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Here Are Mental Health Reminders You Might Need Right Now

Why do you need mental health reminders? Think of them as a gentle nudge to give you strength and remind you that you are not alone in your experience. Breaking the cycle of family dysfunction can be a challenging but essential step towards a life beyond just surviving. Taking the steps towards breaking the cycle makes you a cycle breaker, and in this post, I will share 30+ positive mental health reminders to help you navigate your healing journey.

Mental Health Reminders

Mental Health Reminders

Being a cycle breaker takes enormous courage. You make a choice of voicing the dysfunctional traits that exist in your family and actively decide you are not going to repeat them. It is helpful to know that you are not alone and some positivity along on the way. 

Here are 30+ positive mental health reminders that will help validate your journey. 

30+ Mental Health Reminders For Cycle Breakers

1. Sitting with and acknowledging your emotions is a form of self-love. 

Self-love is an everyday practice. Every day you have to wake up and choose yourself and your healing. That means nurturing your feelings and asking yourself- what is this feeling or emotion teaching me about myself?

Our feelings and emotions are teaching us some incredibly valuable lessons. However, people frequently try to avoid them instead of sitting with them and acknowledging them. The more you try to hide from them, the more they will surface.

Sitting and acknowledging your emotions means labeling the emotion, noticing where you are feeling it in your body, validating yourself, and breathing through the emotion. You will come to realize that emotions can be an advantageous asset.

Mental Health Reminders

2. Start over. It is okay to write another story.

This is one of the most powerful daily mental health reminders. You are allowed to start over and change your narrative. To get somewhere in life, leaving places that do not foster your growth is crucial.

Sometimes you must leave and work on yourself before returning to your family. Changing your story allows you to take control of the driver's seat and live the life you want.

3. You can choose to overcome your childhood trauma even if your family decides to stay the same. Everyone heals in their own time.

Your recovery process is about YOU. It is about giving a voice to your experiences, sharing your story, and releasing your past to move forward. Unfortunately, unless your family is engaged in their healing journey, their chances of understanding what you are saying are slim.

Many cycle breakers often want to rush through the process of wanting to speak to their family about their upbringing. Realize that they may not comprehend your choices and continue repeating their old behavior patterns. You have to let go of the expectation that they will engage in your process or their recovery. You can share your perspective, but you can't always take on the burden of sharing their pain.

Mental Health Reminders

4. It does get better, I promise. Just keep moving forward one day at a time.

The mistake many people make during their journey is having massive goals and getting overwhelmed by them. If you are conditioned to live a certain way, your mind and body will not appreciate huge changes and will continue to push back because it feels uncomfortable. Change can be challenging for the body.

It's okay to have a big goal in mind, but it is also important to allow yourself to focus on the next few steps. For example, see how it feels to keep a promise to yourself, take yourself out on a date, engage in some breath work, etc. These small steps will be a reminder that it's okay to take it one day at a time, and it does get better.

Mental Health Reminders

5. You do not have to be defined just by your dysfunctional family. The freedom is in realizing that you were carrying someone else's burden- your parents, your siblings, community- that was not yours to carry in the first place. So give your inner child permission to pause and unload.

Many cycle breakers carry the guilt and shame of their family's toxic behaviors and silently suffer. When you are raised in a dysfunctional family, the rules are different. Going against those rules is more than being a rebel or labeled the black sheep. The price can be as huge as being shut out from your family/community. However, it also helps you to see and understand that you're not defined just by a dysfunctional family.

You're worthy. You deserve to choose an authentic life, and you deserve healing. You learn to unlearn toxic traits, beliefs, and traditions to reinvent the true self-whatever that may be for you.

Mental Health Reminders

6. A day will come when life won't be this hard. Fight for that day.

If you feel like life will always be this hard, I want you to hold on to these mental health affirmations. Sometimes it may feel like no matter how hard you try, you have to start all over again. The challenges with changing your emotional patterns can be highly frustrating.

You might wonder, "what is the point?" or "will my life always be like this?" I am here to remind you that a day will come when your life won't be this hard, and you want to fight for that day because you will come to see that the outside the four walls of your house, there is a beautiful world that you deserve to see.

Mental Health Reminders

7. You are not alone.  

One of the things Brown Girl Trauma helped people realize was that they were not alone in their experiences. YOU are not alone in your experiences. You are connected by the same fear of abandonment, shame, guilt, and recovery that many other cycle breakers feel, which can instill hope.

This is one of the most critical mental health reminders for the holidays: you are not alone.

8. Your value is not determined by the sacrifices you make.

These might be the most challenging mental health reminders to believe. In many dysfunctional households, sacrifices are encouraged and become an indicator of love. Your ability to sacrifice your happiness and parts of your life equated to your value.

As a cycle breaker, you might have started to become aware of and accept that your sacrifices do not determine your value and that you deserve a love that isn't conditional.

Mental Health Reminders

9. Breathe. You felt this way before and made it through. You will get through it this time too.

There may be times during your healing journey when you feel overwhelmed. It can feel like you are constantly in repair mode, and there is no time to slow down. Our bodies, however, will hold on to this stress. Therefore, you must take your time with your inner work and allow yourself to take it one day at a time.

If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, stop whatever you are doing and take a break. Make space for the thoughts, the body sensations, and the emotion, and breathe through them. Remind yourself that you will get through it. If you need additional support, reach out to a loved one or therapist.

Mental Health Reminders

10. Some nights it may feel like you can't escape what you were born into. Be gentle with yourself. Healing takes time. You don't have to make sense of everything today.

There were many nights when I found myself deep breathing through my emotions. The idea of not being able to escape what you were born into can be terrifying. This is not to say you don't love your family, but more so the idea of carrying on the legacy of trauma. 

In those moments, it is essential to remind yourself of these mental health affirmations:

  • You are not alone. 
  • Healing takes time. 
  • You are a cycle breaker, and recovery takes time. 

And most importantly, remember to breathe and remind yourself that you don't have to make sense of everything today. However, your ability to face these thoughts and work through them is already an indicator that you are breaking the cycle. 

11. Seeking therapy does not make you weak. It takes emotional strength to open up about your struggles.

Therapy is seen as self-indulgence in many communities. When people think of therapy, they think of someone lying down on the couch and talking about their problems while the therapist sits there and listens. This can't be far from the truth.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you solved your problems. The rule was- don't yell for help whenever you are drowning. So you go through your day with a pit in your stomach, worrying about the problems at home. Many cycle breakers also shared their shame and guilt for sharing their family secret- "I am betraying my family."

Maybe you are worried your therapist might invalidate or dismiss your feelings as other people have. For example, "I can't talk to my own family how am I supposed to talk to a stranger." The worry about being labeled as weak limits people's ability to seek help.

Therapy is a safe space where you will face who your family is, which can be terrifying. However, the key to breaking and overcoming family dysfunction is finding a safe space to talk about what happened. You are not betraying your family; you are betraying the family dysfunction.

Mental Health Reminders

12. No matter how small of a change you make towards breaking the cycle, it matters. It takes a lot of courage. You're not alone.

Many people this worry that they won't be able to break the cycle before having children or be able to maintain relationships. Some people fear that their upbringing impacts different areas of their life. This worry and fear sometimes lead to avoidance coping and not crediting yourself for the changes you are making.

Keeping a promise to yourself, a 1-minute breathing exercise, pausing before saying something during an argument, 5-minute journaling, etc. are small changes that, over time, build up and help break the cycle of trauma. Being a cycle breaker starts with a mindset, and it takes a lot of courage. You are not alone.

13. No matter your current circumstances, do not give up on yourself. Things will change, and you will make it through. Your family dysfunction does not define who you are- your choices do.

You’re healing if you can reflect on your patterns and choose a different response. It will allow you to see that despite coming from an unpredictable and chaotic environment, that does not define you- your choices do.

14. It is okay to ask for help.

Many cycle breakers take pride in their ability to figure things out independently. You may have been raised in an environment where you had to be independent and self-sufficient. This has led many people to feel like they need to go through their challenges alone or act like they have their life together.

You might feel like you don't want to burden someone with your problems, but I promise your loved ones to want to be able to support you. So many cycle breakers found comfort in this community and realized that it is okay to ask for help and you are not alone in your experiences.

15. You can't detox an entire decade in a day. Be patient with yourself. Healing takes time.

Many clients ask me, "When will I get there already?" or "When will I be completely healed?". Of course, it is normal to have these questions and impatience; however, it is an important reminder that healing takes time, and there is no final destination, only the journey.

If you have been conditioned to live a certain way for most of your life, it takes time to work through the effects of trauma.

16. You are not a burden.

Feeling like a burden to someone can impact your mental health. For example, you might have had thoughts like, "I am a burden for my family," "I am a burden for my children," and/or "I am a burden on people around me."

You are not a burden. You are not broken. Next time you have these thoughts, the simple exercise of taking a step back and calling out the emotion and thinking can be a start.

17. It was never your job to heal your family.

Reminder, you’re not responsible for healing or fixing your family, no matter how much it may feel like it. This is not a linear process. You may feel guilt, shame, grief, anger, and maybe even relief.

You can only be responsible for your healing. You may influence how someone engages in their healing (if they do at all), but you cannot force them into wanting to heal. Similarly, if someone tries to put that responsibility on you- you’re allowed to create boundaries that protect your own mental & physical health. You’re allowed to say, ‘this is not my responsibility.’

Mental health affirmations:

  • Healing is a journey, not a destination. 
  • I am enough. 
  • I am worthy. 
Mental Health Reminders

18. You did not cause your parents' dysfunctional patterns or addiction.

Please take a deep breath and repeat after me: I did not cause (fill in the name) dysfunctional patterns or addiction.

Growing up, you may have frequently heard things like, 'look at what happened because of you,' 'mom behaves this way because you can't behave.' Or maybe, if one parent invalidated what you were feeling or did not create the space to process your feelings, you might feel part of you is the reason for your parents/guardians' dysfunctional patterns or addiction.

There is always something more you want to do. This burning feeling is that you can fix them if you fix 'a, 'b,' and 'c' about yourself. This is usually done out of guilt and/or abandonment anxiety.

This space is not about pointing fingers or airing your dirty laundry. Instead, this space is an opportunity to reflect on yourself and your history. This space is about empathizing with the previous generation and acknowledging that the dysfunctional patterns they live with are also patterns that were passed down to them- but it is not your doing.

Mental Health Reminders

19. You may have inherited family trauma, but you can choose a different outcome.

We all have inherent DNA from our parents. The genes within our DNA control how our body works. This is Genetics. We can also inherit the effects of our parents' lifestyle and exposures in the form of tags on our DNA called epigenetics.

For example, your child will inherit your DNA, the effects of your lifestyle choices, and exposures. They will also be exposed to different environmental exposures, which lead to changes to these epigenetic tags. How we choose to live our lives influences our tags and improves our overall health. Epigenetics studies how life factors affect the expression of those genes, but it doesn't do anything to your DNA.

By breaking the cycle and unhealthy patterns, you are choosing to influence your tags and improve your mental health. This will be passed down to your children. If trauma can be passed down through generations, so can healing. Do not underestimate the impact you're making.

Mental Health Reminders

20. Release this idea that you must fix everyone around you to get what you need. You are capable of continuing on this journey.

If you were raised in an environment where love was conditional, you might try to 'fix' people to meet your own needs. This can often happen when you are unsure of your own needs and your emotions depend on other people.

Now- as an adult- you can continue this journey without fixing someone else. Do an inventory of your needs and identify how YOU can meet them.

Mental Health Reminders

21. It is okay if you are not productive all the time.

We are a generation frequently caught in the cycle of productivity shame. There is a constant struggle of thinking you need to do more or aren't allowed to do things you don't consider productive (watching tv, napping, engaging in your hobbies, etc.). So why wouldn't you feel that way? But, unfortunately, productivity shame is fostered and even encouraged. 

As a cycle breaker, it may seem like you have to be 'healing' all the time, and that could not be further from the truth. Yes, there is always something that you can do, but does that mean you should? No.

Your self-worth is not a reflection of your productivity. Instead, the goal is progress which includes rest and sometimes being unproductive.

Mental Health Reminders

22. It doesn’t matter how slowly you move; keep moving forward. Now is not the time to give up on yourself.

If you have yet to tell anyone, your small steps are still steps. Changing your life can be challenging if you are conditioned to live a certain way. You might get frustrated or be hard on yourself when you don't meet your expectations.

Change can be a slow process, and any movement in that direction is still progress.

Mental Health Reminders

23. Forgiveness is not a prerequisite for healing.

At some point in your healing journey, you may forgive your family. That is okay.

At some point in your healing journey, you choose to forgive your family and keep your distance. That is okay.

At some point in your healing journey, you choose not to forgive your family. That is okay.

At some point in your healing journey, you choose not to forgive your family but work on your relationship to find space for forgiveness. That is okay, too.

Mental Health Reminders

24. It is okay to not know what the future holds for you. It is okay to be scared of not knowing. That does not mean you do not deserve to be here. You are worth taking up space in this world despite not knowing.

It may seem like most people have it figured out besides you. The thought of not knowing what the future holds for you can be pretty scary! However, it is okay not to know (& perfectly normal) what the future holds for you.

You may be the first cycle breaker in your family which means you are paving your path as you go. Sometimes not knowing allows you to anchor yourself to the present and foster learning. We also forget that despite living in a world of instant gratification, life is uncertain, and no one is guaranteed anything. Yet we live as we do.

You are worthy of taking up space in the world despite not knowing, and you deserve to be here.

Mental Health Reminders

25. Every small step towards healing counts.

We often take significant steps in our lives for the change to be considered relevant in our healing journey. However, small steps in the right direction can bring substantial changes.

✅Journaling once a week instead of every day is still progress.
✅Spending time in nature for 10 minutes instead of 1 hour is still progress.
✅Reading 2 pages of a book instead of 20 pages is still progress.
✅Going to therapy once a month instead of weekly is still progress.

You have to learn how to celebrate your smaller wins. Then, when you start doing that regularly, you will understand the magnitude of a small step.

Mental Health Reminders

26. It's okay not to know what you always need.

You may have just started to uncover your own needs, which can be overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating. It's okay not to know what you need. You are embarking on the journey of figuring it out for yourself, which takes time. A few self-care reminders:

  • Don't be too hard on yourself.
  • Give yourself grace as you learn and unlearn. 
  • You are allowed to prioritize yourself.
Mental Health Reminders

27. The cycle ends with YOU. 

It is hard changing your life. It is hard being a cycle breaker. You need courage, self-compassion, and patience. A cycle breaker looks at their generational narrative and decides, "This will not be my story."

You are a cycle breaker if you acknowledge the existence of trauma, reflect on your patterns, you are learning to take care of your needs, you are learning healthier ways of responding, and most importantly, you know that you may not have all the answers but decide, the cycle ends with you.

Mental Health Reminders

28. Self-love is a daily practice.

My husband often tells me, "If you don't know who you are, you can't know someone else." Self-love might be a newer concept for you, especially if you were raised in an environment where love was conditional. Self-love is rooted in daily practices- show yourself love, throughout the day. Some of my favorite self-love practices are:

1. Eat healthy, hydrate, get restful sleep
2. Breathe
3. Unplug
4. Spending time with friends
5. Taking a scenic route home
6. Writing a letter to self
7. Take yourself out on a date
8. Learning a new skill
9. Learning self soothing skills
10. Listen to your body

Mental Health Reminders

29. It is okay if your definition of family looks different.

Your definition of a family might look different from someone else's, which is okay. Family can mean having people who love you unconditionally and support you to become the best version of yourself. 

Reminders from a therapist, you deserve a space that reflects laughter, physical/emotional safety, and a sense of belonging.

Mental Health Reminders

30. It is okay to have bad days.

The flight attendants go over a safety demonstration when a flight is about to take off. During this demonstration, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others. Keeping this metaphor in mind, if you frequently take care of the needs of those around you, prioritizing yourself might feel self-indulgent.

Your ability to be there for others in a way that does not feel depleting is directly related to your ability to care for yourself first.

Prioritizing yourself and your needs is not selfish. It is necessary.

Mental Health Reminders

31. It is okay to prioritize yourself first.

The flight attendants go over a safety demonstration when a flight is about to take off. During this demonstration, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others. Keeping this metaphor in mind, if you frequently take care of the needs of those around you, prioritizing yourself might feel self-indulgent.

Your ability to be there for others in a way that does not feel depleting is directly related to your ability to care for yourself first.

Prioritizing yourself and your needs is not selfish. It is necessary.

Mental Health Reminders

Let's Recap....

I hope these positive reminders for mental health were helpful. Being a cycle breaker takes a lot of hard work and sometimes having good mental health reminders and mental health affirmations to keep you going can be extremely helpful. 

Comment below your favorite mental health reminders. 

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