11:33 AM I am excited to share today's second and very important part of my introduction to mental health series. 
Let's emphasize one more time that this here comes straight from my heart, because I am sharing my own experiences and struggles. I do suffer from anxiety and went through depression in the past. I'm on my #roadtorecovery, but there's of course always stuff coming my way which makes healing feel horrible or unreachable. I am healing slowly, but I'm getting stronger, too. 

I think I chose the best time to share this second part with you all. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen that this weekend is full of ups and downs for me. I went from beyond happy to super heart broken. I smiled, I cried, I yelled, and I smiled again. I'm sharing this with everyone, because I don't want you to feel ashamed about sharing your feelings and emotions. Don't make others feel bad just because they show their passion. Let's cry more. Let's scream more... it can help. 

Realizing that I had an "issue", I did not know what to do. My head was obsessed with the idea that it must be something terrible and I need something to cure this. I did not think of having mental issues or having social anxieties. People told me I'm too sensitive (I still get to hear that today) and I trusted other people's opinions more than my own feelings. I know myself best. 
I was too shy to go to a therapist, though. I felt awkward. I was ashamed and scared. 
I kept on living with my mood swings, suicidal thoughts, and I started to fall in love with the idea of being sad all the time and isolating myself. This is how I survived at first...

I still didn't know what to do. 
My black hole was deep and I didn't think I could make it out of there. 
It took me forever, but I made it. 

During this time, I didn't know what I was doing to get out there, but today I can look back and say that several important things helped me dealing with my mental health condition. 
I can talk super openly about it and I have zero feelings of shame and fear sharing my story. 

Today I want to be a help for people who suffer in silence like I used to and I want to also have some ideas for people who want to help loved ones who suffer and need help. 
Trust me - there are ways out. We can do this! 

1. BEING CONSCIOUS: simply said: take a moment and think about how you feel. What's up inside of you? Are you sad? Angry? Tired? Depressed? There are many moods you have to identify first to know how to heal right. As soon as you can talk about what bothers you, you can continue working on each "problem". Even during our healing and recovery time, it's important to stay conscious. Just like I experienced yesterday - I cried so much, because I was sad, and my eye balls almost popped out my eyes. Well, why do I feel that way? I analyzed it, got offline, and did a heavy self-care routine that made me focus on my goals and where I want to be. There's no place nor the time to waste our energy and good vibes. We no longer need to feel sad, because of xyz. Track your emotions, moods, etc.... listen to your body and work it out mindfully. 
2. TALK ABOUT IT: once you know "what's up", you can tell your family about it and ask for help. Don't deal with it by yourself. Ask friends or loved ones you trust. Don't feel ashamed. Ask if they can at least give you an open ear, when they don't know how to help. Talking feels good and releases a lot of emotion and negative feelings. If you are too shy to talk about it, you can also release those feelings by writing them down into your diary or a journal you can start to track your mood and feelings. 
3. EAT RIGHT: what many people don't know is that unhealthy nutrition is one of the main reasons why we experience anxiety. The more sugar and unhealthy things, the more our system is triggered to develop anxiety or different disorders. Instead, we should focus on a healthier and fiber rich nutrition. When the gut is happy, the brain is even happier! 
4. GET PROFESSIONAL HELP: if talking to your loved ones is not helping you at all, try to find a therapist with whom you can talk about your issues! Seeing a therapist doesn't mean that you lost your mind or you are sick and should feel ashamed. A therapist is here to help and he or she might have wonderful solutions to help you deal with stress related disorders or mental issues - nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud if you make it to an appointment! Take my experience: I AM STILL NOT SEEING A THERAPIST, BECAUSE I'M A CRY BABY. So, if you happen to do that step - I'm proud of you!!!! 
5. REGULAR SLEEP: being young, one underestimates sleep. I know as a teenager, for example, it's not important to go to bed early and wake up early without feeling tired the next day. Kids and young people can go through their days while having short nights super easily. They are less affected. But the older you get, the more you cry about 1 hour less of sleep. One realizes how much sleep helps to feel happier, healthier, and so much better. Without sleep we cannot function. We need sleep for recovering and creating new cells. The emotional ballast from the day will be digested and processed with your memory. So yes, we need sleep. And not only an hour! Again: take me as a bad example. I thought it would be so cool to skip the nights and just stay up until forever. I did this many times. I didn't care to calm down and get rest. Today, I am in love with napping and going to bed as early as I can, because it just makes me feel so. damn. good. 
6. DIGITAL DETOX: I get to hear and see a lot of people (especially young kids and adults) spending a lot of time online and also valuing certain standings and opinions which are only existing in this online world. It's so important to share your lifestyle with everyone and compete about anything... A lot of pressure and influence that is not good for ourselves. We compare too much, we want to reach the same goals as others, even though they don't match our daily lifestyle or our likes. Because as simple as that: we just want to be liked (or have likes...). How do others see me? That's it. 
Please stop with this toxic relationship and take some breaks or timeouts from social media. One day without Instagram, a weekend without Instagram. Don't check your mails for a day - yes, it can wait. 
7. EXERCISE: one tool that helped me finding my way out faster than I thought was working out! I fell in love with sweating and especially running. Whenver I felt negative or I wanted to scream and cry, I laced up my running shoes and ran. I started going to different cities to also race and with these challenges and my long training phases before each race, I created a safe and healthy world that always helped me endure my pain. 
8. BUILD A SOS KIT: I think this is by far my favorite part. I said it in the beginning - cultivate - be conscious about how you feel (even when you are feeling recovered and healthier again, bad times are always coming around, somehow). Set up something that can always help you coping with any situation. This might be hard in the beginning, but after a while, you might realize that there are certain things that make you feel super safe, so make sure to always have them around or even take them with you on the road. This could be: chocolate (to feed the brain), a playlist which makes you feel a bit more calm, a scent or lotion that makes you stop for a second and just be conscious about the moment you are in now, a tea bag with tea that stimulates as well, a spray or mist you can spray around yourself to feel protected and safe. Breathing in certain oils or scents makes the body feel super calm and it's such a beautiful way to reconnect and focus on more positive things. Write down quotes or motivational things which you can re-read on tiny cards whenever you need a pickup. There's so much you can actually do to feel better right away. Listen to your body and create your own kit!
9. FIND HOBBIES: being busy all the time and doing the same stuff all over can be pretty boring or also annoying. Never finding a way out, every day the same tasks, faces, and so much frustration. To escape this circle, add something new that will make the circle become a rectangle. Learn new skills, go to an art school, test restaurants, learn a new language - just do something which makes you break out from your routine. With new things in your life you will experience a lot of happy vibes and first times that will make you smile for a longer time. 
10. TURN OFF YOUR BRAIN AND BE SILLY. because that's all we need sometimes. Take me again. I'm always under pressure. I actually love to perform well and go to bed feeling like I'm an amazing person. That's bullshit. I learned to go to bed and laugh about me. I can say that I did this and that and yeah, I failed doing another thing. To not feel too bad about it (because duh, that's how myself acts too many times), I start to take myself less seriously. I turn on my different playlists and just dance. I shake it off and I feel amazing knowing that my body enjoys this as well. 
11. INVEST INTO A SELF-CARE ROUTINE. this can be whatever you like and prefer to feel comfortable and well. celebrate a mask routine before you go to bed, drink a special tea, go have and a nice sweat and treat yourself afterwards - this is your world, you create the perfect routine. For me it is my evening routine: putting a matcha mask on, listening to my favorite tunes, turn on my blue light and just relax a little before going to bed. 
12. LISTEN TO SELF-HELP PODCASTS: sharing experiences and connect. this is so important. Know that you are not alone in this. There are so many people on this planet who suffer from depression and mental health issues - we all got our struggles and worries, but the good news is that with today's media and info sharing, we can connect more closely and hear other stories which can help and inspire for a better healing experience. 
13. READ SELF-HELP BOOKS: books were my big outlet which helped me to understand my whole situation better. A friend recommend me that I should investigate in books about "emotional intelligence" and "highly sensitive people". From that moment on, I learned a lot about my system, my energy, my moods, and a way to live healthier feeding the brain and the gut. Reading about anxiety made me see the world with new eyes and it was also a major step for me to realize that this "issue" that I have is nothing crazy. I'm not an alien - I just feel pretty hard ~ 
14. DECLUTTER - YOUR HOME IS YOUR TEMPLE. with my move (seeing this as a new beginning) I finally understood that no matter what room, your home has to be your temple. Don't own too much, throw away things you really don't need, color the walls in your favorite color which makes you happy no matter what, and create a home which you love to come home to. This is very simple, but so essential. I am in love with my home and I love spending time at home, being by myself and just recover and recreate. I often felt uncomfortable and couldn't get rest in my old place... it's because my studio wasn't matched my mood and my needs. It made me aggressive sometimes.... now I'm all in love and zen.
15. CONNECT WITH NATURE. another interesting point which I thought was silly first is simply connecting with nature or the outside world. I already enjoyed running so much, but often, when I felt disconnected in my anti-temple and I was freaking out, I decided to go out and take a walk. I wanted to breathe fresh air and just ignore or let go of my struggles. Taking a deep breath, being one with nature is pure medicine. We underestimate how important it is to connect with our roots and starting to be humble and especially grateful. We are all human beings and we were created for a reason. Let's be more aware of our being and environment. Even the topic sustainability made me feel more grounded and I started to focus on more important things all of a sudden. 

Reading this list might make you laugh or you feel like these are too normal things - what's the matter? I get that, but also you have to understand that life is not as hard as we make it. 

Those simple things above are there to make us ease more and have fun, even when hard times are coming our way. We need to smile a little more, laugh, jump, dance. Take life as it is and create your perfect comfort zone to recover whenever you need it. Even if you feel strong now, create habits that will always support you and make you feel good, so you never fall into this deep black hole. 
Again, life's too short for all this bs. 

So print out the list from above or write down your favorite points. You don't have to follow along every point, but maybe you find some inspiring ideas where you find yourself feeling better soon. 
I was sceptic in the beginning, too, but all of the above (ok, minus the therapist) made me come back as a better person than I was before. I love my emotional being today and I am proud to say that I won a crazy fight with my mental health. Failure happens, bad times are always happening... it's natural, but it's even sweeter seeing you get up and show what you can do! 
You are capable of so much. 

If there's anything you need to talk to or you've got further questions, don't hesitate to contact me. Tweet me, IG connect me, or shoot a mail - whatever you prefer. I should start a crying club, too, so we can all cry together!
I provide you with drinks, food, and many hugs, because that's sometimes a really good beginning into a brighter future as well. 

Thanks for reading this!
And if you happen to know someone who needs to read my words, please share this post!!!!!!!