By Tess Malone
Some people have mental health revelations while reading self-help books or at their therapists’ offices. I have them while reading old issues of Vogue — the Kimye April issue to be specific — while half awake on planes. There was a personal essay about how procrastination was wrecking one writer’s life. He was his own worst enemy, but he could fix it by just discipling himself into a routine. A few pages later, a woman wrote about conquering her anxiety and alcoholism only to be told by her doctor that she was addicted to anti-anxiety meds. She realized that though the meds helped, she was also using them to compensate for bad habits — not sleeping enough, eating poorly, etc. And I realized half of my anxiety, my self-doubt, my occasional impostor syndrome, my obsession with what other people think spawns from dumb habits in my daily life that are all too easy to fix.
So here’s a basic list of things that I know make me anxious, and I need to fix:
1. Get out of this 2 a.m.- 10 a.m. sleep schedule. I’ve been justifying it with being overtaxed by my thesis and that it will be the last time I can get way with this, but I mostly feel groggy and like I’ve wasted the day.
2. Stop binging on really rich foods once a week and then feeling like death after. I’ve been trying to eat healthier since January, and it’s worked so well that now burgers and fries kill me. However, if I were moderate in my burger binges, they wouldn’t make me feel so gross.
3. Exercise more. This is something I plan to pick up when I move, but pilates and long walks are great but not enough. I want to break a sweat.
4. Read on paper. I love social media and the Internet and connecting, but when was the last time I finished a book or even a magazine? I’ve been feeling guilt tripped for how much time I spend online, so maybe I could do it more wisely?
These are all the things I’ve felt like I should be doing. Enough with the what ifs and guilt. Time to commit.
Thanks, Vogue. Hey, whatever it takes.