Maintaining and thriving in our mental health can be a war. But the key to winning the war is to break it down into battles. Your aim is to enter the battle completely equipped for the fight. You have the gear. The enemy doesn't send the attack from right in front of you (well, maybe sometimes). More often than not attacks happen when you let your guard down. Who knows when they are coming? Only the enemy does.
In the fight against mental illness, put these in your armoury to equip you in the battle:
Think of self-compassion as your swiss army knife. A handy tool that looks like one thing, but when you break it down it has so many purposes. This is self-compassion. Impart kindness and care onto yourself, as you would do to a friend who was struggling. Understand your feelings in a non-judgemental way, and that you don't suffer alone. Meet your negative thoughts with warmth and understanding, acknowledging they are there but not long enough to pay rent in your mind.
The term swiss army knife came from the American army during the second world war, due to the trouble they had with pronouncing the official name for it. It doesn't matter what you call it, just as long as you know how to use it in your time of need.
I have come to discover during my struggles that I wasn't told the whole truth about the basics of life. Food, water, and shelter are all you need in a basic survival situation. Well I've decided to add love to the survival list of life. With the physical elements you can survive, but without love you have no hope. You need to feel loved and give out love in order to survive on this planet.
You can love because you were first loved. Look within yourself to find this love. Once you found it, celebrate it, for it is a joyous occasion. If you've lost it, take time to look for it.
You don't know when the battle is coming, but you can always have your armour ready to go.