A March Mental Detox Chat

Looking Ahead...
I keep thinking back to the first phases of quarantine and what my "old life" was like before all of the chaos ensued. A time of great uncertainty, and even after a year, I am still finding myself exhausted, defeated and latching onto any little piece of hope and happiness I can muster up as this season begins to bloom anew. I have ten more weeks of my senior year of college, and as awestruck and unreal it is, this time has been an integral pause for me before a much deserved chapter comes to a close. 

Even though winter has dragged on, things are finally beginning to slowly open up, more people are getting vaccinated, and it feels like we can kind of claim our lives back. I have noticed that my mood is brightening, my energy is lifting, and I am ready to take what I've learned during lock down and shape a new life for myself in the months to come. We've learned to be true to ourselves, slow down and take care of our mental health and wellbeing, and hold on to our close-knit support systems—so I'd love to chat about some positive parts of this new life that I want to take with me this year. 
01. On patience and gratitude. Everything felt like a waiting game, and in isolation, the walls were coming down on me. There was no way in telling when things were safe, when I might be able to go back to school, move out, when I might be getting vaccinated, or what the future would hold past college. However, knowing these privileges already have humbled me during this time in knowing that some day at some time things will be a lot more certain. What felt like a dreadful waiting game, was my inability to just accept what my current situation was and why I was there. It can be so clouded when your perspective is limited to your parent's house, but I've come to appreciate all of the things that are never thought about like having the bare necessities and being able to work and go to school in the comfort and safety of home. I need to continue to broaden my perspective, be patient, and go with the flow. Because what is waiting for me will come. 

02. Embracing this time to myself. I am definitely more of an introvert, but I think lock down has turned us all into introverts? I had just went downtown Chicago for the first time in months and there were people eating outside together and it's just a whole new world to me. Social gatherings weren't always my forte anyway, but I've realized that since I'm going to be living with myself for the rest of my life, this independence has been otherworldly to my personal growth and love for who I am. Not only that, but finding what makes me tick, what I need to improve on mentally, and to just not feel like I need to have all of these people surrounding me to feel validated. I've been content in discovering who I am and on my own time. 

03. Leaning on true friends. I feel like we may have found out who are real friends are through all of this. You know, who checked up on you. Who FaceTimed you. Who sat in the back trunk of their car to chat (socially distanced) with you. For those who checked up on me and were a constant presence and support  during this time, I am forever grateful for you. But hey, I won't hold it against you if things became distant, either. I know we've all managed to hide into our hobbit holes and deal with our own sh*t. So, I've learned to live and let live with friendships that are blossoming and friendships that are fizzling. 
04. Body positivity and putting my motivations towards self healing. Over the course of lock down, I had told myself that I would stick to a strict diet and work out routine, doing online yoga videos and making sure I wasn't sitting around snacking all day. To my demise, that motivation plummeted about a month after. Without group classes and going out, I just never felt it necessary to workout every day—and guess what? That was okay. I've let myself rest. I've let myself recover. I realize that my body is in the shape it needs to be in and while I treat it well, I cannot let exercise be a coping mechanism for everything that needs to be worked out in my head. 

This time of self reflection has taught me well and I think I am ready for the light and newness that spring brings about. Especially, this "new self" and how I can keep marching my way forward with positivity and knowing that I'll be just fine. 

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