This time of year can be hard for some people, especially for people who find themselves experiencing SADD. Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder affects a lot of people! Essentially, it is when people experience depression during the winter months. Part of this is caused by the decreased Vitamin D accompanying the lack of sunlight, and sometimes also the holidays are hard for people.
2020 has already been an intense year, to say the least. And if you are finding yourself feeling depressed (or more depressed than your usual amount) during this, you’re not alone.
So what can you do about it? Especially during this time of stay-at-home orders?
Give yourself a fucking break.
Seriously. Put off for tomorrow what does not need to get done today. Let yourself have an extra 30 minutes of laying in bed. Eat what you feel like having. We are literally living through a pandemic, y’all. Our normalcy is being rearranged – and depression (seasonal or not) has a metaphysical reason for demanding rest.
Something I’ve read about briefly is ayurvedic medicine. Within this medicine is the idea of your body being closely aligned with the sun, that our bodies naturally need less sleep in the summer and more in the winter. Our eating habits change seasonally as well.
This is not me saying “depression during the winter is natural, just deal with it”. BUT I am saying that one of the healthiest things we can do is listen to our body. Give yourself the grace and give yourself the space to do your best every day, no matter what that looks like.
Sometimes my best is waking up early and doing yoga and exercising before the sun rises. Other times it’s waking up at 9:30am and eating cookies for breakfast. Life is all about balance, and it’s important that we hold space for ourselves.
So what are some winter activities to do during this time?
❄ Drive around and look at Christmas lights
❄ Make hot chocolate at home and have a game night
❄ Sit in front of a fireplace (in real life or on YouTube) and cozy up under a bunch of blankets
❄ Watch Christmas movies
❄ See if there’s any local Christmas light “events” (In New Jersey, the PNC Bank Arts Center has a drive-thru Christmas light show and they charge a small entry fee per car)
❄ Read one of your favorite chapter books from when you were a kid. (The Inkheart trilogy is my go-to)
❄ Have a movie night (Harry Potter is my go-to!)
❄ Do your favorite winter activities safely!
Remember, you are entitled to your feelings. Right now does suck. But this stork will pass. It might pass like a fucking kidney stone, but this too shall pass.
In case you don’t already know – mental health is one of the most important things in my life. I consider myself to be a mental health advocate, and when I’m able to make enough money through my writing to support me (i.e. I don’t have to work for anyone else) I’ll have the time and ability to advocate more.
Early November is the time where I reflect on my experience with my mental health. In November of 2014, I was hospitalized for 8 days in a psychiatric facility because my family was concerned for my safety. After leaving the facility, I went through an outpatient program for about three months, and I graduated from that program in about March of 2015. In July of 2015, I started dating my now-fiancé.
Depression and anxiety plagued me for years, not to mention misdiagnoses that occurred, generational trauma, and PTSD.
It has been six years since I’ve self-harmed. It has been six years since my stay in the psych ward, and over five and a half years since I graduated from the outpatient program. I don’t have anxiety attacks every day, or even every week. I don’t feel disgusting in my own skin with every breath.
But that’s not to say that I’m “cured”. I still live with anxiety, and depression, and my trauma. I am unlearning so much every day – beliefs and values that aren’t actually mine, coping mechanisms that don’t serve me, and negativity. I still get anxious and deal with depression. And I’m working on my growth. I am in therapy, and I read a lot of personal development books.
I also am realistic and know that I’ll never not be living with anxiety or depression. Even the best version of myself will feel anxious or depressed, but the work that I am doing now is helping me build a strong foundation of self-love, discipline, positive coping skills, and confidence.
I don’t think I have all the answers for you. There is a solid chance that I don’t have any answers. But I do know that if I can work through my crippling depression, my vivid suicidal ideations, and my debilitating anxiety so it’s all more manageable, then it is possible for anyone to do so too.
November is not Mental Health Awareness Month. And honestly, I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s not #trending to talk about the courage it takes to go to therapy, or to speak up to someone when you think you might need help, or to speak up when you’re worried about someone else. I don’t care of it’s on the Explore Page/For You Page about the different resources available for those who are living with mental illnesses. For me, on my platform, Mental Health Matters 24/7 365 days a year (and 366 days on a Leap Year).
I know that for some people this might feel kinda liberal, or hippie, or any other label with a negative connotation but the reality is, is that we as humans cannot be truly healthy if we’re neglecting our emotions and mental state. Your mental health matters. You are not alone. People care about your mental health, but unfortunately, there aren’t many mind-readers among us who are able to know how you’re feeling unless you say something.
I also don’t think that there’s only one answer for someone who is dealing with mental health issues. If you want to go to a therapist who specializes in traditional psychology, you go for it! There are also therapists who specialize in religious or spiritual approaches. There are counselors and coaches and therapists and so many people who do energy work. I also know that this can be expensive. Not everyone has access to insurance, or can afford it. And it’s so easy to get into a mindset of “If I was in a country with universal healthcare I could have access to therapy but I don’t so I guess I’ll just suffer” – and I’m sorry you’re struggling. But that is bullshit. You have access to the internet! It is 2020, my dude – YouTube is a free resource. There are so many videos on different topics – give yourself an hour a week to watch videos about whatever it is that’s troubling you! Or check out your local library.
There is strength in asking for help. And if you aren’t at that point yet, you are strong too.
Your mental health matters. Your health matters. You matter.
It can feel lonesome. There are still so many stigmas surrounding all things mental health, and if you’re in an unsupportive environment you might think that the stigmas are truth. And while I can’t debunk every stigma you ever heard (since I don’t know what you’ve heard!), I can offer the following truths.
✨ You are worthy of happiness. You know yourself best. You are smart and kind and important.
✨ You cannot just not be depressed or anxious. It’s not that easy, BUT not being under depression’s grip or under anxiety’s wrath is possible.
✨ Not everyone will be understanding. Usually the people who have never experienced mental health issues don’t have the best understanding of how to help you with yours. You will find your support system. You are worthy of support and this pain will not last forever.
Happy Tuesday! Happy New Moon in Leo! This is also the second full day into Uranus Retrograde, so let me know if this is hitting y’all as hard as it’s hitting me 😅
In case you’re not into astrology stuff (moon energy, planetary alignments, etc.), I’ll briefly discuss what both of these things mean and link articles to read that explain it more eloquently. Also, just follow @truly.intuitive on Instagram! She’s the best.
New Moons are the beginning of the moon’s energy cycle. It’s typically when witches do their work for manifestation, among other things. New Moons signify beginnings, and there have also been studies to show that a majority of women menstruate around the new moon and ovulate around the full moon. So, new moons are pretty powerful. If you do any sort of Law of Attraction practice (writing letters, vision boards, etc.), I recommend paying attention to when the next New Moon is to help boost the manifesting.
Most of us are aware of our sun signs. This is the answer we would give if anybody were to actually use the “So what’s your sign?” pick-up line on us. This is the “most popular” knowledge people have of their birth chart, but y’all there is actually so much more to know. It’s on my mental list of things to do to study astrology and eventually be able to read birth charts, but for now I’m still in the “collecting general knowledge” phase. We all have the planet Uranus in our chart, and typically, this planet is a symbol of progress, science, and disruption of the status quo. It’s the planet that is linked to surprises, innovation, revolution, and liberation. Uranus is demonstrative of all that is unique, wild, unpredictable, and unusual in our lives.
So what does this mean for this planet going in retrograde? It means our comfort zone will be tested. We are given a choice: change or die. (Die in the figurative sense). Without the influence of Uranus, many of us would nestle deep in our most familiar ruts and never look back. Uranus pushes us past the edge of our comfort.
Y’all, I am feeling all of this energy.
Recently (like, Sunday night recently), I initiated a difficult conversation that I’ve been avoiding having with someone. And while we actually made progress, kinda, I was in my feels yesterday (as the kids say). I was feeling down, almost depressed. Very sad, insecure.
(Context: This wasn’t a bad conversation! No break-ups or any life changes, just a sensitive topic that is something not openly discussed. A lot of emotions were had).
And the reason I think that all of these feelings have to do with my spiritual awakening, is because I know that I need to go through this. So after yesterday morning of feeling super low, I was sitting outside cuddling with our pupper and had the thought that growth comes after change, and this season is all about shaking things up and teaches us what is really important.
It’s hard to determine if what I’m feeling is a “normal” part of growing, spiritually. It’s hard to tell if I cried for an hour that night because I was depressed af or if I’m understanding that everything in this world is grey – there is no black or white answer. I am right in my mind and you are right in your mind, so how can we say either of us is wrong? If my upset was because of the realization that I need to learn how prioritize my own needs while simultaneously prioritizing the needs of others. That’s a difficult balance, but it’s so important to have. If my upset was just overwhelm. Or if it was something else entirely, or a combination of all of the above.
And don’t get me wrong, crying is necessary. And I’m not ashamed of the fact that I cry easily. I have grown a lot and am proud of being able to feel my feelings. Holding space for my emotions is hard, honestly. It’s easier to numb or ignore, but at the end of the day, it is so beneficial to feel them and release them so you have more room for happiness.
However, I am ashamed of the fact that I feel shame surrounding my interests and the things that mean a lot to me. A good friend started following me on Instagram (@thatwriterjenna) and dude, I almost dry-heaved. My stomach dropped to my knees and I was about to stop doing this. And she’s a great friend, so it’s not like I don’t want her to see anything. I post this and am working on baring my soul to the interwebs because I want my words to be seen. But the more people in my life who comes across my writing, the more real it becomes. “It” being stepping up to the plate and actually pursuing my dream of being a writer. So yeah, I’m not ashamed that I love to write. I’m not ashamed of my spirituality. I know that writing and spirituality is not for everyone, and that while these things are a part of me, they do not define me. But I feel shame around the guilt I feel for being so…me. And if I’m honest, I guess part of me is a little (or a lot) ashamed of who/what “me” is.
Y’all how the fuck am I supposed to live my damn life and choose happiness if I’m ashamed of myself? How am I supposed to become the person I am in my dreams, my dream version of me, by playing small?
I’ve read in so many memoirs that once they fully stepped into themselves, they felt so much better and accomplished so much more than they ever thought possible. That’s a bit daunting to me, because I’m manifesting a pretty successful writing career. And like, I want that. But all of this work before hand – the unlearning and the healing and the shadow work and all that, is daunting. And it’d be easier to not deal with it.
But I’m already here! I’m already shedding the layers of the past versions of me. I feel like these layers are like a onesie pajama set and I’m standing here with the pajamas to my hips. I can’t just live life halfway out, and I can’t put myself back in. So, the only way out is through.
I need to push through the discomfort and grow into myself anyway. Do the thing even if I’m scared…if not because I’m scared. I am living this life once, so I need to stop waiting for xyz and just jump into the deep end.
So how does the New Moon and Uranus Retrograde and hard talks and embracing being myself all tie together? Because it’s my life! It’s exactly what I’m going through right now. And being open about what’s going on as it’s going on, before I have any hindsight, is on the edge of my comfort zone. That’s what Uranus Retrograde is all about. And I’ve had this feeling that’s been persistent for a few days now: that with the platform I’ll eventually build, I am meant to open the door for other people to have difficult conversations. Authenticity is one of the most important things to me, and I think part of my purpose is to show people how to find their truth.
But I have a lot of living and learning to do before I can get there. I can’t pour from an empty cup, and the teeny tiny drop I sometimes have in my cup I gotta save for myself. And all of these realizations are a part of the process.
We are living through a pandemic. This isn’t exactly the part of the “Roaring 20’s” we wanted, but it’s the part that we got. Some days are going to feel great, and some days will not. It’s not about comparison of pain or comparison of success, of what Jane Doe is doing today and how Joe Shmo can get all that work done. Your best today will look different than your best tomorrow, and that’s okay.
Take some extra time to take care of yourself, there’s a lot going on energetically right now. I wish you peace and happiness. ✨
Welcome, August! 2020 is f l y i n g by, and I am here for it. This has been a year that I think no one was quite ready for, and in the midst of all the negative things that have happened – it’s actually been a quite beautiful year.
For one thing, Mother Nature has had time to heal. Countless species of animals returned to their old neighborhoods within mere weeks of less humans walking around, less carbon emissions during quarantine, etc. People have become more focused on small businesses, taking care of themselves holistically, etc. Communities have banded together in times of the COVID-19 crisis, in protest with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There has been a lot of good that has happened this year.
However, there has also been a lot of negative things too. Division, hate, exclusion, violence, death.
So what does all of this have to do with toxic positivity?
By definition, “toxic positivity” is a phrase typically used when someone portrays themselves as happy no matter what.
I have found myself to fall into the trap of being toxically positive.
Growing up, I was raised Catholic and had to go to mass every Sunday. Church was boring most of the time, but I had to go. My father, the lovely man he is, started a game with me where I tried to come up with one good thing about being there. And it was from this practice that we eventually applied this to life in general.
Looking for the positives in less-than-stellar situations is a great tool! This has been something that has become almost second nature.
The problem lies when someone only sees the positive in any/all situations, and does not hold space for the negativity.
Real life example. You hear from a friend that their elderly and ill relative has passed away. Telling them “At least they’re not suffering anymore” is a toxic-positive thing to say. Because yeah, it’s true, they aren’t suffering anymore, but a statement like that doesn’t leave room for their grief.
Toxic positivity has been on my mind lately because it’s something I’m working on un-learning. Being taught to look for the silver lining is important but for some of us (🙋♀️), this became only holding space for the silver lining.
This is something that is super prevalent in the spiritual community. Those of us who ONLY accept #loveandlight and don’t allow for anything else, is where the issues come. Because while we should not wallow in the negative side of things, we can’t ignore it either. We cannot accept the good without the bad.
This above concept is something a lot of people forget about. I think they get so focused on positivity only because they know that what they focus on is what they’ll attract (Law of Attraction 101)…but this mindset is similar to when kids throw all their toys under their bed or in their closet when they clean their rooms. Yeah, it looks pretty, but it’s not actually clean.
A friend recently has been going through a bit of a rough patch with their depression. And I kept finding myself not knowing what to say, because my first thought was to list out every good quality about her. I was going to say every positive thing I could think of, until I realized that that actually is not as helpful as I want it to be.
Because in this moment, I am making her struggle about me. What I want to do is make her feel better, so I’m going to say what I think she needs to hear. But who am “I” to decide what she needs? She knows what she needs. So all I should do in that instance, is hold space for her. Allow her the time to be as she is. Let her know that I am here for her, and that’s it.
And this, folks, is important. It’s important to be honest about the “why” behind our actions. It’s important to have the self-awareness, and the accountability, to question ourselves of our intent. Most times, concerning people who are unknowingly being toxically positive, it can be a reflection of their own trauma. Maybe, as a child, they were not allowed to show negative emotions. Maybe you’re saying something triggering to them and they process things by deflecting. And these scenarios are on them, but still.
In summary – everyone is doing the best they can with all things and we should not push them to feel differently than they do. And looking for the silver lining is just one of many things that can be done to process and deal with a kinda-shitty-situation
…can you hear it? I can. I’ve been ignoring its calls.
Saturday was not the best day in my head. I was feeling insecure in my body. I felt insecure about my relationship and was so concerned with people’s perceptions of me. I had a decent afternoon spent with my future mother-in-law and my fiancé, but it all came rushing back at night.
My fiancé is amazing, you guys. While we were playing Yahtzee with his mom and her boyfriend (who are also great), he let me be mopey and off. He gave me space, and allowed me to feel my feelings. When we got home, he held me by the shoulders and would not let me shower until I opened up to him.
I was honest. I told him that I felt insecure (“Gross and unhappy“ I said, while clutching my stomach rolls). I told him I was thinky about our future – where we’re moving, when we’re moving, him starting paramedic school, getting our finances in order. I told him I was stressed about laundry and grocery shopping. And he held space for all of that. And he kept asking me “What else?”. Finally, I bared my underbelly and told him what I was most thinky about.
I don’t feel fulfilled with my job.
Now, I’ve talked about my job before. I work in a call center. I answer phones, acting as a virtual receptionist for 100+ law firms across the country. I also have other responsibilities too, but that’s the gist of it. It’s a job. It pays my bills and I know the universe provided this opportunity as a way to provide for me financially. It has been a blessing to have been able to work this entire pandemic from home, and to be able to have health benefits and paid time off. It’s a good job…but it doesn’t inspire me. I don’t feel excited talking about it. I don’t dread going to work, which is great, but I also am not excited to go to work. I work for eight hours a day, as most people do. I think it’s kind of a waste to spend 33% of my weekdays doing something I feel indifferently about.
And before someone is like “you have to make money to support yourself, blah blah blah”. I agree. I know I do. I know that I’m going to have to work, and that I can’t earn money by reading a book by the lake or by camping out under the stars eating ice cream. But – we only live this life once. Why has it always been to work in a 2-star-out-of-5 job to pay for bills? Why has that been what everyone has been told to achieve? Am I really that crazy for wanting to love what I do, and to do what I love?
Back to Saturday. I told my love that I don’t feel fulfilled with my job, and he brought me in close for a hug. Then he held my face in his hands and kissed me, saying “You were born for more than working in a call center.” and went on to say other super sweet things.
Keep this ⬆ in mind.
Yesterday, Sunday, our friend came over to go swimming. While my love and his brother went venturing up the creek farther than us, we waded near my favorite tree. We talked for an hour, at least, about our life. Our friend is actually my love’s co-worker, and her and I became friends through him. We spent this time catching each other up on our past traumas. I opened up about my mental health struggles, my parent’s divorce, living with my mother before moving out, etc, and she opened up as well. It was a great bonding time. We also talked about our dreams and our hobbies. And it was during this conversation that she said “You’re smarter than working in a call center. You’re more than that. What do you actually want to do?”.
Y’all. I almost fucking cried.
Because I am a firm believer that if something is meant to be heard, it is said to you more than once. If the universe/God has a message for you, it will not go missed.
So what do I want to do?
I want to be a writer. I want to study psychology and hold space online/virtually for people to be open and vulnerable about their mental health. I want to become a counselor or some figure that can help people with their struggles. I want to study spirituality and philosophy and religions. I want to study astrology and dream interpretation and tarot. I want to have a platform that reaches an audience that holds space for people to come as they are. I want to offer services to people at a low-cost. I want to run a blog and write books and maybe even have a little farm with pigs and goats. I want to earn a steady income as a librarian, or at least working in a library.
And this is a great dream. And it is great to dream. But I can’t keep letting myself slip back into the depths of the abyss of my depression and letting the darkness overcome me because I’m too fucking scared to claim this dream and do something about it. I can’t stay where I know and expect these new things to come my way. “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”.
So, it’s about time I start doing something and working towards my future. And I can’t wait to see what I, that writer Jenna, accomplishes ✨
It’s no secret that we’ve all, collectively, have been going through something within this pandemic. We have all been affected by this time. Curfews, grocery restrictions, changed plans, stay-at-home orders, to say the least. Everyone has been grieving the loss of their normal routines in different ways. Some people are acting as Facebook News Reporter, sharing every article and “researching” every statistic. There are other people who are cleaning everything all day. Others are binge watching TV. Others are just ignoring all the rules and still having friends over. Others are complaining about not being able to go to concerts, watch sports, go out to eat dinner, etc.
Can we all agree on one thing, perhaps? That the way things were before all this started, was not working? That the way we handled our lives – was not working for us?
“I don’t know why you’d say that! I think things were just fine before”.
Really? Then why can’t you sit still? Why are you so uncomfortable with silence? What are you ignoring that you should face? What trauma have you been pushing down that you need the distraction from? Why are you so damn eager to go back to the rat race and the hustle-and-bustle and the diversions from you having a relationship with your mind?
So many of us never process our feelings. We push down our wants, our dreams, our desires, and follow a path that doesn’t feel right. We follow something that’s expected, or that doesn’t match our ideals anymore. We choose divorce over working on something that isn’t even broken. We push our kids into any and all activities to get them away from us and out of the house. We ignore our neighbors. We disregard our friends and family. We choose drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, video games, absolutely anything possible to numb our feelings because it’s easier to ignore it than to face it. We go through our days on autopilot and our nights numbed or altered. Now that we finally have the free time to just relax, we can’t handle it.
What are you running from?
(I’ve said this before and I’ll say it as many times as I need to. I don’t have my psychology degree (yet!). I’m not a psychologist, therapist, shaman, guru of any kind… but I research as much as I possibly can and I love to learn. And just because I may not have any accreditation does not mean I can’t still be right.)
“So what do you do? Just stare at the wall all day? I need to be DOING something”
No, I don’t stare at the wall all day, silly. I write. I journal my thoughts. I do yoga and meditate and move my body. I read. I also work from home. I pray. I research places to visit, things to do, recipes to try, etc.
But, I get that. I used to not be able to sit still for a full minute. (I’m serious, my boyfriend made me try. Multiples times, and I would fidget after 15 seconds). Because my anxiety, my learned trauma, made me feel as though if I wasn’t productive, if I wasn’t actively doing something at all times, something terrible would happen. I would be wasting time. I’d be wasting the whole day if I didn’t get every single thing done. And that’s how most of us live. Constantly on the go, “the rat race”. Chasing productivity with a blind eye to everything else. And now, things are still. We are still. We have food, shelter, technology, etc, but we’re worried about football? We’re worried about not having new seasons of TV shows?
I gotta say it. That’s bullshit. These are clearly first world problems, but we cannot think outside of ourselves to see the big picture.
Well, I can help with the big picture.
Think of Every. Single. Thing. you could possibly be grateful for. And if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, try to imagine yourself from 10 years ago. What do you have in your life now that you used to dream about? Imagine yourself at 10 years old. What lessons have you learned since then?
I have my list below. It’s not everything (that would be way too long and boring for y’all. You’re welcome), but it at least should help a little bit with gaining some perspective.
This took me not even 10 minutes. And I feel happier thinking of all the good things I have around me. Like breeds like. If you focus on the negative, negativity will surround you. If you force yourself to think of the positives, you’ll be open to seeing more good things. (This thought process is Law of Attraction 101 that has been said many times in The Secret, The Four Agreements, and most religions).
I know this feels hard right now. But if all you are asked to do is stay home, then this isn’t difficult, this isinconvenient.
Of course, those of us with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health afflictions may be feeling this harder. And to these people, I say that you are not alone. Not only is the entire world going through the same situation, but I understand the struggle. I have had anxiety for my whole life and depression for most; I understand the sneaky, sly ways they warp your brain. Which is why it’s especially important for us to surround ourselves with positivity. To take away the strength of our mental demons and build of walls of good in our minds.
Emotions, any/all of them, are meant to be felt. So if you’re feeling depressed, then sit with that. If you’re feeling anything, sit with that feeling. Talk through it (even if to yourself, I’m talking out loud to myself all the time). Write about it. But remember that all emotions pass. Don’t hold onto the negative ones, let them pass.
So I’m going to assume that you’re in a better head space now. You’re feeling grateful, you’re feeling grounded and less stressed. What’s next?
Being a sports fan or a reality TV show fan or an anime fan or a fan of any show (or anything, really) is nothing to be faulted for. You should have interests and you’re allowed to be passionate about things that make you happy. We all should have hobbies and things that bring us joy. But, in all reality, we can live without most of the things we have in our life. We CAN live without sports. We CAN live without TV. We CAN live without Netflix, festivals, etc. Granted, it may not be as fun or as enjoyable of an experience, but life can still be done without the extras. And realizing just how little we need to live is important.
“Well if I’m not watching baseball during baseball season, then I’m not living.”
Yes you are. You are breathing, and your heart is beating. You are living.
I think an issue society faces is all we see is what is shown to us, rather than thinking for ourselves. And we tend to fall into routines and habits, which is a natural thing to do. But we usually forget to make time for being outside. For mindfully eating. For calling our parents or our kids. We forget to be intentional. Why do we do what we do? What is it even that we do? How does that make us feel?
Maybe self awareness isn’t something you’re interested in, and that’s fine. I support whatever makes you happy. (I mean if you don’t even know yourself then you can’t really be happy…)
“So you said that the way things were before wasn’t working. How do you think they should be, then?“
I think we should prioritize happiness. And love. I think that we should stop complaining about bullshit, petty crap and be grateful for another day. Be grateful you have xyz to complain about.
I’m not going to get into much about politics, but I do think we need to start prioritizing the human beings and living things on this planet. I don’t think money should be more important than health. I don’t think greed should be more prevalent than nature. I think we need to take a step back and realize that we won’t be able to argue about politics if we don’t even have a sustainable environment to live in because we took everything we could from Mother Earth.
Everyone is struggling right now. And everyone is allowed to feel sad during this time. 99% of the world’s population has never lived through, or even seen, a pandemic. It’s scary. But instead of getting angry about not being able to watch sports, check your priorities and remember why you like them. Think about the traditions, the fun, etc., and find a way to incorporate that into your life now. Play catch with your kids, watch old games on YouTube, etc.
To sum up, I kind of can’t stand what this time has brought out in people. It’s replaced common sense with stupidity, it’s replaced logic with fear, and it’s scary to see how many people cannot think for themselves. How their only thoughts are what they’ve read online, and how asinine of an idea it is to challenge what they’ve read instead of just accepting that as truth.
So accept this as your truth: I am reading this on something that is internet-enabled. I am able to access the internet. I am grateful for all the internet can show me – all the good, all the lessons, all the history and miracles and wonders of the world. I am grateful to have electricity, to be breathing, and to have <fill in the blank here>.
Challenge yourself to go past the walls you’ve built to keep everyone else out. Read books. Go for a walk. Sit out on your front step. Meditate. Write in a journal. Have some damn perspective. This is not going to last forever, and the way you handle this is going to be how you handle every obstacle you’ll face from this point out. So do you want to be negative, be scared, and complain? Or do you want to learn why you think the way you do and how you want to start thinking? Do you want to accept life as it is, or pursue more? Do you want to push yourself to the best of your ability, push yourself to reach your highest potential? Do you want to stop running from yourself and finally find some peace?
I want to thank all of the healthcare workers (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, Doctors, Techs, CNAs, LPNs, Transporters, etc). I want to thank the teachers. I want to thank the delivery drivers and grocery store workers and those in the food industry. I want to thank the artists and musicians and small businesses for doing things a bit differently. I want to thank all the essential workers and those of us switching things up ans do I want to let the parents know who are now home school teachers that y’all are killing it. I want to acknowledge all the sense of community we’ve been extending to one another. May we find peace during the chaos. May we find love in ourselves, and may we treat our minds as well as we treat our possessions. Wishing you all peace, love, strength, and perspective during this time.
Something that has been weighing heavy on my heart is something I think maybe other people could benefit from right now.
It’s no secret that we are living through history right now. The COVID19 pandemic has affected every single human alive in one way or another.
There have been many good things about this time: ecosystems in nature gaining strength, polluted areas seeing cleaner air, a sense of community with the entire planet, etc.
There has also been many stories shared online of people with anxiety who are handling this time well, because they live with a sense of panic all the time.
I want to check in and make sure you know that if your anxiety is worse right now, or if it has regressed to stages you thought you were not worried about anymore (🙋♀️), or if you have never had anxiety but you’re developing it now, or anything other than being “okay”…that’s okay. It is truly okay to not be okay.
I’m serious…It’s truly okay to not be okay.
As long as you’re safe, let yourself feel anxious. Let yourself feel whatever physical symptoms are being manifested in your body. Allow yourself to feel scared, nervous, angry, tired, whatever it is. This time is unprecedented for anyone alive right now. Acknowledge the difficulty in right now, and use this time of heightened sensitivity to check in to your needs.
Remember, we are literally all in this together. And I am here for you, sending all the good energy your way 💛
I promised myself I’d keep my typing fingers still when it came to the coronavirus/COVID19 craziness, but I have some thoughts that I haven’t seen shared much that I think are super important in a time like this.
Side note: I am a spiritual person. I study teachings from the major religions and have been studying more of spiritual teachings, witchcraft traditions, etc. I don’t really identify as any one particular school of thought, as I find that the themes of most of these ideologies are the same. Love your neighbor, love yourself, treat others how you want to be treated, etc.
Also, I’ve been working from home for almost a week now. It somehow feels like months and also like a shorter amount of time than a week at the same time. Time has always been something that hasn’t been the easiest on my anxiety, but I have been making an effort to keep myself at peace during this crazy time. Limiting my time on social media, only following uplifting accounts when I do go on, spending more time doing hobbies (reading and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in case you were wondering!), and keeping a routine as best I can.
With that being said, I’ve also been pushing myself to really determine what is important to me. My priorities, my goals, my intentions, my dreams. What do I want my life to look like after this storm passes? And that has been a tad overwhelming, because my perspective has been zoomed out to a global scale (which is not helpful, as I cannot do anything about what the world does. I can only control myself and my actions, but anxiety seeps in to everything. Perspective is key!). However, below I have some lessons that I hope, as a international community, we can take with us when life returns back to normal.
I hope we remember to take care of ourselves. Eating well, drinking water, washing our hands, being mindful of personal space, etc. I hope we remember that our bodies deserve to be taken care of always and not only in a pandemic.
I hope we remember to value those in the medical fields. EMTs, paramedics, doctors, nurses, CNAs, techs, etc. May we remember to respect them, to treat them well, and to compensate them fairly. These are the people with kind, selfless hearts and smart minds who take care of us during emergencies and during illness, and they should be revered as such.
I hope we remember to value our teachers. May we remember that not only do they teach our kid, but they teach probably 25 more kids every day. Middle school and high school teachers educate dozens of students a day. These people are the ones who inspire our children, who teach them, who lead them. May we treat them with respect, may we trust their judgement, and may we compensate them fairly as well.
May we not put so much emphasis on our neighbor’s race, religion, political views; may we care more about their well being.
May we learn more about ourselves – unpack our traumas, learn about things we’ve always wondered about, get back in touch with ourselves and our interests.
May we value our relationships. May we learn about our partner’s needs, their “tells” for when they’re stressed, their interests and priorities and goals. May we continue to fall in love with them every day. (For those in abusive relationships, may this time of isolation be the needed enlightenment to leave a toxic situation).
May we continue to support small and/or local businesses. Spending an extra dollar or two to support the corner store is nothing compared to a family losing their business to competition with chain corporate stores.
May we continue to come together as a community, to check in on the elderly, to support one another through hard times.
May we continue to appreciate nature. May we continue to take care of Mother Earth. The decrease in human activity lately on the planet has done great things for so many ecosystems, may we start to be mindful of the impact we have on our home.
May we remember the strength within us, within our communities. Illnesses are scary, but we have come a very long way as a global society. May we continue to choose peace, love, and light with all things. May we remember to prioritize our mental health. May we continue to not be wasteful with toiletries or food.
Most importantly, may we remember that we have all been through difficult times and have persevered. May we continue to look at the positives, to live with hope in the forefront of our minds, and be grateful for all things big and small.
I am sending every single person who reads this good, healthy, peaceful energy 💛
If you’re ever seen anything from the personal development world, “finding your why” is something you’re most likely already familiar with.
If you’re not, allow me to explain. Your “why” is your motivation, your inspiration, your passion – why you get up every morning, the thing that drives the passion in your soul.
It’s taken me a long time to find my why. I’ve shared a lot about my personal life in my previous blog My Soul Told Me To. To summarize, it’s taken me a long time to get back to my roots and find myself, to remember my dreams from when I was a kid and acknowledge that my 7-year-old self was smart enough to know my “why”, and it just got lost along the way.
I have always wanted to help people. Ever since I was young, helping people was the main drive behind any career ambition – writer, lawyer, nurse, and now we’re back to writer. I love the feeling of helping someone, but a little extrinsic motivation with good intentions never hurt anyone!
I also love to write (clearly). I have half a dozen ideas for books, and getting back into blogging is something that’s been keeping me up at night.
So my why: I want to help people through words, through my writing. I want to write books that help people heal. I want to be a resource for wellness and mental health. I want to eventually serve as a virtual therapist. I want to be the light for someone who feels surrounded by darkness.
This is my intention with this blog. As I’ve said, anything I post here won’t be necessarily revolving around what’s #trending, because there’s enough of that already. And it won’t be every week, because I want my posts and my writing to be authentic and not curated just to meet a weekly deadline. But I hope to help heal, help educate, and help in any way I can.
Fun fact, I created a new email and all new social media accounts for thatwriterjenna on February 15th, and it just so happens that today I felt like kicking my butt in gear to start writing blog posts exactly one month to the day later! I’m super excited about this.
So, as the great Absolem once said…
Who am I? I am Jenna!
I’m an aspiring writer and poet who currently lives near Easton, PA. I live with my boyfriend of almost 5 years and his brother (his brother bought a house, and we moved in to help him get acclimated into home-owning life and so we can have a cheap option to get back into living in the state we love). I work in a call center. The company as a whole is a referral service for people who are looking for attorneys, but I work in the department that acts as an answering service for law firms. We currently answer for over 100 law firms across the country! I also handle tracking the minute usage and reaching out if anyone goes over their plan. It’s not my passion, but it pays the bills and is not mentally draining.
I am 24 years old and am a Pisces. I am a believer in spirituality: I wear crystals, I whisper to the trees when I go on hikes, I track the moon phases, I believe in astrology and tarot cards and witchy things, and I also believe in higher powers. I am a sucker for a good sunset/sunrise and I’ll probably take my time walking inside on a clear starry night, and I LOVE to stand outside on the porch and watch the sky during a thunderstorm. Being outside is one of my favorite things, and I’m making my way to being as eco-friendly as possible. I’ve been also making a change with my health – listening to my body with what foods make me feel good, moving my body, and loving my body in the process of getting to where I want to be.
I love all music, specifically mid-2000s pop punk, softer country (like not ALL twang, but calm twang, if that makes sense), and I love listening to piano while I write. I love to read, and am currently in the middle of a few books. I like movies and TV shows as well, pretty much anything.
I also live with anxiety, depression, trauma, and past eating disorders. Most of my posts are going to be wellness based, which I’ll explore in my “Why?” post later today. I’m so very excited to get to know anyone who follows me and likes what they read, and to hopefully impact at least one person!