It's Okay To Not Feel Okay

It's Okay To Not Feel Okay

It is okay; it is normal, and recognizing this is so important.
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And I’ve learned this.

I’ve learned this a lot lately, actually, and I have learned that it’s totally fine. I’ve learned over time, that frantically running to the bus for class and making it with seconds to spare, accidentally pinning my fingers thousands of times during the prep of a garment creation, or sobbing into my pillow for a few hours—that these are all just small pitfalls.

Yes, they may be awful, and sometimes my week, or even weeks, can be filled with these pits, but there’s always something that happens to reassure me that I am on the right path.

Although, this path is one that I do not always instantly see.

It can be difficult. It is definitely mentally exhausting to walk into my dorm from The Warehouse at 5 a.m. when my roommate is asleep, to realize I have two hours to rest and convince myself that I am taking a “nap” because my sleep schedule just isn’t cohesive.

My 7 a.m. alarm is not the best thing to hear after falling asleep at 5:30 a.m., and the harsh design critiques we as designers must undergo each day don’t always leave me walking out of The Warehouse with enthusiasm.

But, I know I am here. And I know my talents. And I know my purpose. It might not always scream out to me, but I always know it’s there.

It’s taken years to learn that although it’s okay to not feel completely OK, it’s actually kind of a good thing. I’ve learned how empowering it can be sometimes to have a dip in my day where things aren’t completely looking up, and have the ability to continue moving.

It’s reassuring to know sometimes that downfalls will not interfere with what I am meant to be doing because my purpose is so strong that nothing can distance me from my path.

I shed a few tears this week, and to be truthful, maybe a little more than my liking. But, this week has taught me more about myself than this entire past semester has.

Last Friday, I walked into my 8 a.m. class with my completed garment, running on an hour of sleep and yearning to somehow make it back to campus before midnight. With energy solely from the venti iced macchiato I had just finished, I looked into the mirror at my beautiful dark circles, beginning to be accompanied by tears.

I knew it was time to relax, and I knew that I couldn’t just brush over it anymore. It now had to be acknowledged. I was indestructible last semester—so I thought, until this week when I realized nobody is. This is the week I learned that it is completely impossible, and I could not continue acting like my exhaustion wasn’t beginning to deplete my overall health and happiness.

I walked into this weeks design classes with less energy than usual, and my productivity was not it’s best, although I continued to put my best energy into everything. There just wasn’t enough energy to carry myself the way I would normally.

After many phone calls with family, conversations with friends, and trying my best to check in on myself, I learned it’s time to debrief for a minute. It’s time to still carry the work ethic I have always honored, yet do so without exhausting myself to the point of breakdown.

I am going to try my best—but my over-achieving spirit always does make it difficult. I overviewed my day today, and in contrast to this week, I began to smile. Today was the day I left The Fashion Warehouse earlier than I usually would and was able to take a break with some of my closest friends. It felt so good to know I was doing my body good.

This is the week I realized it’s okay not to feel OK.

It’s okay to not be extremely happy all the time and to not be the gem who makes it through a schedule like mine without a tear, a full cry, or even a complete sob. It is okay, it is normal, and recognizing this is so important.

I would not expect myself to undergo such a demanding schedule without weeks like these. It is just time I give myself more of a break, like the one today, and it is important for us all to do this. Taking some time to debrief is the best remedy, and I am continuing to learn of its vast importance.

One step at a time.

Cover Image Credit: João Silas

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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Is Your Self Care Killing You?

Let's discuss the firm line between treating yourself and hurting your body.

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So let's talk about self-care.

Recently, phrases like "treat yourself," "cheat day, " and the obsession with donuts and other glorified foods have run rampant in our society.

Being in the fitness world, I am quite familiarized with these phrases, but lately, they have been taking over our culture.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for celebrating body positivity, but body positivity and "treat yourself" do not go hand and hand.

Body positivity is loving and accepting your body and not feeling ashamed.

A healthy lifestyle is how self-care should be seen by our culture.

Self-care is not "I just ate four donuts so I'm going to take an aesthetic picture of them and caption it 'treating myself.'"

That is not taking care of yourself.

Self-care, and treating your body, should be seen as feeding your body with foods that will nourish your body and make you feel good.

Food is fuel for your body.

Food is energy.

Food is not something to be idolized if it is not helping your body.

Do you think your friend on Instagram who ate a dozen donuts feels good?

Do you think her body is feeling treated after that?

Do you think your fitness friend feels good after she engorges on that whole large pizza and two pints of ice cream because it's her "cheat day"?

No.

Your girl who ate a whole dozen donuts feels a sugar rush and a major crash afterward, leaving her ineffective to do her job because she needs a nap.

Your fitness friend kills herself at the gym the next day because she feels guilt, bloating, and tired.

The idea of treating yourself is good to an extent.

It's good to feed your cravings.

It is good to eat certain foods in moderation.

Food is necessary, vital, and it is extremely important to fuel our bodies for everyday functions.

But if food is going to steal your focus, if it is going to make you feel horrible, or if it is going to do damage to your insides, do not label it with a societal hashtag that makes you feel better about yourself.

So let's remove the nasty label of treating yourself, and let's love ourselves.

Let's fuel ourselves.

Let's feed our soul.

Let's feed our brain.

Let's feed our muscles.

Because food helps us kick life's butt.

So here's to treating our bodies with nourishing foods, self-love, and acceptance, and yes every now and then, some chocolate.

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