Robert Collins Jr. On Mental Health, Social Media, & Self-Care.

Meet Robert Collins Jr. Rob is family. It’s truly a pleasure to have him on the blog today to talk about mental health, social media’s effect on mental health and so much more.

Can you tell us a little about yourself…

I’m Robert Collins Jr. I’m originally from New Jersey but I currently live in Georgia. I’m a recent graduate of a trade school with a concentration in Automotive Technology. I have a great appreciation for sports,  photography,  and cars. I have no children but love helping them through coaching and overall just being a big brother.

What does self-care & soul care mean to you?

To me self-care means the ability to know yourself as a person. Your likes, dislikes and things that you know can be a challenge to you. Soul care is how you handle your emotions and feelings in certain situations and surroundings.

What are your thoughts on mental health and the black community? Do you see any progression?

I think mental health in the black community is an aspect of life that is not talked about. The Black community is getting better with knowledge of mental health. I’m starting to hear more from my peers about mental health than ads and commercials. To me the black community is going to therapy sessions and using their resources about mental health.

What did you learn about mental health in childhood? Was there ever an emphasis on this when you were younger? If not, do you wish there was?

I didn’t learn that much about mental health growing up. You can see the bad behaviors of individuals but assume it was due to our surroundings and situations. Never thought certain behaviors came from a mental aspect. It would have been nice to learn about mental health at a younger age. Especially since I grew up playing football which came with taking hits to the head. Grateful that no serious effects or injuries happen due to the sport. At the same time it was a sport that made me happy and brought alot of joy to my life.

How do you deal with mental health now? How do you nurture both your spiritual and mental self?

I deal with mental health now by making time everyday doing something I really enjoy. I listen to alot of music that puts me in a good mood. I enjoy watching comedies and participating in sports. Staying active is a great way for me to clear my mind. From a spiritual aspect ,I light incense and burn scented candles which calms me down. Cleaning up my space and writing out my goals in the process helps relax me and keeps me focused when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Are you seeing a therapist? If not, have you thought about seeing one?  If so, how has seeing one helped you? What are your thoughts on therapy?

I have never seen a therapist before. I feel like I never needed it because I know myself well enough that I didn’t feel the need to see a therapist. I had great friends and mentors that helped me enough to get through rough patches of my life that a therapist was never an option in my opinion. As I get older and hear some of my peers explain the benefits of therapy, I’m now open to seeing a therapist just to experience it. It can do more help than hurt as I’m starting to realize as I get older.

Has social media impacted your mental health? What do you find are the pros and cons of social media?

Social media has impacted my mental health by adding more pressure and less patience to my health. Like at times I feel like I’m rushing to achieve and do things because of what I see people already have. The main con with social media is the violence and death that is on it daily. There is no more censorship or restrictions on social media. The main pro of social media is that you don’t even need a phone number or email to reach out to communicate with people. Easier access to information in the matter of seconds.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice I would give myself is to not doubt yourself. Don’t pay so much attention to your peers’ lifestyles or the expectations that people have of you. Take it one day at a time. Achieve something everyday no matter what it is. Understand what you’re working hard for and have a clear plan of what it’s going to take to get you where you need to go. If you are unsure of something, ask questions to the right source and then make the best judgment of that information.

What advice would you give the younger generation?

Do what makes you happy and hang with people that love the same things as you do. Take breaks from social media and your phone go read, write, or do something fun during those breaks. Go to a community college or a trade school once you finish High School. Then decide if you wanna pursue a 4 year college or university. Travel to other places and get away from the environment you’re used to. Most importantly when you have a problem with someone, do your best to walk away.

You can find Robert Collins Jr. on instagram @chilly_rob

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