thought of the week: 1/24

i have been having more conversations than i could ever count about how to avoid burnout at work while in a pandemic, especially for those working in mental health and/or education. i happen to be in both as a counselor at a high school. that being said, there is this duality – i am incredibly grateful to be employed doing something i love but am increasingly aware of my own exhaustion as there was no point in grad school where we covered being a therapist amidst a pandemic. there has been lots of learning and evolving along the way.

quite early in the school year, i flipped through the calendar for the first semester. i went to speak to our executive admin to see how many vacation days i had for the year because i knew i was carrying some over from last school year. i decided upon hearing the number that it didn’t make sense for me to just stack a bunch of days for the hell of it – i was going to take time off. some days would be spent alone, some would be spent on mini vacations with dear friends and some would be spent visiting my new nephew, enzo.

there was a point in time where i used to feel guilt about taking time off if not for a major event. i stumbled across this quote on twitter and it has not only impacted my day to day but my approach to taking days off from time to time:

“you owe yourself one hour a day of self-maintenance. it can include reading, writing, yoga, exercise, dancing, meditation, painting, or whatever, but you owe it to yourself. one hour, 1/24 of your day. that is less than 5%. it matters, it really does. make it count.”

as someone who only requires 5-7 hours of sleep, i have at least 17 hours that i am awake per day. even on the heaviest work days, i theoretically have 6+ hours that do not involve work. why would there be guilt about taking an hour to do something for me? why would there be guilt about taking an entire day here or there?

this past weekend, i took a much needed road trip to vegas with one of the loves of my life, brittany. she captured this photo of me and if it weren’t a tad unprofessional (due to the frozen passion fruit margarita that was to die for), i would attach it to my out of office reply for the day.

do you take one hour a day out for yourself? can you do it without guilt? if so, how are you spending that time?

what does your ideal day out of the office look like?

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: goodbyes aren’t always a bad thing

for as long as i can remember, saying goodbye has been framed as both difficult and negative. sometimes, i could feel myself tensing up around upcoming goodbyes so much that i would consider avoiding them all together. goodbyes vary from parting ways with a person/a relationship as a whole, a job/career, an animal, an ideology/mindset, etc. what i didn’t (and still don’t) hear enough about is what happens after we say goodbye.

“goodbyes are often times introductions to ourselves.” -vienna pharaon

in saying goodbye to a toxic family member, i said hello to boundary setting and self respect. in saying goodbye to a job i grew to love unexpectedly, i discovered nonnegotiables for future jobs/my career as a whole. in saying goodbye to my favorite dog, i unearthed just how much i could love something or someone unconditionally. in saying goodbye to the need to please others all of the time, i have realized that i am not only more happy, but that the important people loved me even more for being authentically me.

who or what do you need to say goodbye to in order to get better aquatinted with yourself?

this post definitely made me think of one of my favorite jay z songs. the opening line is, “allow me to reintroduce myself…”

xoxo,

k. tap

world mental health day

what are you doing to be sure you are taken care of? in honor of world mental health day, i wanted to share things i am making a conscious effort to do more of:

1. listening to my body – if i am not feeling well, i don’t simply try to power through; rest is necessary

2. scheduling time with loved ones so i have people/interactions to look forward to whether it be a facetime or a road trip

3. asking for help when needed whether it be from my inner circle or one of the therapists i’ve seen over the years

4. setting boundaries that feel good for me

5. reframing vulnerability as a strength

6. being kind to myself

7. long, candlelit baths

8. baking lemon bars (makes me feel close to grammy)

9. buying beautiful bouquets for my home

10. weekly dinners with pooh bear

11. journaling (i have one for calm, one for gratitude and one for happiness)

12. using “no.” as a full sentence

13. advocating for myself and others

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: depth.

during the middle of summer, i was feeling a bit down. i really was craving normalcy which for me typically includes tons of travel, live music and quality time with friends and family. more than anything, i was tired of having the same conversations over and over again about the pandemic. while covid is absolutely real, there are millions of other things going on. and as someone who hates small talk, i was sick of answering the same questions.

my friend elisa sent me a quote that she said made her think of me. upon reading it, i smiled because it was so fitting. and not only did it fit my vibe during quarantine, it fits my vibe year around.

“hard to be deep with those who swim in shallow water.” -james charles morris

i am someone who really values meaningful connection. during quarantine, i have had to be so much more intentional about how to factor those deep conversations into my week. while during covid, there has been nonstop conversation about physical health, i wanted to take some time to highlight both mental and emotional health.

have you been carving out time and space to have deep conversations with people around you? are the people around you capable of depth?

my mental and emotional health tanks cannot be filled without depth. what are your mental and emotional health needs?

xoxo,

k.tap

beyond remission – words of advice for thriving

i could not be more excited to share this book with each of you. my dear friend (gracelyn) and her aunt (melody, a cancer survivor), spent the last couple of years creating this work of art.

beyond remission – words of advice for thriving is an extraordinary collection of stories, photographs and advice from cancer survivors to those battling it now, those in remission and honestly, anyone who has been impacted by cancer. i cannot name a single person in my inner circle who has not been impacted my cancer in some capacity. can you?

this book is truly for everyone and has people from all walks of life represented – young, old, black, white, men, women and literally every kind of cancer you can think of. it shows how cancer does not discriminate but more importantly, it shows how beautiful life can be in spite of and/or after cancer. so frequently, stories around cancer are not told because it is a taboo topic. part of why this book is extraordinary is because gracelyn and melody dive in with each survivor. in this book, there is definitely a story for everyone and no two are the same.

this book was a labor of love and was made even more phenomenal due to melody being able to connect closely with the stories being told due to her own experiences acute lymphoblastic leukemia (which she dives into in the book). the vulnerability of melody and every single one of the participants in the book is nothing short of awe inspiring. there is an unreal amount of positivity weaved throughout the book and with my own study of gratitude and positive psychology, this is something that stood out to me. it is certainly a mindset and outlook we could all use a little more of.

it is hard to choose which quotes resonated with me the most but i tried to choose my favorite five:

1. never once did i consider not making a full recovery. -amy, breast cancer

2. i wanted no pity, just everyone’s love and support. -erika, breast cancer

3. surviving means remembering those who didn’t, and living every day of your life in search of why you did. -kyle, testicular cancer

4. for the first time in my life, i was open to leaning on people and feeling vulnerable, instead of always being in control. -kara, synovial sarcoma

5. each time i revisit my cancer journey, i am reminded of how far i’ve come and what a gift it is to be alive. -audrey, ovarian cancer

as if this book isn’t motivational and moving enough, gracelyn and melody are doing so much to give back to the cancer community through their foundation, luna peak. there are few things i love more than people giving back and women showing time and time again that they can rule the world.

to say i am honored to know gracelyn and proud to call her a friend would be a gross understatement.

you can get your hands on a copy of beyond remission – words of advice for thriving on amazon or barnes and noble.

the only regret i have is not ordering more than one copy because after reading, i know many survivors in my life would benefit greatly. i also have a dear friend currently battling lymphoma that explicitly stated how she wants to be surrounded by positivity – this book is full of it.

once you read it, tell me which quotes resonate most with you.

xoxo,

k. tap