Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered thoughts/eating, please see a licensed professional for help.
On my worst body image days, my mind goes right back to its default “I need to lose weight” mindset. Big events, summertime, comparing my body to others, clothes shopping, all of these things can really trigger this mindset for me.
I’ve found it helpful recently to set small goals for myself that are not weight-loss oriented. It’s a nice reminder to myself that health does not equal weight loss; health is doing things to make your mind & body feel good. Here are a few goals I’m setting for myself!
Eat colorful foods! I want to eat more fruits & vegetables-it always makes me feel better.
Take at least one virtual dance class per week! Dance brings me so much joy & the endorphins don’t suck, either!
Manage my time better-Teaching, grad school, upcoming certification tests, I have a lot going on. I’ve been feeling stressed & unorganized lately, so I want to take steps toward managing my time better.
Wear clothes that I love-no more trying to squeeze myself into my pre-quarantine jeans. I only want to wear clothes that make me feel amazing!
Eat breakfast-I want to continue eating breakfast every morning; it’s an easy way to nourish my body & kick off my day in a positive way.
It can be so easy to feel the burden of your past (or present!) disordered eating or thoughts. Society puts such an emphasis on how to “get a summer body”, “ways to lose weight for the wedding”, or “drop 3 sizes, fast!” Here’s a reminder for you, that you are amazing exactly the way you are, that there are a million things more interesting about you than what your body looks like, & that you are worthy of making fun, beautiful memories RIGHT now. Not when you lose X amount of lbs. Right now!
“What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” are a few questions I received when I told family & friends that I was going to therapy. While therapy is wonderful for those who are struggling (& if you are struggling, there is help out there for you!), it can also be amazing when there’s nothing wrong at all. I felt inspired by an Instagram post by Keiko Wolfe, to write a list of reasons why everyone should go to therapy, whether you’re going through something or not!
I’ve previously written about my mental health journey (I’ll link my post here!) & have mentioned more recently that I’m going to school to become a mental health counselor myself. My main reason for being in therapy right now is to be the best therapist I can be, but I’m also working through other things in my sessions. Here are a few reasons why someone might benefit from therapy!
To process a big life change
To nurture relationships with others (& yourself!)
To learn more about yourself
To unpack childhood trauma
To learn new coping skills
Therapy is so helpful for people who are struggling, but it’s not ONLY for those in a dark place. That is what the stigma surrounding mental health tells us in our society. Regardless of how you feel about therapy or where you are in your mental health journey, I hope you know that you are worthy of living your best life. I’m so happy you’re here!
When discussing mental health, I like to preface the post with a disclaimer. It’s never my intention for my blog to be triggering to anyone; if you are struggling and need help, please utilize the resources that are linked at the bottom of this page. My hope is that in sharing my experience, I might make one person feel less alone.
I hope you’re staying safe & healthy! Today I wanted to talk about something that’s incredibly near & dear to me: mental health. Something that’s been really refreshing in all of this uncertainty is that it seems like people are being more open in discussing their mental health. I love reading all of the posts about how people are coping with anxiety during this difficult time, shedding light on mental health issues & helping to end the stigma. Lately, I’ve been loving supporting small businesses that are spreading positivity & hope; that is why I’m SO excited to be collaborating with a company like Borcik Jewelry! I was immediately drawn to the brand, & am honored to get to work with them! This jewelry is beautiful, dainty, & perfect for every day! The best part is that they donate proceeds to TWLOHA, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention & mental health awareness. I’m so inspired by their mission & wanted to share my mental health journey with all of you.
Mental health is something that I’m so passionate about! I’ve mentioned that I’m working on my graduate degree in mental health counseling, & plan on seeing clients in just a few short years. It’s my dream to help people through having my own therapy practice one day, & it’s exciting to be making strides toward achieving that goal.
My sophomore year of college was by far the most pivotal year for my mental health. I had been studying mental health in school, but suddenly the things I had read about directly impacted me. A close childhood friend of mine passed away by suicide that year. I remember the day that I found out so clearly; my heart was shattered. She was only 18, & we had been out of touch for a few years.
I found myself having daily panic attacks & feeling so overwhelmed by guilt & grief. I would lay in bed all day instead of going to class, & I used other unhealthy coping mechanisms as well, such as drinking too much alcohol. I realized that I was hurting myself & my friends, (it was probably not so fun taking care of me during that time, thank you & love you guys!) so I decided that I needed professional help; this was not something that I could just sort through on my own. I made an appointment with a therapist for the first time ever, & stopped drinking alcohol until I had a better handle on my emotions. After discussing the feelings of fear & anxiety that I had experienced my whole life, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; my symptoms were amplified in my current state of extreme grief, but the anxiety disorder had likely always been there.
A lot of feelings of shame came along with my diagnosis, & even the act of going to my bi-weekly appointments made me feel so embarrassed. I had been taught to view going to therapy & getting help as a weakness. Little did I know, it would become such a strength! Once I came to terms with having an anxiety disorder, I decided to be as open about it as possible with people I trusted. That helped me normalize it, & eventually those feelings of shame faded away. I’ll always have an anxiety disorder, but therapy taught me ways to cope that I continue to use to manage my symptoms. That along with my amazing support system helps me so much every day!
Getting help with your mental health when you feel overwhelmed (or even if everything is going fine & you just want to go to therapy!) is nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s a form of self care, & learning new ways of coping will benefit you SO MUCH.
Society still has a stigma surrounding mental health, so we can sometimes feel ashamed when trying to work on our own. Why is it, that we brag to all of our friends if we’ve been going to the gym, but we don’t tell a single soul that we’re going to therapy? Mental health is just as important (even more at times!) than physical health. Talking about our mental health struggles will only continue to shed light & help others.
I hope you’ll take a moment today & check in with your mental health. If you’re struggling, or maybe just curious & want to learn more about mental health, please visit the websites I have linked down below. Knowledge truly is power, & educating yourself on what you need to be healthy is so powerful. Please go check out the other beautiful jewelry that Borcik Jewelry creates; this company is so deserving of all of the support in the world!