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?

Not-So-Small Act of Kindness

It had been one of those mornings… Well, it started as one of those nights. Baby Sarah had woken up to nurse 3 times, which may not have been so bad but we (as in, her and I) didn’t go to bed until close to midnight. To say I was sleep deprived is an understatement.

I somehow managed to get us all dressed and to church, then I got there and realized Timothy didn’t have shoes. I sat in our Suburban and thought for a good two minutes if I wanted to go home and get him shoes, are just let him be barefoot and free. I decided on barefoot, and he didn’t care. I highly doubt anyone else cared either. He stepped on a few sticker burrs, but he survived.

When I went to pick up the kids after the service was over, and I lost Timothy in the shuffle. So I had successfully gotten 2 of the 4 children and started walking into every room at church looking for my curious 3 year old. I finally found him, and then got the rest of the munchkins.

I started walking to the door and preparing myself for the nightmare of corralling 4 children in the parking lot solo. Then, a sweet teenager, the daughter of one of my good friends, asked if she could help. I gladly took her up on her offer… Which was no small offer.

Once we all got buckled up in the car, my eyes filled with tears. This was probably for a number of reasons: I was hungry, and hormonal, and had told my husband goodbye for his third of four trips out of town this summer. I was so touched by this sweet girl’s help, and then I realized sometimes I just need help, and that’s ok!

I think there was some false belief that I couldn’t ask for help because I have to prove something… Like I have to prove that people are wrong for thinking we shouldn’t have 4 kids, so therefore asking for help in some way proves them right… Truth is, whether someone has 1 child or 19 children, it’s ok to ask for help! We aren’t meant to do this life alone.

This not so small act of kindness really made me reflect on my life. When was the last time I intentionally looked for an opportunity to help someone else? Sure, I’ve got 4 kids and life is crazy, but there’s always time to share God’s love. It could be holding the door open for someone, bringing someone a meal, a simple text to say hello and let someone know they matter… I want to challenge you, and myself, as this week begins to do a random act of kindness each day… Because you never know how it will bless someone.