When is the last time you answered that question honestly? You don’t have to write your answer down or have to even say it out loud – just take a moment to answer it in your head. Are you comfortable? Do you feel safe? Have you been sad? Afraid? Stressed out? Really take a moment to be honest with yourself.
Now, how often do you speak about the way you feel? Do you have a go-to person? Perhaps your family? Friends? A therapist? Is there a safe space for you to explore how you’re feeling? If you’re anything like probably 99.9% of adults, that answer is a maybe to a no.
Why on earth are we asking so many personal questions? Today is World Mental Health Day and we want to know how you’re doing. Why do we care? Because:
Mental Health is Sexual Health.
When you are making decisions about your sexual health, they are intimately tied to how you are feeling mentally. Can you possibly give full consent if you are feeling afraid or pressured? Are you more susceptible to riskier activities if you are feeling self-destructive? Can you relax and enjoy sex if you’re stressed out or anxious?
One of the easiest ways to support your sexual health is to communicate to your partner(s) or a trusted person about what’s going on in your head. It can be easy to ignore a problem or a weird feeling when you don’t have to acknowledge or work on it. However, it is so much more satisfying and much easier to collaborate with your partner (wink wink), when you’re both moving towards being on the same wave length.
Mental health can be boosted by masturbation as well, so don’t write off a little self-love as a great way to stimulate and support your mental and emotional health (while taking care of that sexual health!). Being intentional about taking time to yourself, for yourself, can be a really freeing and important activity to toss into an otherwise hectic lifestyle.
We could go on and on about the relationship between sexual and mental health, but we thought it would be more helpful to share an incredible resource that we found: The DC Support Link. In this directory, you can find resources and organizations working in the behavioral health world. You can search to be connected to self-help groups or link up with a expert who specializes in your area of choice. We strongly recommend you visit the network and explore your options.
Remember, mental health is sexual health is overall health. Everything is linked and you are whole. Treat every part of yourself with love and intention.