I had another post planned for today: a new YouTube video. But I’ve sat all morning on my laptop and iMovie crashed about 10 times, and after hours of work, it wouldn’t export. Note to self, get rid of iMovie ASAP.
But something’s been on my mind lately, and I’m having a hard time shaking it. I hate to admit this, especially on a forum so public, but I’m not 100% happy with life in general at the moment. I always, always get depressed around my birthday and question some of the relationships that I have this time of year, but I think that this year, with being self-employed and moving back temporarily to the suburbs, I’ve been a bit of a wreck.
Even though I’ve been pretty down lately with my situation, I’m starting to learn how to take care of my mental health. Here are some ways I’m practicing a little self-care through this weird phase of life at the moment.
Focus on the prize
I moved back to the suburbs for two main reasons: to assist my mother with her hip replacement surgery, and to save up before I make my move to Philadelphia. This is a very, very practical thing for me to do, but it’s so, SO lonely. I live about 45 minutes (or more, with traffic) outside of D.C. at the moment, and I feel incredibly isolated. It’s really difficult for me to commute for every little event and friends outing, so I just tend…to stay home. And it’s pretty lonely. I only have to power through this for a couple more months, but I tend to feel pretty down more days than others.
Get Active & Exercise
You know me, I’m really not the most active person. At all. But I did temporarily just join a gym, just so I can get up and out of my house. I think the best thing about working out for me is that it’s an hour where I’m not on my phone, where I’m not answering emails, and I’m not dealing with drama: I’m just focusing on myself. It’s some of the best therapy a girl could ask for!
When I don’t feel like going to the gym, I’ll try to get out and take a 10-minute walk in the neighborhood. I try to not sit on my couch/at my desk for more than an hour at a time.
Get Back to Activities That I Love
I might hate working out, but I do love to dance: I danced ever since I was 3, and it was a serious hobby of mine in high school. I just signed up for an adult dance class on Tuesday nights thats only a few minutes away from my house, and I can’t wait to dive back in. Whether you’re interested in a sport, writing, drawing, etc, getting back into those long-lost hobbies that you love can help improve your overall mood.
Fight the Urge to Isolate Myself
I work all alone all day, and since I don’t have an office to go to, it’s really easy to stay at home, stay in my yoga pants, and not speak to anyone all day. Which makes me feel even worse! I try to give my friends and family a quick call during the workday to chat, or if I’m meeting with blog clients that are local, I try to schedule an in-person meeting rather than a call from my own home. Yes, it’s more gas money I have to front on my end, but I know myself, and I feel a million times better when I’m around people.
Take a “Mental Health Day”
I work really hard being self-employed. Often times, I start my day at 8am and won’t end it until 10 or 11pm at night.
As much as I don’t want to get behind on collaborations, there’s nothing wrong with taking a little “mental health day” here and there. Last Friday on my birthday, I just spent the day getting my makeup done, having lunch with my mother, and checking out a hotel. I answered a grand total of one email. And I spent the weekend with friends and family in Philly, and worked on ZERO blog projects. Sure, I came back and had to hustle a bit to make up for lost time, but it’s ok to take a day for yourself!