Happy Monday! I hope all of you are having a great week so far…
First of all, I want to wish my amazing boyfriend, Zach, a happy early birthday! We are celebrating by going to dinner tomorrow and this weekend we are headed to Monterey for a little R&R 🙂
Actually, R&R (Rest & Relaxation) is what I wanted to talk about today. I was trying to think of what I wanted my first official blog post to be about, and then it hit me.
Like many young women, I have struggled with depression. I began struggling a bit with my feelings in high school, but it really hit me hard when I first went off to college because I wasn’t taking care of my mind & body. I wasn’t taking ‘me time’ and was focusing on 100 other things: (being in a sorority, hanging out with friends, school, nannying, etc). I ended up getting depressed and before I knew it, I was really struggling to juggle all of the things that I could before. I wasn’t taking the time out of my day to do things that made me happy.
Now that I’m 22 and wise (Not that wise.. but I definitely know what I can handle!), I have been doing so much better with my mental health. Where I am today would shock my 18-20 year old self, and I’m so proud about that.
I wanted to share some of the things that I do to keep me motivated, happy, and cheerful. Maybe some of these things can help you too.
1. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep
Ok, I know this isn’t always possible. But I know for myself, I have to work hard to get those sleep hours because it truly helps me. No one should be awake at 4am surfing social media/watch T.V. It’s not good for you! Plus, the next day would always be such a struggle for me to work/study/etc and it would effect my performance, which would therefor effect my mood! I promise if you try and sleep more at night, your mood will change for the better. It helps me to read (a book.. not the kindle!) before bed.
2. Picking out a hobby
One thing that I didn’t have for a long time was an actual hobby. In high school, it was sports (I ran cross country and played lacrosse). When I went to college, I joined a sorority and that took up a lot of my time. However, being in a group wasn’t really an actual hobby for me, it was more just hanging out with friends. I figured out my hobby recently, and it’s made me so much happier. I love to bake! Yes, it might not be the healthiest thing in the world, but I don’t really eat what I end up baking. I end up gifting my baked goods, and it lifts my spirits up so high. I love trying new recipes out, trying recipes over and over and perfecting them, and having my friends & family tell me how much they enjoy my baking. Ultimately, finding a hobby can really lift your spirits, and get your mind off of the stressors that are in your life at the moment.
3. ‘Me Time’
For the last couple years, it’s been go-go-go 24/7. I would wake up in the morning, go to work, then go to class, then study, then eat dinner and then after that, head off to bed, and repeat. I did not find the time to focus on myself. I would mainly focus on others, and while that can be a good thing, it wasn’t in my case. I would end up burning myself out, and then avoiding all of my responsibilities all together. Now, I make time for myself every single day. The ‘Me Time’ can be 5 minutes some days, to an hour other days. During that time, I try to do a face mask, take a bath, or try a new hair product. It’s something that makes me happy and usually benefits my skin or body. You can’t be happy without focusing on yourself sometimes, and this has really helped me.
4. Working Out
I won’t lie to you and say that I do this every single day. That is far from the truth. I need to actually take my own advice and work out more. But I do know that when I go to the gym, I am happier all around. When I work out, I feel better about my body, myself, and it always lifts my spirits. It can even be a quick 20-30 minutes, and I promise you will feel better, in both your mind and body.
I’m so glad to open up to everyone about what has helped me in the last year, especially in the last 6 months. I’m feeling so happy and rejuvenated, and I hope that if you are struggling, especially with depression, that you work on yourself and put yourself first. Talking to someone about what you’re feeling is a good thing, and definitely don’t keep those thoughts to yourself.