Chronically Cheerful #6: Change starts with you.
Why you never know who you can inspire, and a BIG announcement!
I hope this summer is treating you kindly. Summer is simply *not my season.* The heat has got your girl cranky and cranking up the AC.
However, there’s one thing I’m REALLY excited about…
You’re invited to my Summer Spoonie Sessions: small group conversations for chronically ill women to find levity and empathy, advice and support — no matter where you are on your healing journey. 🤗
Let's be honest: chronic illness can feel like a cluster****. Whether you currently have a diagnosis or not, whether you've lived with a condition for 10 years or 1 month — life with chronic illness can leave you lonely, frustrated and searching for answers.
These convos will connect you to other women who understand what it means to go through the physical, mental and emotional turbulence that comes with chronic illness. (For now, groups will be female identifying only. Thanks for understanding!)
Sign up below to get on the list!
Send any questions or thoughts my way. Thanks for being here, and can’t wait to connect with some of you in a Spoonie Session!
Change can begin with you.
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the news about Simone Biles withdrawing from the Olympics to care for her mental health. This news came on the heels’ of Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from this year’s French Open because of her mental health, citing the toll news conferences take on players' emotional well-being.
I have a LOT of thoughts and feelings about both of these women. Their pain and their bravery; that they shouldn’t have to be this brave; the weight they shoulder as elite athletes, women, people of color, a victim of abuse (I could go on!)…
These two individuals shouldn’t have to be “shifting our view on mental health” and “leading America’s mental health moment.” IMO, that burden should fall upon systems, not two people. 🥺 Yet through their actions, they’re doing it.
Naomi and Simone shook up major expectations and forged a new path for vulnerable leadership by saying “no” on the world stage to say “yes” to themselves and their well-being.
But in a smaller way, whenever we go against societal expectations to care for ourselves, we others permission to do the same. This is the one of the meanings behind the adage “self-care isn’t selfish” — not only can we better show up for others when we protect our health, but you never know who you will inspire, in your own circles or wider community, when you carve out necessary space for being your best. 🥇
Reflect on This
Recently on IG, I posted the below image, which sparked some amazing conversation.
Many of us already know our “love language,” a concept which posits that each of us have a primary way that we want to receive affection. The idea is that by learning which “language” people prefer to receive love, we can better communicate our affection among friends and partners to build strong relationships.
But what about your love language — with yourself?
I thought applying this concept to self-love was totally novel. In my relationships with others, I most value quality time and words of affirmation. Would these same love languages would extend inwards? After some thought, I was surprised to find that “acts of service” for my future self — like meal prepping in advance or cleaning my space — make me feel the most cared for and satisfied.
Take a moment to think about what actions you take that go the farthest in making you feel good in your mind and body. Do your love language(s) differ? A deeper self understanding of what matters to you most can help you to more wisely spend energy on self-care. 🥰
If you’re anything like the average internet user, you have too many unread tabs open on your browser right now (guilty).
On the surface, the new chrome feature which lets you organize your tabs into groups helped me manage my digital chaos. While I no longer had approximately 30 weekly unread articles and links staring me in the face, they still silently haunted my browser. 👻
My “To Read” tab, once a source of joy, became yet another source of something to endlessly catch up on. This past week, I renamed the “To Read” tab to “Stay Curious” and suddenly felt more motivated to explore its contents. That nagging guilt was quickly replaced by a hearty dose of intrigue — the very feelings that led me to bookmark those links originally. ✨
This was great! Especially the love languages for yourself and reframing. I might do that with my own "To Read" list!