So much of managing your mental health is just…learning to parent yourself like you’re a toddler

Like, “Honey, it’s 10 pm and you’ve been up since four in the morning, no wonder you’re emotional. Plus all you’ve had to eat today was three chocolate truffles and a half a protein drink. Make yourself some scrambled eggs and peas, you can even put them in separate bowls so they don’t touch. Then go to bed. You can do more fun things tomorrow, but first you need to sleep. Okay?”


In the old days we didn’t call this managing mental health, we called this managing being an adult.


Interesting, that.

See, I’m five years into adulthood. I have a college degree (a few in fact), a car, insurance payments, a job, yada yada. I ostensibly joined the Grown Up Club a few years back.

But, having grown up with a number of undiagnosed disorders and mental illnesses, I never learned a healthy style of self-talk.

If I’m honest, between depression and anxiety, the way I grew up talking to myself was abusive. I’m not kidding; if the things I thought to and about myself were said aloud to someone else, it would be considered verbal and emotional abuse.

So this idea of treating myself like a small child? With the same loving firmness and compassion?

This is a radical idea for me.

This is me learning to stop those abusive thought patterns, and talk to myself in a kinder, healthier way.

And it doesn’t have much to do with adulthood. I know adults who have treated themselves unkindly this way for many years. A healthy relationship with yourself doesn’t just sprout once you’re an adult; you have to develop it.

Those are my thoughts anyway. I hope they make sense.