By Ty Crowder (@the_southern_sasquatch)
I will start by stating that I do not write this entry having all the answers regarding mental health, nor do I wish to pretend that I understand everything you are experiencing. Instead, I write this as someone who has had to unpack a lot of their excess baggage and learn how to function without anxious thoughts ruining my day. I want to share three tips that helped reshape how I processed interactions and viewed the world.
1) Learn to say "NO."
I am a fixer. If something is broken, it is my responsibility to fix it. If my wife is sad, I want to make her happy. If my kid is upset, I want to remove what is upsetting them. If someone asks me for help, I say yes without thinking about the potential commitment of their request. This type of life leads to burnout. Sometimes, people must be sad, kids must be upset, and I can't solve everyone's problem. I had to learn and am still learning when to say "NO" to the fixer inside of me. Learning the art and balance of "NO" not only protects you but it allows people to learn to deal with their situations. I will walk with people through their moments, but I can't always fix their moments. My job is to redirect their moment and sight to Jesus.
2) Don't carry the weight alone
Talk to SOMEBODY. We hear that statement a lot from the mental health community, but it is life-changing when you grab hold of it. We are not meant to walk through this life alone. God created Eve so that Adam wouldn't be alone in the garden. We are crafted to be in community and relationship. Please do me a favor, find one trustworthy person, sit with them for coffee, and jump into the heavy stuff. When I sit with people, they often spend more time talking about the shallow stuff and dancing around the serious things in their lives. Don't let your pride take your life.
3) Learn to pray
This one can be tough for a lot of people. Sometimes we psych ourselves out when it comes to talking with God. We may feel as though we don't know what to say or question whether God hears us. He hears you, and before you say a word, He knows everything going on in your life. I had to learn that God already knows my problems and pains. I can present my requests to God, but my issues can't outweigh my praises. When I think about the good things He has done, it encourages me and reminds me that He is faithful. I want to respond to Him by being faithful and bringing everything before him.
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.