Many people are raising awareness about mental health to support Mental Health Awareness Month in May. It is important to fight the stigma and educate ourselves about mental health.
Blogger Steph Yu shares her personal journey with recovery in hopes that she can inspire others to follow their bliss.
By: Zeila Edrial
Despite growing up in an abusive environment, Steph Yu spent her younger years distancing herself from what was going on at home. She was a hard-working perfectionist who seemed to have a perfect life and a perfect family in the eyes of everyone else.
But eventually, the weight of pretending everything was fine came crashing down on her. It affected her mental health and led to anorexia and orthorexia. Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center defines orthorexia as a condition that “includes symptoms of obsessive behavior in pursuit of a healthy diet.”
Soon, Steph distanced herself from everyone in her life. She began to hate everyone- and herself. Although it took some time, she eventually realized the she was harming her health, both mentally and physically. Thus began the journey of improving herself.
She turned to veganism as a way to gain back some weight in a healthy way. Steph had to teach herself to forgive both her father and herself for losing her way. Additionally, she began to strive toward teaching herself self-love.
In the above video, Steph applies “languages of love” toward the idea of self-love. The languages of love are the different ways people express love. Here are 4 languages of love and some ways you can use them to practice self-love.
Acts of Services
When you love someone, you want to do things for them and want to take care of them. And when you apply “acts of services” to self-love, it involves treating yourself well. That means giving yourself a bath or a manicure – whatever makes you happy. If you need ideas, here are 7 Ways to Romance and Love Yourself.
Practicing self-love also includes buying yourself gifts. It can be something as simple as buying yourself flowers or a new book to read to show yourself that you’re worth it and you deserve it.
Life can be overwhelming and sometimes we forget to stop and take a breath. It is important to spend quality time with yourself, as it will lessen your stress and help improve your mental health. Read that new book that you bought yourself as a gift. You can also take a walk or write in a journal to reflect.
Words of Affirmation
While it is normal for people to be critical of themselves, but constantly talking down to yourself or beating yourself up all the time negatively affects your mental health. Remember to show yourself some love by changing your inner dialogue with positive words and phrases.
The pursuit of happiness (or “bliss”) is an on-going process, and Steph documents every step of her journey on her site. Living with mental health issues can be difficult, but individuals like Steph work to bring more awareness to it. You can follow Steph online through various platforms to learn more about her story.
If you’re interested in learning more about mental illness and or getting involved, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Want to see more from Steph Yu? Find her here: