Tell the world who you are.
My name is Drew (yes that’s my whole name).
Someone told me you can tell a lot about a person based on the top three titles they use to describe themselves. So here are my top three.
1. I’m a Friend
2. I’m an advocate
3. I am a servant
I’m passionate about people, I’m a lover of music, I believe that children are God’s greatest gift to the world and I’m a believer that pineapples are an ELITE topping on pizza. It is my desire to see people free from shame, and to demystify the stigmas associated with social challenges. I am a 25-year-old adventurist from Norfolk, Virginia who loves to dance and see people smile.
How did you become so passionate about mental health?
My freshman year of college, my curriculum required me to take a community health class. In one of our assignments, we were asked to rank Physical Health, Financial Health, Environmental Health, and Mental Health from most important to less important and explain why.
In 2015 Mental health was not a topic of discussion, it had never previously come up in any of my conversations. It did not take long for me to make the executive decision that Mental Health would out rank them all. I love a good debate; I love hearing different perspectives. When it was my turn to share, I went to war for Mental Health. I was committed to sharing its significance and no one could convince me otherwise.
Little did I know, that would be the day a serious passion was ignited on the inside of me. This innocent class argument turned into intense advocacy that I would pay my allegiance to for the rest of my life.
What is your personal definition of mental health?
Mental health is your emotional state of wellbeing
What are some daily practices you implement to ensure your mental health is balanced?
I’m very intentional about grounding myself in the mornings. (Normally through prayer & time with God)
Practicing gratitude is one of my favorite practices. Waking up with a grateful heart, believing that there is possibility for good in every day.
Your environment plays a big part in the stability of your mental health. I try to be very intentional about what spaces I’m in & who I allow in my spaces.
Laughing is my second favorite daily practice. Studies have proven that laughing decreases stress hormones.
Lastly, one of the most important practices would be staying in tune with myself throughout the day. Recognizing things that may have triggered a response in me, conversations that make me uncomfortable & my attitude. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Self-awareness helps us to recognize patterns & reveal areas that could use improvement.
What advice would you offer someone who is having difficulties with balancing mental health?
Be kind to yourself.
Anxiety and depression’s favorite trick are to convince you of all the worst case scenarios. Struggling with mental health can make you want to isolate. Your thoughts try to persuade you that you would be a burden on others & no one really cares or understands. This isn’t the time to fall back, but instead lean in. Reach out for help. Don’t fight alone.
I still struggle with the idea of “balance” myself. It would be quite impossible to equally distribute your time & energy to every area of your life. Which is “balance” defined.