Guest Friday Feature – Christy Birmingham on Mental Health Awareness #WATWB

  Today I’m delighted to introduce one of my oldest blogging friends, author, poet and huge advocate for empowering women, Christy Birmingham.   About Christy Birmingham I have a BA in Psychology and have taken professional writing courses. I am an avid freelance writer, author, blogger and poet living in British Columbia, Canada and am the proud owner of the blogs Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire.  I dedicate one blog to poetry and all kinds of literary goodness, while the other blog supports female-driven initiatives to impact and change the world positively. I have written two poetry books to date, Pathways to Illumination and Versions of the Self. My short story collection will release soon.   Christy runs two wonderful blogs – The Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire.  On her Poetic Parfait blog you will find posts on poetry, short stories, writing and book reviews. At her When Women Inspire blog (which I’m all about and addicted to), you’ll find inspirational and informative articles on empowered women and issues that women have overcome through the decades on topics covering anywhere from health, feminism, politics, lifehacks, education, environment, and so much more. I invited Christy to write a post for my Friday author feature today and she has chosen to write a post on mental health to share with us today.   Mental Health and Friendship: The Importance of the Company You Keep When Debby asked me to guest post on her blog, I immediately knew I wanted to use this valuable opportunity to write about mental health. But, the exact topic within this umbrella changed the closer I got to the posting date.   You see, I had a wonderful evening with a dear friend and reflected on it afterward. The mental “high” I felt continued well after our friendship time and I realized that the company you keep plays a pivotal role in your mental health. With that in mind, let’s look at who to surround yourself with for good mental health, whether they be friends, family, acquaintances, or work associates.   Uplifting People These are your go-to people who can make you feel better with a text saying “thinking of you” or who always offer positive advice when you come to their doorstep with tear-stained cheeks. They support you, tell you when they think you did something great, and (here’s what happened to me recently with my awesome friend) you feel energized after visiting with them.   It is the uplifting friends, family, and others in your life that help you better deal with stress and react to changes in your life. A sense of confidence and contentment is important for a mentally healthy person.   Those Who Motivate You Aha! They make you want to be a better you. Instead of holding you back with criticisms, they are cheering you on to keep going with your goal to lose weight, get your degree, keep applying for jobs, and so forth.   After talking to my gal friend last week about my falling off the fitness path, she encouraged me to balance exercise with the other things my life and, so, I went for a walk the next day. I did it! It was the company I kept that motivated me. And, you know what, I felt better, both mentally and physically, after that walk.   Non-Judgmental Personalities Immediately some people will argue that this sub-heading is pure fiction. While we all do judge, to some degree, as an intrinsic part of the human personality, it is not something we have to voice out loud. Instead, I am talking here about surrounding yourself with people who will not speak or act in a demeaning way toward you or chew you down for a decision you made. Who needs that unnecessary drama?   If they disagree with you, they will do so with a respectful tone and also will listen to your justifications. “No judgment,” and my dear friend and I say to one another regularly when talking about happenings in our lives.   Looking Forward To sum all of this up, choosing to surround yourself with positive people can improve your mood and keep you feeling confident. It may take some time to assess who these people are in your life but it really is important to do so to make the most of your days and keep you away from people who only radiate negativity. Slowly detach yourself from those who have unhealthy influences on your life. Instead, the well-wishers are the ones to embrace in your life to achieve and sustain good mental health. Thank you to Debby for having me here to your wonderful site! Talking about mental health is a passion of mine, and I appreciate the platform you’ve given me today.   Thank you Christy. Check out Christy’s books Birmingham’s intense collection of poetry follows the trail of a woman’s journey from the end of an abusive relationship to the valiant growth of a newly-awakened, independent spirit. Inner light shatters layers of powerful verse to deliver a poignant hope. Get this book Here   Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines. Get this book Here Feel free to connect with Christy on social media at: Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn. This post has been added to #WATWB the monthly post for posting for positivity!   The cohosts for the June 2017 WATWB are: Belinda Witzenhausen,  Lynn Hallbrooks,  Michelle Wallace, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein. Follow Me on Social Media!