About Time: Putting Myself First

11:00 AM

Dress - Topshop
Flannel - Levi's
Shoes - Sam Edelman
Heart - In Boston

Hi there. It's been a while.

A year ago, I found myself in a position where I was unhappy, unmotivated, and just upset with where I was. It's why I started blogging again - to give myself a space where I made myself focus on the things that made me happy, whether it was talking about birthday adventures or sharing what songs motivated me.

Gradually, things started to get better. I had a space where I didn't let myself focus on the negativity in my life. It didn't matter if anyone was reading it or not (though if you are, I'm truly grateful). It was about trying to shift my energy from everything that didn't seem to be going right to something that could remind me that there was still something to smile about. Not only did this outlet help me, but I also returned last January to a city I miss dearly and to friends and a support system I love.

Now, I find myself in a similar position to where I was last year. Physically, I'm back in the city that brought me anxiety and panic attacks. Mentally, I'm back to dreading waking up, begrudgingly going through each day, and feeling stuck where I am.

It got to a point where I didn't have the energy to try to talk to my best friends on the phone or FaceTime because I was just exhausted from my daily motions. I barely conversed with my parents over dinner, frustrating them and myself in the process. I stopped working out, leaving me feeling uncomfortable and lethargic constantly.

I came home from work, put on a TV show, and did nothing. I just couldn't bring myself to do anything. It's why I haven't blogged, why I haven't stepped inside a gym or rink - why I haven't done a lot of things I've told myself I was going to do.

To be frank, I'm tired with myself now. I don't like feeling this way and though there are a lot of things about my situation that I can't change, there are other things I can do to make the best of what I've got.

1. Visit Boston.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, my plan was to always end up out west after graduating. That obviously hasn't happened. Instead, I am very fortunate to be at a huge publication in New York. I know that. But, this is also the city where I first started experiencing anxiety and I had previously expressed concerns about returning so soon. Though I may not be in the city of my choice, the one pro is that I am close enough to get out of it and visit my friends and a city I love, something I wouldn't be able to do just for a weekend if I were in LA.

I haven't been back to Red Sox Nation since I moved out back in June and I think it's an enormous part of why I've been so down. Being away from the people you rely on and the city you've called home for the last five years is an incredible adjustment, one that hasn't been going down lightly. I'll be visiting for the first time since June this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I know planning more visits will have a big impact on my mental health and happiness.

2. Sign up for a gym. Stat.

One of the biggest perks about being an undergrad was having "free" access to my school's state-of-the-art gym. I knew how great our gym was after being deprived of it while I was studying abroad last year, but I don't think I realized how much it added to my quality of life until now. No matter where I was the last five years, I had access to a gym. At school, I had our campus gym. In California, we had a gym on the property. In New York, there was a student gym in the building. But now, at home... I have to pay out of my own pocket?

I know that working out and skating regularly affects me both physically (obviously) and mentally in such positive ways, but it's something I haven't taken care of yet because I've been so exhausted every single day. In order for me to get myself back out of this rut, I know it's something I need to do.

3. Blog again.

For the last month, my blog fell off my list of priorities. I blamed it on being in the midst of a transition in my life. Then, my one-month mark at my job passed. I had settled into a routine. And I still wasn't blogging. I was just tired. I didn't want to. It sounded like a chore - though that's not saying much when, right now, everything sounds like a chore. But, I think going back to focusing on myself and the reasons why I started this blog in the first place almost a year ago will be beneficial. It never hurts to have an outlet, especially as a writer.

4. Find side projects. Branch out.

It's weird to say this because I keep talking about how tired I am, but I think finding fun projects for myself that are completely unrelated to work will be extremely helpful. Whether it's a fun DIY project or a freelancing gig, I know I need to do something else. My job isn't exactly what I had studied to do or what I was expecting to do. Though I do appreciate it, I miss interviewing and writing features. By making sure I continue to use those skills, I can fulfill my goals in other ways away from my day job.

5. Create a weekly pamper routine.

I can't afford to go through a full pamper routine financially or time-wise every night, but I know taking a bath with the perfect candles with the perfect music ("This Town," anyone?) and a soothing face mask always does the trick. Whether it's to get rid of the stress of a week or prepare for a week ahead, this is something I've been wanting to add to my routine for years, but never had the means to. Now that I'm stepping into real adulthood, I want to make sure I remember to treat myself every once in a while. Pampering yourself might sound frivolous, but I promise even the smallest things can go such a long way. 

This was a personal list, so I can hold myself accountable to something that I've published online, but if you're ever down, I hope you can take some rendition of one of these things and apply it to yourself. Whatever it is that you do, I've learned that actually taking action to do something about how you're feeling is the first step. Otherwise, you'll be stuck feeling that miserable.

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