by Tonya J. Williams
July 27, 2020
Living with mental illness is not easy. There is stigma, judgment, and misunderstanding. There is also a struggle to obtain the best evidence-based treatment from a qualified clinician.
Many illnesses are managed by medication and perhaps some form of talk therapy. I have found that a holistic approach is the most effective way to manage my illness.
Holistic health generally consists of five pillars - the mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. By engaging in activity that addresses all five pillars, I have been able to stay in recovery.
With respect to the mental pillar, I read often and listen to uplifting music. Many of the books I read are inspiring stories of people who live with a mental health diagnosis. I also meditate sometimes.
With regard to the physical pillar, I engage in some form of exercise every day. Generally, while the weather is warm, I take walks. During the cold months, I work out indoors. I also practice some light yoga.
As far as the emotional pillar goes, I talk with my support systems, including family, friends, and medical providers. I also use my journal to write about and process my feelings.
With respect to the social pillar of holistic health, I stay in regular contact with friends and family. We discuss current events and what is going on in our lives. We also go on outings to the movies or to watch a ball game.
Finally, with regard to the spiritual pillar, I have attended a Buddhist temple and a Christian church. I have found comfort in the principles of both religions.
Holistic health is very important. Taking care of all aspects of your life is very important when you have a mental illness.