It’s been decided, I’m declaring May the month of Me

That’s it. I’ve decided. Not to take away from the all-important and close to my heart, melanoma awareness month, May is officially the month of Me. And I don’t mean that in any sort of selfish way. I’m making May the month of Me because I need it. I need it for my health, my sanity, and my overall well-being.

Last year was a good year for me. I took some chances, made a lot of changes, and set my life on a really good path. I felt good. And I felt good coming into this year, but that didn’t last long.

I’m not sure exactly why or how (I have a few ideas but I’m not yet at liberty to share those), but this year has been a rough year for me mentally (and that’s really saying something). Despite coming off the high of all the big moves and changes of last year, this year has been filled with extra anxiety and low self-esteem. Lots of self-doubts and the worse insomnia I’ve ever had. I’ve felt lost, stuck, not good enough, and oddly enough a lot like a failure.

Despite working out and eating much better, I’m really struggling with my body image and my relationship with food. I’ve felt depressed and overwhelmed. So much so that I walked around most of last week on the verge of tears and had no idea why (mostly).

Clearly, things have got to change and so I decided this month, I am making this the month of me.

This month above all else I am focusing on getting my health and everything else back on track, or at least headed back towards the rails.

My dad died young, my mom has her own health problems, and I have already had my first cancer scare.

I want to live a long happy and healthy life and I know the way I live today, right now, impacts everything down the line.

If I want to chase my dreams, climb mountains until I’m ancient, enjoy food, and just live the life I want for decades to come, I need to take control now.

Stress, and anxiety, and all that “fun” stuff have been a part of me all my life and who knows what damage that has already done to me. I can’t keep putting it off and I can’t keep living the way I have been the last few months.

So what’s my plan?

Boundaries, new schedules, new priorities, new practices, and a whole lot of trial and error.

So, yeah, I’m not really sure what the plan is, but I have some ideas of what I want to try and then I am just going to keep tweaking it and trying new things until it works.

Here’s what I have worked out so far –

  • I am setting boundaries and sticking to them, especially around work. Last year when I decided to leave the security of the corporate world and freelance, I knew it was going to be hard, and stressful, and scary, and I also knew allowing the lines between work and non-work hours would not be good. I knew that separation was vital for my sanity and, well, I let that slide. I started working at night, checking emails and notices on my downtime, and working hours I wasn’t billing for. No more! That stops this month. No more checking emails or notices outside of my work time. And most importantly NO MORE NIGHT-TIME WORK. It takes me forever to shut down and working past 6 or 7 at night means I’m going to be thinking about work when I should be decompressing from the day.
  • Along with that, I am going to work on restructuring my days. Right now I try to do a little bit of everything every day. I spread my projects and work out little by little throughout the week, but I think that may be adding to my stress. I think this is making so I can’t give anything my full attention and I am constantly thinking about what I was doing or what I need to still to do. So this month instead I am going to try to dedicate certain projects and work things to specific days and other projects to other days. Instead of trying to get hours done, get assignments done, clean house, work on my passion projects, and whatever else I have to do, certain days will be work days for specific jobs, other days will be work days for other jobs, and specific days will be work days for what I want and need. And of course, certain days will be days off.
  • I’m prioritizing my own work and passion projects. The things that make me happy. Yes, I need to pay the bills so obviously the jobs that pay me need to come first, but once I’ve finished what I’ve committed to I need to make time to work on my projects and chase my dreams. There’s still a lot I want to do to live my dream life and I haven’t been giving those things enough attention.
  • I’m recommitting to meditation and specifically the Z technique for the first few weeks. I’ve never been fully committed to mediation. I do it on and off here and there. I’ve only stuck with it for an extended period of time a handful of times and every time I have I can feel the difference in my body. Usually, I just use Headspace or my FitBit but because I’ve been reading Stress Less, Accomplish More this month I’m going to be trying out the Z Technique. I don’t want to go too much into that, we’ll see how it goes and then maybe I’ll do a blog post about it, but I do recommend if you are interested you go check out the book. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it can’t hurt, and either way, it will get me back into a daily practice no matter which technique I end up with.
  • I’m also getting back into face yoga. I really loved what face yoga was doing to my skin and my mood when I was committed and like meditation and so many other things, I just let that all float away. Starting today, face yoga is coming back as a daily thing.
  • No more weighing myself, at least not for 30 days. I don’t want to give up weighing myself completely because it is one way to measure progress, but it is not the most important one and doesn’t give the whole picture. Because I can feel my old habits creeping up and the temptation to skip meals becoming more and more tempting, I need to move away from the scale. And also, while I would like to drop a few sizes, that’s not the purpose of my working out this time around. This time I am working out for my health (physical and mental), my mobility, and to get strong. Getting strong and getting skinny is not the same and don’t read the same on the scale. I need to get my mind in a place that can understand that.
  • Giving myself something to look forward to. Building a community has been something I have talked about countless times on here and I do an ok job at it, but I could do better. On top of that, I am a planner and I like having things to do. Summer is right around the corner so what better time to start planning some fun activities? I already have a few camping trips and concerts on the calendar, but I want to plan some BBQ’s, movie nights, and more camping trips to really make the next few months something to be excited about.

I wanted to wrap this up with a song. I was trying to think of what is my happy song right now and although I’m not sure if this is a happy song, it does make me smile, make me dance, and has been on in my head on repeat since the album came out. It also seems oddly appropriate.

Cover photo by Gerardo Hurtado

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