Mental health is a thing that is very stigmatized in the Latinx community. From calling it non-sense to dismissing the effects through the power of solely prayer. The younger generations of Latines can’t help but feel misunderstood, alone, and silenced by a world that is already so cruel to our well being. When life circumstances happen, the intentions and practices of older generations dismal of mental heath struggles becomes more a trauma wound opened than people realize.
When we are all born, humans are born with love in their hearts. There is no such thing as hatred, evil, racism, stigmatism, discrimination, misogyny or any of the above. But as soon as we are old enough to comprehend a language, this is one of the many first things we are taught to do. We are taught to carry at least one hatred characteristic and then generational cruses that are more contagious than the flu that your mom makes “Sopa de pollo” for as an ‘apology’ instead of words or a hug.
However, despite the generational trauma we carry for the lack of expression we are given about our mental health struggles without it being overlooked. We must first forgive ourselves and realize that the younger and future generations have the power to break these generational curses. We have the power to stop uplifting traditions of hatred and of intolerance. Most importantly, we have the power to pull back to the one thing Humans were meant to do: love others. No matter who you are, what you do, or how you feel. We are supposed to be loving of others rather than intolerant of others when it’s convenient for us.
Our mental health struggles shouldn’t be looked over in society as life is hard enough. This is why as a Latinx college student who struggles with mental health, I want to help others in giving them tips on how to I’ve helped manage the struggles of mental health. As a society and future generation we should learn how to take care of ourselves for our well-being and help others feel seen as well.
- We should take care of others physically, emotionally and mentally: I think this is an important take, mostly because of how quick others are to undermine the physically, emotional and mental struggles of others who seem to have ‘everything figured out’ I have been the victim of this all of my life. First of all, for everyone who envies or undermines a person’s mental health struggles because of how they have ‘everything figured out’ must understand that judging a book by it’s cover is pure bliss ignorance. We should always read the pages in between. Yes they’re in college or they have that 6 figure job but whether it’s the hustle to get to that milestone or the problems thriving in their personal lives. Them going on a 5-star cruise doesn’t mean that at home, they aren’t facing problems where they feel suidical or miserable. We must be mindful that people are going through things we may not understand or even have knowledge of because of the lack of stigma there is around sharing your darkest secrets. With a smile, being kind, being a safe space for venting, or helping them in any way you can. Goes a long way and that’s how you can help their physically, mental and emotional well-being. Just don’t be an asshole.
- We should check in with friends or family as much as possible: Not only to ask how they are and check in with their mental health struggles. But also to make them feel included in your life as much as you can. Everyone understands we are busy and we have lives. But there’s nothing more gut-wrenching then when you are left on read, or ghosted just because. Create a support group that goes both ways, go on trips (whether locally or internationally), or most important tap in with them through phone calls, face to face interactions, or supporting them with their accomplishments in any way possible.
- Stop envying others success: I know social media can be an extremely toxic place where we are held to a standard whether we signed up for it or not. But the true is, by cutting another’s flowers in their garden; you are destroying your own. Just because you are at a l certain age where you see someone getting that dream job, or getting married, or even having a child doesn’t mean you’re behind nor that something is wrong with you. Everyone works on their own timeline so stop worrying about other people when you should be congratulating them and working on your craft too! Life is not a race it’s a journey.
- Help yourself (mentally, physically, and emotionally): Now while others can choose whether they want to be assholes or break the cycle. You can choose to break the cycle! How if everyone else around you is mean, selfish and evil? Simple, you choose to be a good hearted person with morals and who follows the steps above—but who also prioritizes their social mental health! How can one prioritize their social mental health? I’ll give you a couple example: Stop depending on others for your happiness, set boundaries with toxic and not nice humans, and don’t tell everyone your business or future plans. These three things are super crucial because it is how one protects themselves from toxic relationships, betrayal and envy. The universe is expansive and people are capable of anything. Do yourself a favor and protect your peace before others.
- Check in on yourself as much as possible: With rising cost of living, food and even vacations to the Caribbean. You can’t help but cry and think to yourself, how can I check on myself? How can I prioritize my mental health if I work at a dead-end job and have the same routine every day? While, I won’t advise you to quit because I understand everyone needs to make a living. I advise you to apply for jobs where you can know your worth whether it’s finical wise or emotional wise and quit only and only when you can give jobs a 2 week notice (just in case you need to go back) but besides helping your mental health by switching your job. You can also take the steps outside of your work life to promise your mental health a good life by developing hobbies that make you feel happy, going out every weekend (it doesn’t have to be expensive) or simply watching new movies and Tv shows. Find something different to do within your daily routine. It’ll help keep you sane.
- Be kind to yourself: I kind of already touched up on this above but I think when I also say to be kind of yourself. I also mean physically too. Your looks or how you feel about yourself based on other people’s perceptions of you can be damaging and very frustrating. Not having friends or a huge friend circle can feel isolating. But that’s when you lean into the world of self love even more. That’s when you can hold power within you to go on dates with yourself or become best friends with your belief system or even your Dog Max. A social life isn’t what will help your mental health if it isn’t genuine. Self love and learning to love your journey and who you are will. It is differently hard and scary but once you learn to. You’d never want to go back.