Hello friends! I'm back again with yet another lifestyle post. This time, I want to update you on changes I'm implementing into my life to improve my physical and mental health.
Lately I've been dipping into and out of depressive spirals lately. It's like I'll fluctuate from being content, to then feeling like the world is out to get me. And rather than hiding away and wallowing in my sadness, I've been trying to brainstorm how to improve my body and my mind.
Reflecting back on when my anxiety was at its highest point--when I was too scared to even leave my room--I remember having to take action and at least play the part of a strong, able-bodied, non-anxious human being. It seemed impossible at the time, but with some therapy, medical assistance, and daily exercise, I was able to become a stronger version of myself.
It's time to recreate that.
I've been taking time some evenings to keep my hands and mind busy by painting things that make my heart happy. Some works I'll try to recreate from websites like Society6 (for the cat see this link for the original work...I tried painting it myself and wrote my cat's name in the corner since it looks like him), and others I'll compose using a combination of muted colors and pops of brighter colors. Ever since I moved into my apartment, I've loved decorating my neutral wall with prints, paintings, and photographs.
It's extra relaxing to paint while listening to a podcast. Try it, I dare ya.
Consuming Myself in School & Work
So if you couldn't tell, my blog practically went from being published weekly, to bi-weekly. That's because I'm busier than ever--and I love it! Normally I would be stressed trying to balance my work life with my school life with my blog life with my social life (if I even have one, am I right?), but this time around I'm embracing the busy life that I have right now. I'm working hard on my visual communications portfolio and incorporating my blog into that as well. If I make a big enough impact with my portfolio--blog articles included--I could easily get my foot in the door, career-wise and collaboration-wise. I've been swamped with projects, but I've felt okay with it, even proud of it, because I'm finally confident in my design knowledge and capabilities. It's taken so long to believe in myself when it came to my design work, but I think I've finally made it.
As for the two jobs, I'm just focused on making ends meet so I can get my own place soon. When I'm at home, my ISFJ really comes through and I just want to be alone to work on both the blog and my freelance work with no distractions. So I usually distance myself anyway. But it's nothing personal! And it's nothing negative! It's just my way of staying on track and productive with such a busy lifestyle. So with a studio apartment on my mental wishlist, I'm going to proudly endure the hours and hours of work at each job.
Actually Acknowledging My Feelings
Something that is crucial for a mental-health-geek like myself is actually acknowledging my feelings. Understanding that I'm human, that at any point I've experienced better times, I've experienced worse, and that I'm the only one who can truly control how I'm feeling. So journaling and opening up to my close friends and family has kept me sane.
Keeping a bullet journal has allowed me to transcribe my feelings and to point out the positives that come of each day. This month, I admittedly (and not proudly) haven't bullet-journaled as much as I wanted to. And, yes, I know I don't bullet journal "correctly", but it'll be okie. My initial goal was to journal every night, but as February kicked my but, I've been slacking on writing. So recently, when I was dipping into a bit of depressive mindset, I wrote out a pros-and-cons list, just to put my thoughts on paper so I could use it as a checklist, if you will, so I could take the steps to improve things day by day.
Managing My Physical Health
So alongside caring for my mental health and acknowledging my feelings, I've made some changes in my life. Long ago, between freshman and sophomore year, I was new to anxiety and ADHD medications (since this was the time when I was practically bed-ridden and I needed some medical help to actually muster the courage to leave my home). And while I was on those medications, I began running every morning to get the endorphins flowing. And I felt genuinely so much better--even just with the exercise. So lately, I've been waking up early to take a run around my neighborhood. Even on cold days.
I've not been caring enough about my physical health for the past year, so I'm making the changes needed to improve my body and my mind.
Going Out More
One of my New Year's resolutions was to go out more. And boy, I've been doing that. I've been trying to go to the Oregon District more, to the catfe more, and generally exploring more of what Dayton has to offer. I have to admit, I'm loving that city life. It's been making me feel super happy and even inspired to go out more.
Having Fun With My Appearance
Something that always helps me feel good is pampering myself. There's something therapeutic about doing my nails or dying my hair blue or purple or putting on new makeup or just taking a long shower that perks me right up. Even if I'm not good at doing nails or dying my hair, it's about the process. And I have fun with it!
And that's it for now! How do you put yourself in a better mindset?