My new outlook on being motivated and doing hard stuff.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Earlier this year, I was confronted with my smartphone addiction. Though I couldn’t prove the two were related, I also noticed my shrinking attention span, lack of motivation, and putting off harder stuff to do more pleasurable activities.

Writing something for my blog? Eh, it can wait. Exercise? Not right now. Cooking dinner? I can just order takeout and cook tomorrow. Learning a new skill or topic that I am interested in? My brain is too tired for that. I wanted the results of all these things. I liked the…


I value passion and purpose so much, so why don’t I have it?

Shooting concert footage for a DVD, 2018 | Photo by John Mathis

I thought by my age that I would be successful, financially stable, and working a fulfilling job in a career I loved. I dreamed of this as a child and teenager because that’s what adults do — they become successful and financially stable. I didn’t have any idea what my dream job would be; I just assumed it would all simply fall into place. How? Through magic, maybe? I don’t know. Whatever adults do. Ask me now, as a well-into-adulthood adult, and I still think it might be magic.

Or is it something far simpler, that I’ve known all along…


Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

I’m a recovering perfectionist.

That’s a harsh term, and maybe you’re averse to using it, if you identify with the definition. Okay, let’s say you’re someone who likes to control every aspect of something and wants it to be a certain way, otherwise you feel like a failure, and it can totally ruin your day and make you give up on something.

But perfectionist is more pithy.

As a perfectionist, my worst nightmare is a diet. There’s so much to get right about nutritional changes, and therefore, so much you can get wrong.

I switched to a low-carb diet in…


Photo by KYLE CUT MEDIA on Unsplash

I had a bad day recently. Not just any bad day. A bad day caused by massive insomnia from the night before. When I’m sleep deprived, I’m irritable, prone to depressed moods, hard to reason with, and incompetent.

I felt a duty to certain personal goals and chores for the day, yet I was unable to do them. Yoga to increase flexibility? Laughable. Folding laundry? Yeah, right. Learning statistics and probability on a Coursera course that I’m way behind on? Not even a little.

So the problem with this, as a goal-oriented person, who has problems being self-compassionate, is that…


Psychologist-proven, personally-tested methods to feel better about yourself

A shoulders-up view of a person with a flower crown, smiling, in front of a yellow background.
A shoulders-up view of a person with a flower crown, smiling, in front of a yellow background.
Photo: Autumn Goodman/Unsplash

Like many now-adults who grew up without the proper nurturing and emotional care-giving, I’ve had a lifelong battle with low self-esteem. It’s affected the way I view myself, how I let people treat me, and my own level of happiness. I’ve made it my personal mission to track down the best resources for working on self-esteem, a project that’s taken me years.

Low self-esteem most often begins in childhood, and if you’re a lifelong sufferer like me, you’ve probably felt this way your entire life. Those likely to develop low self-esteem are survivors of trauma, especially children from neglectful or…


The Simplified Guide to Being A Little Bit Happier

Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

I consider myself a self-improver. I’ve always been in pursuit of ways to be better, do better, or feel better. I wouldn’t consider myself a happy person though. I’ve always got to be pursuing a goal or chasing something to feel satisfied or content. Sounds counter-productive, doesn’t it?

I’ve pursued a lot of things in search of the elusive happiness. People, jobs, places. I want to run away from it all and finally be free. I want to meet the right person and finally be fulfilled. I want to finally land in the right career and be happy.

None of…


Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

If you’re involved in any mental health or inspirational community online, you’ve likely seen the term self-care. We all probably have an idea of what it is. After all, it doesn’t take a Ph.D to deduce that the words self and care probably have something to do with taking care of yourself.

We’re taught that it’s an act of self-love, that it’s a way to relax and treat ourselves, maybe even do a little pampering. It’s bubble baths, manicures, massages, painting, candles, a good book, or just watching your favorite Netflix show for hours, while you eat ice cream.

It’s…


Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash

I was unable to make eye contact with my grandmother for more than a few seconds straight before I had to look away at the TV. It was on a classic movie station, playing an old movie with actors I didn’t recognize.

Her frail body looked so small. Her hands so thin. Her expression, vacant.

Sometimes she furrowed her brow or tried to smile. Sometimes she flashed a half-smile. Mostly she just looked at me, with her mouth agape.

She suffered a stroke last year that left her weak and somewhat incapacitated. She couldn’t swallow for a long time. She…

Jessica Mathis

Writer at The Unplug Initiative. Mental health advocate. Doing my best in the pursuit of self-improvement.

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