Balancing Accomplishments with Our Mental Health

When I was in college, I was very interested in motivation culture. I’m sure most of you are familiar, but to, that meant a lot of videos, speeches and mixtapes about being your best self and going after the life you want to live. It was one of my first real attempts at improving my mental health, and the results were…mixed. I viewed depression as a battle – one I was going to win. But my excessive interest around this self-improvement and self-help content was centered around getting rid of my depression. This approach made it nearly impossible to appreciate any sort of accomplishment – big or small – and in the years since, I’ve tried to create a more balanced approach to balancing my mental health with accomplishing and working toward goals I’ve always dreamed about.

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Doing What You Need to Get What You Need

Sometimes the word productive gets on my nerves. It’s unfortunate, because in a lot of settings the word is helpful. I like thinking about the work I do in terms of productivity – whether it’s my job or passion projects on the side, it’s important that I’m productive because I love the things I do and I want my work to reflect that. But the second people started slipping the word productive into how we live our personal lives, I knew it would be something that bothered me. I can see how daily goals set around productivity and efficiency can help someone accomplish many things, but in my experience, that sort of mindset never helped me get what I needed to be mentally healthy.

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I Don’t Want to Leave My Anxiety At Home

Every day, people go into the world and do things. We run errands, we go to work and school, we exercise…the list goes on. And when we go out into the world, we bring our whole self with us. If we’re happy, we’re going out into the world with a smile on our face. If we’re upset, we’re not in a good mood, and the world is going to hear about it. Either way, we still go out. I’m usually annoyed at the fact that I have to continuously interact with the world, because it means I have to bring my depression and anxiety with me. But everyone once in a while, I can actually use that to my benefit.

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Changing My Perspective to Improve My Mental Wellness

The inspiration for this post came a few days ago. I was riding a stationary bike at my girlfriend’s for the second day in a row, and I wasn’t sure how much I was going to get out of it. The day before, I slogged through the ride, feeling like I wasn’t really getting what I needed. I didn’t think I had the mindset to do that again, so I decided to adjust everything on the bike – and I mean everything. The seat, the handlebars, the resistance on the pedals. I ended up having one of the best workouts I’d had in a few weeks. When I was done, I immediately thought about the connection between this workout, my mental health, and how perspective is allowed to change and adapt when it comes to our wellness.

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How ‘Life Hacks’ Simplify My Mental Health Challenges

For me, an important part of living with depression and anxiety is research. Back when I was first learning about my mental health struggles Google was my best friend, and I’d look up everything from symptoms to the best way I can overcome depression. I found a lot of helpful information that taught me a lot about mental health and what I was dealing with, but not all of the information felt helpful to me. And it usually came when I was on a page that would talk about ‘life hacks’ to improve my mental health or beat depression. While I love the concept of life hacks, their application to mental health simplifies the challenges we face every day. I struggle with the idea of using life hacks to ‘beat’ depression, and here’s why.

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How Depression Shaped My Attitude on Routines

When I first started dealing with depression in a major way, I got hooked on the concept of routines. I’d had some routines growing up, but they were created more by things I did, team sports or group activities, than activities I planned on my own (of course, that’s also childhood). I’d started my own routines when I reached college, but when dealing with depression started to feel like a full-time job, I looked for ways to still live my life despite having depression. I’d read about life hacks, about little things I could do throughout the day so I wouldn’t be depressed, but nothing ever stuck. It took me a long time to learn why ‘routines’ would never work in the way I understood them – but I also learned how depression could help me create a healthier attitude toward them.

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Life Update: February 2020

Since it’s been almost two years since I gave any sort of life update, I figured now would be as good a time as any. I’m notoriously bad at talking about myself or sharing any interesting information about the things I do, and I’m trying to be better about that. I know that I’ve alluded to a few decisions (and non-decisions) that I’ve made throughout this blog’s run, and I’d like to be clearer about them. I challenge my readers every week to be their best self, to show the world that they’re more than their mental illness. How can I challenge someone if I’m not showing the world that I’m more than mine?

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Breaking Down the Different Types and Categories of Insomnia

I want to start by thanking the great words of advice I received from folks after my post earlier this week. I’d never opened up about my insomnia in this space before, and it was encouraging hear advice from others who have struggled with insomnia before. One of the biggest things I’ve learned about insomnia this week is that it’s so much more than not being able to sleep. With that in mind, I thought I did some research so I can talk more about the different types of insomnia and the challenges they can create in your day-to-day life.

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I Can’t Sleep – Opening Up About Insomnia

I don’t like sleeping. There, I said it. (Don’t ask what time I wrote this post, please). I understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep; in fact, I even get a good night’s sleep once in a while. But overall, I’m not good at it. Falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up – the whole process doesn’t work for me. In addition to living with depression and anxiety, I also deal with insomnia on a pretty regular basis – and if you don’t think those things are connected, do I have a post for you!

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The Connection Between Trusting Your Gut and Trusting Yourself

One of the hardest parts about living inside your head is that if you get too comfortable, you start to trust your head more than your gut. People who live with anxiety and depression know this struggle very well, but what makes it such a challenge is how easy it can be to slip into that mode. Without even noticing, you could fall down a negative thought spiral that will disconnect you from the things you’re doing, and you have a different kind of challenge to overcome. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s best to trust my gut over my head, even if the choice doesn’t always work out in my favor.

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