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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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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Five Ways to Channel Your Nervous Energy

After acknowledging that managing my mental health during a pandemic hasn’t been easy, I noticed some other things as I continued to reflect on this topic. While it’s good to know that we need to make mental wellness a priority during this difficult and strange time, that doesn’t mean much without a few ideas and strategies for how that looks in real life. That’s when I realized that one way to make mental wellness a priority is to figure out what to do with the nervous energy we’ve created this year. How can we get rid of this nervous energy, and how can we do it in a way that makes us feel better?

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An Encouragement Post – Just for You

Sometimes when I think about what I want to accomplish with this blog, my brain gets all turned around. One important part of my anxious-riddled brain is thinking that every single decision I make is an important one, and that manifests itself more in this space than anything else. Every word I type and post I publish must be the best, most enlightened piece of content ever shared. Which means that sometimes I don’t focus on what I’d like to. I get too worried about how it will be received. And while that’s a long-term issue I’ll have to solve, I thought I’d face it today by posting exactly what I want: an encouragement post just for you. Because however you found this, whenever you’re reading it, and wherever you’re at in your mental health journey – a little positive encouragement can’t hurt!

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What Mental Health Looks Like

When I wrote my post earlier this week, I wasn’t expecting to get as angry as I did. Not only did it get in the way of what I wanted to write about, but it frustrated me. I know it’s complicated to properly define mental health, but I didn’t think it was complicated because the dictionary doesn’t know how to define it. But we’re moving on…

A question that’s just as complicated to answer as ‘how do you define mental health’ is similar: what does mental health look like? I don’t mean yours specifically (though that IS the Mental Health Month Challenge!), but what the concept looks like. So I created a short photo essay to answer this question.

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Defining Success During A Pandemic

When someone asks what it means to be successful, the same words come up often. Wealth, fame, finding love, living a comfortable life. There so many seemingly obvious answers to this question, and sometimes it seems objective in the way we define success. Whether or not you agree with these answers (personally, I don’t), that definition isn’t relevant right now – and we need to get used to that for the time being.

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How Social Distancing Affects Mental Health

Social distancing is the buzzword in the U.S. right now, and rightfully so – it’s important and necessary and it’s not that hard to figure out what it means. And while it’s extremely important, it’s also not easy for people who are used to being out and about for the majority of the week. In fact, if you’re used to a more social lifestyle, social distancing can have a real impact on your mental health.

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Progress is a Process

I started this week feeling a bit off. To be clear, this wasn’t in a good way or a bad way, it’s just kind of the conclusion I came to as my Monday progressed. Part of it is that this week will take me out of my usual routine, which always does something to make me slightly anxious. But the other part of it is this feeling that I’m missing something. 

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Are Our Excuses As Legit As We Think?

I’m heading on a trip everybody! This week I am leaving to visit a close friend of mine who currently lives in Spain, and I am extremely excited to experience a new place and culture. I’ve written about my travels before and I will continue in the future, but in mentioning my trip to a few people I heard a few things that got me thinking. After telling a co-worker about my trip, she lamented on all the trips she could have gone on but either wasn’t able to or chose not to which, I mean, is life. But it did get me thinking about the reasons I don’t do certain things, and whether or not they’re as valid as I make them out to be.

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What’s Possible for Your Mental Health

It’s possible.

I’ve been trying to work these two words into my vocabulary for months, trying to say it out loud as much as I can. It’s possible. There are a ton of ways to say it too, based on your inflection, so it was also important that I was saying it in the right tone of voice. At first, I was saying it wrong and turning into a negative phrase, but after some repetition, I’ve been turning it into a more positive reminder and tried to strip those words of their negativity.

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