It’s been a long week of asking for help in all sorts of ways. I’ve asked for deadline extensions, for favors, for space, for listening, for patience, and for good thoughts. I’ve asked for friendship and support.
I’ve had to do all of this asking because I’m not feeling like myself. It’s rough. But I can comfort myself with the fact that I’m getting better at vocalizing what I need in order to get through moments like this.
Just as I was trying to shift my schedule around and bring some gentleness to my days, Simone Biles pulled out of the women’s gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics. In speaking out about her decision, she drew attention to the fact that mental health challenges are every bit as urgent as injuries to the body.
I’m grateful to Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka for modeling responsibility to mental health. I admire them, too. It has taken me so long to come to terms with the fact that depression sometimes affects my functioning every bit as much as a broken bone or case of the flu would.
We read quotes about how mental health is health, it’s OK not to be OK, and so on. But how often do we really act in accordance with these facts? I spend a lot of time talking about mental health topics, and even now, I resist taking a sick day due to depression.
In asking myself why, I realize that I’m hesitant to acknowledge how poorly I feel. I begin the day hoping that I’ll feel better by noon. But if it’s a really bad day, this rarely happens. If it’s a really bad day, I’ve learned that rest and patience are more effective than banking on the hope that my state will change within a few hours.
As this new week begins, I’m prepared to do what’s necessary to take care of myself. It’ll be uncomfortable, but it’s becoming less uncomfortable. I’ll do it as often and for as long as I need to.
I hope that you can do the same. If you happen to be in a similar spot (and I hope that you aren’t), I’ve got my fingers crossed that things start to look up for you soon.
Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
A beautiful collard green slaw, easy to make vegan by substituting the honey.
It’s the time of year for using up lots of summer squash. Susan’s casserole looks so homey and good.
Love this warm carrot and white bean salad from Heidi.
How realistic looking are Lisa’s vegan chick’n drumsticks?!
Finally, I need a warm dozen of Natalie’s gooey s’mores cookies in my life ASAP.
1. More association between foods rich in flavonoids and lower rates of cognitive decline. Hooray for eating the rainbow.
2. Speaking of Simone Biles, I really enjoyed this profile.
3. What sort of art should hang on hospital walls? I’d never really thought about it until I read this article.
4. A cool look at how remains of ancient dishes give us clues about ancient diets.
5. According to this article, the number of adolescent restrictive-type eating disorder admissions during the first twelve months of the Covid-19 pandemic was more than double the mean number of admissions per year for the same time frame for the previous three years.
That’s a huge increase. It reflects what I’ve seen in my private practice, and it’s distressing—though my main concern is for those who suffer in silence without seeking care.
On that same topic, but with a little more lightness woven in, I loved being a guest on the Recovery Bites podcast this summer.
Karin Lewis is a wonderful conversationalist and a wise practitioner. We had a great time chatting about veganism, recovery, balance, carrot cake, and more. You can check the episode out here, if the topic hits home for you.
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