The 12 Best Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day (According to a Therapist)

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Everyone has their own way of embracing self-care and addressing their mental health. It’s important for your mental well-being and can provide a valuable reset that leaves you more positive and productive going forward. Today, we’re sharing some secret tips from a therapist on the best way you can spend your mental health day.

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A Therapist’s Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Mental Health

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Seeking mental health services isn’t easy. It might be even more difficult to open up to your friends and family about how you’ve been struggling to manage your mental health. Starting the conversation, however, has a lot of potential benefits — most notably increased family support and reassurance. When you’re deep in anxiety or depression, this extra support could make a huge difference.

Unfortunately, societal stigmas have made it difficult for those living with mental health concerns to receive support. In an ideal world, we would all be proactive in looking out for one another. Even well-intentioned family members or friends don’t take the time to check in, sometimes due to ignorance around mental health topics, other times because they’re preoccupied with their own concerns.

But, if you’re willing to begin the conversation with your loved ones about your struggles then this post might help them better understand and support you.

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Is it Possible (or Necessary) to Get Relationship Closure?

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Closure is a relationship trope that we often see play out in blockbuster movies. When a couple breaks up, we often see the partners individually (and often collectively) try to seek what they call “closure.” In many scenarios, it is depicted as light-hearted and funny, but if you’ve lived through a breakup yourself, you know the process of getting closure can be painful.

We see this desire for closure play out in our own relationships when we experience a separation or break up. When a relationship ends, we are sometimes left feeling heartbroken and often confused. In an effort to make sense of such a horrible disruption, we seek understanding. We seek comfort and solace. We seek closure.

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Reframing is Therapy’s Most Effective Tool, Here’s Why

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It’s common for therapists to talk about “reframing” something. But what does that even mean?

The therapist focus on cognitive reframing is something you’ve likely encountered if you’ve been in therapy before. If you haven’t, the concept might sound a bit strange at first, but I assure you it does make a lot of sense.

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Why Black Men Face Greater Mental Health Challenges

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The emotional stoicism of Black men is something that few authors have talked about. Most notable of the few books on the topic, the author bell hooks’ work We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity discusses the lack of love and acceptance that Black men face, creating an emotional crisis.

Many men have not been told how to process and talk about their emotional experiences, furthering a sense of isolation, anger, and resentment. For these men, this creates an emotional volatility that can sometimes manifest in seeming “shut down” in relationships and friendships. At its worst, this budding resentment can manifest in outward expression of anger, aggression, and even violence. This is discussed further in Charlie Donaldson’s and Randy Flood’s book Mascupathy: Understanding and Healing the Malaise of American Manhood.

Many men (arguably most) struggle with the idea of being openly vulnerable and sharing their emotions. And for those who grew up as sensitive boys, they are often subject to ridicule and shaming for what are natural and healthy expressions of emotion. Black men face a unique challenge in that most of what is most prized about them may be their looks or bodies, but rarely ever their intellect and emotional intelligence. These things are often deemed too soft for any Black man to experience, delivering the message that if you are those things then you must change…and fast.

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When Times Get Tough, Try This Mental Health Workout Plan

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We all face hard circumstances from time to time. Sometimes life throws us new responsibilities or burdens, and expects us to just roll with the punches. That can be quite difficult, especially when you’re already managing a mental illness. The good news is that we can have a plan when those unexpected hard times come up. Here are some recommendations for a mental health workout plan when you need help to weather hard times.

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Is Anxiety Genetic?

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As a therapist, I often work with many clients who live with anxiety. That should come as no surprise as anxiety disorders are among some of the most common mental health conditions, especially in the United States. Around 40 million people deal with an anxiety condition annually. One question that comes up from time to time is, “is my anxiety genetic?”

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What is Schizoid Personality Disorder? Defining, Understanding, and Treating SPD

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Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) is a condition largely marked by a lack of desire to form interpersonal relationships. Personality disorders like SPD differ from other mental health conditions in that they are thought to be deeply ingrained in the structures of a person’s psyche. It is this nature that makes them difficult, but not impossible, to treat.

The American Psychiatric Association notes that those with personality disorders have, “a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.” And it is precisely that disconnect from cultural expectations, and longevity, that make those living with personality disorders suffer disconnection from their peers, friends and family.

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Negative Thinking Got You Down? Here’s How to Shift Your Thoughts

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What would you do if you were in a relationship with someone who constantly criticized, second-guessed or belittled all of your choices, behaviors and decisions?

Hopefully, you would leave immediately, or at least take major issue with being the victim of emotional abuse.

But what if … that critical person was you?

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