I moved to Los Angeles thinking it would change everything that was wrong in my life…it ended up doing the exact opposite. The last few months I was living in New york were rough. Things at my job were changing, I started getting really awful seasonal depression and overall just feeling really unhappy. I was long distance with my boyfriend (New York to DC) and we really saw no end in sight and the once a month weekends together were not cutting it. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to move to LA when things really started looking up. I started to get excited again for my future and to tackle a new challenge. I was looking forward to a new adventure and to be an adult in a different city (I moved to New York a week after I graduated college).
I moved to LA in the beginning of July with the expectation that I would have time to finally get a work life balance and really work on self care – both physically and mentally. I wanted to find a balance again where I could put time back into the blog without it being an 11pm chore after a stressful day at work. Instead however, I was working longer hours than ever and traveling non-stop. I was living out of a suitcase up until the end of September. So for 3 months I truly felt like I hadn’t even moved here yet. I didn’t even have a bed, let alone a work-life balance. It was beyond disheartening.
When you pin your happiness on one thing (for me it was my upcoming move) and it doesn’t live up to your expectations, the effects can be overwhelming. My anxiety started to have a crippling effect over me and I was crying almost everyday. I had never experienced something like that before. But here I was, starting from scratch in a new city, trying to find a home, trying to meet new friends and just overwhelmed to the point of pure exhaustion. There is a video I took of myself during this time where the bags under my eyes and my facial expression is honestly hard for me to look at. It was bad.
I decided to take a step back and try to understand what was happening. Why was my anxiety affecting me so much? Why was I so sad? How was I not able to sort through this? What I came to realize, is that moving to LA had not only forced me to look at but magnified the issues I was having in my life that I had previously swept under the rug when I was in New York.
Now that things have finally settled down, I have been forced to confront these issues and it truly has been a blessing. I have always been a workaholic, but learning to turn that off sometimes has been one of the most cathartic experiences. Something I have learned is that it takes a low point in your life for you to grow. It has helped me reshape my goals and understand what truly makes me happy. I finally have the time to work on who I am and give attention to people in my life who mean the most to me. While things can be rocky from time to time (I mean hello I am basically starting from scratch in LA) it was so important for me to get out of my comfort zone and rechallenge myself. It took me moving and getting out of my element for me to take a step back and reevaluate what truly makes me happy. Here are some other things I have picked up along the way and have started to incorporate in my life as I work towards my self care goals:
I don’t look at Instagram an hour before bed or right when I wake up in the morning
I take 10-15 minutes every morning on my back patio to just move around and think
I give my attention to the people that make me happy
Keep up with my friends and family on a regular basis
I write in my journal when my thoughts can be overwhelming and I need to refocus
Saying “no” to events, opportunities, etc. is necessary
I try to get into bed by 8:30/9pm on night I dont have events
Drinking a ton of lemon water is a secret ingredient both physically and mentally
These may seem pretty basic, but actively working on them has brought me so much happiness. Anyway, the summary of this is that pinning your happiness on one thing and it not living up to your expectations can be absolutely terrifying but at the end of the day, it can push you even harder to be the person you want to be.