How to Manage Mental Health When you Live with Vitiligo
A thankfulness diary is a great way to start each day.
I begin my day with a gratitude journal every morning. A thankfulness journal is a notebook in which you keep track of the things for which you are grateful. You keep a thankfulness diary by writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day. Some of my more recent postings include the simple pleasure of a hot cup of coffee, the opportunity to go for a daily stroll, and the ability to take a break from work. The entries might be large or tiny, but the most important thing is to make it a habit. I’ve developed the practice of seeking for good things in my life by starting each day with a focus on the things I value.
At least once a day, get 30 minutes of exercise.
Most people, including me, have a love-hate relationship with exercise. Nonetheless, the change 30 minutes of physical activity makes on my day is well worth the investment. Exercise has been shown to improve mood, and those benefits have helped me improve my mental health and outlook. While I have a few workouts that I like to do a few times a week, I usually get my exercise by going for a 30-minute stroll or riding my bike around my neighborhood. Changing my physical environment and moving my body improves my mood while also lowering my stress levels and allowing me to approach my day with more clarity.
Seeing a therapist
It’s fine to seek assistance. In my own life, I’ve had to ask for help more than once, and each time, I’ve sought out qualified professional treatment. The events that prompted me to seek help from a therapist had nothing to do with my vitiligo. However, the mental strain I was under as a result of these events was causing me undue stress around my skin as a secondary consequence. For me, therapy has been an excellent tool for dealing with challenging situations and emotions. Every time I left a session, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. While life wasn’t always ideal following a therapy session, I knew I had a safe place to go if things became too much.
Taking advice from the vitiligo community
Knowing you’re not alone has a lot of power. I was in my twenties and had been suffering with vitiligo for more than a decade when I first spoke to another woman with vitiligo. I let out a sigh of relief. I was taken aback by the revelation that, for the first time in my life, someone seemed to understand me. That feeling was life-changing, and it instilled in me a surprising level of confidence in my ability to live with vitiligo. Today, I continue to lean on the vitiligo-affected ladies I’ve come to know as friends. Sharing my story and hearing theirs allows me to digest my journey in a secure environment.
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