Taking My Mental Health Seriously in 2023

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JUMP TO: TOP PRODUCTS OF 2022

I am depressed. Truthfully I think I’ve been depressed since early 2020. I started writing this post in my my head on Christmas morning while driving over to my parents house. As someone who heavily lives inside her head, it is tremendously uncomfortable for me to say this (or in this case, write it) out-loud. Because of this, I tend to feel incredibly stuck. I decided to write this post because by admitting out loud for others to see that I am indeed ‘depressed’ I will be held accountable (by my own understanding) of my reality. This is how I plan to take my mental health seriously in 2023.

I want to be incredibly intentional with the steps I take, starting off this new year, to break the cycle of negative thinking and intrusive thoughts I’ve been suffering from. I want to leave the grief and the heaviness I’ve been carrying around, starting in 2020, here and walk into 2023 excited and anticipatory of all the possibilities this year has to bring!

How I Got Into This State of Mind

This state of mind began to take over shortly after the first two-weeks of world shut-down back in 2020. I was twenty-eight years old and had BIG plans for how the last bit of my twenties was going to be. I remember feeling this intense sense of stuck-ness that was completely out of my control. Little did I know that I would not only turn twenty-nine, but thirty, and thirty-one still dealing with the fallout of a world-wide pandemic. One of the hardest pills to swallow was watching other people progress in life and thrive during this time. While I was sat back watching and wondering why I was struggling so deeply.

Compounding Grief

As each year went by, from 2020 to 2021 and lastly in 2022 where things progressively continued to get harder and the grief continued to pile on, I started to struggle concealing my mental state. After dealing with the grief of losing my Grandmother, compounded by the grief of my daily routine for the last seven years completely dissolving, my financial stability slipping away, my dog developing a life altering disability, our family dog passing away, and then feeling ISOLATED amongst it all, I felt the veil slipping. I was verbalizing my pain to others, being honest about how difficult I felt life has been, and I felt my self becoming increasingly more negative.

While I do think it can be helpful to be open and honest about when you are struggling, I think it can also perpetuate a toxic codependency if all you are doing is venting and not taking any steps to PULL yourself out of this reality. This leads to where I am at today! I am not willing to let ‘depressed’ become my new normal and the baseline from where I live my life and function out of. I am going to take my mental health seriously and actively combat it so it is no longer a large part of my brain.

How I Plan To Achieve Better Mental Health

As someone who is actively job hunting and therefore not in a position to start attending regular therapy, these are the ways I am planning to *start* the process of bettering my mental health.

  1. Spending more time outside (goal is at least 15 minutes a day)
  2. Going on ‘Mental Health’ walks (shooting for 30 min of active walking)
  3. Visiting multiple local churches and committing to a new church I can attend weekly and build a community at.
  4. Spending more time actively engaging in the activities I enjoy:
    • Learning piano and guitar
    • Playing volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis
    • Going for walks/hikes at the beach and shoreline
    • Getting coffee with friends, going out to lunch/dinner
    • Baking
    • Reading books
    • Playing games/hosting game nights
    • writing blog posts and making videos
  5. Grocery shopping and cooking new recipes rather than eating packaged food

Sharing The Burden

It feels like a huge load has been lifted from writing this all out. I put off writing it to the last minute and even wasn’t sure if I’d be brave enough to post it, but I think having this post to look back on will be very therapeutic for me. I am feeling like there is so much possibility for what this year has to bring. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way.

I wrote this post largely for myself, as it’s easier to believe others wont read it. Especially people I know. It’s a vulnerable thing to put out there, talking about mental health, but I know it’s going to help me. There’s also always a possibility this could help someone else! Maybe you relate to something I shared in this post and by reading it you feel less alone. Regardless I am ready and excited to walk away from this feeling hopeful and with a game plan. Hopefully this year will bring a lot of growth, a lot of blog posts, videos, and less time on my phone! Happy New Year!

xoxo Aly

PS: Top Products of 2022

While I have you here, I may as well compile a list of my top 2022 products! I was largely under financial stress throughout this entire year so if I spent my money on anything it definitely had to be worth it! I want to keep it short and sweet so I’m gonna pick one product from each category.

SKINCARE:

My top skincare product this year was definitely ‘Clearity’ serum from CLEARSTEM skincare. This is my rescue potion for when I feel like my skin is becoming dull, congested, and I haven’t been taking well enough care of it. It’s a mixture of Mandelic Acid which is a type of AHA with Vitamin C that works together to unclog pores and dissolves dead skin leaving your skin feeling smoother and brighter! I’ve been so blessed to be able to get a discount code from CLEARSTEM and if you use code ALY when making any purchase on their site you’ll get 15% off!

MAKEUP:

I’ve been on a journey to clean up my makeup products and no longer purchase anything that has endocrine disrupting or toxic ingredients. One of my favorite new finds this year was a clean mascara! I’ve been using for months now the Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer and am obsessed. It gives me the volume and length that I love and is black black black. It doesn’t flake off throughout the day or transfer onto your under eyes. I thought using the lash primer would be a hassle but honestly I love it so much I don’t even care! Highly recommend.

HAIR:

While most of my hair care routine is still majority INCOMMON Beauty and I’ll forever shout it out, I’ve decided to pick a different spotlight product for 2022: K18 Leave-in Molecular Hair Mask. I’ve been bleaching my hair to be blonde for almost a decade and used a plethora of hair repair products to reverse damage from chemical and heat processing. When K18 came out I was the ultimate sceptic because I felt pretty happy with my Olaplex treatments. However once I learned that not only does K18 repair the broken bonds caused by heat and chemical damage (like Olaplex) but that it also the rebuilds the keratin peptide chains within the hair strand I began to reconsider. This isn’t to say I don’t still like Olaplex, because I do. BUT i’m also sold on K18 now and will forever have it in my shower!

NAILS

One of the best things I did for myself this year was learn how to do a Gel-X Manicure at home. Luckily I already had access to gel nail polish and a UV Curing Lamp. Thanks to Tik Tok I learned what other products I was missing and what the steps were to achieve a salon quality manicure at home! The standout product that makes this possible are these soak-off Nail Extensions. I found this particular brand to be the most sturdy and easy to work with!

HOME:

Moving into a new apartment in November of 2021 led to a lot of home improvement projects in 2022. My home is pretty small so I had to come up with creative ways to organize and find storage. While still wanting to maintain an aesthetic, of course. That led me to purchase two of these cabinets off Amazon. The dimensions were perfect to fit in my hallway between my kitchen and living area. Plus they totally fit my aesthetic too! I was so impressed by these cabinets and their ability to be so multi-functional. I use one as a broom closet where I store all of my cleaning supplies and tools. While the other is shared between a laundry cabinet (hamper, basket etc), linen closet, and accessory storage.

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2 Comments

  1. Your honesty is appreciated and noticed, I’m so glad you’re taking the first step in making change for your life. I will specifically be lifting tour depression and your desire to grow and change up in my prayers! I love you and I know God is working in and through your life!

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