Growing my brand is always something I’m trying to push to the top of my priorities but often gets knocked down by personal and professional life happenings. I’ve been unusually absent the last few months and I’d like to explain why. I recently packed up my life, my dog, and my boyfriend and relocated to New York. The move was preceded by an accident in the gym resulting in a shoulder dislocation. To say the least, it’s been an exciting and terrifying and stressful few months.
While I had prepared myself for a rough few months adjusting to my new life, that’s always much easier said than done. Finding myself in a new city without a solid social network or a job has been tough. The move was spurred by my own craving for more career growth and options and Richard’s enrollment in the MBA program at NYU. Spending my days networking and job hunting while making new friends has been emotionally and mentally exhausting. So this World Mental Health Day, I’d like to share some of the ways I’m trying to work on my mental health every day.
The biggest thing for me is physical exercise. In Austin, I worked out either at the gym or in a class several times a week. It was part of my weekly routine and social life. Dislocating my shoulder and having to take several weeks off from working out has been one of the biggest blows to my mental health and a huge stressor in adjusting to life in New York. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally been able to do more exercising without risking another injury but it’s definitely slow going. Getting back into this routine has been one of my major priorities.
Time with Tripp
Hopefully you’re now following my dog Tripp on Instagram. Apartment life definitely means much more time spent with the dog. Setting him free to roam the backyard isn’t an option anymore, so it’s important he gets his own play time. Most days start and end with a trip to the dog park for some off-leash fun. Tripp has also been my daily companion and I’m definitely thankful for our time together. I’ve always talked about making a web series about Tripp and now I finally have the time to get started. His Instagram account is the first step.
Words with friends
Whenever I’ve gone through difficult moments, I’ve always leaned on my friends. Which was easy in Austin where I had a core group of best friends and an wider net of social connections. In New York, I know very few people and have made it a priority to improve my relationships with the ones I do know. It’s been great reconnecting with people in the city and very fun to meet new people. Spending an hour having lunch with someone has done wonders in boosting my mood for days to come.
Disconnect after 6pm
The job hunt is a grind. With multiple versions of resumes, profiles on job search sites, the endless cover letters, it’s hard to know when to shut down for the day. New York seems to have endless opportunities and I could just keep at it for days. My first week on the hunt, I found myself sitting at my laptop sending off resumes until midnight. And even if I had put away the computer early, I found myself reloading my email on my phone hoping and praying for any response. Even at midnight. That’s completely unsustainable. These days, I’m trying to stick to a schedule of what I will accomplish every day of the week and how long I’ll be working. My goal is to be done by 6pm. If I haven’t met my quota for job applications, I’ll have to make it up the next day. I’ve always appreciated work/life balance and I’m trying to approach the job hunt like I would any job. And while I’m not totally disconnecting, I am disconnecting from “work” and letting go of email until the next day.
As I’ve started scheduling out my days, I’ve started dedicating time to discovery. This means exploring different parts of the city, a museum trip, or learning something new on Skillshare. I’ve also been a huge fan of CreativeMornings in Austin and started attending pretty much every event on the schedule in New York. Giving myself time to explore and nurture my curiosity has done wonders for my mental health.
I’m definitely not a mental health professional and I don’t have any answers on that front, but these are ways I’m coping with tough days. Hopefully they’re useful to you and of course, feel free to reach out if you’d like to hang in NY or have a virtual coffee.