Posted in BayArt Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Notes

BayArt Article Yearly Transitions: A Continuation

Rethinking the New Year

The new year is not an excuse to try to do something different. The new year is not the only time where you have to start something better. We are faced with difficulties every day and every day is a continued chance to do something different and better. How can we think about our lives in ways that are progressive?
The more we procrastinate and remain indifferent or complacent with our current struggles, the less we will attempt to progress and learn from our mistakes and misfortunes. What are we going to do right now? How are we working toward our goals? In what ways will we set ourselves up for a steady transition for our next big moves?

How to Make Reasonable Goals and Next Steps

As we navigate our schedules, we must include additional next steps and add them to our past accomplishments. Let’s continue building instead of starting something new and different than stopping. As we create new goals, we must motivate ourselves to finish them. How can we make our bigger goals into smaller goals? What can we do now versus later? What is our overall goal to accomplish? How can we continuously work on our resolutions and not abandon them? What are we doing that prohibits us from accomplishing what we want? How are we breaking up our resolutions and goals? What can we accomplish in a day versus in a month?

To change how we think about the year and beginnings, we must first know why we are starting something new and if we want to actually accomplish that goal. Are we continuing our toxic behaviors or working on them? What are our professional, personal, and emotional goals? What about our next moves will lead us closer to our bigger aspirations? Are we serious about this resolution?

As we think critically about what we will do next, remember that every moment is important. Downfalls, failures, and setbacks are apart of the process. Grow, learn, and change your approach until you achieve the results you want.
The new year can be a great time to improve yourself, but it’s not the only time. Don’t forget all the progress you’ve already made. Add on to that progress. Build yourself up. Make your goals, resolutions, next steps, and aspirations a priority.

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Yearly Transitions: A Continuation

Posted in BayArt Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Talk

BayArt Article: 4 Affirmations to Remember When you Find Yourself with Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is crippling, paralyzing, and can prohibit the progress of what the immediate or far future may contain. While we wallow in our self-doubt and sink into procrastination, we think of every possible scenario that will lead to failure. We don’t see ourselves as people that are capable, able, or good enough for our own aspirations or ambitions. Self-doubt can be because of anxiety and constantly thinking about the future, or it can be because we are afraid and unable to see ourselves in our own potential.

These are four affirmations to remember if you find yourself in self-doubt.

1. I am good enough for who I want to become.

As we grapple and struggle through our insecurities, we must realize our own power in the decisions we make. The more we try, the more we are able to see our potential, therefore visualizing ourselves in new places. We possess unimaginable worth and are able to navigate that worth by first knowing we are good enough first.
2. I accept that at times I will not achieve the results I desire. Temporary setbacks, however, do not make me any less capable of progress.While we maneuver and dedicate our time to opportunities that fit our aspirations, sometimes we will receive rejections. Rejection is extremely difficult to deal with and can dampen self-esteem, but it does not have to define how we see ourselves or our worth. Rejection is a part of life’s process. The opportunities that are made for us will accept us and our talents.

3. I possess the qualities, traits, and abilities needed for success and happinessWhen we see ourselves, in order to be successful, we must first see all the characteristics that will ensure success. We must realize that we are deserving of the happiness and stability we strive for. Seeing in ourselves the success, and overriding the self-doubt is pivotal to being successful. We must build confidence, certainty, and courage in our own abilities to be successful.4. I will conquer every challenge presented to me.Challenges are inevitable as we find ourselves in spaces that are new. Challenges allow us to grow into better versions of ourselves. The more we conquer new challenges, the more equipt we will become in our skills. There is always room to better ourselves, so as we are presented with challenges, we will be patient, calm, and receptive in order to grow and become better.So, therefore, when our self-doubt tries to paralyze our progress we will affirm that we are good enough, accept possible rejection, build confidence in our qualities, traits, and abilities, and believe in our capabilities during challenges. We will be presented with different obstacles in our journey to success, but one obstacle we will overcome each time is our insecurities and doubts when in tight and difficult situations.

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Link: 4 Affirmations to Remember When you Find Yourself With Self-Doubt

Posted in BayArt Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Self-Talk

BayArt Article: How Six Feet of Water Changed my Anxiety

Floating changed my anxiety
Learning to Float Changed my Anxiety

Vacations with Tati

In the first week of May, I visited my closest friend Tati in Syracuse. When I’m with Tati we go on adventures and I have the opportunity to try new daring things I would otherwise pass up. This May I went jogging in six feet of water for the first time. I didn’t know what water jogging was or that it meant going to the deepest part of the pool until we arrived at the YMCA.

Excited to do something different, I tagged along thinking I would be in a pool that was at least four feet because all of my experience with pools consisted of small blow-up kiddie pools. I got this, right? Not at all. At least not at first.

When I walked down the pool steps into the chlorine filled abyss of horror, the water made my legs wobbly but my flotation belt (which helps with the water jogging) helped me stand straight. Instant fear struck and I became paralyzed. I never felt this type of fear before. Tati looked at me concerned because she didn’t know this was my first time in an adult pool. After learning how I afraid I was, she quickly grabbed a small kickboard to help me float. I watched as two young girls, unafraid, swam with confidence and joy. I wish I had the confidence of a child.
I felt terrified at first, but after a few moments of Tati explaining to me of my safety I floated to the edge of the pool and began to float along to the deep side. Five feet…then six feet. She explained to me that our bodies will always float but I have to take control of my movements. I used my strength to maneuver my body and muscles into more comfortable positions which meant focusing while I was floating. “When you panic your body tenses and you lose that control,” she said. Water jogging is harder then it looks. It helped to straighten my legs in order to trust that my control of myself will keep me afloat.
The more she talked to me the more I began to understand my fear and was able to control my body. I needed to trust the water and trust myself. I WILL ALWAYS FLOAT. As my lesson continued and with Tati’s voice to guide me, I finally got the right rhythm to water jog. My first time in an adult pool and I learned so much!

Water, Anxiety, and Control

How does this relate to my anxiety? An uncontrolled situation fuels my anxiety. My mind escalates situations even before I can decide in what ways I have control and what ways I don’t. The water became my uncontrolled variable. While in the water, I found myself panicking because the water resistance did not allow me to comfortably stand straight or control my immediate movements. In order to stay upright, I needed to focus.

I learned to stay calm and remember I will always float and control what I do. Fighting back the water resistance allowed me to use my abilities and strength to build focus and confidence. Control in water means I’m able to move my body, stay straight, move my arms in ways that helped my head stay above the water. I controlled myself even though there wasn’t immediate support around me. Just me and the water. The moment I felt overwhelmed my body would float in a plank position until I straightened myself and rid my mind of my own anxiety.

I have control because at that moment I realized I’m always in control one way or another. I will always float and I will be okay. Focusing allows my mind to become relaxed. As I trust my element, my situation, and circumstance I will be in control of confidence and calmness. Six feet of water taught me that calmness and focus is what keeps me floating above the water. I will not drown, I will learn to swim. My anxiety will not fool me into believing I do not have control of myself.

I will always float.

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How Six Feet of Water Changed my Anxiety

Thank you to my best friend, Tatiana Williams, for challenging me and being patient with my healing journey and fear.

Posted in BayArt Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Self-Talk

BayArt Article: When My Depression Silences Me

Author in the shadows
Silenced in the Shadow

The Cycle of Depressive Silence

It’s been some time since I’ve seen symptoms of my depression. Recently, however, I couldn’t help but notice the old cycles of those symptoms reoccurring and reappearing. I’m sleeping for longer hours, isolating myself, feeling a great sense of irritation and hopelessness and lastly losing my sense of communication.

Since I was young, maybe in my middle school to early high school days, I would go days without speaking to anyone. In those moments I would feel mentally and physically numb. Life would feel like a distant distraction. I didn’t know how to tell others I was struggling, so I stood silent. As I walked around like a lifeless zombie, I was unable to express myself in ways that I usually could. I was silent and unable to speak. Those moments of silence my brain convinced me that I was exaggerating and should suffer in silence. I locked myself up and silently cry.

In other moments, ones that are relatively recent to the past two months, I would even be around people that I love and still have a depressive episode while out in public. Those moments are filled with tears and a closed mouth, onlooking eyes, and judgmental stares of confusion. One thought, one memory, one sense of loneliness can lead to an explosive moment of overwhelming grief. And all I can think about is why. My logical mind is criticizing my reaction while my depression is flooding my mind with thoughts, ideas, and scenarios that are unreasonable and silly. I’m now unable to communicate so instead I push the ones around me away in embarrassment while I run away silenced by my own mental turmoil. What’s wrong with me?

Ending the Silence of Depression

While this phenomenon of silence is not new, I’m doing a better job at noticing the culmination of ideas and thoughts that might lead up to it. In hopes to overcome this reaction, I will communicate more with those that listen to my silent cries and hints. I will talk, ask for help, demand better for myself, and not allow myself to be silenced by my own depressive tendencies.

Depression has a sneaky way of convincing you that your life does not matter and in order to fight those moments of hopelessness, you must have a greater mental toughness to push past those thoughts. Some thoughts might be subtle and sudden, others might linger, but you must always convince yourself that you are a life worth living and listening to. Do not silence yourself in hopes to spare someone else’s irritation or lack of care. There are people who care for you and your well being. Find those people and know who they are.

While I continue to learn through my depression in hopes of overcoming it, I send out good vibes and hope to those who suffer in silence. Don’t silence yourself anymore. Your voice is essential and your life even more so. Fight for your right to be heard through your struggle. Fight for your life because you belong here

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When My Depression Silences Me

Posted in BayArt Articles, Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Self-Care, Self-Talk

BayArt Article: Tough Love Doesn’t Work for a Perfectionist

Perfectionism: Being Tough on Myself

Since I was a little girl I’ve been a perfectionist. The way I colored in the lines or how my homework had to be neat all the time, showed how hard I was on myself to be my best and do my best. I was tough on myself at a young age. My grades had to be perfect. I was my worst critic and worse enemy. These moments created the negative self-talk habits that eventually evolved into anxiety (but that’s my other story).

Everyone who knew me was always so surprised at how hard I worked or how much effort I put into things even if that much work wasn’t necessary. I always pushed myself to the limit and challenged myself to be the best I can. This mindset wasn’t always healthy or helpful for me. That five page paper that was supposed to be two pages or those four page notes that was supposed to be one or two was how much more time I put into things I didn’t need to, but let me get to the point. How hard I worked and how much energy I put into the most basic things created in me a monster of perfectionist tendencies that didn’t allow for me to be compassionate to myself.

Tough Love and Anger

As I got older I began meeting people (i.e teachers and religious leaders) who believed in using tough love to get across to others. Their lack of soft compassion made me even more hard on myself and more angry that I should be better and doing better. This made me hate them for not seeing how much work I put into things that I did. Phrases like “what happened?”,”You should have done better”, “this is not like you”, you’ll be okay”,”toughen up and do better” and “get better because people are watching you” became extremely toxic to the already monster of perfectionism that drove me crazy daily. I became angry and frustrated. People who used tough love around me made me avoid them, prohibiting me in learning self- love and compassion. I was always on myself and didn’t know how to slow down and rest. When I was struggling, I didn’t know how to tell others. I would convince myself that I’m always supposed to be okay and ready all the time.

While I did have supportive people in my life, those who used tough love weren’t as effective even if they had good intentions. I appreciate how much I learned about myself, however, though the bumpy roads of my childhood and teen years though those people who showed me tough love.

Moral of the Story: Takeaways

Be kind to yourself and others and also show your children that it’s OK to fail. Learning and growing with your failures is important in self-development. I wasn’t accepting of failure and that made me into the perfectionist monster I was. Because I wasn’t compassionate to myself, the lack of compassion from others made me angry and frustrated. I didn’t learn how to slow down till later in life. I didn’t learn the word no till I was 22.
Self-care and compassion is important. Be compassionate to yourself. Learn self-worth and slow down when you feel yourself working too much. Being the best isn’t necessary as long as you put in how much effort you can. Put in a healthy amount of effort into task. Your worth and your energy is based on you. Know your worth and put a healthy amount of energy into your daily activities. Be kind to yourself and learn to say to yourself “I did a good job. Now I can rest.”

Also, not everyone reacts positively to tough love so remember to always add compassion and love in your interactions. Some people have daily battles mentally and may take offense to phrases that aren’t helpful in showing them how, what, or when to do better. Be encouraging.

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Realization: Tough Love Doesn’t Work for a Perfectionist

Posted in BayArt Articles, Mental Health

BayArt Article: Questions of Existentialism in Anxiety and Depression

A couple weeks ago I sat and waited for my shift to begin at Shake Shack when suddenly I realized the recurrence of my depressive symptoms I thought I left back in 2016. I wanted to be alone and isolated, I was tired, irritated, unhappy, I had an overwhelming feeling to cry, and I didn’t want to be around anyone. Everyone was excited around me but I wasn’t. I felt very miserable. Was it that I I hated my job? Maybe I knew I could do better or be better? Maybe I wanted to not feel tired? With all the maybe circling around in my head, I started over-analyzing myself (as I always do) and I came to the conclusion that I was going through (and have been going through since my senior year of college) an existential crisis.


Existentialism in philosophy, in its most basic definition, centers on the ways people see themselves in the worlds and in their own existence. My mental health, in times of uncertainty and doubt, becomes shaky when I realize that I’m not where I need to be, where I want to be, or how I want to feel.

In that split moment where I contemplated my current position in existence, grappling with old feeling of depression accompanied by my almost everyday encounter with anxiety, helped me realize how often I think about who I am and what I want from this life. What makes depression and anxiety two issues of mental health that focus on the issues of existentialism, is that one deals with the past (depression) and the other on the future (anxiety) (sometimes the concepts of past and future may blur).

Anxiety vs. Depression

When I’m having an episode with anxiety I often ask myself questions such as, what if I never become anything? Why am I not where I need to be? Am I ever going to feel better? What do I believe? (In terms of religion and ideology) What if I’m “doing life” wrong? Am I ever going to find love? What if I don’t find my purpose or use my talents? And in all of these questions, there’s an underlying theme of worriment and doubt. Everything seems to go back to understanding fulfillment and being something or someone.

When I’m having an episode with depression (like the one above) I ask questions such as, why am I here? Why do I feel worthless? Is this where I’m going to stay my entire life? Why am I not happy? Why am I constantly tired? Do I have a purpose? These questions concern how I feel in comparison to what I’m familiar with or have experienced.

Anxiety is a reaction to what will/can happen while depression dwells on my current state (feeling and well being) based on events that already happened.

While these questions are similar in nature, they bring up the issues of an existential crisis. These questions arouse inner issues in ways that affect how I see myself progressing or staying in the same place. I began seeing myself in one place being pulled and pressured by my past and future creating a chaotic space in my mind.

While I’m still in an uncomfortable state in my existential crisis, I’m realizing and understanding my mental state and that has helped as I’m working to become better not only in what I’m doing but in the person I’m becoming. I not only want to do better, but I also want to be better.

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The Underlying Questions Concerning the Issues of Existentialism in my Depression and Anxiety