My Struggle with Mental Health + 4 Ways To Rebalance Your Mind

As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness month. On this blog, I’ve talked about mental health quite a bit, from dealing with anxiety and symptoms of seasonal depression, to improving wellness overall. However, I have yet to take a moment to openly discuss my own struggle with mental health.

In America, over 18% of adults deal with mental health related issues each year. Keep in mind, this describes only the number of reported individuals, not including children and young adults.

We need to make ourselves aware about the realities of mental health, especially if we are going to continue using social platforms to champion advice on health and wellness. It's important to spread the right message to those who are listening around the world.

Explaining The Messy Life Movement: I am a MESSY girl

Modern media is overflowing with digitally enhanced photos, footage crafted from edited clips, and summaries of success stories. None of these show what happens behind the scenes - the MESSY bits that run our world. Today's society is missing something raw that's key to the reality of our existence.

I have known for a while now that I am not the type of person who thrives in an environment fueled by this state of mind. It can't be healthy to constantly compare your rough draft to somebody else's revised version.

I am a MESSY girl, I am not ashamed, and I am sure that however you identify, there is a bit of MESSY in you too because we all have imperfections. It's about time we embrace them, and free ourselves to grow into the people we're meant to be.

18 Self Care Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter is my least favorite time of year. Sure as a kid it was nice to get snow days, and drink hot chocolate or to play in the snow. But now, I can’t bear the cold, I have to make my own drinks, and university rarely gives days off. I guess all the magic, which came from cuddles and being coddled, is gone now that I have to take care of myself. It sucks being sick as an adult, but at least winter is an awesome time to overload on self care.

Overcoming negative thoughts isn't easy, but you never know what could help you crawl out of a funk. In the case of chronic disorders, these may not be solutions, though they can help to mitigate your mood. Here are a few tips to beat the winter blues, and improve your mood this season.

My Black is Black Enough

author of the messy life

Reflecting on my journey to self-acceptance

I refuse to entertain our over-reliance on labels.

While I understand their capacity to consolidate and convey meaning, labels allow for unwarranted assumptions.

Life Is a Multitude of Exhausting Perspectives

The secret to survival is finding conceivable reasons to continue on. We've come up with so many of them: schedules, jobs, religion, familial obligations - each of these intended to be grounding in their own way.

Yet, is surviving equivalent to a life worth living? Just as some may say that living is incomparable to existing, I argue there is a difference between the two.

So if there is a difference, then how can we begin to define life? Should we define existing as a means of keeping on, and surviving as a means of enabling ourselves to stay strong, then how on earth can we begin to perceive the center of it all?

Simply enough, I have found that life is best viewed from a multitude of equally exhausting perspectives.

Am I An Artist?

I first started blogging on Medium, back in June 2017. As I write this, a little over a month has come to pass. Today, 20-something reflective essays later, I am finally tired of writing about myself.

It feels like the right time, or more like the right time has passed, to explore new genres. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and I want to stick with it, for poetry and I have a good thing going.

In The Moment: An Expression of Acceptance

When thinking of contentment, I realize how far I have come, though part of me screams: I have a long way to go. This is how it is for me. Ambition does not parallel discontent, but the line distinguishing the two is easily blurred.

Failing to appreciate progress,

leads to the escalation of goals into needs,

which then become benchmarks for self worth.

I think, and I think, until I think too much.

60 Days of Reading: Young Adult Books for all Ages

Young Adult novels have my heart. Reading them, interpreting them, and writing down my thoughts is all part of the fun when it comes to binging these texts. The only trouble is time.

As it turns out, writing in depth book reviews is extremely time consuming! So although I love to create those posts, this month we are going to have to suffice with a reading list!

Good thing I’ve been reading a lot of young adult books lately.

Spotlight Jams: Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Attribution: Phoenix New Times

A Guilty Pleasure Playlist for Indie Lovers

For June, The Messy Life is featuring a spotlight showcase in place of our typical list of Messy Melodies for the month. The band of choice? Rainbow Kitten Surprise.

I discovered them a couple of months ago, and have been binging their albums ever since. By now, I’ve overplayed just about every publicly released song these guys have  created. A rarity for me, and a sign that I have to share them with you.

Are You Struggling to Be Authentic? Originality in the Digital Age

Authenticity is a hot topic in this day and age. It poses the question that lingers over our heads: Are we being true to ourselves? This proves more difficult to answer than it may seem.

How can one surely be authentic? It’s not like there’s a meter that can scan some intangible essence and return to us, an accurate authenticity score.

In this case, how can we even begin to define authenticity? It's about time we figure this out for ourselves.

Chasing Life: “Doing” is the Key to Growth

I haven’t shared on this blog in over two weeks, a fact which has tormented me every single day. It almost feels as if I have been gone for over a month, since the voice in the back of my mind continually reminds me that I am not getting anything done.

This isn’t true, because in that time I have packed, moved, and finished my finals, but for some reason, knowing this doesn’t help. I honestly couldn’t tell you what's more frustrating than that - having unproductive thoughts inform you that you’re not good enough, over and over again.

As a blogger, our socially driven landscape doesn’t help, because with each day that passes you can literally watch your engagement drop as your followers walk away. After working hard to build your platforms, there’s not much room in the way of positive reinforcement, when you need to take a break.

So what can we do about this?

Chasing Life: My Experience Getting A Conch Piercing

There is something liberating about change. Even if change means something as simple as a new conch piercing, it’s empowering to make a decision, follow through, and recreate life as you know it.

Everyone has that something, whether physical, mental, or social, that takes them to the next level. No matter how grand or how small, these are key moments in our lifelong development that will stand out for years to come.

What's your something?

The Best Inexpensive Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

What is self care? Across social media, users have been posting tips and sharing threads about what is the 'right' and 'wrong' way to approach self care. The thing is, the same strategies won’t work for everyone.

At the end of the day, your method is entirely dependent on who you are and what you do. Even though there’s no set secret for self care, there is one thing I’ll argue is a good fit for just about everyone out there. What is it, you ask? SKINCARE! An affordable skincare routine is one productive way to procrastinate your problems, and practice self care.

affordable skincare routine

The Messy Life Received the 2018 Mystery Blogger Award!

Last month, The Messy Life was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Renita of Be Your Own Kind .

It’s funny, because the day before I saw the nomination, one of my favorite professors came to guest lecture in my capstone course. Let’s call him Mr. S for the purposes of this post.

Mr. S is a HR specialist and an entrepreneur, who has started his own consulting business to help companies, small and large, improve intra-company relationships. By the end of his lecture, we ended up talking about the idea of “credit” or “reward”. Someone suggested that some employees avoid innovation or risk taking because their bosses may take credit for their success. In response, he laughed and asked the class, “What is Credit?”

Today I want to talk a bit more about that.

Quarter Life Crises and Other Monumental Misfortunes

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a moment to write about life. Since February, my time has been filled with ups and downs, like merry-go-rounds. My thoughts clouded by inescapable distractions.

University is impossibly frantic in the spring. My schedule, normally a rip current of responsibility on its own, has been completely transformed by the ripples that flow from my quickly approaching graduation date. Is there ever a right time to take a break from it all? I’m nearing the point where I’m ready to admit defeat to anyone who’s willing to listen.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a cry for help so much as it's a declaration of disbelief. I'm not ready to face tomorrow! It’s like the future is seeping into the present, and demanding attention I’m not sure I have to give. Still, now is the time to think ahead: to apply for jobs, to follow through with my commitments, and to figure out what I really want from life (for now).

It’s safe to say that together, all of these elements are a bit much to manage.

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