What is Self-Doubt, And How Can We Handle It?

There are many symptoms for anxiety and anxiety disorders: feelings of panic or doom, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, a general sense of uneasiness…the list goes on and on. Symptoms of anxiety can create challenges with how we view the world and view ourselves, creating issues with self-worth, confidence and self-esteem. But lately I’ve noticed one one area that I don’t often see people discuss – self-doubt. After years of experiencing anxiety, my self-doubt has grown in a major way in recent months. But how did this happen, and why didn’t I notice it until now? I have a few thoughts.

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Showing Yourself Love On Valentine’s Day

I’ve written before about the effect that holidays can have on our mental health, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Loneliness, isolation and depression are common feelings this time of year, and even though the causes might be different than other times of the year, those feelings are persistent. Whether you’ve been through a breakup or are frustrated by past disappointments in your love life, the feelings that come up can be very difficult to manage. Managing difficult thoughts and feelings is central to mental wellness, and even though it’s difficult to view it through a mental health lens, addressing these feelings in a healthy and natural way is important for us to heal. It’s also a way that we can properly feel the anger or sadness that we rightfully deserve to feel without letting it derail us on our mental health journeys. Here are a few ways to specifically manage those feelings this Valentine’s Day.

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Dating With Depression: Putting Yourself Out There

I’ve written on the blog before that living with mental illness can impact daily life in so many ways. One of those ways that has the biggest impact is with the relationships we form. My entire adult life, I wasn’t really sure how I’d approach dating with depression, and it was something I was afraid of. I’ve written in the past about some types of relationships, but I’ve never really had the courage or knowledge of how to write about romantic relationships – until recently. From putting yourself out there, to opening up and having those conversations about your mental health and figuring out what comes next, dating when you live with mental illness – and dating someone who lives with a mental illness – isn’t easy to navigate. Where do we even start? Well friends, I’m here to help (with the limited personal experience I have). Welcome to Dating with Depression – told with the help of a wonderful woman I’ve been fortunate to get to know this year.

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Do The Things You Love

I absolutely love live music. I’m not the most musically proficient person (I played the saxophone in middle school and sang in a boy choir until puberty hit), but something I discovered when I reached adulthood was that I love going to live shows. Since a majority of the bands I like are smaller acts, that meant I was hitting small clubs and intimate venues in tons of cities listening to my favorite bands and songwriters.

I’ve had different concert buddies over the years, but there have always been people willing to go see shows with me. One constant concert pal is Kevin, who I’ve seen tons of shows with. We had a particularly crazy stretch where we saw three concerts at three different venues over the course of eleven days. And it ROCKED.

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It’s hard to describe what going to a live show does for me. I think the biggest thing is that, for a few hours, it seems like nothing else matters. It’s just me, the people around me, and the band putting on their show. Everything else takes a back seat. All my problems and worries are set to the side while I immerse myself in the music.

An annoying symptom of depression is that sometimes you don’t enjoy things the way you used to. Over the years, that loss of joy has happened with a lot of things. I have fought to enjoy things I once loved, and don’t enjoy certain activities quite like I used to. So when I do find something I love to do, I hold on to it as tightly as I can.

We all have things we love to do – activities, pastimes, whatever you want to call them. There are things out there that make us feel alive, at peace, content – happy. Oftentimes, after we do those things, we think to ourselves I should do this more.

And you’re right. You should. Not just because life is short and you should make the most of your time (though that is a good reason), but because you deserve it. You deserve to do the things you love because it’s another reminder that you’re a human who loves things – just like everyone else. We all deserve it. So what’s stopping you?

I love to travel, write, and see live music. What are the things YOU love to do? Let me know in the comments!