this place is a safe place for any neurodivergent people or people with troubles with their general mental wellbeing. self-dx is completely welcome and valid.
here you will find art and thoughts around the theme of mental health, as well as some advice with how to help if you are struggling.
note: all the content here is based off my own personal experience with mental health as someone diagnosed with depression, anxiety, bpd, bulimia, and cptsd. things here may not apply to you.
what is menhera?
menhera (メンヘラ) is a japanese subculture based around mental health/illness. it began on the japanese website 2ch's bpd/mental health board, and was created by the users (mostly mentally ill women) as a destigmatized term for mental illness. the subculture is focused around the internal struggle under the surface that exists when suffering from mental illness. you can find a lot more information about the origins and meaning of the subculture at this tumblr blog.
this section is named menhera as i feel a really strong kinship with the aesthetics and feelings expressed through the subculture, as well the focus on the humanity of sufferers and art which is created by those who are themselves mentally ill which is very normally absent in art depicting mental health, which are things i'd like this webpage to reflect.
caring for yourself
- doing a little task: a good way to distract yourself from bad thoughts or give yourself a little boost when depressed is to just try to complete one small thing. something small like cleaning your desk or getting your clothes off the floor. this can help you feel like you accomplished something over your depression and hopefully clear out your head if starting to spiral into bad thoughts.
- keeping a self care book: having a small little book to dedicate to your mental wellbeing. fill it with pictures of things that make you happy, mementos from places you have nice memories about, writing down things that you achieved or recording happy memories. its a good way to keep grounded and be able to reflect on good things when you are feeling like there might not be any.
- guided meditation: guided meditation can be a good way to calm yourself and clear your mind. i really like the headspace app and website.
- plushies: having a nice stuffed friend to talk to and hug can help you feel less alone when youre feeling down. if they have a nice texture then touching them and focusing on the sensation is a good way to ground yourself when getting distressed. and they will always listen when you have feelings you need to talk out.
- calming ambience: listening to some nice calming ambience can help when your brain is moving too fast or you need to feel like you are someplace else. personal favourites are zelda breath of the wild ambience videos on youtube.
- treat yourself like a friend: if your friends couldn't get out of bed cause they were depressed or didn't succeed at something they were trying to do you wouldn't call them useless or a failure or bad names, so why should you call yourself those things? you deserve support when you are struggling, especially from yourself.
- comforting games: there's lots of nice relaxing comforting games that are good because you can tackle them at your own pace and they can give you a bit more feeling of control. my personal recommendations: animal crossing, zelda breath of the wild (taking photos of animals in the great plateau is a personal fav!!), stardew valley.
coping with the lockdown
we are all in a very hard place right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. these are some ways to survive lockdown.
- separating your work/school and home: right now you might be working or studying from home. if you are associating your home with those activities it can be really hard to switch into relaxation mode. after you finish work or study, have a ritual to help you transition into relaxing. packing away all of your things even if you need to get them out again tomorrow, closing all tabs related to work/study on your laptop, lighting a scented candle or turning on some music to get a sensory association with "going home", all of these are ways to help your brain realize that you are at home and it's time to relax.
- small, simple rituals to give yourself regularity: the power of ritual cannot be overstated. every night, before bed, have a nice calming cup of tea. or how about doing 30 minutes of yoga or 10 minutes of guided meditation before work? even just these small, simple rituals can really help us to feel we have some consistency in these really uncertain times.
- survivng is enough: this is a global pandemic. your and everyone else's lives have been turned completely upside-down. this is a traumatic event. you do not need to get fit, finish that novel you always wanted to write, or anything else but just do your best to get through this really difficult time. if you are surviving then you are doing an amazing job and you should be proud.