Closing My 21st Chapter

I’ve been an alarming amount of different people since I turned 18 (how Gavin has loved all of them, I don’t know, but I love him even more for it). Some stages and decisions I’m proud of. Some I am not. But through it all, I’ve shifted and molded into who I am today, and I love her so much. And I love my life. And I love who I’m becoming and where I’m going.

I finally feel like I’m who I was meant to be all along. I’m finally happy with my belief system- even though I know who I am and what I believe is fluid and susceptible to change. I know I’m doing my best with the knowledge and experience that I have at this point in time.

I’m finally happy with my career after several changes. Can we stop expecting high schoolers who have to ask permission to do anything to suddenly be functioning adults with critical thinking skills that know what they want to do until they’re 65? That’s another convo for another day. I edited my first book (someone else’s book, not mine, I’m not there yet), which was huge for me going forward and getting new clients.

I did all of the hard work this last year. I started going to therapy. For some reason, I’m afraid to admit that. Who am I kidding, I know the reason. I’m working on breaking the stigma surrounding getting help for your mental health- even if it’s only within my own circle of reach. If I can encourage someone to get help and it stops them from passing on generational trauma, I want to.

I’ve apologized to myself for constantly expecting me to be further in life and not just letting myself be where I am. I’ve forgiven myself for the times that I didn’t see how much I have to offer. I’ve let go of the things that happened to me that had no reflection on who I was or what I deserved. I’m only responsible for me and what I can control.

I was able to text my counselor 2 weeks ago to say, “Can we cancel my appointment? I’m running out of things to say.” I know that’s a good thing because I’ve gotten everything off of my chest, and I’m free to breathe now. I don’t have to keep reliving it. 

Maybe this was TMI for a birthday post and more than anyone asked for, but I thought about sharing it in a social media caption and didn’t, so I really did try to spare you. I’m working on sharing more of the me that I’ve become in private. So even though I’ll probably have anxiety and cringe at how much I overshared and under proofread when I’m trying to sleep tonight, and maybe for months to come, I have peace knowing that I did what I felt was best for me today. That’s all we can do until our last day.

Staying Mentally And Physically Healthy During Quarantine

I’m finally sitting down to write for the first time since we’ve started social distancing.

I’ve been a little bored, but I haven’t felt very creative. I didn’t take advantage of this “break” like I wish I had.

I’ve loved seeing you guys share posts about this time being uncharted territory and not a productivity competition. I appreciate when you’re willing to say, “I feel this way too.”

Whether you’ve been feeling anxious, shaking your fists at the government, or you mask everything with humor- I get it. I think I’ve gone through the seven stages of grief in the last month.

It may seem like I’m a little late sharing this, and I would have written it sooner, but I really didn’t think this was going to go on for as long it has.

Of course, none of us know when things will truly feel normal again, so here we go with my usual tips on how to thrive (or even just survive).

Talk To A Friend Every Day

There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

You can go from enjoying the freedom to do what you want at home to feeling paralyzed and helpless really quickly. Your friends are still only a phone call away, and you don’t have to go days without talking to anyone.

Also, I’m not blind to the people who are stuck at home with an abusive partner or have been struggling financially. Not everyone is able to fill their day with crafts and baking banana bread in a peaceful environment.

Whether you’re the one who needs help or they are, staying in continual contact with the outside world could literally save someone’s life. So check on the friend that you’ve been worried about. It’s probably for a reason.

Use A Telemed Service For Your Doctor’s Appointments

Telemed is one of coolest things we have access to these days. It’s normally cheaper than going to a doctor’s office, especially if you don’t have health insurance. Plus, you’re safer from contracting anything by staying away from the walk in clinics right now.

I had two appointments last month that I was given the option to schedule over FaceTime, and I actually preferred it to the normal way.

I’ll link a website that you can get prescriptions through, and another one that you can use to talk to a licensed therapist at the end of this post.

Stick To A Daily Routine

I already cut most of my hair off, which is my favorite pastime when I’m remotely bored with my life. So I’m like, “Now what?!”

Try to go on a walk, cook something healthy everyday, and keep yourself busy so you don’t end up cutting your own bangs in the bathroom.

Don’t even act like you haven’t thought about it. 😉

As always, I’m here if you need someone to talk to. Please reach out to me or someone who can help if you’re experiencing domestic violence or food insecurity during this time.

This is one of the weirdest things most of us have ever lived through, so remember to be kind to yourself and others! Stay safe!! ❤

Lemonaid Health for a variety of online doctor’s visits and medicine delivery.

BAILEY sent you a $10 credit for an online doctor visit with Lemonaid!

If you have the Lemonaid app, apply the promo code BAILEYR897958 at checkout.

Talkspace for online counseling services. (I’ve never used this company before, but they have really great ratings!)

Get $65 off with code APPLY65

Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Biblical Tips For Overcoming Depression And Anxiety

Sometimes, God lets us face trials so that we can help others who struggle with the same issues in the future.

I want to share with you some Biblically based practices that have helped me overcome the depression, anxiety, and fear I was dealing with on a daily basis.

Recognizing that you’re having these feelings is the first step to recovery, and knowing what to do about them is the second.

1. Read Your Bible Before Checking Your Phone

W​hen I start my day by checking social media before I’ve even rolled out of bed and turned on the coffee pot, thoughts of comparison and sadness are usually there to bid me good morning.

Making the conscious decision to not touch my phone before I’ve read my Bible and talked to God always sets the tone for a great day.

G​ive yourself a fighting chance against depression and anxiety by spending the first part of your day with the author of joy and peace versus filling your mind with the opinions of anyone with a Wi-Fi connection.

“​But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you”-Matthew 6:33

2. Start An “Attitude of Gratitude” Journal

W​rite down at least 5 things that you’re grateful for everyday. 

Eventually, you’ll name all of the obvious ones and will have to start digging deeper to come up with a list.

I like to choose one from multiple categories, such as: a physical blessing, someone I love, progress in an area of my life, a characteristic I appreciate about myself, and an attribute of God.

I​’ve noticed that when I’m so busy thanking God for all He’s done and the beautiful life He’s given me, I have less time to spend worrying about my shortcomings and what I don’t have. This practice also makes me less prone to negativity and causes me to not take the blessings I have for granted.

“D​o not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”-Philippians 4:6

3​. Take Care Of Your Temple

I​ feel so much more joyful, accomplished, and motivated when I make time to go on a walk and prepare nutritious meals for myself. I’ve found that exercise, sunshine, and the perfect foods that God made for us have helped me tremendously when it comes to the healing of mental illness.

W​hen you show your body that you value it, your mind will respond positively.

Whether it’s taking a bubble bath, watching a wholesome movie, or listening to worship music, find what makes you feel relaxed and do more of it.

D​epression and anxiety are sicknesses, be kind to yourself and allow your temple to heal. 

“​Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”-1 Corinthians 6:19-2

4​. Have A Support System

T​here have been times in my life when my depression and anxiety were manageable and temporary. Other times, I’ve gone months without seeing my friends because I could barely leave my room.

I​f you’re as private as I am, and you would like to try to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety between you and God, I understand. But as soon as you feel like you can no longer handle it on your own​, please tell a parent, friend, pastor, or seek medical help.

F​ind someone who can empathize with and validate your feelings, while giving you wise counsel so that you can gain freedom from bondage.

The devil loses power over us when we decide to not suffer alone. 

There’s no shame in needing people to talk to, pray for us, and seek advice from.

“Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you”-Matthew 18:20

I​ pray these habits help you as much as they’ve helped me, and that you find rest in God’s presence.

B​y His stripes, we are healed. Isaiah 53:5