There’s a lot more that goes into being successful than meets the eye—whether it’s practicing a daily ritual to get grounded, asking for help when you need it, or making time for self-care. After all, being able to enter the workplace every day with a healthy mindset and clear head is the first step to achieving your aspirations. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, what better time to receive inspiration to help you be your most clearheaded, happiest self?
Here are the best pieces of mental health advice we’ve gathered from some of the women leading the conversation on mental health today.
1. "Be you, be relentlessly you."
After Super Bowl LI, Lady Gaga’s social media accounts were flooded with questions and comments about her body, both negative and positive. Her response touched on body image and struck a mental health chord, too.
"I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions. Thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga." --Lady Gaga
2. Take time for yourself!
An outspoken mental health advocate, Lena Dunham reminds women, including herself, that you don’t have to do it all, have it all, or be everything to everyone.
"There is also so much stigma for women around mental health and around taking care of ourselves and around basically the ideal that we've created of the 24-hour woman. The woman who can get up, do her job, be the kind of present girlfriend you're talking about, be a parent, look good doing it. And the fact is that it's too much pressure for anybody. It's too much pressure when you are also dealing with the basics and the challenges of life, and we are all going to have a moment in our lives where we crash and we need help." --Lena Dunham
3. Don't be afraid to share your journey.
You can be the light for someone else. Oprah recently opened up about how her loved ones’ mental health struggles have affected her life.
"The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly. For continuing to deny that mental health is related to our overall health. We need to start talking, and we need to start now." --Oprah Winfrey
4. During a tough time, rewrite "house rules" with your loved ones.
When Sheryl Sandberg tragically lost her husband, she and her kids came up with and displayed some new house rules—rules that gave them permission to grieve but also to have fun.
"It’s OK to be angry and jealous of friends and cousins who still have fathers. It’s OK to say to anyone that we do not want to talk about it now. And it’s always OK to ask for help. The poster we made that day—with the rules written by my kids in colored markers—still hangs in our hall so we can look at it every day. It reminds us that our feelings matter and that we are not alone." --Sheryl Sandberg
5. Build your boundaries and honor them.
Alanis Morissette has lived in the limelight since before adolescence, which has brought its share of ups and downs. Now older and wiser, she reminds us of the importance of setting and honoring boundaries.
"I’ve been so disassociated for most of my life, and it’s shown up in various forms like eating disorders and not having boundaries around having sex as a young person and just not being aware of boundaries and having a lot of mine be violated and not considered," she says. "For me, the idea of building boundaries has become a huge part of my spiritual practice. With the mindfulness somatic practices, it’s really helped me stay in my body." --Alanis Morissette
6. Don't let other people's opinions change you.
During the Rio Olympics, social media trolls targeted Gabby Douglas. When rumors were circling, she had to remind herself that they’re simply lies—the world will move on soon enough.
"They're lies," Gabby said. "So don't even pay attention to it. I know I definitely did and I probably changed myself, but don't ever change yourself. You shouldn't feel pressure to change yourself. That's what I did and it ended up doing more damage. I felt like the world was against me, but it's not. There are people out there that love you guys and your life is very important and very valuable. Always be strong, and you can overcome it, you really can." --Gabby Douglas
7. Embrace your flaws, for they may bring you success.
Ruby Rose, the gender-fluid Australian beauty of Orange Is the New Black fame, experienced a childhood of bullying, which led to anxiety. Now she looks back on it and credits her success to being different.
"The irony is that all the things that everybody teased me about are what have gotten me so far in my career today...and it's important to be honest and do things like this and talk about how we are not perfect and how we have insecurities and are just like everybody else." --Ruby Rose
8. Do not be ashamed.
J.K. Rowling reminds us there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The author—notorious for replying to fans when they reach out during hard times—has openly shared her depression story.
"I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never,” she said in an interview with Adeel Amini, 22, for a student magazine at Edinburgh University.
"What's to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.” --J.K. Rowling
Poet and activist Cleo Wade shares mantras of self-love and peace on her famous Instagram account, @cleowade. She recently wrote about a sleepless night brought on by anxiety and the creative release writing has provided.
"I write because it helps me. When my thoughts gang up on me I combat them with mantras and affirmations. I say to myself, ‘I am more OK than I think’ and I share these words not because I think they are terribly profound but because they are gentle reminders. Sometimes when you're spiraling or you have had a hard day, that's all you need." --Cleo Wade
10. Let issues pass.
Emma Stone spoke about her lifelong battle with anxiety, saying that she never wanted to socialize with friends and be away from home. She reminds herself even the most anxious moments will pass.
"It’s so nice to know in those moments of real intensity that it will shift and it will change and there’s a lot I can do to help myself." --Emma Stone
M.Om., Dipl. Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.
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