My Month of Self Care

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

When I’m in the midst of depression, self-care isn’t even on my radar, or it’s doing things like moving from the bed to the couch. This year, my intention is to give myself grace and be patient with my growth. I want to explore that intention a bit more and really focus on self-care. I made a list of 28 things that I want to attempt to implement. Not every item will be an everyday occurrence. It would be insane and completely against everything I preach if I were to try and implement 28 new tasks overnight. However, some are going to be something I strive to do daily, while others will be a one time exercise to explore how I feel.

Depression also makes you apathetic. I, very infrequently, experience joy by myself. It’s usually attached to another person and their experience. I have decided that this month will be a month to focus on trying things that may become a new hobby for me or even just bring me joy while I’m alone.

A few examples of things I’ll implement daily:

  • Eat on Protocol
    My sister and I have been seeing a functional wellness specialist for over a year and she gave us a very specific protocol for our issues. When we are on plan, we do really well, feel amazing, and have more up days than down. However, when you have long-term depression (our diagnosis is dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder), it makes every step of self-care like climbing a mountain. Thankfully, after 10 years of life changes, moving, living separately, my sister and I are finally in a place that we’re ready to do this together. It’s so hard to do a big life change alone and having someone who “gets it” is so helpful! So this is step one for me. February is my protocol month. I won’t do it perfectly, and I will give myself grace, but I am all about protocol this month. Usually, I eat like crap, don’t take any supplements, and have zero plan, then I decide to change in one day. This time, we’ve been eating 75% what we’re supposed to, taking our pills, and being really aware of a change needing to happen. We’re not picking a “start day” because it tends to set us up for failure (personality thing). We’re just easing on in!
  • Drink More Water
    This one is obvious and needs no further explanation. However, I want to dive into a little bit, how weird anxiety is. One of my anxious thoughts is that I’ll be in the car with someone, at an event, in the middle of a visit, and I’ll have to use the bathroom. I guess at the root of it, I never want to be an inconvenience. Because of that distortion and lie, I don’t really drink enough water, which is counterintuitive because dehydration leads to more bathroom issues. Anyway, I’m going to be more mindful of my water intake and make it a priority.
  • Meditate for 10 minutes
    I’ve already been implementing this one with the calm app, sometimes twice a day. I can’t really tell a huge difference yet, but it definitely is at least getting me in a routine of some sort.
  • No phone at bedtime

  • Become more aware of negative self-talk
    I have a terrible habit of, when making a mistake, saying things like, “I’m such a dumbass” or “ignore me. That was stupid” and That. Has. To. Stop. NOW.
  • Use my oils
    I know they work. I also know that they do nothing if they just sit on a shelf all day.

Now here is a list of things that I may only do for a day, or an hour, just to attempt.

  • Listen to the Broken Brain Series
    Ok. If you are interested in functional wellness at all, Dr. Mark Hyman is your guy. He just released a series entitled “Broken Brain” and it’s filled with amazing information from over 50 specialists. It’s an 8 episode series that explores all kinds of misconceptions and explores Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Dementia, and more.
  • 15 minute clean each room
    This seems so simple, but again, mental illness makes life hard. I tend to let everything pile up until I’m completely overwhelmed and then I can’t keep up with my house. At some point this month, I want to set a timer for 15 minutes and clean each room. Not all rooms in a day; that would defeat the purpose. Just really focus on how much I can truly get done in 15 minutes so my brain can see that implementing this practice would be beneficial. Plus I have a robot clean my floors so I really don’t have much to complain about.
  • Practice Hand Lettering
    I know it’s trendy and “in” right now, and I’m about it. I think calligraphy and hand lettering are so beautiful and it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. I want to devote some time a day or maybe just an entire day to exploring different drills and hand lettering practices. Neal bought me a calligraphy set for our wedding day and I haven’t even cracked it open yet. I am so determined to make it a routine for myself, but I’ll start with just a day.
  • Clean out my phone
    I have over 11,000 pictures… enough said.
  • No social media for a day
    I don’t even mean no posting. I just have to stop incessantly checking my phone.
  • Create a bedtime routine
    I don’t have a clue why I can’t grasp this one. I sleep so much better when I follow a routine, but I’ve never kept one up longer than a week.
  • Finish a book
    I have 7 books that I’ve started and am reading simultaneously. They’re all self-help and I’m getting them all confused. I would make a really clever joke about their story lines, but its 7:30am and I’m still not used to mornings. 
  • Go for a walk
    So simple. Social anxiety just makes me think of every neighbor I’d have to talk to, the guilt of walking without my dogs, the possibility of something happening while I’m out. Or, back to my fun bathroom anxiety, being, too far away from home to make it (disclaimer: I have NEVER gone to the bathroom on myself, so this fear is completely ridiculous). So irrational. Walking is nice.
  • Bathe//Face Masks//Skincare night
    I say this all the time in my stories: Self-Care is more than bathing and face masks. However, That doesn’t mean that those things aren’t self-care. I rarely pamper myself because it seems like time I could be sleeping (depression, y’all).
  • Take photos that aren’t for a client
  • Use one of the 80 coloring books I have
  • Set boundaries
  • Declutter
  • Go on a date night
    Two introverts means we rarely leave the house. We’re going to attempt to change that for like… a night.
  • Journal - twist - about what you love about yourself
    My therapist made me do this a year ago and it was painful. However, it started a whole new journey of self-love.
  • Do a craft or DIY project not for someone else
    I never keep what I make. I don’t know why.
  • Keep a gratitude log

  • Go to the gym

  • Go to a yoga class

  • Have a picnic

  • Celebrate someone else!

  • Breathe
    I will obviously be doing this one daily. However, I want to spend a whole day really focused on how I breathe in each situation. I have a theory that I hold my breath when I get stressed. Anyway yeah. Breathe.

Ok! Those are my 28 intentions! IF you made it this far, THANK YOU! I love you all and am so grateful to share my life with you!

What are some things you'll try and implement this month?

10 steps on How (not) to Change... Everything

I’ve been clinically depressed and anxious for the better part of 25 years. I’ve had the answers and know what really works for me for about a year. I have to treat myself like a one year old.What do one year olds have? Grace, support, encouragement. They learn to clap for themselves when they take a single step because everyone else is clapping too.

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What's my point?


It’s been over a month since that long post about discipline. Remember that one? The one where I said I was starting “today” that day? Yeah. Here we are, and ya girl is struggling.

When will I learn that you can’t change your life in one day? When am I going to get it into my head that things take time? When I was first given my protocol for functional medicine, I knew it was my Obi Wan (ahem, my only hope? Any Star Wars fans? Never mind). I had tried everything and I was a ball of anxiety and IBS no matter what I did. This was it. I was supposed to take a month to eliminate foods and add in supplements. I was supposed to introduce things slowly and gradually. NOPE. I knew it was my answer so I did it ALL. AT. ONCE. I have a food addiction - which i’ll expound on in a moment - but because it was my answer, I quit it all cold turkey (even cold turkey). I started eating a protein and 3 servings of veggies at every meal, drinking bone broth, taking 15+ supplements a day, drinking apple cider vinegar before each meal, doing exercises, meditating and deep breathing, all within the first few days. Guys. Those were HUGE lifestyle changes that I was just like “Yep gotta do em. This is me now.”

And. it. Worked.

Anxiety? Gone. Mood issues? Gone. IBS? FREEAKING GONE CAN I GET AN AMEN. Depression? What? Depression? Who’s that? They don’t live here. No sir. Not in my body. I had energy without panic for the first time in my life. I didn't know what to do with it all!

As you probably guessed it… I didn’t set myself up for long term success. I needed an answer and I got it. However, I didn’t have a plan for what would happen once I felt better and didn’t need such a strict protocol.

I got married 6 months after my protocol was given to me. I looked the happiest and healthiest I ever have in my life. You know what else? I ate everything on my wedding day. My best friend is cheesecake and we were reunited on that beautiful July evening. Only moments after vowing to the love of my life that I was going to be the best me I could be, love him imperfectly and whole-heartedly, and be his best friend for life, I reopened my relationship with food. You can actually hear me say in my wedding video, “I just had 85 grams of sugar and I need to keep moving!” and “oh my, I really had a lot of sugar! Who wants to run in circles?”

I was happy, I was healthy, and I had no maintenance plan. I tried to keep up. On our honeymoon, I packed my blender and greens, I brought all my supplements and supplies. I also ate bread - sweet, delicious bread - at a little home cooking place in Tennessee. I forgot to bring my snacks with us one day, so we got Ben & Jerry’s. I slowly but surely reintroduced all of my weaknesses again. Here’s the problem: I didn’t have the immediate consequence of panic attacks hitting me to make me stop. I didn’t have the IBS flare ups to say “ok wait maybe it’s time to go back to your protocol.”

I’ve attempted to get back on track. I hosted Thanksgiving and made it 100% compliant, paleo, gluten-free, and delicious. That didn’t stop the running to the store to buy oreos because I had a craving. That didn’t change the fact that I have had an unhealthy relationship with food my entire life. That didn’t stop me from associating being upset with needing a pint of ice-cream. That didn’t set me up for success in the long run because I failed to prepare.

So here I am. A year later from when I started, 25 pounds gained back, depression in full swing, and terrified that my anxiety will come back if I don’t get my shit together soon.

Why am I sharing this? What’s my point?

My point is that in my quest for healing my anxiety, I discovered a pattern of disordered eating. I didn’t know it was an issue until I had completely gotten rid of my vices for another reason. I have a binge-till-I-hate-myself-to-fill-the-void problem. I noticed I started hiding food from my husband - someone who has never judged me or my choices. I became aware of the fact that if we were going to buy a king cake, I needed to buy the one slice, not the whole thing, because I’d eat the whole thing. Spoiler alert: we bought the whole thing and I ate the whole thing… for breakfast… one morning. I even do this really sick thing when my husband tries to hold me accountable, I say something about how my day was hard or I have depression, or he doesn't have the issues I have so that he'll just let me eat the treat. What is that? I had to figure out that I had to clear the anxiety to understand a deeper issue: food. I’m not saying all bread is bad and indulgence will kill you and everything with a carb is satan.

My point is that this is no longer just a journey of functional wellness and how I've healed, but my relationship with food and how I’ve used it to cope all these years... and how I'm not really healed. Am I actually hungry? Or am I eating so I don’t have to think about how hurt I feel? Do I really have a craving? Or am I craving not having to process what’s really going on?

I mentioned earlier today in my Instagram stories that I am sharing my journey with you for a main reason: so you can see the during.

I know I’ll get better. I’ve been better before. However, sometimes, when we see health advocates or influencers or youtubers, it’s hard to believe them when they say “oh I’ve been there.” I want to show you what there is. My there is going to look a lot different than your there. But I want you to feel like you’re not alone in your journey, whatever yours is. Who knows if anything will ever come out of this blog. Who knows if I’ll actually help anyone. Who knows if I’ll ever write that book, start that business, or be that person.

I just know that everything in my life has led me here. Everything in my life is connected. The anxiety, the eating, the pain, the failure, the success, the love, the brokenness, the anger, the passion, the beauty, the mundane - it’s all leading me to something greater. I hope that I get to share that greater with you.

Discipline over Desire

Discipline over Desire

This quote is exactly what I needed in this season of my life. It’s not about wanting to be skinny. It’s not about saving money or my future children’s college fund. It’s about that fact that discipline isn’t just putting the nose to the grindstone for no reason. Discipline is about understanding that your moods, appetites, passions, desires, wants, feelings, cravings, aren’t going to live and grow on their own. They can inspire. They can cause a dream. They are something to aspire to fulfill. Discipline is what it takes to get you there.

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Makeup and Cleansers and Soap, Oh My!

We know what we use. We like what we use. We’ve spent years and years cultivating and curating a collection of perfumes, foundations, deodorants, lotions, detergents, and all of our toiletry goodies. Now we’re told these things could be causing an imbalance in our hormones, a disturbance in our thyroid, and even cancers that are becoming more prevalent. One of the hardest changes I had to make, next to food, was getting rid of the products that were causing harm to my body.

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Are You There, Motivation? It's Me, Katie

Are You There, Motivation? It's Me, Katie

You see, the problem I had with the word "motivation" is that I made it synonymous with being productive. I had convinced myself that all those women my age were just feeling motivation that I didn't have and they were getting. shit. done. Meanwhile, I was jealous of them wondering when the hell my motivation was going to show up. I lived like this up until like... I don't know... last week? 

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He Gets a Bad Rap

He Gets a Bad Rap

I believe Jesus is in every answer I’ve found. I believe he is in the SSRI’s I take each morning, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Functional Medicine. I believe he created the oils I anoint my body with daily. I believe he lead me to my husband even though neither one of us actively pursued a relationship with him at the time. I believe he held me through every panic attack and depressive episode. I believe he held me when my dad left. I believe he carried me through parts of my life I can’t even remember. I believe he healed the wounds on my heart and the wounds I made on my own skin. I believe he brought me through this journey so that I can be there for all of you. I also believe he is MINE and I am HIS.

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Depressed Day

Depressed Day

I am depressed and I am having a depressed day. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to curl up and cover my face and not come out again till tomorrow. When you have a mental illness, this is your reality. These days used to be my normal, but now they are few and far between. To be honest, it’s almost harder this way! I know that’s a lie, but when you go so long without these days, it’s so difficult to see the other side.

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