Lately, I have been trying to put myself first - which hasn't always been easy. I've been able to make some larger changes to prioritize my mental health which looked like: quitting a job that was causing more stress than it was worth, quitting a toxic job shortly after, and making more time for creating (even if it's not for a client and just for myself).
BUT remembering to prioritize my mental health in smaller ways doesn't always occur to me. So I'm writing this mostly as a reminder to myself.
Prioritizing my mental health looks different during different "seasons."
I notice my mental health starts to suffer when I try to avoid big emotions, when I forget to slow down, when I go too many days without journaling and self-reflection, or when my work life balance dips. The key is to try and catch my stress before it turns to burnout. If I'm not paying attention, burnout can quickly turn into panic attacks, days of low moods, irritability with people I love, lack of creative drive, and forgetting to do simple things.
Finding things to be grateful for in the midst of anxiety and depression can be really difficult. I struggled with this a lot. "Adopt an attitude of gratitude" or "interrupt anxiety with gratitude" were two quotes I stumbled upon over and over again while scowering the internet for a "cure."