Ok here goes.
I started seeing a therapist recently.
While this might not be a big deal to most people, this is a HUGE deal for me.
There's so much that's happened this year that has proven to be incredibly challenging, even without the aid of a therapist. My best friend's father passed away from cancer at the start of the year, and that alone was tough enough to deal with. In my mind, being there for her meant putting her first and myself last. I didn't even give myself time to grieve until the day of her dad's funeral - it finally hit me that he was really gone. After that, I spiraled into a horrible depression, and my anxiety was at an all-time high. My fears were out of control and it affected everything in my life. I couldn't even open social media without a panic attack!
Long story short, after months of feeling like crap, I started to look after myself again. That was when I knew I had to talk to someone because I wanted to continue to heal. In hindsight, I should have been kinder to myself and taken the time to deal with my own pain but I felt guilty.
It's so easy for us to put the people closest to us first when they're going through a crisis. We take on their hardships as if they're our own and we put ourselves through the emotional wringer which benefits no one.
Something my therapist talks about is being mindful. For example, I hate traffic. I hate it so much I get anxious and angry just thinking about it. I mentioned it to her during one of my appointments and told her I had a friend's baby shower to drive to that afternoon in peak rush hour. How the hell was I going to be mindful in sitting in rush hour? HOW?! I can't remember her exact words but she said something along the lines of "breathe" and envision the end result and seeing my friend at her baby shower. It helped a lot that day, but I still hate traffic.
Being mindful is just one of the ways I practice self-love. Another is by taking the time do things that bring me joy -for example watching YouTube first thing in the morning to help me get out of bed or lighting a scented candle while I read a good book. Above all else, putting on makeup is probably my favourite mindful activity because in that time I'm fully present in the act of getting my face on. I can easily spend a couple of hours getting ready and I'll never feel bad for that again.
Whatever is happening in your life, make sure to take time for you. Because you're important and you're worth the effort. You'll be better to your people, and at the end of the day, happier for it.
Oh, and don't feel shame about needing help with your emotions, whichever way you choose to seek it.
Hope you're all happy and healthy. If not, hope you're healing.
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ALL PHOTOGRAPHY IS MY OWN.
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