Just to forewarn everyone reading this I really think I’d regret it if I didn’t use this platform to talk about something that I have a personal interest in and experience with. Mental health, to me, is something that I think a lot about and I think a lot of people should. Everyone has battles they go through and adversity they face. Some more than others. We all handle it differently too, and in this world it’s so easy to fall into a really negative space. My mom is a psychotherapist so growing up I was always around her office and saw the work she did and the people she was able to help. That was a huge reason I studied psychology at Stanford. Seeing her ability to help people spoke to me…and like anyone growing up I experienced a lot of hard times and her expertise helped me so much. Not only did my desire to help people push me towards that study path…but almost my entire life my mental health has been something I’ve struggled with, and still do to this day. That’s something I’ve never revealed to many people…especially on a platform like this! I don’t expect or want sympathy in any way shape or form, I’m just hoping that I can speak to even just one person and show that we all have struggles. And maybe I can offer a little advice to help a few more along the way. Now, this topic isn’t completely out of the blue. It’s not like I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “I’m gonna write about mental health today.” Tonight the team and I were lucky enough to interact with season ticket holders at an event in the arena. Not only was this a great experience for them, but trust me it goes both ways. Being able to see first hand and up close the type of support we receive is indescribable. There was a moment during photo opportunities with teammates that I caught myself being disappointed and saddened by reactions from fans others were receiving compared to myself. In that moment I caught myself and thought to myself about why that bothered me so much. I think in my profession and in so many other people’s lives we find ourselves looking for love and appreciation from outside sources. I thought about the family and the friends that I have and that they love me and wondered why love from strangers, or perceived lack thereof, would affect me so much. I’m not perfect and this isn’t an epiphany that’s going to fix everything but I think it’s a start. It’s so easy to fall into a trap in which we crave approval from around us and when that doesn’t match our expectations, we believe there’s something wrong with us, leading to frustration, depression, anxiety, etc. I’m honestly writing this as much for me as I am for you. We all need a reminder that the only love we need comes from within and those closest to us. Hopefully this can be yours.