Self-care. You hear a lot about it, but what is it, really?
Self-care is an all-encompassing term that describes measures we can take to improve our mental, emotional and physical health. Think of it as preventative medicine: it’s like a vitamin we take in the form of… anything that benefits our health. (Hah, just call me Webster’s Dictionary over here).
There’s been a common thread that strings most — if not all — of my recent conversations together. There’s not enough time. We’re all struggling to keep our heads above water, make meaningful connections, meet deadlines and impress superiors. We’re paralyzed with indecision and envy. We’re desperate for connection that — no matter how hard we try — doesn’t seem to come from the devices we hold in our hands.
I am beyond excited to share that I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award! As many of you are aware, I’ve really been trying to amp up my blogging presence over the past month or so (even though this blog has officially existed since 2015). This has translated into too many late nights, and a renewed addiction to social media and coffee (coupled with a smidgen of obsession over my visitor stats, too, but I digress…).
I recently remembered the moment I began to experience one of my first instances of crippling anxiety. It was the very first day of law school in 2011. I walked into the building, where many (younger) students had already paired up with new friends. At 26, I technically fit the description of a “mature student”: I had been out of school for four years, and I felt decades older than most of them.
This stage of life is hard.
We rush from one activity to the next. We’re trying to advance in our careers while still maintaining some semblance of sanity. We’re never fully focused at work, always anticipating that call from daycare or school. The schooling we so carefully and expensively pursued has done nothing to prepare us for this. We’re living for the weekends, which turn into disorganized chaos because we’re all so used to routine. We try to strike a balance between planning and “living in the moment”, and end up with a terrible combination of both that makes Monday morning feel like a reprieve.
Anyone who knows me #IRL knows two things about me. Well, maybe three:
I’m terrible at cooking and meal planning in general;
I love bullet journalling; and,
I’m all about saving time, especially in the evenings.
I sent a message to my two closest friends today to let them know that our child benefit credit amounts for the new tax year were now available in our online accounts.
(… Did you just fall asleep reading that sentence? I know I almost did.)
This is my life now.
There are certain pivotal moments in this life.
For me, one of those was the night I messaged you over Facebook shortly after my daughter was born, desperately seeking out someone who could understand what I was going through. It was late, and of course I was crying. I was seated in the brown armchair in my living room, struggling to entice a screaming newborn to settle enough to latch while my fiancé slept peacefully in our bedroom. I was full of rage and despair.
Those of you who know me and follow me on social media know that I’ve been singing the praises of “minimalism” lately. And while I’m sure it makes me sound like some sort of combination of preachy bitch and millennial vegan hipster, I can’t help it – it has been a total game-changer.
I’ve posted often on my struggles with depression and anxiety. Part of it, I believe, is because depression and anxiety are genetically encoded in my DNA. I have a strong family history of depression, and I unfortunately inherited the gene. Part of it may also have to do with my less than ideal childhood. I won’t get into details, here, but suffice it to say: I didn’t get the love I needed as a child.