A Late Start: Planting Veg In July to Build Tighter Bonds

I was looking out at the garden the other day and realized there were quite a few empty spots and a lot of weeds needing pulling. It was the end of June, and I thought for sure that it’d be a late start for us to get anything into the ground and have a successful harvest. But I decided to look up the growing schedule for my zone anyways and see if it wasn’t too late to put something in the ground. And to my complete surprise, it was not.

In fact, the beginning of July is a great time to start a bunch of plants from seed, seeing as how the soil is warm and some of the crops like a cooler finish to their growing season. So I got out into the garden, weeded and planted a few different types of seed. I was happy with my efforts, but what I think I was more thrilled about was starting something when I thought it was too late and the help I received along the way.

Our Garden In All Its Mid-Summer Glory! My dad ripped up the front lawn one day because we weren’t using it and he wanted a bigger vegetable garden.

Starting Late

This is a subject I know something about. By the time I was in middle school, I had already started the process of dissociating from my life. I was doing poorly in school, not making many friends and not finding things that I was excited about doing or even liked doing. When it came to my future, I wasn’t focused on it, mostly because everybody that traditionally would have guided me had checked out of my life already.

Now I understand that it wasn’t entirely their fault. They were dealing with a mountain of disruption, an unruly teen (aka me) being the lest of their problems. Sorry guys. But still, this left the twelve year-old me in a very vulnerable position. I had no idea what I was doing and all I really wanted was to feel some sort of belonging and to feel loved. So naturally by the time I got to high school, I checked out completely.

Confusing Street Cred for Acceptance

This is where I began to rebel against just about everything. And for no good reason. I was watching those around me live life styles like rock stars, so naturally that’s the route I took as well. But this left me in a place where I was unable to take care of myself, or build lasting relationships and find fulfilling work. This wasn’t entirely true, as I was surviving, but without the close and loving connections and only a bottle between us, I wasn’t really connected with many people. I was mostly buzzed, in front of a screen playing video games.

For me, it was about how I was being seen by others that mattered. This was where I confused my image with self worth. And this is nothing new. We seem to be caught perennially in the cycle of forgetting our own value and seeking it outside, somewhere else. So if that’s true, then the times we stray from ourselves to seek validation or acceptance, we’re really in need of the work of coming back to ourselves to feel that wholeness of being again.

This is something that I’m just coming to understand now, two decades after my initial fall. And even after realizing what I’ve been missing for so long, it still feels fresh. The chance to start something anew. Like a new version of myself is emerging, ready to begin again. Just like planting new seed in the beginning of July, there’s still plenty of growing season left to enjoy the new crops.

The Help Along The Way

It’s also equally as important to recognize the help I’ve received along the way as well. Because without help, we’d all be a little lost. While I was in the garden, planting the seeds, I was really only working on the foundation of my father’s work. The garden is his labor of love and I jump in and help where and when I’m able to. So together, with the help of my step-mother, we’re all working to create something that will hopefully yield more than just the fruits of our labor along the way.

The time spent together weeding, laughing at how a volunteer squash plant has taken over a good portion, nah, all of the compost pile! Or the fresh salad that we were able to make for our neighbors 4th of July party, that everybody enjoyed. And hopefully, with any amount of luck, we’ll be harvesting gourds that we will be able to decorate our Thanksgiving table with. And this is all to say, that we haven’t been very close for very long. But by gardening together, we’ve found a place where we can connect, let down our guarded emotions and feel a little more belonging with one another.

Volunteer Squash Plant Taking Over The Yard!

Building a New Foundation

About seven or eight years ago, I was in a difficult position. The woman I loved intensely had just left me, leaving me with no where to go accept one place I kept returning to when times were tough for me. My dad’s house. This seemed to happen every decade or so, so this was rote by now. Only this time was different.

Something inside of me had changed. What made the woman I was with so special to me was, I had made the decision to change the ways I was living for her, in hopes that she would change her ways as well. This however, did not work in my favor. And more to the point, I made the decision without all the information I needed, in order to see clearly what was happening to me. The reasons behind my actions, what was motivating me to change. But it forced me to come to terms with somethings I had been ignoring for a long time. Mainly my relationship with the family that stood by me.

The Early Years

When I was young, I remember things being pretty good. Our family gathered often, we did things together like go to baseball games and cookouts at family friends’ houses. But things changed rather abruptly, leaving a lot of people very hurt and unable to move forward. Me being one of them. We stayed loyal to our state of suffering, choosing to keep ourselves locked away from one another for fear of opening up and being wounded again. But all throughout the years, even when things got very bad for everybody, there was one person who kept the home fires burning, so to speak. My father.

He had been hurt traumatically, just as the rest of us had been. But he chose to stay inside his vulnerability. Instead of covering it over with alcohol or viscously mean defenses, he chose the life more vulnerable. It was solitary for a while, but he never gave up. In fact, that is one of his values, perseverance. Sure, he had his own battles to fight, but he is always willing to help another in their battle, with a supportive and understanding quality that is rare.

It was with him and my step mother, who I’ve returned to time and time again, when I’ve fallen on tough times. And I feel, until fairly recently that, I’ve ritually taken their kindness and support for granted. I stayed loyal to the self destructive ways of building relationships for so long, that I saw genuine kindness and support as signs of weakness. This was a backwards way of seeing the world for sure, but it was how I had survived for so long.

Stronger Together

And that’s not to say that One day I woke up and we all hugged it out and sang and danced in a Pollyannaish way (full disclosure, I had to Google Pollyanna, if you’re interested). It took a few years of awkwardly brushing up against our overly cautious boundaries before we understood what it meant to be a family. One example being, I bought my father two chord of logs for us to cut and chop for firewood. I thought it would be a good bonding experience. Father and son chopping chord wood together. But instead, he ended up cutting the entire two chords himself! And he was in his 70’s! He just didn’t see it as anything but another chore to do.

But that’s how my family was raised. You don’t ask for help, and you don’t make any waves. But we’ve slowly been breaking free from the mindset that we have to do everything alone. We’ve been spending more time together as a family. Cooking meals, talking and making plans for the future. These are all the small events that we were just too afraid to do with one another because we were so uncertain of where we stood in each others regard. But once we started to connect, these types of experiences came more naturally. It was as though everybody was waiting on anybody else to make the first move. And that’s all it took.

An example, I suggested that we start family dinner Fridays. An idea I took from my self-care Sunday routine of taking good care and cooking a special meal for myself on Sunday nights. Only I suggested we do the same on Fridays as a family. Before we knew it, we were all excited about the new recipes we would be making. The meals came together in no time and we spent more time talking around the dining room table than we did any other time during our week. While usually using the fresh veg we planted in our garden for our meals, making them all the more special and gratifying.

A Late Start Is Better Than No Start

And it’s with this in mind, our family meals, the time spent gardening together, the nature walks we take, that I look back and recognize that, yeah, we may have gotten a late start, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t worth the while. Because it most definitely is.

And I recognize that it’s not always easy to see past the defenses that we’ve built up. The ones we cling to because we were just trying to survive, a difficult or abusive family situation. Or maybe you were left on your own with no one to guide you, only knowing hurt along the way. But it is a far better thing to be open emotionally, than in a constant state of fear for your emotional well being.

Sometimes it’s wise to set rigid boundaries. Especially around those who are all too willing to trample all over you when you let them in. But just know that there are people out there who are not only capable of, but enjoy taking good care of their relationships and loved ones. It’s possible to open up and feel safe and loved.

And it’s never too late to start on this journey. It may feel overwhelming at times, or even as though it’s not worth the effort. But it most definitely is. And you will be all the better for it. So be persistent! It isn’t always an easy journey, but it’s almost always an interesting one. Peace : ) and thanks for reading.

Image Credits: “Helmsley Walled Garden productive garden vegetable plot bordered with apple trees – 2018-05-09 DSC_6104” by mattcornock is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Paying Your Bills & Debt: How Being Buried in Student Loans Can Help You Get a Handle on Your Financial Life

I’m in debt. I’ve talked about my debt before on this blog, but with the COVID-19 student loan forbearance ending at the end of this year, I’ve decided it was time to take the deeper dive into finding out what my best options are for repayment. And I was a little surprised with what I found out. I’ll be going over some of the specifics about my situation, but also what I’ve discovered along the way. It can be overwhelming, when you’re staring out of the deep hole you’ve dug for yourself. But there’s hope. And I should say, it’s totally doable. You just need a plan, a positive attitude and a little help : )

The Short Road to Nowhere

If you’re like me, you borrowed a lot of money during the height of the student loan lending frenzy. I ended up with close to 87k in student loan debt that I am in the middle of paying back. And I went to an in state school! I was completely clueless when it came to getting my degree. I had no idea what I was doing, what I wanted to do, or what I was even good at. When I stopped going to high school I was 15. But thought I was supposed to go to college to get a degree so I could get a job. So that’s what I did.

I started in community college when I was 19. This was a poor choice given the circumstances I was in. I was past the age of being a dependent on my caregivers and one of them told me to go to school. When I failed by way of not going to classes, I was subsequently given the boot from my childhood home. I was 19 and as good as homeless. Years later, when I asked my caregiver why they kicked me out with no guidance and with such callous disregard, they responded with, “it’s what happened to me”. Hurt people hurt people.

So, with that in my rearview, I drifted around for the next five years in a haze of alcohol, seedy apartments and questionable life events (but some good stories, like the time one of the “Allman Brothers” was at my apartment), until a friend of mine got me a job at a residential program for at risk adolescent boys. This is when I decided to go back to school. Only this time for social work. I wanted to help people who were in similar situations to my own. But I still had no idea what I was doing when it came to navigating the educational system. This is when I started taking out loans.

Paying Your Bills & Debt

I would later switch my career focus two more times. First to architecture, but stopped that pursuit in it’s tracks when they said I would be working 80 hour plus weeks for the rest of my life. Then I switched for the second time to journalism. This is where I received most of my education and also where I racked up my student loan debt.

I did this with enthusiasm. No one told me to look for grants or scholarships, but this wasn’t surprising as I had no guidance. Nor was I seeking any or knew how to ask. I was again adrift, in a financial world where I would soon be in way over my head.

It took me close to nine years to finish my degree. And when I was done, I had close to 87k in student loans and 20k in credit card debt plus 10-20k in miscellaneous other expenses. This was a tough pill to swallow. I fumbled my way into just over 120-130k in debt, with little to show for it and no idea how I was going to dig myself out of the hole I had worked so hard to get into.

Okay I Give, How do I Get Out Of This Mess?

This, in conjunction with a few other realizations, left me in one of the darkest places I’ve been in my life. This was where I decided to make some much needed changes in my spending habits and the ways I was living my life.

This is around the time I found Dave Ramsey. Here was finally where I found the guidance I so needed to take hold of my financial house. This was also a confusing place to be, because growing up my caregivers were consumed with everything finance. Though they never imparted any of their wisdom to me about how to handle my finances. I had to stumbled upon Dave Ramsey in my mid thirties, by chance before I really began to take charge of my finances.

This was demoralizing. Mostly because I didn’t feel as though I could ask anybody in my life for help or advice, for anything really. Money was such a sore spot for my entire family growing up, that I felt as though it was off limits. I spent so much time not thinking about money, due to the unspoken lessons I was taught about how money was something to be feared, that I completely neglected my financial future. This was a difficult and terrifying realization to come to as well. I wrote about this some in my blog post about what to do when you’re starting to retire at forty.

But this is also where I learned that I needed to take the reigns for myself. Because I was the only one in control of my future. This doesn’t mean that I can’t ask for help when necessary. Which is and was the case considering how little I knew/know about how to handle finances. But I couldn’t wait any longer. I knew I had to do something about my future, regardless of how I had been neglected by my caregivers.

Taking the Reigns

As I said above, I started when I found Dave Ramsey and his baby steps, but it took discipline and patience to follow through with the plan. I had been so used to buying whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, that when it came time to exercise self control, I was at a complete loss. But there were a few things that helped to fortify my self-restraint.

Going Vegan, Running, Meditation & Yoga Helped Me Pay My Debt Faster

Going Vegan

Of all the changes I made in my life and my habits, going vegan was probably the most effective. I needed to learn how to cook using different ingredients while also making substitutions for staples I was in the habit of using when I ate animal products.

I also had to batch cook for the weeks ahead due to my busy schedule. This taught me how to put a shopping list together by choosing recipes and making a list by shopping from my pantry first. This was just another way to budget, only using food instead of money. But also if I didn’t cook, I had to eat pasta with Earth balance for dinner. I didn’t always want to cook, but I needed to eat, so I did.

Running

Running was another great way to cultivate a sense of discipline. Throwing shoes on and pounding out the miles week after week helped me to build a resilience while also helping me to find a rhythm.

For me, when running mid level milage, the first few miles of a run are the most difficult. It’s kind of like waking up in the morning. You’re a little tired, it takes some time to get your muscles warmed up and head wrapped around what your body’s doing. But once you’ve settled into the motion and movements of your body, the miles start to drop away with an ease that’s hard to describe.

It’s similar to when you’re paying off debt. The first few months take some adjusting to. But once you find your rhythm, and recognize that the discomfort of your sacrifices to your new budget won’t last forever, you find that same rhythm.

Meditation & Yoga

Meditation and Yoga help in sort of the same ways but from different perspectives. With yoga, learning to be still when you are in the midst of a difficult pose and sensation. And meditation when difficult thoughts and emotions arise, being still and present with what’s difficult builds resilience.

This is the same sort of resilience you need when you’re paying down a sizeable debt. For me it was important to sit with the discomfort of just how much money I owed. About 87k total in student loans alone. If that doesn’t put a seed of fear in your belly you’re either wealthy or in shock. Learning to sit and stay with what’s difficult, while coming up with and exciting a plan is what is most important when faced with a challenge of this size. Now let’s focus on some of the specifics of my loans and what I’ve found to be most useful.

Logistics of Paying Off Bigger Numbers

I have federal loans but when I first took out my loans I had both federal and private. About 9k in private and 78k in federal. I don’t remember exactly what the beginnings of my loan repayments looked like. I was in and out of school for 9 years. So my actual repayment date didn’t start until my mid-thirties. And probably for the best. I wasn’t in the habit of paying my bills regularly or at all before then.

Most of my bills I defaulted on with most likely the intention of never repaying them at all. But I had to start somewhere. And where I started was in my mid-thirties, under a pile of debt. I used the snowball method to start. This basically means paying the minimums on all your debt, but using all other available income to pay off your smallest debt first. For me this was all my credit cards that totaled 2-5k small debts. All together around 14k. Then it was on to my private student loans of about 9k total.

Some systems suggest you pay the highest interest rate percent first. Luckily my credit cards were all high interest and my loans much lower. So when I got to my private student loan, with about a 7% interest rate and my federal at a 6%, I put all available funds towards the private. My federal loans were in deferment, so I didn’t have to start paying them back until later. And with my private loans in the past, I could finally focus on the big one. My federal loans.

Federal Student Loans=No Bueno

When I started paying off these loans, they were in deferment. This means that you don’t have to make any payments on your loan for a specific amount of time for different circumstances. I believe the time available for deferment is 3 years, but check with your lender to make certain yours aren’t different. But what I hadn’t realized was that when my bill came due, I would be making close to 1k payments monthly. I was not making much at the time and definitely wouldn’t have been able to afford these payments. So I defaulted to my default. I planned on defaulting on my loans because it just seemed like too much.

But after I had done all the difficult work of paying off my other loans, I realized I didn’t want to head down the same road I had been traveling for so long. I needed to take control of my finances for my future. So I began looking into what my options were for paying down my student loans.

I Have a Plan… Sort of

My plan was to just throw money at my debt until it started to dwindle. But was that really my best option? As it turned out, yes. We all know, COVID hit about a year and a half ago. And since then there have been a lot of layoffs. As a way to ease some of the financial burden of student loan borrowers, the government put all loans on deferment without accrued interest. This has been a Godsend for those laid-off. But for folks like me, making payments interest free has been game changing. With all of my payments going towards principle, my debt is shrinking faster than expected. I’ve paid off close to 25k in principle since the COVID-19 forbearance began.

Private or Federal Loan?

But I was still concerned with the amount of interest I was being charged. 6% seemed like a high number for such a large loan. So I started looking at private loans to see if I could get a better rate. Turns out, I can. My rate would drop from 6% on my federal loans to almost 3% in a private one. Seems like a good deal. But when I ran the numbers, this only decreased my overall amount owed in interest by 1k over the life of the loan. Not even half a months payment. So I decided to stay in the loan with the higher interest rate.

I should also mention that I plan on paying my loan off in two years, so the interest doesn’t make that much of an impact. But if I choose a more traditional route, of say paying over ten years, I would be accruing up to 17k in interest alone. Then I would look into a loan with a lower rate. But another aspect to consider when thinking about switching lenders is, the benefits of federal loans far out weighs those of their private counterparts.

As we’ve seen with COVID-19, federal loans went into a period of deferment. Something that private loans did not do. Also, if you fail to pay a federal loan on time, you have considerably more time before your loans go into default. I’ve read up to 240 days, and you still have time to pay and be in good standing with your loan. With private lenders, it’s only 30 days and that’s it, default. You also have the option, with federal loans, to pay in an income driven repayment plan. This adjusts your payment to a percentage of you discretionary income. This is not an option with private loans.

Also, you are able to consolidate your loans with a federal lender. This takes all the small loans you’ve taken out each semester and consolidated them into one loan with one payment.

With so many benefits attached to holding loans with the fed., it just didn’t make sense to switch to a private lender. I may be paying 1k more over the life of the loan than if I was with a lower interest private loan, but peace of mind with the terms of my loan is worth more to me that a little under half a months loan payment. And when in doubt, ask.

You Don’t Have to do it Alone

If you have questions about your loan, contact you bank. Hey, even ask if they’ll lower your interest rate. Through my lender, if you’re enrolled in auto payments, they reduce your interest rate by a quarter of a percent.

And if you’re like me, you like to go hard. For me it’s do as much as humanly possible to pay off my loan in as short a period of time as possible. Don’t forget to practice a little self-care along the way. For me it’s a foot soak once and a while and a ten-pack at my local yoga studio for 175$. It’s good and healthy to take rests along the way. So incase no one told you, it’s okay to take a break every now and again : )

I hope this has helped in some way. Student loans can be daunting to take on, especially all at once. But don’t be deterred! Talk to your lender often and whenever you have a question, regardless of how silly it seems. They want you to be successful. So, if you have a ton of student loan debt, come up with a plan and have patience. You’ll get out of it. It just takes a little resilience. Peace & thanks for reading : )

Image credits: “The Big IOU” by brent flanders is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Updated: 11/8/2022

Self-Care: Listening to Ourselves When We are Asking for a Rest

What’s On Your Plate

When I wake up in the morning from my night of rest, I know I’m usually going to have a pretty long list of things to do during the day. From my hour and fifteen minute commute, to the demands I have to meet at work. The workouts I like to get in, at least twice during the week. To the budgeting, cooking, cleaning and laundry I have to squeeze into my week. It gets pretty stressful.

Meditation and Slowing Down

I meditate everyday. For about fifteen minutes and it’s been invaluable for my mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s taught me patience and I feel at rest after a session. How to slow down what I’m doing and listen inwardly to what’s happening inside. I used to react immediately to my emotions. This lead to a lot of regrets and hurt feelings on either end of the relationship and was unconducive to feeling at ease. In fact, the more I sped up, the faster the reaction, the more likely I was to do or say something I would later regret.

So the faster I went, the more hurt I felt, which left me feeling tired, without rest and neglected as well. But I didn’t know any better. It was what was taught to me by my caregivers, who in turn didn’t know any better either. So we had just been passing down this hurt from generation to generation, not really knowing why we were or how to stop.

Patience, Patience, Patience

This is where patience with myself and learning when to rest really made a difference. Slowing down enough to feel the hurt I had been running from using whatever modality I could. I achieved this mostly by keeping myself busy and tired. This way I didn’t have to feel what I was neglecting. But turning it around and facing the feelings, while being vulnerable in what felt like an insurmountable pile of fear and hurt while finding the time to rest and recuperate, was one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever had to endure. But I did and most importantly, I didn’t do it alone.

Running on Empty

I now have a long list of tools and resources I’m able to draw from. When I’m feeling tired or like I’m not enough, but that wasn’t always the case. I started with what felt like nothing. Running on empty. Mostly because I was using my old resources to fill myself back up again. I’d often feel that if I could just work hard enough, throw everything I had at how well I did my job without rest, then I could feel worth something. Then I would be accepted.

But that hasn’t work for me and I’m willing to bet a lot of people have tried finding similar results. This way of resourcing mostly left me feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. And it didn’t stop with work. I was trying to prove myself in all sorts of ways with the same outcome. I was just wearing myself down.

Finding the Resources

So I was left with what felt like nothing, on my own. Because I was too afraid and emotionally wounded to reach out for help. And even if I thought it sounded like a good idea, I didn’t know how. What helped me to wade through the fear and hurt, slow down and get the rest I so desperately needed was something I heard later on in my journey. Something that made immediate sense as soon as I heard it. “Start where you are, with what you have.”

I can’t remember where I was or who I heard it from, but before I did, I felt like I had nothing and nobody. Though what I realized I had was a phone, some headphones, hundreds of hours of podcasts and a handful of loving and supportive friends and family.

The podcasts (thanks again to Tara Brach who really put trauma into perspective for me) helped me to learn how to trust people when it felt like too much to reach out in person, while also reinforcing the positive messages that I was strong enough, that I could count on myself and that others were trustworthy. This helped to lighten the load of the negative thoughts that had taken up residency in my mind. Knowing that I could tune out the negative while listening to some positive reinforcements, and that it wasn’t just me feeling the weight of a life’s time worth of difficult emotions, actions and thoughts, but I was doing it with thousands of others for an hour at a time, helped me to feel a little more sane in an otherwise chaotic, emotional world.

Finding You’re Strong Enough

By the time I felt as though I was strong enough to reach out to others, when I had the resources to, the few friends and family I had that stuck with me were there to help build the relationships I needed to become stronger than when I was on my own. And this is where the load really started to lighten. Knowing I was enough as I was. Without having to reach some unachievable standard helped me to build strength. Instead of constantly tearing myself down, not feeling as though I was worth someone’s time or effort. Mostly my own.

It’s been a crazy journey that’s for sure. And it’s not over yet. But the weight doesn’t feel as heavy now. Now I go into my day knowing that even if I’m physically tired, or just not feeling up to it, I can rely on the resources and people to help me through the day. Or whatever situation I’m heading into. It doesn’t seem as difficult knowing I can count on the people and resources I’ve collected to be there for me when I need them.

Healthy Boundaries and Resourcing

But there’s another side to counting on people as resourcing that’s worth exploring. If the friends or family you do have close in, if they have poor or no boundaries, relying on people as support can feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it can feel like you’re a burden to them. Or they may tell you that you’re using them when asking for help, as was the case in my family. This is why it’s important to choose those you keep close to you carefully. If someone makes you feel as though you are constantly bothering them with your problems, or they ignore or disregard your own personal boundaries, it may be time to take a closer look at the relationship.

Taking a Closer Look at Your Boundaries and Your Relationships

For me, I had to evaluate all of my relationships because I had no idea what boundaries were. Salvaging some and severing many, I lost a lot of friends that I thought would be there with me through the tough times. I had to reevaluate these boundaries and friendships, because if you let someone with poor boundaries into your life, they can leave you feeling exhausted, empty.

I remember vividly getting together with an old friend at a local Whole Foods, to talk and catch up. As we settled into the conversation, I realized she was consistently saying hurtful comments and it seemed as though she wanted me to return with as much venom as she was spitting. This, I realized later, was the pattern of our old relationship. She was establishing the rules of engagement, to make sure things hadn’t changed. She was testing my boundaries.

Luckily for me, my boundaries had changed. I forgot how mean spirited I could be and it was a shock to see my old ways of connecting so clearly in action. I haven’t spoken much with my friend after that day which is sad. Sad because we had good times together and people are important. They aren’t objects you can just toss aside. But for me, it’s best to honor the good memories I have while keeping my distance and respecting my boundaries by not allowing myself to be treated with disrespect. Because if you don’t define your boundaries, somebody else will do it for you.

Using Resources to Help You Recharge

This all seems pretty abstract, but coming up with your own resource list can help you to manage difficulties that come up and help you to recharge. For me, I make a self-care dinner for myself once a week. I have a few friends I can reach out to when I’m feeling lonely, a few playlists of songs that remind me of the positive times in my life too. Running and yoga help to keep me feeling my best and I have a few types of teas on hand that I enjoy during the day. Sleep is another important one too when needing more rest. A no-brainer actually : ) Making sure you’re well rested and have healthy meals are all resources you can use that help to make you the healthiest version of yourself.

And there’s one more thing that’s worth mentioning, it’s not a race. When I was learning how to care for myself again, I threw everything I had at it. I was going to be the healthiest version of myself and do it in record time! But most of what makes us healthy takes time and patience. Building supportive relationships doesn’t happen in a weekend. You need to tend to them consistently and over time they will yield fruitful bonds. And rest often. There’s no sense in being the healthiest version of yourself if you’re too tired to enjoy it!

I hope this has been of some help. It can be difficult when you first start out looking to make things better for yourself. Just know that if you are consistent and show patience toward yourself, you will be alright in the end. Peace, and thanks for reading :]

Image Credits: “Exhausted Salaryman” by hiromy is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Updated: 7/30/22

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