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How to Better Take Care Of Your Mental Health In The New Year

Gabeal Davis

The new year is upon us and a lot of us have made resolutions for 2018 like getting fit and making better financial decisions are at the top of a lot of people’s list, but where does improve your mental health falls on the list? Do people even think about improving their mental health alongside their physical? How would you even prepare yourself mentally to be better and improve your mental health? Well here are some ways you can take better care of your mind in the upcoming year.

Starting a Journal

Writing is something I love to do and being able to keep a journal helps me unwind. It gives me emotional and mental clarity and validates my experiences rather they are positive or negative. A journal also help me gain control over my emotions and kill off some of my stress, anxiety, and depression issues. So writing in a journal will be beneficial for you and maintaining your mental health next year.


Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. This year you should focus more on voicing your feelings more than keeping it to yourself. By holding onto the feelings and issues you have will only make things worse, your essentially a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.


One of the easiest things to do is relax, but we often times forget because we are stressed over whatever situation we are dealing with. We have to remember to breathe and do things we enjoy to unwind. Some people enjoy working out, yoga, or meditate to relax and release stress. These and many other activities will help boost your energy and mood and improve your mental and physical health.

These are just some of the most common ways you can take better care of yourself mentally. Of course, none of these tactics are new, but so many people neglect them when they fall victim to depression and stress. 2017 has beaten so many of us up mentally. The topic of mental health has even risen to the forefront this past year. Let’s focus on conquering some of the issues that ales us in 2018.

More Than Just The Average Blues...

Morgan Daniels



As a child, on rainy days, I'd sing "rain, rain go away come again another day..." It would help get rid of the gloomy feelings that I felt on rainy days. Growing up, when it was rainy/dark out, I would just want to stay in bed and wake up when it all went away.

I did not know why I felt this way. It's like the weather would put me in a permanent funk. I would stare outside my window looking for my joy and it was as if I couldn't see it on the other side of the glass. I would wonder, does anyone else feel this way? As I'd hum the song that once helped me through. "Rain, Rain go away..." the rain was still in my mind. Literally clouding my own happiness. I began to wonder, "why do I feel this way?"

So, I googled. And googled. And googled.

Until I found an answer of this internal sadness I that was dependent on the weather outside. They called it, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Others call it names such as: winter blues, summer depression, or seasonal depression. This can cause depressive symptoms from something as simple as the weather.

With this being said, if you are having more than the average blues, you are not alone and you will get through.

— A Girl that found her JOY no matter what the Weather.

Erroneous Motive

Martine Beauvais

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

I regret letting him back in.

The blossom I’d planted for him

had nearly died in the shadow of time gone by

before the veil of forgotten joy was ripped.

In poured the memories, as brilliant as light from the sun;

warm and life-giving.

Up sprang the possibilities of what could be,

like vines come to suffocate my conscious mind.

I stood aside while my reality was smothered by rich fantasy

and welcomed it.

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

“I want to surround you like heavy mist resting on expectant blades of grass,"

I would say to him.

“Soak me into your skin and soul; drink from my fountain,"

I would demand!

"Discover my valleys and rest in my canopy,"

I would beckon.

I would be everything I knew he was missing;

everything he didn't know he needed.

I would fill in the blanks and rearrange the pieces.

I was selfish.

I am selfish.

I am still not ready.

Sorry, I'm PMSing.

Jalyn Harden

Almost two weeks before a woman’s menstruation phase, she is almost always expected to feel fatigued, moody, + have these out-of-control cravings that may lead to bloating and/or excessive cramping. For most women, myself included, we might be precipitated by symptoms that disrupt our social functioning, sleep schedule, productivity + work ethic. In most phases, I find myself apologizing for my irritable mood and blaming it on the PMS. This can't be life. 

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

If you’ve experienced these symptoms, more than likely it’s premenstrual syndrome which is characterized by the "physical and emotional symptoms." Recently in my studies, I was informed that Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is the severe form of PMS, clinically diagnosable with its' respective criteria and appropriate duration.  After reading the criteria, what surprised me were two things: 

1. The criteria: Wow, this is actually a disorder. 

2. These symptoms affect A LOT of women I know! 

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

This is NOT to say every woman I know has PMDD. However, PMS can definitely impact your regular routine + may even have you to develop another routine just to deal with the precipitated symptoms. I’d like to examine PMDD through a socio-cultural perspective + possibly challenge the current literature which explicitly states PMDD isn't a culture bound syndrome.

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

To any woman reading this, you have literally felt my pain or even worse. In our “American” culture, most times we pop some ibuprofen to relieve of the physical pain + continue to our roles as a professional, wife, mother, daughter, member of society with these daunting symptoms. If we’re lucky enough we can call out or work, and spend the day crawling from our bedroom to bathroom because we can’t stand [the pain]. Some, not all, phases are as symptomatic - but I've gotten used it and deal with it, because I'm an American woman. 

On the contrary, in other cultures and countries, menstruation is not seen as a week of suffering, but rather a cleansing, a process encouraged even for men. Menstruation also is not as disabling + negatively viewed for women in other parts of the world. Women are still able maintain their weight with proper diet and exercise. With this being said, socio-cultural influences may play a bigger part than we imagine in our physical + behavioral symptoms during this time of the month. Take inventory of your diet, lifestyle,  and overall physical health to get more answers around your PMS and/or PMDD symptoms. 

If you have any questions, please see a medical doctor first ruling out all other somatic issues. 


Until next time, 

Jalyn Tai 

Stepping Into My Purpose

Gabeal Davis

"I Declare I will be experience God's faithfulness. I will not worry. I will not doubt. I will keep my trust in Him, knowing that He will not fail me. I will give birth to every promise God put in my heart and I will become everything God created me to be. This is my declaration." - Joel Olsteen

There has been so much going on in my life these days. I have almost given up on my dreams and myself and fell into dark place. When reading this quote from Joel Osteen's "I Declare (31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life") I sat down and remembered the promise that God made to me years ago from multiple sources outside of hearing it within myself. One source being from my aunt after I fallen years ago. I remembered that God has promised me better days and success in what I enjoy doing which is writing. At the time of this message, I've felt no way out of myself and my feelings and allowed myself to really give up on everything. Almost ten years later, I find myself back in the same predicament. It feels like I'm going in circles, but I have to remember what God has promised me, which is better days and success.

 Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

I have started writing originally back in 2005/2006 on Xanga which, at the time, was a popular online blogging site. I went to writing to help release my thoughts and feelings because it was easier than actually talking about them. At the time I was attending Clayton State University here in Georgia located just outside of Atlanta. My mind wasn't focused on writing or doing anything in a field that requires me to write anything, but when I decided to be a part of this Xanga community I found myself deeply involved and entangled into my work and begun to love it. That's when I decided to take it further and start and take my writing to a level higher than it was. This is when I began to find my peace, and this is when I feel like I began to hear more of God's voice and promise over my life.

To be more clear, it wasn't like God just spoke to me clearly and said that this is something I will be doing for a living, but through what I was doing I found peace and drive to push forward and create something amazing and successful.

What is your promise or calling? What will you do to get on the path to claiming what's yours?

Even though it seems like things we aren't where we want to be in life we have to hold to what we feel is right and what was promised to us.  Even though we go through so many obstacles and overcome every challenge know that you will come out better than before and closer to our goal. Use these things to your advantage and create.

Spark your creativity. Use your trials as motivation and find success!