Open Letters

11/19,Open Letter

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Hey lovely readers,
Here is the first of something I’m hoping will become a tradition on my blog: an open letter to all of you, my readers!
Those of us who care about mental health know that sometimes the most therapeutic thing you can do to make yourself feel better is simply have a conversation about what you’ve been doing, what you’ve been going through, and what you need help on. That’s what I’m hoping to do through this letter: just a short conversation with you all about how I’ve been doing, what I’ve been up to, and what I might need help or advice on. I’m hoping to make this a weekly, Sunday morning thing. If you feel inspired something yourself after reading my open letter, feel free to write back! I’m always looking for opportunities to have conversations with all of you who read this blog and support me. You can reach me by either commenting on this post, commenting when I share it to my Facebook Page, or emailing me at handmadeheartsblog@gmail.com.
This week I’ve been doing a lot of waiting. I’m waiting for Thanksgiving break so I can see my family again, so that I can go shopping with my mom, my sister and one of my best friends on Black Friday, and so that I can have more time to blog! My family does this thing every year: we each make one dish for our Thanksgiving meal instead of just cooking all of the traditional foods. This year, I’m making this Salted Caramel Pecan Cheesecake that I found online- pretty much all of the best holiday flavors (except for Pumpkin, which is sad)- and it’s on a cheesecake! I’m excited, though part of me does feel like it might be too many flavors all at once. But I guess we won’t know until I’m done cooking it! If you like the recipe and decide to try it out too, let me know how it turns out!
I’ve also been waiting to get through to midterms that I’m taking in the next two days, and I have a paper due on Wednesday! But the good news is that after I’m done with all of those things, I’m pretty much free until finals at the end of the quarter, so I’m looking forward to having two weeks of lots of free time after this week!
I was dreading doing all of these things earlier on in this week, but on Thursday I spent some time talking to a few friends- we were just catching up and talking about our various life struggles, and I realized that the entire week I’d been dreading all of the big things that I have going on before Thanksgiving next week and I hadn’t spent enough time celebrating the small good things that were already happening in my life.
I’m the President of a club that I started with a few friends called Snail Mail Society, and our on-going project at the moment involves writing letters for people who are nominated by friends or themselves to receive a “love letter bundle”. The purpose of these bundles is just to show the people in our university community that though they might be going through a hard time, they have people rooting for them to get through it. Although it can be challenging to write letters to people we often do not know, we successfully pulled together bundles for our first four nominations this last week!
I also got a package in the mail (who doesn’t love packages in the mail?!?) of something that I’d been expecting for a really long time and I’m excited to open it when I get back home for Thanksgiving break!
This past summer, I had an idea for a book I’d potentially want to write, about the struggles faced by brown-skinned women in modern America. After having a really great conversation with one of my friends this past week, I think that this might actually be a topic that I’d want to write about in the future. But writing a book is a lot of work, and it’s not necessarily something that I have a ton of time to do right now, but it’s never too early to start brainstorming and documenting stories, right?
I realized that it’s only 5 MORE MONTHS until my best friend comes home from her mission! I haven’t heard from her in a little while, but in 5 more months I’m super excited to catch up on life, binge watch Flash, go hiking and get our hair done together.
One of my friends who is also majoring in Psychology recently got into a lab that she had interviewed for and accepted the position. Another friend got a job.
These are all really small things, but being happy about these is better than being sad that things you are waiting for haven’t happened already. I think that’s the biggest thing that I learned this week. I think that sometimes its really easy to forget about these little things that are worth celebrating when there are so many big things looming in our paths. But doing that can also make it hard to live in the moment. After struggling so much with that last year, I’ve noticed that the anxiety I used to feel on a daily basis has gone down the more I started consciously making an effort to celebrate all of the small accomplishments I have.
I’m going to close off this letter by asking that, if you are having trouble living in the moment, to try and do the same thing. Think about the small things that have happened in your life recently that made you smile, and know that reflecting on these positive things will help you get through the big things you might have ahead.
The last thing I want to add to this letter is a huge Thank You to all of you. Thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for caring about mental health. Thank you for continuing to support me. I hope everyone reading this has a great Thanksgiving this next week!
Love,
Aarti

I'm currently a undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I'm passionate about mental health and dedicated to the cause of improving mental health outcomes. Besides blogging, I love cooking, spending time with friends and family, traveling, trying DIY projects and finding good deals.

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