Welcome to the twenty-second installment of my Thankful Thursday series – starting this month, I’ve decided to do it monthly! A little easier to synthesize what I’m thankful for and lessons I’ve learned, and it also helps me because of my giant course-load at grad school right now. ‘Cause let me tell you, 13 hour days 3 days a week is cray, and so is traveling out to UBC 4 days a week (case and point: I started writing this on Thursday and it’s now Tuesday that I’m posting).
This month, I’m focusing on gratitude for the start I’ve had to this new year. It’s been a great start to my second semester of grad school (despite the crazy workload), and I’ve made some more progress on the somatic symptoms of my anxiety this month as well.
Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the month of January!
Things I am thankful for over this month:
- The weather. It has been the least-rainy January here in my recent memory.
- Related to the nice weather, we’ve got daffodils earlier than ever before.
- I started my half-marathon training program, to prepare for running my third BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in May, and my second Scotiabank Half Marathon in June (half marathons 5 and 6 in total!). It’s been going really well, and I’ve had some lovely meditation time on the seawall, (mostly at 5:45 am thanks to my schedule, so not as many photos as usual!).
- I visited my parents in Calgary and for Christmas they got me this reading shawl from Indigo that is LIFE:
- The fog has been AMAZING.
- Joy took me to Botanist and we shared an “experiential drink” called Deep Cove. They actually blow the glasses into pieces of found driftwood so that they fit perfectly!
And the main theme of this post, mental health wins in January.
I’ve talked about this before on Instagram, but not much on the blog yet. I have dermatillomania, a mental health disorder characterized by picking at imperfections/zits/scabs etc. on the skin. For me, this means I primarily pick at my acne on my chin and forehead, often without even noticing it, and especially when I am distracted or anxious. I do it most often when I am reading or driving.
A friend suggested gel manicures as a possible solution – having longer nails makes it more difficult to actually pick. I’ve been experimenting with gel nails for a few years now to help with how brittle my nails are (an annoying side-effect of low thyroid and iron). I’d never really noticed the link between my picking frequency and my nails before, but I’m definitely noticing it now. That’s my first mental health win for January!
And it’s super nice that the manicure I currently have has been going strong for 6 weeks now! Here’s a little chronological collage:
Seasonal Affective Disorder
My second mental health win for January is that I seem to be beating Seasonal Affective Disorder! Last Winter was a particularly bad one for SAD for me. I think it was partly because my thyroid levels were low and I didn’t know it, but this year I’ve started taking vitamin D every day, and I think it’s helping. Or at least the placebo effect is! I’m also working hard to keep exercising and to get enough sleep, so that helps too.
There you have it!
So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this month. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!
Peace and love,