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May is AAPI & Mental Health Awareness Month

· Asian American Pacific Islander Month,AAPI,AAPI Heritage Month,Mental Health,Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.


It’s also Mental Health Awareness Month.


Did you know that Asian Americans are less likely to seek mental health services than other groups?


According to the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS):

 

“Asian Americans have a 17.3% lifetime rate of any psychiatric disorder, but are only one-third as likely as Whites to use mental health services. In 2021, 16% of Asian adults reported any mental illness in the past year, compared to 24% of White adults.”


I have definitely seen that in my life. The first time I ever said I was in therapy, my parents were like, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Why are you doing that?” And of course, when I started to get into coaching (and decided that it was important that I studied with a trauma-informed program), my parents were confused and unsure of my latest career path.


I’m hoping by speaking up and saying I’ve been in therapy and having a grief coach last year, that it will help de-stigmatize getting help for our mental wellness.


This month I’m also going to equate mental wellness with our finances. I’m speaking at a mental health awareness event in Los Angeles called: EMBODY: Empowering Mental Health through Community Wellness and Creativity. They are intentional about bringing money into the conversation around mental health because it is one of those areas that affects our mental health more than we realize. I will be on the Money + Mindset panel. If you’re in Los Angeles, please come join us!


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To start this month’s mental health awareness month, here are few things I’ve read recently that has helped me:


First, Fasting Expert, Dr. Mindy, say:


“It’s only normal to have ‘bad’ days. But the trouble with bad days is they make you feel negative. Negativity darkens your mind…And a darkened mind struggles to stick to the plan. Suffering from a bad day?

 

Here are 5 things to do immediately –


💙 Go for a walk

💙 Practice gratitude

💙 Engage in self-care

💙 Focus on positive thoughts

💙 Deep breathing

 

Speaking of deep breathing…Breathwork facilitator, Michelle from Pushing Beauty’s advice is to:


“Take a moment right now to take a deep breath in. Let out a sigh. Take a second, larger breath. Now let out a bigger sigh. Final intentional breath – and let it go. Now place your hands over your heart, close your eyes and say out loud (or silently if you need to):

 

 

I love who I am, and I’m excited about who I’m becoming.


Take a few moments to linger in this space and notice what arises for you. It might have felt good, affirming and refreshing. You might have noticed your mind saying, “But it’s not true!” You might have felt some emotion arise or you could have felt none. Anything that reveals itself is information. Do your best to take it in without judgment.”


Life Coach Rachel Curran (who is teaching a workshop on the Drama Triangle in the Financial Freedom for Creatives Club this month) says:


If I am to be blunt, it goes like this:

If you are living in the Past, you are depressed

If you are living in the Future, you are anxious

If you are living in the Present, you are free

 

 

"Most people live in the Past or Future. And most people that walk through my front door operate solely within the Future - Hello over-achieving, Type A, got-it-together-on-the-outside, ambitious, smart, hyper organized, and (a lot of the time) Eldest daughter.

 

 

If you are living in the Past it looks and feels like:

  • You blame yourself for everything
  • Hold grudges
  • Consider yourself a bitter person
  • Cling to childhood memories
  • You find it difficult to “let go”
  • Fixated on mistakes or regrets
  • Longing for days gone by, struggling to engage with the present
  • Mentally stuck in a period where experienced great pain
  • Clinging to past relationships

 

 

If you are living in the Future it looks and feels like:

  • Wanting to predict each step before you move forward
  • Persistent worrying about what might not work out in your life
  • Hyper focus on what can go wrong in a decision
  • Big focus on making the right decision
  • Very prepared for all types of scenarios…got plan A, B and C on lock
  • Looks at the menu before going to restaurants
  • Seeing peers reach life stages before you do throws you for a loop
  • Always planning ahead, you can tell me where you’re going to be the second weekend in October and it’s only May
  • Countless hours envisaging future success and how to get there
  • Meticulously outlining career trajectory, financial goals and life plans
  • Preoccupied (dare I say anxious about) what your life will look like in 5, 10, 20 years

 

 

Which camp do you fall into?

 

 

If you are living in the Present it looks and feels like:

  • Being very aware of your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings without judgement
  • Accepting yourself as you are, without evaluating or criticising yourself or others
  • Easily notice and appreciate the good things in your life
  • Flexible and adaptable in response to life challenges
  • Savouring life’s pleasures (good meal, at sunset, moments with loved ones)
  • Healthy boundaries in relationships and commitments
  • Living a life authentic AF and in alignment with your values and beliefs honnnnaaaayy
  • Fully relinquish the need to control outcomes
  • Present and attentive in interactions with other people

 

 

Here are a few more words that I personally live by that helps me whenever worries, anxieties and fears come up, whether it’s money related or not:

 

 

First up is this Bible verse, where I got my core belief around not worrying about money (or really anything else), even when I used to be in-between jobs:

 

 

Matthew 6:25-26 New International Version (NIV)

Do Not Worry

25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

 

 

Next, my friend, therapist, coach and hypnotherapist, Ally Rose:

  1. Notice the negative thought pattern. Take a deep breath in and feel into whatever feelings come up for you. Then exhale.
  2. Stop the spiral of negative thoughts by silently repeating this affirmation: I choose to see peace instead of this.
    (An affirmation that uses the word “choose” empowers you
    because it reminds you that you have the power to choose your own happiness.)
  3. Close your eyes. Breathe long and deep as you silently repeat your affirmation for one minute.

 

 

5 ways to get out of shame and grief from well known life coach, Tony Robbins, on what to do when you lose your job or are disappointed by something:

 

 

“First, feed and strengthen your mind with something that inspires you. If you don’t, disaster and fear is where your brain will go. Second, feed and strengthen your body. Fear is physical. When you lift weights or go for a sprint, that energy flows back into your body and restores you to certainty. Third, find a role model, someone who has turned their life around. Fourth, take massive action and keep changing your approach. Fifth, find somebody who is 10 times worse off and help them. It reminds you that you have something to give and to be grateful.”

 

 

And finally, my suggestion is for you to take a break. If you’re trying to frantically look for your next job, gig or audition, that desperate energy is NOT going to attract anything good to you. Instead, I want to encourage you to look at what you loved to do as a kid. In fact, write down everything you loved to do when you were, let’s say between the ages of 8-10. Then, I want you to try and do one thing on that list this next week.

 

 

Here’s my list:

  • Read
  • Write short stories
  • Skateboard
  • Bike
  • Play with Barbie dolls
  • Pretend to write and make films (I always put my brother in as the lead.)
  • Play tennis, basketball, and soccer
  • Play piano
  • Write little songs/music on the piano
  • Listen to records (and later cassettes)
  • Play games with my family - Red Light/Green Light, Monopoly, Cards (all kinds)
  • Watch TV when my parents would let me.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Go to art museums and just observe the intricacies of the paintings.
  • Get ice cream, hamburgers and limeades at Brahm’s in the summertime.

 

 

This next week, I’m going to try and do as many of these things as possible. There’s not a Brahm’s in California, but maybe I can try and find an equivalent. I don’t have any Barbie dolls anymore, but maybe I can find an Anna May Wong Barbie.

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That would be really fitting, since it is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and in 2022, her face ended up being on a quarter! (A money tie-in, as well.)

 

With Love & Gratitude,

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