Happy (almost) new year, everyone! We are almost done with this year that we all hope to forget. Though tomorrow won’t warp us out of the Twilight Zone, it feels good to no longer see 2020 on a calendar at least. I think we can collectively agree that we shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves when it comes to expectations for this new year, but I certainly gained a new outlook on life after the last 10 months.
When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Baths? Meditation? Spending $200 online for a serotonin boost? Honestly, same. But self-care isn’t all about spending money and face masks-the beauty kind anyway. It’s about investing time and energy back into oneself. Don’t get me wrong-I am all about buying things that make me happy, doing my skincare routine, and having a glass of wine. However, after a rough, anxious week, I had to do a little extra work on myself to start feeling ‘normal.’
Last week, my boyfriend shared someone’s tweet on his Instagram story that asked people to stop telling others that they have to love themselves in order to be worthy of love in return. We all know the saying that if you do not love yourself, how can you love someone else? It has gained increasing criticism as people realize there is a negative element that can be tied to this saying. It can suggest that you have to unpack all of your baggage and trauma before anyone can love you. But it’s scenarios like this that always remind me that studying communication will always be relevant and interesting. Intent, interpretation, and impact can completely obscure a message. In my experience, this saying has impacted me the opposite way and I will explain why.
Recently, I did a video as part of my Lex Behind the Lens series on my YouTube channel about knowing your worth. It surprisingly gained a lot of traction compared to the performance of my previous videos, but it was the first thing I thought of when I was reading this on his story. Another recent occurrence was that I ended a friendship after discovering this person was inherently not someone I wanted to continue befriending. To protect this post from derailing from the point, I will not express further why that friendship ended (if you know, you know), but I would not have been able to do that or feel confident enough to create a video about knowing my worth had I not been on a self-love journey for the last three years.
Disclaimer: I am not a psychiatrist. You should always seek professional help before self-/misdiagnosing.
Today is Daylight Saving (excluding Hawaii and most of Arizona) which is usually the first sign of reality that we are entering the dark and cold months of the year. Though many states have already been experiencing winter-like weather, the addition of early sunsets makes the transition that much more ‘real.’ Even here in Texas, we have spent this past week mostly in the 40s with rain. I have to say, personally, this is my favorite time of the year and I look forward to that extra hour of sleep this day allots. However, I know that many people dread this time of year and even experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD–aptly named.
According to Psychology Today, “Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of recurrent major depressive disorder in which episodes of depression occur during the same season each year. This condition is sometimes called the “winter blues,” because the most common seasonal pattern is for depressive episodes to appear in the fall or winter and remit in the spring.” On the surface, it appears SAD can affect most people as we receive less daylight in the fall and winter and we all know Vitamin D plays a major role with our energy levels. Even during daylight hours, there are a lot more days of gray skies and unpleasant weather. Despite SAD affecting 10 million Americans, more commonly in women, “to be diagnosed with SAD, an individual must meet criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons for at least two years.” Still, many people can have the symptoms or have a mild version of SAD.