It’s Okay If the Weather Impacts Your Mental Health

One thing that I’ve always known is that my writing can be…lengthy. That’s the case everywhere for me when it comes to my work, but it’s especially true for this blog. Oftentimes, I’ve written entire posts where I’ve realized that it took me 500 words to get to the point, or worse – that I never actually made the point I was trying to make! Well, not today. I want to be as clear and as blunt as I can be when I say that the weather is straight-up rude to our mental health. Sometimes it impacts it in a negative way, and it’s alright to admit that. Here’s how I know.

Continue reading

Five Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Gratitude

Since this week is Thanksgiving in the US, I’m thinking a lot about the word gratitude. Being in the mental health space, I heard this word quite often. One of the most common tips for people dealing with depression centers around finding gratitude in our lives. There are many ways that people can find gratitude (and I hope to make a post about that in the near future!), but what isn’t talked about as much is that people’s relationships with gratitude can be tricky. There’s a fine line to balance if we feel like we’re being forced to look on the ‘bright side’ if we’re struggling to cope with mental illness. That’s why, before I reflect more on this word and what it means for me, I want to share some of the ways that you can improve the way you view gratitude and your relationship with this tricky concept.

Continue reading

The Challenge of Celebrating Yourself

This past week was my birthday. I’ll be honest – historically speaking, I’m not big on birthdays. Actually, let me be more specific: I’m not that big on my birthday. I’ll help anyone else celebrate the day they were born. Name the time and place and I am in there, ready to do it up big. But when it comes to my own birthday, there have always been a few challenges that have gotten in the way of enjoying my birthday the way I’d like to. There are plenty of reasons for why I feel this way, but since this is a mental health blog, I’ll focus on what one of the most challenging reasons that birthdays are difficult for me, which is one of the simplest aspects of a birthday: celebrating yourself.

Continue reading

Walking Out of the Darkness in 2021

This year, for the fifth year in a row, I raised money and participated in the Washington, D.C. Out of the Darkness Community Walk, an annual event held by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I was very fortunate to learn about this organization and the work they do and every single year, I’m reminded about how much I’ve learned and grown from being part of this event.

Continue reading

When Relaxing Is the Point

As any reader of this blog knows, I tend to overthink things. Maybe it’s my anxiety, maybe it’s just part of my personality, who knows – either way, decisions aren’t made lightly when it comes to how I live my life. That’s one of the reasons I struggled over the weekend, but also one of the ways that I was taught a valuable lesson in how to spend and enjoy my time. I operate with the mindset that every single moment of my day has to have a vague, undefined sense of meaning and importance, and I’m starting to learn that this doesn’t have to be true. Sometimes, the only reason we do things is to feel good and enjoy ourselves – and that can be a very good thing.

Continue reading

Making the Mental Shift Into Fall

Every year around Labor Day, I start to make the mental shift into the fall season. I know I’m not alone in this (and I’m not here to talk about how amazing fall is, I promise), but I think there are important adjustments we make heading into this part of the year that aren’t always talked about. Seasons don’t only mean a change in weather; they also mean a change in lifestyle and a shift in our schedules. Fall is much more than back to school and changing leaves – it’s another opportunity to work on our mental health in a changing space.

Continue reading

Is Everything I Say Important?

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about cognitive distortions and the way they affect mental health. Simply put, cognitive distortions are ways that our brain can trick us into acting or feeling a certain way toward a situation (in fact, I have a whole post on cognitive distortions if you want to learn more!). While I’ve gotten better at recognizing and managing these distortions, one of the ways I learned to cope with cognitive distortions was to be very careful about what I said. But is everything I say really that important?

Continue reading

Five Reminders About Building Your Mental Health Toolkit

Earlier this week, I wrote about some of the new symptoms of anxiety that I’ve been experiencing in the past few months. While it hasn’t been fun to learn how to manage and live with these new symptoms, it’s been another opportunity to work on what I like to call my mental health toolkit. Over the years, I’ve been able to create different coping strategies and methods to manage my mental health, and it’s played a big role in changing the way I view my health.

Continue reading

Five Reminders About Negative Thoughts

Earlier this week, I wrote about the persistence of negative thoughts and how I manage them on a daily basis. Even though negative thoughts are a big part of my mental health journey, I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped manage my approach to negative thoughts and the power they have over me. Today, I wanted to share five reminders that I repeat on a daily basis when I manage my negative thoughts.

Continue reading