By Kris Crews
Mental Wellness: What it Means to Kris
Anxiety. It’s a word that we’re hearing a lot nowadays as we’re bringing this to light and normalizing discussions about mental wellness and health. Over the years, I’ve struggled with feelings of depression and anxiety, and before going to see an actual therapist, writing served as therapy for me. I always felt safe to write out my feelings. It’s not until recently that I started becoming more honest with myself when I write and not feeling ashamed to admit when I’m struggling. I started to recognize that these emotions I have are valid and that not addressing them would be a disservice. I owed it to myself to start putting my mental wellness and health first.
In 2020, during lockdown, I continued writing as my anxiety was at an all-time high. I needed an outlet to make sense of the madness, and little did I know that I would find a way and that it would be shared with so many people through the release of my first book, You Owe it to Yourself.
Taking Care of Emotional Health Through You Owe it to Yourself
You Owe it to Yourself is a self-reflection journal full of quotes, prompts, and free pages for solo processing. You Owe it to Yourself is here to help those on their self-discovery journey find healing, know themselves on a deeper level, prioritize their mental health, and remind them they’re not alone.
This body of work wasn’t something that was on my radar. It was quite unexpected because I was in the midst of writing another project. When lockdown started, I told myself that I would finish that project, but for my own sanity, I decided to step away from it due to it being too taxing for my emotional health.
I was feeling disappointed in myself because I felt like I’d given up and wasn’t strong or good enough to finish what I’d started. But I knew it was for the best and was hoping to create something that would allow me to find happiness — something with more positive energy.
One night, I was on the phone with a friend talking about our struggles with lockdown and how we were feeling the effects of it. At the time, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled at my job, I was afraid of what was next, and I felt a lack of creativity mixed with having no energy to write.
After we ended our conversation, I still felt as though I had a lot to get off my chest. My heart was pounding and I got that tight feeling in my chest that I normally get when I’m feeling anxious. I went on a walk to calm down, and that helped slightly, but then when I got back home, I opened my notebook and began journaling. It was something I hadn’t done in so long that I wondered if I’d forgotten how to journal.
Before I knew it, all of these emotions spilled out of me, and I wrote a quote that started the beginning of You Owe it to Yourself. The quote read, “Silly of me to be afraid of the end when I haven’t even started.” I shared it on my Instagram and received positive responses and messages from many people sharing how they felt similar. From then on, I continued writing and sharing more quotes. I wanted to create something more interactive for others to participate in while highlighting parts of my own story and vulnerabilities. I have tons of journals from other authors and always found myself using them because of how beneficial they are, so it only felt natural for me to create a journal or something that acted as a meditation guide.
How You Owe it to Yourself can Help Others on Their Mental Wellness Journey
At the time, I was writing this for myself — for my healing — but over time, I realized that this could help others prioritize themselves, improve their mental wellness, and share their stories too.
In a world that constantly asks so much of us, it’s easy to get caught up in our schedules and forget about what makes us happy. I hope that You Owe it to Yourself gives people the space to slow down, breathe, find happiness, and rest through the prompts.
Our mental health is important, and it’s time that we start prioritizing it so that we are not only healthy for ourselves, but for others too. I hope that you all continue giving yourself grace during these times, and remember that this grace and rest doesn’t need to be earned — it’s already yours.
As you’re on this journey of self-discovery, understanding, and healing, take it a step at a time because you owe it to yourself and so much more.
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