, and He is the only Perfect One. His road is easy and His burden is light. Simply receive His love, we don’t need to earn it.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s something you do to take care of your own mental health?

Mental Health Awareness Month: My Current Journey

Our mental health can change and shift, as it has for me over the years. It’s a process of conquering one battle, and a then days/weeks/months/years later stepping up to another one. The road from a toxic mind to a healthy mind isn’t a quick and clean journey. It’s a process… and it’s messy. But it’s a battle worth fighting.

I’ve dealt with depression on and off for decades. Some of you were with me as I shared my battle a few years ago. I went through lots of healing and breakthrough, and had a few really great years where I didn’t struggle with my mental health.

Yet, with a background of depression, there are some dark and deep lies that seemed to settle in my soul. Lately these lies seem to carry over every area in my life, and had become crippling. Simple, everyday tasks and responsibilities had become difficult and incredibly tiring. 

While I praise the Lord that I’m no longer suicidal, I had dealt with some pretty crippling anxiety over the past year. I was constantly going through the motions of life while feeling like I was one hiccup away from an anxiety attack. I had dealt with anxiety in the past (depression and anxiety go hand in hand often), but never to this level. It had reached a new height where I recognized I needed outside help. And that was okay. 

My chest constantly felt tight, shoulders tense, and at times I had to put some serious effort into slowing my breath so I wouldn’t hyperventilate in the middle of making tacos for dinner. I had to put immense effort into slowing my mind and racing thoughts. Sometimes I’d lock myself in my bathroom for a few minutes just to count and breathe. I’d lean up against the door, close my eyes, and start counting while slowly while inhaling and exhaling. 1… 2…. 3… 4….

I called my counseling office, and was put on a waiting list. I forgot I was on the waiting list until I got a call a few months later. I almost decided not to take the appointment, because I had been having a good couple of weeks. I am so glad I took the appointment.

My counselor has a way of unlocking deep rooted lies that I’ve carried in my soul that have been bleeding into every area of my life: wife, mother, daughter, doTERRA leader, friend, church leader. We’re digging up roots of some serious negative beliefs, and replacing them with the beautiful truth. I’m slowly working on starving the toxic thoughts and nurturing the healthy ones.

During the month of May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’d love to share more on my mental health journey. I’ll be giving specifics on how I manage depression and anxiety with things like counseling, running, taking my supplements and other homeopathic measures, and opening up to some trusted friends and family about my current struggles. We’re not meant to fight this battle alone. Thank you for joining me on my recovery to freedom. You’re not alone either.

Got questions? Or maybe you’d like to see me cover a specific topic pertaining to mental health? Comment below, I’d love to connect with you!