Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   Continue reading

10 Non-Romantic Things to Do on Valentine’s Day

10 Non-Romantic Things to Do on Valentine’s Day.jpg

By Catherine Miele

My husband and I have been married for almost ten years. That’s difficult for me to fathom, at times, considering I was a shy, anxious teenager who accumulated very little dating experience before meeting my future spouse senior year of college.

Despite being married for as long as we have, my husband and I are not overly zealous about Valentine’s Day.

Perhaps my apathy for Cupid and price-gouged roses is due to my lack of serious relationships over the years, or maybe I just don’t think we need a heavily commercialized holiday in order express our love to one another. Continue reading

I’m Done Apologizing

Sorry I'm Not Sorry

By Catherine Miele

All of my life, I’ve been “the apologizer.”

I’ve struggled with insecurity and an exhausting perfectionism since I was a young child, and while I can be incredibly selfish at times, I was also blessed with the “people pleasing” gene.

Now that I’m mommy to a toddler and continuing to work full-time outside of my home, I’ve found a whole new set of things for which I must apologize.

But here’s the thing. Constantly saying “I’m sorry” for one’s existence or personality benefits nobody. Continue reading

Self-Care Isn’t Just Nice, It’s Necessary

Self-Care Isn_t Just Nice, It_s Necessary

By Becky Houdesheldt

I honestly don’t care what it’s called. Me-time, down-time, alone-time, self-care, leave me the hell alone and let me do my thing time…the end goal is always the same. To recharge. To have my cup refilled. To feel refreshed and capable. To remind myself that I am, and always will be, an individual.

My fiancé, Andrew, and I are getting married in just over 2 weeks, and it has been a mad dash to get wedding plans confirmed. I was looking at scripts for the officiant, and a few things completely rubbed me the wrong way. One big one was the verbiage I kept finding for the unity ceremony. It all implied that the individuals ceased to be after the wedding ceremony, and only one couple remained.

I vehemently disagree. Here’s why. Continue reading

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead

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By Kate Kole

I ran away more than once as a kid. And by ‘ran away’ I mean I packed my bookbag with all the essentials for a one-night’s stay at a friend’s house, headed out the front door, walked half a block down the street, and remembered no friend had actually invited me to come sleep over, at which point I sheepishly began my journey back home to sit underneath the tree in our front yard. Until of course, I got hungry, cold, bored, or needed to use the restroom, eventually waving the white flag and going inside. As the youngest of 3 kids, I’m not sure my parents even noticed my half hour absences.

Sometimes that childhood fantasy of running away sneaks up again. Not in a ‘create a new identity and never look back’ Jason Bourne kind of way. Just in a stressed out, don’t know what to do next, wouldn’t it be nice to go live in a beach house and eat donuts in bed sort of sense. Continue reading

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

By Melissa Coley

Like a lot of millennial women, I spent most of my twenties striving for perfection (P90X + Pinterest + grad school + multiple jobs + the Whole 30 + the lob = a hangry, sleep-deprived perfectionist with an iron deficiency and a Master’s degree). But at thirty-one, a chronic pain condition has knocked the snot out of me and not left much room for any semblance of perfection (I rarely wear makeup, my six pack hasn’t come in, I didn’t see Beauty and the Beast in the theater, and I need a haircut badly).

In March of 2016 I injured an ankle, and what should have been your run of the mill sprain, led to a neuro-inflammatory condition that spread from the location of my injury, up that leg and into the next. When my neurologist diagnosed me with CRPS 1, she sat across from me on her roll-y stool and said I’d be on nerve regulators and pain killers for the rest of my life and that what I needed now was a “really strong support system”. I sat there next to my knee cart I’d named Wallace, feet cold-burning, rubbery, and swollen thinking, wait, what? Say that again? I’d never heard of CRPS, didn’t know anybody with it, and I was terrified. All I knew was that I couldn’t walk, my husband couldn’t touch my legs without getting kicked, and that showers, which required the sort of plastic white chair that grandmas use, felt more like water torture than relief. Continue reading

Self-Care Is An Inside Job

Self-Care Is An Inside Job

By Catherine Miele

Nowadays, “self-care” is as ubiquitous as gym selfies and Instagram-worthy slices of avocado toast.

That is to say, self-care is everywhere.

As the wife of a licensed professional counselor and as somebody who lives with my own mental health issues, I believe that practicing self-care is a critical component to living a well-balanced life.

But are we taking the concept of self-care too far? Are we misunderstanding what it means to care for ourselves deeply and compassionately? Continue reading

How To Be A Leader When Grappling With Anxiety

Service

By Kristina Baltutis

In today’s society, we are in desperate need of more leaders. Not necessarily people with leadership titles, but people who are actually, truly, on the front lines of our schools, workplaces, and communities, striving to make the world a better place for people other than themselves.

If you haven’t heard this call to leadership, you aren’t listening. It’s all over the news and your newsfeed, every time you see someone crying out, “Someone do something.” Sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve heard the call, but anxiety wracks your body with doubt and sends you right back under the covers, or, perhaps more commonly, causes you to keep scrolling.   Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to Be Kind To Yourself in 2017

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By Christine McLean

Life can be a b*tch. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. It’s a rollercoaster ride that you never really signed up for. You have two choices: enjoy the ride, or grip on for dear life hoping that the ride will end safely. Let 2017 be the year when you choose to enjoy the ride. You only live once, and life will pass you by if you don’t loosen the grip a bit. Here are five ways to be kinder to yourself in the coming year. Continue reading

5 Ways To Practice Self-Care When You Find It Hard To Care

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By Cece Flores

I know I’m not the only one who ever feels this way, and that in itself is validating. But there are times when simply acknowledging that you’re not technically alone won’t do much to ease your panic. I’m talking about those moments when repeating some mantra urging yourself to stay positive won’t quell the worry or stop the anger from boiling over. These are moments when action and not just words or thoughts are required. These are moments where, hard as it may be, you need to fight for yourself.

It’s difficult and I’ve never been particularly good at it. The first therapist who ever made an impact on my life, God rest her soul, used to crack down on me for this a lot. I’d roll my eyes at her suggestions for self-care, reaching my hands out to express instead my desire to be medicated so as not to have to deal at all. Of course, medication can be super helpful. But you will land, time and time again, in a steaming pile of doo if you don’t learn to do things that can help you when they’re not quite enough. Continue reading