On Prioritizing Your Mental Wellness

I didn’t publish a post last Thursday, and that wasn’t planned. As someone who calls the DC area home, last week was extremely difficult to stomach. This week (and likely the weeks to come) will be difficult as well. I’ve been in and out of a fog, I’ve had trouble focusing on things and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out where my head’s been at. I know I’ve posted reminders about self-care before, but this moment felt different to me. It still does, and I have a feeling that might continue going forward. In these days and weeks ahead, prioritizing our mental wellness should be a top priority. Here’s why.

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A Good Kind of Nervous: Developing a Better Relationship with My Nerves

I know I should be starting off 2021 with a New Year post (though you should be warned, there won’t be much of the ‘New Year, New Me’ energy that you might see elsewhere), but since I started a new job this week, I wanted to touch on nerves and being nervous. People’s relationships with these feelings can be tenuous and stressful, and those experiences can continue to dictate how we allow ourselves to feel about nerves. This week, I was (and am) definitely feeling nervous, and for good reason. But for the first time in awhile, there’s a sense of positivity to that feeling that I don’t experience often, and I think it’s not only related to this new opportunity, but also reflects how I’m changing my relationship with nerves.

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This Holiday Season, It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Around this time every year, I get sad. Not sad in an aesthetically pleasing way, or in a cinematic way. Not even in a way that’s particularly unique or interesting. But as much as I love the holiday season, it still happens. I don’t stay sad the entire time, and some years are better than others, but it’s something I’ve come to accept about this time of year. I like to keep my holiday posts full of advice because I think we could use it if we’re struggling around the holidays, but I also thought I’d take some time to give a little reassurance as well – that even during the holiday season (sometimes especially during the holiday season), it’s okay not to be okay.

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Five Ways to Ground Yourself and Get Back to Center

On Tuesday, I wrote a post about the work that it takes to get “back to center,” which to me means finding the right level of calm and mental balance. It’s a place where I feel as much like myself as I can, and where I can a productive person because I am present and able to manage the distractions that come with living with mental health conditions. After writing about how important it is to stay calm and centered, I thought it would be good to share some of the techniques that people use to get back to this state of mental balance so that you could try them too! Let’s dive in.

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The Work of Getting Back to Center

Since the past few weeks of my life had been a lot to deal with mentally, I’ve had to get in touch with my mental health strategies a little more than usual. A large part of this process is what I call “getting back to center,” which is a common term people use to remain calm, stay balanced and relieve stress or anxiety. Also know as grounding yourself or staying present, what it means to get back to center is different for people depending on their personality or specific mental health situation. For me, it is less about being present, and more about making sure I am somewhere near my level of calm. Let me explain.

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Making Space for Positive Moments

I’ve written about the power of positive moments a few times on this blog. One time, it was about it’s hard for me to enjoy good moments or changes in my life. Another time, it was about trying to hold on to those good memories, wherever they find me, and take them with me as I continue on my mental health journey. The relationship between people and their memories is fascinating to me. For some people, memories are something to be left in the past, to never be thought of again. For others, memories can be a crutch that can hamper someone from continuing on with their life. In any case, I think there’s a positive relationship we can cultivate with our memories that can help us grow stronger on our mental health journeys.

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Not Keeping Calm, But Carrying On

While I mentioned last week that November was a very challenging month for my mental health, I was still uncomfortable to share anything to detailed out of fear of jinxing myself (yes, I am definitely scared that I will jinx myself about most good things in life, but that is not a problem for you to hear, just my therapist). But things actually turned out pretty well – I signed on the dotted line for a new job (I start in January!), and I’ve been able to secure a roommate who will move in without interrupting my rent payments. Things worked out! But, as with everything else in life, making these things happen was not a simple process, and it took a toll on my anxiety. And even though I didn’t always remain calm, I found comfort in how I handled these things.

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A Lesson in Stress and Mental Wellness

After months of mentally training to overcome COVID obstacles, I faced a few new challenges in November. They are fairly common obstacles that many people deal with throughout the course of adulthood, but because of the circumstances of this year, it felt like an entirely different challenge than anything I’d been experiencing. However, those challenges were also very common, real-world experiences, so I started to examine my relationship with stress because of them. Since then, I’ve learned how I handle stress in these situations, and it’s taught me more about myself and how I manage mental wellness.

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A More Difficult Holiday Season Than Usual

It’s no secret that the holiday season is a difficult time for many. Whether it’s that the sun sets earlier, the weather gets colder or you have to deal with family more than the rest of the year, the next few months bring challenges and difficulties that are unique to this time of the year. And this year, those challenges are even more difficult than usual because of COVID-19, meaning that plenty of people won’t be around the people they usually see during the holidays. Since we already know this will be a challenging time, how do we use this to our advantage? It’s time to get intentional!

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I’m Changing Things Up This Week – Here’s Why

*Deep breath*

*One more deep breath*

*A final deep breath to calm the nerves*

Okay. As we continue on with what feels like the longest week ever (a reminder to maintain your mental wellness and self-care this week!), I started thinking about how I could cope with the uncertainty going on right now. Many people have activities they turn to or know exactly what to do when they’re trying to distract themselves or find a way to make the time pass. For some, sticking to a schedule is the best way to deal with uncertainty going on around them. If that works for you, that’s awesome, and I urge you to continue doing what you need to be functioning and effective. But I’d like to encourage you all today to being open to mixing up your schedule every so often – and this week might be the best time to do it.

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