Welcome to the Roundup, a Monday series featuring the BEST OF in Mental Health + Motherhood + Fashion + Identity. PLUS! Exclusive interviews with women founders who are are on a mission to make life fabulous for not just themselves, but you too.
Good morning to all of the wonderful women (and gentleman) who are making an impact in this world.
Whether you paid for someone’s toll yesterday or you donated your time baking cookies for your sick neighbor, you made a difference, and you matter.
I’ve been thinking a lot about social good lately, and am getting serious about spending my remaining winter weekends at soup kitchens and animal shelters. I want to do this to be helpful, of course, but I also want to get out of my house. Quarantine HAS GOT TO GOOO.
Let’s hop to it then, shall we?
Have you watched Pixar’s ‘Soul’ yet? If you haven’t, I highly recommend doing so. The premise of the movie is all about “finding your purpose.” And we know that sentence alone can push us into a tailspin of anxiety…
I haven’t found my purpose yet. What is my purpose? Do I even have a purpose? Will I ever find my purpose?
These questions that we often find ourselves asking (and thereafter, driving us batty), reminded me of a quote I came across in a children’s book from Confucius:
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
True thar, Confucius.
‘Soul’ shows us that everyone’s purpose in life is the exact same — to be happy with the people we love most, to cherish our relationships, and to take pleasure in the beauty of life’s simplicities — like laughing with our girlfriends over dinner and playing baseball with our kids in the backyard.
While our purpose connects us to one another, our spark is what defines us as individuals — like how we light up when we’re singing on stage, or beam as we perfect a culinary masterpiece in our kitchen.
Just a little something to snack on if you’re wracking your brain about not having your life purpose figured out yet. You do. It’s right there in front of you.
Teen Mom OG has a new season out right now, which I have been watching every Tuesday night with my husband.
Watching these once drama teen moms blossom into caring young mothers has made me realize that no matter what age women have children at, 16 or 25 or 38, we all go through the same heartbreaks of wanting what’s best for our kids.
Parent psychologist Dr. Jazmine, founder of The Mom Sisterhood, focuses on child development and mental health in her work, with a very relatable and emotionally positive approach to raising well-rounded kiddies. Her advice to parents who are navigating parenthood during uncertain times (um, all of us?) are as follows:
- Set boundaries to preserve your sanity and health — Setting non-negotiables with your partner (like going to spin class 3x per week) are key in saving your sanity.
- Take breaks from social media and the news (or avoid it altogether) — Seriously helpful for your mental state. Pick up a book or magazine instead.
- Model self-care for your kids — Eating right, exercising at home, showing them that mom’s needs are important, too.
- Identify what you can control — This one is huge. Is school canceled? Instead of complaining about what you’re not able to get done with kids at home, focus on what you can control instead. Namely, time spent playing with your kids.
While the fashion industry took quite the blow from the pandemic, it kind of deserved it. Of course I don’t say this to everyone who works in fashion, mainly just the big box corporate stores who were only ever after money.
Now that brands have realized that consumers crave connection and community to their clothes, I am VERY EXCITED to see what kind of niche brands blossom from this reckoning, mine included.
PS. For those of you who are doing the sustainable challenge with me! How are you doing? I just bought a pink Hatch Babe sweatshirt that I am OBSESSED with from Poshmark, as well as some pretty obnoxious Zara black loafers (also from Poshmark) that my friends won’t stop making fun of me for. I love them.
A new style motto I’m trying out is… “If you aren’t having fun getting dressed in the morning, what are you doing?”
Mental health therapist Tiffany Roe (my absolute favorite), has some unconventional advice about mental health when it comes to how you identify yourself.
Caring for your mental heath is FUN.
If you’re searching for your “authentic self,” here are 3 steps to connecting to your authentic self, as told by Tiff:
- IDENTIFY — Start by identifying your needs, values, and boundaries.
- JOURNAL — Journal what you think you are and then identify the ego stories that make “you” up.
- MEDITATE — Meditate and ask the question, “Who am I?”
As we look at caring for our mental health as fun, here are Tiffany’s ending therapy thoughts:
“We do ourselves a disservice when we say mental health care is only drudgery, pain, trauma, tears, & laying on a therapist couch. Sometimes it’s that. And sometimes it’s wearing a ‘Therapy is cool’ fanny pack. It’s keeping a promise to yourself and journaling and having breakthroughs while doing it. It’s going to a mental health dance party. It’s laughing at memes.
It’s finding FUN because fun is important. It’s saying affirmations. It’s smiling at nature. It’s calling out stigma and being part of a community that’s changing the mental health game. Mental health can be fun. Let’s normalize it.”
Coming from someone who is on a mission to building a profitable business on the notion of fun, this is excellent news.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s get through February so we can inch a little bit closer to dusting off our floral maxis, even if we have to wear them underneath a pile of cashmere sweaters.
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Ashley Alt is a freelance writer based in Connecticut. She is currently working on a memoir about becoming Mom before she was ready, and has an advice column in INK Publications, where she talks everything Happiness Hacks on improving your mental and social health. Other things she has written can be found here and here. You can subscribe to her newsletter here.