When you think of being healthy, it’s easy to think in the physical sense right? It’s easy to see a fit person that dresses well, and think, wow, they look really healthy! Well, that is not always the case. Just because you may look healthy on the outside, you may not feel healthy on the inside (and I am speaking from experience).
I am often my own worse enemy. My worse critic. I am the first to beat myself up about something I said or didn’t say, or something I did or didn’t do. I will worry until there is no tomorrow about what someone thinks of me (and this person may even be a stranger in the checkout line), and how I can make sure I am in good graces with them.
I don’t normally talk about much of anything on this blog other than my Target picks of the week, how to reinvent your style, or Friday faves, but in the spirit of mental health and wellness month, I felt a little tug on my heart to get a little off topic and talk about the reality of those (including myself) that deal with anxiety and depression on a daily basis.
Yep! I said it! It can be pretty intense and debilitating at times and often isolating for some, but what I have learned along the way, is to not let “it” define you but to use it as a tool to help you redefine yourself. Now what does that actually mean?
To me, redefining is personal. It’s not cookie cutter or a one size fits all. It’s what makes you feel like you and only you. Being the best version of yourself.
What it does NOT mean is trying to be someone that you are not. Brilliant, I know (insert sarcastic emoji here).
It’s so easy to look at someone and think the grass is greener on the other side. Or WOW, they seem to have it made in the sense of how they may look, how their house looks, their career, etc. It’s so easy (thanks to social media) to see what everyone is doing all the time! You can see all the fun trips friends are going on while you are sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself. You can see the new job or promotion a friend got while you have been stuck in the same “cubicle” for years. You can see a mom friend that seems to do it all – she cooks healthy homemade meals, her house looks like something out of a magazine, she takes her kids on “dates,” coordinates and captures these Pintrest worthy birthday parties, she and her husband are celebrating 20 years together in Paris, and the list goes on…then there you are… in kind of a rough patch with your partner, or just not feeling like Mom of the year with your second night in a row of fixing pasta and trying your best to convince your kids how lucky they are to have such a fancy meal out of a box.
It is out of control, right?!! No wonder we second guess ourselves at times, beat ourselves up because it’s hard not to. It’s hard not to feel this pressure of not being good enough. Always feeling like you are playing catch up just get by. I know it because I used to do this ALL the time and have to really make a point to not get stuck in the comparison trap. As Teddy Rosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy. ” Truly it is!
Also, I have to remind myself that my “healthy” is different from this friend’s “healthy”, or that person’s “healthy”. My healthy is just that – MINE, and it’s my joy to live it.
So my hope for you is that you embrace where you are now, whether it’s the good times, or tough times. Give yourself some grace and others too. You don’t know what people are going through or have gone through the past years or even that day. Be there for each other. Check in on your friends, family and your neighbors too.
Other ways that have helped me “redefine” and overcome some of those daily blues is pretty simple and I hope that can help you or someone you know.
- Find an exercise regimen that you love and can stick with on a weekly basis. Group workouts are so fun because you not only meet other people but you also have these built in accountability partners. For some of you it maybe Yoga, running or Zumba. Regardless, what strikes your get fit fancy, just staying active in some way, is huge in distressing and beating those little blues that get to some us more than others. Also, check out my favorite workout gear in the previous blog. Sometimes, getting a few new workout pieces can motivate you to get in there and sweat but in style of course.
- Find something you love to do outside of your regular life of being a mom, wife, your job etc. and try to do it every day. So I love to take photos. I am not that great at it but I enjoy it and do it every day whether it’s of a sunset over the rolling hills in TN., catching my girls laughing and playing with each other or my little puggle just sunbathing on our patio. It allows me to stop and appreciate the simple things and to be present.
- Have a friend or counselor that you can talk to. Being able to vent or talk to someone is the best gift you can give yourself when you battle the mental funk. You don’t feel alone or isolated. You feel heard and you feel supported. So call your best girlfriend or find a counselor that you love and trust to be able to talk through things because the more you isolate yourself the worse you will feel. So don’t do that okay.
- Every now and then treat yourself! This doesn’t have to cost a bunch of money, it can be as simple as a piece of the best chocolate, an afternoon latte and a good magazine, fresh flowers, a pedicure or shoes you have been eyeing for a while are finally on sale in your size! At times, you may not feel as if you deserve to treat yourself, but trust me you do. Life is too short to not. Even if it’s just something simple like sleeping in one day, just do it!
- Pray daily if you can and/or write down one thing you are grateful for or something funny that happened to you that day. I do this in my calendar because it’s always with me or I will type it in my phone and email myself if I want remember it. Regardless it’s the best way to start or end the day because it makes you reflect and look at the positive.
- Get outside. Even if it’s for a short walk with a friend or your furry baby. Just getting outside for some good Vitamin D and fresh air does the mind and body good.
- Get up, make your bed and get dressed. I don’t know what it is about a made up bed and getting ready for the day, but it can totally change your mindset. You will feel like you have already accomplished something when you make the bed. Also, when you are showered (dry shampoo counts too), and you’re dressed in maybe one of your best go to outfits, that can lift your mood and make you feel more confident going into your day. I promise!
- Last but not least, embrace where you are now. I know we all want to look a certain way or be a certain size. I know we all wish that we were maybe in a different chapter of life, but we are not because of certain circumstances. No matter where you are, dress for it and show up. We only have one life to live so why not do it with our held high and in style.
So are we ready?! Let’s do this friends! Let’s start redefining our days for the better, let’s be good to ourselves, giving ourselves grace as well as others. Because when we feel good on the inside, you will definitely shine even more on the outside. Imagine you in your best outfit and your best self! Go for it! You deserve it! And if I can help, you know where to find me.