15 Quotes From Books To Use Your Personal Mantra On Bad Mental Health Days
There are so many ways to take care of yourself when you're having a hard time dealing with mental illness, from home spa pampering to comfort food. If you take comfort in reading good poetry and prose, I have 15 book quotes to help you through bad mental health days.
If you've been having a rough time of it lately, you are not alone. Higher incidences of mental illness have been reported since Donald J. Trump became President of the United States in 2017, with analyst Matt Aibel telling The Washington Post that "Since Election Day, such colloquialisms as Trump Slump, Trump Anxiety and Trump Affective Disorder achieved cultural and perhaps even clinical currency (in an informally diagnostic sense, of course) along with increases in reported incidents of bullying."
For those of us who live with mental illness every day, it is truly frustrating to be blamed incessantly for mass shootings and our brain chemical imbalances. Being told to "just think happy thoughts" and "try harder" gets really old after a while, as anyone with mental illness will tell you. No matter whether you take medication or rely exclusively on non-medical methods to manage your mental illness, you are never to blame for not getting better sooner, or at all.
If you're having a bad mental health day, check out the 15 quotes I've picked out for you below. Memorize them to recite like mantras, and you'll always have an uplifting quote to help you muddle through.
"[Y]ou will wonder if independence, freedom of thought, or your own work is worth it all. We must believe that it is. For the world is not good enough; we must make it better."
— Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose
"One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world."
"I am an act of kneading, of uniting and joining that not only has produced both a creature of darkness and a creature of light, but also a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings."
— Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Interviews/Entrevistas
"Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me."
— Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
"[O]ver years of endurance, hard work and perseverance of determination and conviction, of claiming our rights to stay alive, to be free and to be ourselves, of fighting the biggest wars as much as the smaller ones, our will can indeed move mountains for us."
— Joumana Haddad, I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman
"How wild it was, to let it be."
— Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."
— Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
"In a time of destruction, create something."
— Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace
"If you are one of those people who has the ability to make it down to the bottom of the ocean, the ability to swim the dark waters without fear, the astonishing ability to move through life's worst crucibles and not die, then you also have the ability to bring something back to the surface that helps others in a way that they cannot achieve themselves."
— Lidia Yuknavitch, The Misfit's Manifesto
"[T]he story begins exactly where it is supposed to begin. We cannot skip any part."
— Joy Harjo, Crazy Brave
"I will gather together my past and look. I will see a thing that has already happened. the pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand until it becomes hard and shiny, more clear. And then my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side."
— Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
"I am stronger than I am broken."
— Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof."
— Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
— Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. 'I am, I am, I am.'"
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar