Friday, February 15, 2019

Authentic Friendships



Do you have a best friend?  Do you remember when you met your best friend?  When I was in college at Concordia University, I met my best friend and we just clicked.  We look nothing alike really, she has green eyes and blonde hair, and I have dark eyes and dark hair.  We were raised in completely different towns from different backgrounds, but one thing we did have in common…we were both genuinely nice women.  We are women who don’t compete with each other.  We both love dancing and watching entertaining live shows.  We like laughing and are always looking to watch funny movies or standup comedy.  We also really enjoy helping people, and that is why we both went into the field of education.  





What do you and your friends have in common?  See, what I look for are people who have good hearts, beautiful minds, and authentically accept who I am and also care about me as a person.  It doesn't matter how many friends I have, just as long as they are real friendships. I have friends who come from diverse backgrounds and feel that my friendship circle is an open, not closed one.  I believe that a bridge of friendship can be built, even if we don't always agree on everything...and that is okay.


Today, my best friend and I live miles apart, but the bond formed through Faith and Friendship will last for a lifetime.

What do you look for in a good friend?     


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saving Your Face - Asians & Mental Health Awareness



Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

 Have you ever struggled with depression?  I have.  I still do.  Some days it can feel heavy, like there is a weight that is sitting on top of you that you can’t lift off.  Some days it is the feeling that you don’t want to get out of bed because you feel so hopeless.  Even the daily routine seems tough, and doing things like getting dressed, taking a shower, eating, socializing, and putting on a smile to get through your day so that other people won’t notice your sadness feels extremely difficult.  Making other people uncomfortable by talking about our feelings can seem scary, especially if we were raised in a culture where we were socialized to always be polite, kind, and respectful by putting other people’s feelings before our own. 
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy


I understand this ideology because I am Asian.  My father is Okinawan Japanese and was raised in Hawaii.  Growing up I understood what it meant to “save face”.  We are taught that it is not okay to show weakness or any imperfections, and whatever you do, definitely do not cry in public.  In doing so, it could not only reflect poorly on you, but also on your own family members.

Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

If you are not familiar with this concept, here is the definition for you on Saving Face (according to Psychology Today):

Saving Face - The concept is a core social value in Asian cultures, among others. The meaning has remained stable across time.  Saving Face signifies a desire—or defines a strategy—to avoid humiliation or embarrassment, to maintain dignity or preserve reputation.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

So, what happens when “saving face” becomes more important than saving our own mental health?  At what cost?  It could literally mean saving someone’s life, or having a better quality of life, both of which are incredibly important.  In fact, too important to “save face” or to stay silent on this topic about Asians and mental health.  I’d rather see someone I love “lose face”, instead of lose their own life to suicide because they didn’t get access to the help they needed due to cultural stigma.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

Have you ever tried to “save face” over taking care of your own mental health? Or do you know of any friends who struggle with talking about depression, anxiety, and other mental health related issues because they are trying so desperately to “save face”?  


It really is okay not to be okay, and it's okay to talk about it.  Talking about mental health saves lives.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy



Read more about Minority Mental Health Month here: 


If you need help, call the NAMI Help Line: 1-800-950-NAMI or  TEXT "NAMI" TO 741741