I’ve made my bed more times in the last few weeks than I have in likely the last few years. I’m proactive about things like laundry, trash, running the dishwasher, and vacuuming my room. I’m reading books I had nearly forgotten about. I’m not mass cooking meals and am instead going to the grocery store every couple of days to figure out what new thing I can cook. I’m regularly making bread from scratch. I haven’t had any candy in a week. I’ve been seeking out happy songs that I love to jam to. I pull the blinds up for 2 out of the 3 bay windows in my room. I hardly work from my bed anymore and spend most days at my desk (shhhhh I know – bad habit). I jammed to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” back to back days while making breakfast. I rolled the windows down bopping my hand up and down to music as I came back from my morning coffee session.

The last few weeks have been unusual. My capacity for life has greatly opened up and this past week felt like the best mental health week I’ve had in months if not years. The last 6 months have been really bad for my mental health. I’ve had to grip as hard as I can onto life and proactively reach out to numerous friends basically telling them, “worry about me, check in on me, hold me accountable.” I’m coming out of the other side and my heart swells with relief.

I can’t pinpoint the exact magic formula but I’ve narrowed it down to some combination of the following changes:

  • I’m wearing a stupid sleep mask at night which has helped immensely with sleep quality. Ironically, it’s a mask from Automattic (my employer) that I gave to my dad who regifted it to me over the holidays. My room has bay windows letting in tons of light and I’m a naturally light sleeper so this addition has been ridiculously helpful.
  • I’m going for walks again and purposefully seeking out SUN.
  • My role at work changed and I’m on a rotation with a team requiring me to not be a lead. This has massively reduced emotional labor on my end as I don’t have 14 meetings in a week (more like 1-2).
  • I have expanded my definition of health to include things like social support. This has been a wonderful mental shift towards a fuller vision of health that includes my little soul who needs people more.

I want to keep this momentum going as it feels like I’ve stumbled upon how life should have always been for me. As with any good anxious person, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop ;). In the meantime though, I’m soaking up this rare moment in time and am embracing the happiness I’ve found after such a prolonged period of scary darkness.

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