In my last post I mentioned coming off my antidepressants. I got a lot of questions in my DMs about my experience. The most common was about withdrawal, the next about why, and the third was about what happened after. I’m working on a blog about my experience that I hope to get published when I kick this cold to the curb. But in the mean time, all of those questions raised something very valid that I want to address first. I am not a mental health professional and don’t claim to be. All of my experiences with my mental health are my personal experiences. I can only speak to what I went through and what worked for me. Coming off my meds was a personal decision that I made under the guidance of a psychiatrist. Please don’t take mental health advice from strangers on the internet. I may know a lot about depression, OCD, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and whatever else I have, but what I know is either general info about those conditions or how they affect me; not how they impact others. When it comes to your mental health, only you and qualified professionals know best.
I think that’s super important to say and for everyone to hear. With that being said, I am absolutely here for y’all. If you’re struggling and want advice on how to tell someone or ask for help, if you want to know different ways to support people with mental illness, if you need resources, if you just need to connect with someone like you, etc., etc. I love you guys and want to support you like you’ve supported me all these years. Let’s start more conversations about mental health so that more people feel comfortable seeking help. Let’s start more conversations about mental health so that the stigmas break down. Let’s start more conversations about mental health so that we can learn from each other and connect with each other. That’s why I talk about mine. #breakthestigma#headhighheartforward#mentalhealthawareness
Wearing @werkshop moths. #teamwerkshop
#ad The more I talk about my mental health the more I get asked what I do to help myself when my depression or anxiety symptoms are difficult to deal with. My number one answer is having a good support system. Second is time outside with my pets (Cailey is running around me somewhere out of frame). Third is cannabis. I came off my antidepressants after over 15 years on them and started having severe panic attacks. Rather than go back on medication, I incorporated CBD mixed 1:1 with THC into my routine. I am in no way advocating going off meds and onto cannabis on your own. Always manage your mental health under the care of a professional. What i am advocating for is finding something that works for you. Find your tools and stock your tool box. They’re different for everyone. For me, using cannabis is one of those tools. For the panda on my shirt it is too. 😉 This cute shirt is from cannabis lifestyle apparel company @chieftonsupply . I love wearing it because it’s cute, but also b/c it’s a good canna conversation starter. Do you use cannabis products whether THC, CBD, or Hemp?? Let me know! #chieftonsupply#chieftonaf#elevatedapparel
Those of you who follow my stories know I love to meal prep for the week ahead; especially my lunches. It helps me make sure I’m eating good meals without spending tons of money each week, and keeps me from making less healthy food choices when I’m hangry and in a time crunch. Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to shake up my stale meal prep a bit which is one of the reasons I love @greenchef. Green Chef offers a new menu each week, and caters to a variety of different diet plans. Fellow celiacs, hey have a completely gluten free menu so you can enjoy the recipes as intended w/o having to throw out or giveaway ingredients you can’t use (#whocanrelate?). I choose meals for two and then have all my lunches (and a dinner, you get diff recipes) for the week. When I’m feeling in a rut, or my schedule is thrown off by traveling, @greenchef helps me get back in the groove of making healthy meals for my week ahead. And if having a gluten free menu wasn’t enough, all the ingredients are certified organic.
Use my code 50OFFCHERYLFYOGA to get $50 off your first Green Chef order. Link in bio or swipe up in stories to check them out and get your own box! #mygreenchef#greenchefpartner
Get out of your comfort zone with a selfie.
Prompt for tomorrow:Take a selfie with no make-up. Don’t focus too much on the lighting or the angles. Just embrace who you are and how you look and try to capture the essence of your being through your photo. And try to choose a photo you took within the first 5 shots (Lord knows we usually go through 100 shots just to find one, but really you are beautiful in them all). _______
I’m def guilty of hunting down the right light, the right angles and right filter, but I’m never one to shy away from a good selfie in my stories. In feed is a bit different. It doesn’t fit with my normal content and isn’t something I’d normally feel compelled to post—maybe with makeup in a stylized portrait shoot, but i haven’t posted a selfie on this feed in years. As my account has grown, the aesthetics of my feed have changed a lot and become 99% curated content, either for brands or for personal engagement to get people to read my captions—so why would people want to see a selfie from me when they’re here for the yoga or my normal style of content? That’s what I’ve been hung up on, and I need to let that shit go (she says while still posting a yoga shot as the main frame of this—I’m a work in progress, k? 😬). I guess it just goes to show that no matter how comfortable we are with ourselves, we still have insecurities about our appearance (and/or the appearance of our social media accounts...ugh this is eye opening). Mine happen to be totally instagram influencer based these days and are admittedly kind of ridiculous; like no make up for yoga is fine, but selfies-make up or not-are off the table? Ok cheryl.....🙄. This challenge is making me reconsider some things. How about you? Show is your selfies!
Swipe for some selfie action-I don’t take a lot of them w/o make up these days. I also need to work on that. Working in the beauty industry and having a curated feed are no excuse not to document me feeling myself w/o make up too!
Nourish your body.
I nourish my body in three ways. I spend time outdoors which helps me relax, lowering my stress levels. I eat a balanced diet and eat food that makes me feel good inside which makes me have more energy throughout the day. Plus, I love to cook! And I do yoga and various other forms of activities that keep me moving around because it makes my body feel good and helps improve my mood. I do things that nourish my body because they help nourish my mind as well as allow me to be active. I do How well do you nourish your body and how can you improve this?
Clean up your mental diet.
Eating well and keeping active makes my body feel good (and has mood boosting). Changing the way I think about things keeps me feeling good mentally. My internal dialogue was my biggest problem for a lot of my life. I told myself i was ugly, too large, not smart enough, not pretty, etc. etc. And the more I thought it, the more I believed it. Through therapy, yoga, and mindfulness I work regularly to retrain my brain. If I want to feel better about myself or a situation I’m in, my thoughts need to reinforce that. If you want to change the way you feel about something, you need to change the way you think about it-at least I think so. How about you?
Journal about a time you were faced with a tough situation and how you pulled through it.
When I was applying to law school, I had to face the fact that several years of heavy drug use had drastically impacted my grades in college and how I was going to explain it in my personal essays. I was faced w/being honest, owning my addiction and it’s impact, and hoping they’d take a chance on me, OR making up an excuse and hiding from my past. I chose the former. I took responsibility for the impact of my addiction and was open about my recovery, and they took a chance on me. Being accepted into multiple law schools after being completely transparent about one of the hardest times in my life made me realize that bringing open about my experiences w/addiction was possible and was the first time I felt people had faith in me again. I’m so glad I made the decision i did.
Cohosts tagged in pic.
#JOURNEYTOLOVEME MARCH 23 (I owe y’all today’s prompt for the 22nd still). Do something for someone else.
It’s important to step outside yourself and do things for others. No matter where you are on your journey through life, helping others is paramount. Spreading kindness in the form of good deeds is a huge way to create a positive impact. For this prompt, we ask you to journal about a time you spent your time serving others or how doing something for someone else has created an impact (be it for you or for them). Outside of Instagram, I serve others in ways i don’t talk about often. It’s not because i don’t feel comfortable sharing, but sometimes on social media, sharing the work we do for others can be misconstrued as an attempt for gain attention or garner further influence....and in one particular area, this is a very touchy subject for me.
As my long time followers know, I am an addict. I heavily abused drugs for years when I was college and now talk about my past struggles with addiction openly. What I don’t always share is what I do to help other addicts. I raise awareness by lecturing annually at the medical school where my parents teach, both on the face of addiction (me being the example of an addict outside the norm of societal stereotypes, as well as an example of how physicians treat people who are open about addiction even over a decade later), and on rebuilding life after. I also am still an active member of the recovery group I attended after I stopped using hard drugs. I’ve sponsored people for years and work with them to help them maintain their sobriety with the hope that I can help them turn their lives around like I did mine. Working with addicts and talking openly about my addiction is difficult and often triggering, but it’s some of the most rewarding work i do. I don’t do it for the personal benefits, although they are numerous; i do it because i want to help others move past a terrible disease and learn that there is life after addiction. That you can move past the stereotypes and rebuild relationships and become a happier person living a more fulfilled life.
Cohosts are tagged. #headhighheartforward
#JOURNEYTOLOVEME Catch Up
What is it that satisfies your soul? This one was an easy prompt for me. Spending time outside-nature feeds my soul. I spend time outdoors as often as possible. Bonus soul nourishment when my fur babies are with me.
Comparing myself to others impacted my mental health and interpersonal relationships in the past. Before Instagram, I would obsess over the way other ppl I knew looked and try to make myself look like them or have the physical traits i admired in them. I became more focused on my physical appearance than on my relationships; except my relationship with food and exercise.
And with social media....oh man. With yoga specifically I used to compare my asana to others. I got competitive with strangers behind the screen to have better form, more flexibility, more followers, etc. If i saw someone’s practice advancing quickly, I would get very down on myself for not advancing as fast. If someone’s account grew faster than mine I’d think i wasn’t doing enough....etc etc.
i put these things in the past tense because i don’t do them often anymore. Through yoga and mindfulness, and work on myself, I’ve learned to let go of comparing myself to others because it always does more harm than good. Now if I find myself comparing myself to others, I flip my internal dialogue. I start complimenting myself until all I can think are happy thoughts. Give it a try! March 21:
Stand in front of the mirror naked.
Years ago this would lead me down a spiral of self hate and starvation. Or self hate and excercise abuse or drug use. Years ago the mirror was my enemy.
I won’t say it’s now my friend, but i will say it no longer scares me. Just like in my answer above, I’ve learned to change my internal dialogue. What you think, you believe. If i get down on myself when I look in the mirror I make myself think only positive thoughts over and over. I think hat’s one of the reasons i no longer fear mirrors-I’ve trained myself to think nice things about myself when i look in one, so I approach them with a much better attitude than I used to.
Co-hosts are tagged!
#journeytoloveme catch up (co-hosts are tagged): March 15:
How much do you truly love yourself — deeply, wholly, authentically, and beyond the superficial, ego-based definition? ✨ My self love journey has been a very rocky road. I can’t say that I love all of myself all of the time, but I can 100% day that I am working on loving me more and more each day.
Make a list of all of your good qualities. ✨ Love this. The more you talk about what you like about yourself, the more you will actually like yourself. Keep this list and look back on it when you need a little reminder! 💕 Off the cuff, the qualities I’m loving about myself right now are: Intelligent, self aware, creative, independent, strong, open, caring, passionate
Spend time just being. ✨ Today I sat outside and stared at the hills behind my house, watching the grass blow in the breeze until my mind went blank. For the first time in a long time when I fell into a more meditative state, the only feelings that came up were calming and positive. I journaled my experience and will keep that part to myself. :) ______
#Journeytoloveme prompt for March 18th. Sometimes the things we’ve done or have experienced in the past keep us from being able to fully love who we are. What do we need to let go of?
This is an admittedly hard prompt for me to answer as there there are so many different avenues I could go down with this. I could talk about my last relationship, where our love for each other slowly devolved into a state where we were both so toxic towards each other that we couldn’t function, or I could talk about my eating disorder in high school that lead to drug addiction in college and my current ongoing states of recovery and that I still face today, because eating disorders and addiction aren’t something that you ever fully recover from.I don’t think that things from our past ever fully keep us from being who we are today, but I do feel like they act as roadblocks to us fully discovering who we are at our core. Regardless, I carry a lot of guilt for the people that I’ve hurt in the past. Be it from when I had my eating disorder, when I was using drugs, or when I was bouncing from relationship to relationship because I was too insecure to be alone, I know that there are people I could’ve treated better along the way. I’ve apologized for for the people that I’ve hurt along the steps of my recovery from drug addiction, but I haven’t admitted that I am apologetic to people that I’ve hurt in other avenues down my route towards becoming who I am today, and whether or not I’ve admitted it publicly on here, or in person, that’s been holding me back from moving forward. I need to move past the decades old guilt and embrace who I am today. As hard as it is, and as often as it comes up, that is my past and if i don’t move on from it, how i can i expect others to? It’s not easy, even though I recovered from drug addiction over a decade ago, people still question my motivations on a regular basis. And that’s something that I have to deal with and I have to process. I have to help them move on from it, and i need to let go of the guilt that’s holding me back. #journeytoloveme#headhighheartforward
Do you love yourself? I mean really, truly love yourself unconditionally and whole-heartedly? If the answer is no, then you are not alone because we ALL struggle to love ourselves sometimes. Learning to love yourself is essential for growth, to living a fulfilling life, and developing happy and healthy relationships with others. Truth is, if we don’t know how to love ourselves fully, through our failures and successes, through our experiences - good and bad, then how will we ever be able to fully love anyone else?
For the next two weeks we will be digging deep into our hearts and discovering things about ourselves that we may not have known before. We will be challenged to do some exercises and write some journals that will help us to help practice self-love. Like anything else, the more we practice the stronger we will be in doing it!
You do NOT have to post any specific kind of photo (unless specified on that day). All we ask is that you share just a bit about the journal entry or your experience with the given exercise for that day. We want you to be able to fully express yourself in whatever way you feel on your posts for this challenge!
To enter this challenge with us, all you have to do is tag all of the hosts so we can be on this journey with you and read and see your beautiful posts. We’d love it if you could share that you are joining us by reposting this in your stories or tagging a few friends who you think would like to participate!
We will not have any sponsors for this challenge because the winner of this challenge will receive a self-care package put together personally by all of us!
So who’s ready to embark on the #journeytoloveme ? We start tomorrow, March 15!
Throwback to this time last year in NYC shooting with @sfreneenyc. I don’t know if i can handle anymore chilly March outside shoots in just a sports bra and leggings. I think I’ve lived in California too long at this point to handle shooting outside when it’s below 50 degrees. 😂 I’m in NY now for a week for work. I hope to have some free time, but I never know with these work trips. That’s the good and bad thing about my job-frequent travel but it’s usually a fully booked schedule. I’m hoping to have free time to finally take some yoga classes from some of my insta friends who live near and around the city and also for zero incidents (I think we all remember how my last NYC work trip went 😕). Where’s the last place you traveled? Do you have any upcoming trips planned? My last place was LA, again with a very busy work schedule. Currently: NY and then I have a bit of downtime before I head anywhere else. #headhighheartforward
#ad I care about the products I put in my body, on my body, and in my hair, that’s why I use @HerbalEssences. Their sulfate-free shampoos are EWG VERIFIED™, setting a new standard in affordable clean beauty. The shampoos and conditioners are also filled with real botanicals endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (@kewgardens) and are @PETA cruelty-free! As if that wasn’t reason enough to try them, the Birch Bark Extract collection is also sulfate and paraben free! This blend revitalizes and nourishes color treated hair like mine. It smells great, my hair feels great, and the ingredients inside are great! #HerbalEssencesxKew#BotancialShampoo#BotanicalConditioner#sulfatefree