Starting therapy is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years actually. But it wasn’t until December of last year that I decided it was finally time for me to bite the bullet and start going.
I’ve been sharing a lot of therapy updates on my Instagram because I’ve never seen anyone talk too openly about therapy. The closest I’ve seen is Meghan Reinks on her socials and podcast, Don’t Blame Me. Which was actually one of my biggest motivators to start therapy! Meghan really normalized the idea of therapy for me and made me realize it’s not just for “broken” people and that anyone can benefit from it. And I want to do the same for my readers.
Hopefully, sharing my therapy journey will be as inspiring as Meghan was to me and help people realize therapy is normal. I also want to bring awareness to certain things that I didn’t even know were signs of possibly having anxiety until literally last year.
Even though I don’t go into major detail about what I talk about in therapy, talking about this makes me feel super vulnerable, so let’s keep this a kind place. Alright?
How to find a good therapist for you?
There are two ways going about finding a therapist: referrals from a doctor or by doing some of your own research. My first therapist was a referral from my general practitioner and I found my current therapist on Psychology Today. You can search licensed counselors by city, specialization, and by which insurances they cover! It’s pretty fabulous.
I would recommend making a list of three of four possible therapists you feel like you could vibe with, and afford, and then call them all to get quotes. Or just go with the first one and then if that doesn’t work out go down your list.
Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find a therapist you vibe with right away. My first therapist made me feel very uncomfortable which made talking to him hard. Part of the reason I’m going to therapy is for not knowing how to have conversations with other people and he would force me to start every conversation, and gave no help on how to do so. That’s not a technique I can personally work with. So I made the effort to find a new therapist who worked differently and I clicked with her right away.
You’re going to be telling this person the darkest parts of your mind and if you don’t feel comfortable in the first sitting I doubt you will a few sessions down the line. Plus, if you’re waiting to get comfortable you’re just paying extra money.
Boston is a historically rich and beautiful city that I’m so glad I traveled to on a whim last November. I was originally planning to meet up with Lauren’s Journey but things came up and I decided that even if I couldn’t meet her I could go alone!
I hadn’t really explored a place alone since being in Europe so I was a little scared. But Boston was such a great place for me to dip my toes back into solo travel!
Below you’ll find a map of all the places I visited and places I wish I had visited. The map also includes some brunch and regular food recommendations!
Getting Around Boston: the Subway System
Boston’s subway is soooo easy to use. You just have to know the name of the last place on a route because that’s what trains are called.
For example, if you were trying to go from Park Street to Hynes Convention Center you would take the green line. But there are four trains: the Boston College (B), Cleveland Circle (C), Riverside (D), and Heath Street (E). But the E trains don’t go to Hynes Convention Center, so you’re left with the B, C, and D trains. None of which have Hynes in their name, but they all cross that specific stop. You just have to look at the map at the stations! And make sure you’re in the right station, inbound or outbound.
Inbound trains are heading towards downtown and outbound trains are heading out of downtown. It’s pretty easy to get a hang of and I only went into the wrong station once. But I noticed before I paid thank goodness!
I’ve recently talked about how my mental health has been really bad. At the end of last year, I was lonely and sad all the time. So I started working on things to do to make me live a happier life.
Since then, I’ve found more things that really help keep me in a positive mindset, so I wanted to come back with another post. This time it’s not focused on things you can do to just be happier at the moment but to promote a continued positive outlook.
There are only two things on this list that maybe not everyone will be able to do: going to therapy and getting an animal. But I thought I would include them just in case someone is looking to include those in their life. Especially since I feel like the idea of therapy is not really talked about enough.
So let’s get to the list of items I’m doing to improve my mental health.
Tracking Daily Gratitude
I used to keep a daily gratitude journal a couple of years ago. It was actually my new year’s resolution in 2016 and I kept it up for about two years and then I willingly quit. I decided I had learned that every day had its positives and I no longer needed to document them to see that.
Now I know I was wrong.
I’ve started keeping track of daily gratitude again, but only one thing a day in my planner. Every night before I go to sleep I write down one thing I was grateful for that day. Even if I think of more, I will only ever write one. Because it only takes one good thing to improve your mood.
Keeping a Happiness Scale
Along with my daily gratitude, I also keep a daily happiness scale in my planner. This doesn’t really affect my mood nor is it to help on a day-to-day basis. It’s more of a bullet journal tracker item. I’m doing it to maybe catch a pattern. And to prove that I’m not always sad like my anxiety tells me.
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on a product link or use one of my codes, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I love or use myself!
I’ve done posts like this in the past but haven’t blogged about books in almost two years. Crazy considering how much I love reading. Like I read 65 books this year? That’s the most I’ve ever read in a year before! I may have read a lot of books this year, but there were not a lot of five or even four stars.
Previously I’ve shared 5 to 12 books on these lists, and this time I have nine books. And for once, most of them were actually published in 2019 (or 2018).
One more note before we get started, these are not in any ranking order! So the first one is not necessarily the best and the last is not necessarily the worst.
Not going to lie, I picked up this book just because it had ‘Edinburgh’ in the title. You can make the girl leave Scotland, but you can never kill her study abroad obsession.
I was actually so impressed with this book! The author was perfectly able to capture how it feels to walk around in Edinburgh and really did their research on Scotland in the early 1800s. I haven’t read historical fiction in forever, but this book made me want to start doing that again.
And did I mention it was a murder mystery as well? Sign me up! I was actually so impressed with this storyline, the characters, and the author’s writing in general that I stalked her up and down GoodReads to see what else she had written.
Description from GoodReads:
“As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.