During my freshman year of high school, I took a general health class and read a tiny paragraph about mental health and career titles in that field. I literally knew right then, this is IT.
That “when you know, you just know” type of moments. I’ve spent almost a decade researching, learning, advocating, and obsessing over mental health, the mind, and anything in relation to it.
Fast forward, I got my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCF #goknights! In that time, I shadowed a Psychiatrist, interviewed a Psychologist who owns her own practice, joined psychology clubs, became a guardian advocate for those who have been baker acted, which you can read more from my post about it here and how to get involved with your local community. Definitely the most fulfilling hands-on volunteer work I’ve done.
After undergrad, I took a year and a half off to travel and figure out what my next step was going to be. I traveled A LOT. I learned a ton about myself while traveling solo and just figuring it out as I went along.
Deadlines were approaching and I decided I was going to apply to graduate school, the University of San Diego to get my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I got accepted, packed my entire life into a car, and moved across the country. I just finished my first semester there.
I never had imagined (well, kinda) that I would make such a huge move away from my family and friends. I was a bit terrified at first but it’s apart of my story and one of my many adventures.
Two key takeaways I learned from my first semester was self-awareness and professional identity.
1. conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
But I was learning it in terms of professional identity as a future counselor or “therapist” as it’s most commonly called. I couldn’t help correlating it to my professional identity as a blogger instead.
When I created the TheLifestylePlaybook.com it was always meant to be 50% mental health, 25% Life & Style and 25% Travel.
Emerging myself as a mental health blogger was tough because I didn’t really have guidance or other mental health blogs to get inspo or direction from. So naturally my original approach to my blog was CHAOS. I had a vision though and that’s all I needed to get started and see it through.
When I started The Lifestyle Playbook my intentions were to:
+ build a positive community.
+ enlighten & inspire others.
+ promote a proactive/preventive lifestyle, rather than reactive.
+ create value.
+ platform to spread awareness.
+ create for YOU, by me.
+ freedom to creatively express myself.
+ share my best tips & life hacks.
+ create a lucrative business.
+ chip away the stigma towards mental illness.
+ give a place where you can stimulate your mind while on-the-go or chilling on your couch.
+ AND SO MUCH MORE.
BUT I wanted to touch on all these things in my authentic voice. How I type on my blog is how I actually talk to my friends or family. So, YES there will definitely be grammatical errors and mistakes.
All reviews and promotions on the blog is because I truly use it or 100% stand behind it. ALL opinions are my own.
These core values have never changed but through limiting self-doubting beliefs – it has really stopped me from progressing forward with the blog and putting out all the content I’ve had planned.
Self-awareness is key because it allows you to be consciously aware of your mind in constant battle with your identity, hindering you from fulfilling your purpose. It also allows you to strategically play harder on your strengths.
For me, my intentions and purpose is always clear. I have always been motivated for my genuine love for people. My purpose is to serve and continue helping people. To spread love and kindness to people in all that I do. My overly optimistic mindset sees the best in everyone, almost to a fault. Judge-free zone over here. I live to share thoughts and tips I’ve picked up on my constant search for the sense of having balance in your lifestyle. Promoting and building healthy mental habits. To promote living a preventive and proactive lifestyle rather than a reactive one. Always looking out for your future self!
*BIG VISIONS GOING ON OVER HERE*
So what I did was I bought the domain name as soon as I thought of it, did research to make sure it never existed before, found the need for mental health in the blogging space, kept it a secret for 6 months while I got the website up & running. Launched my blog on social media, February 3rd, 2016. Once it was out there I felt a rush of excitement and then times of major self-doubt and insecurities that felt paralyzing to my creative work. OUCH.
If I could go back now, I wouldn’t have let those things stop me from moving forward in blogging. I’m actually grossed out how much time I could have spent into the blog than in my own thoughts dwelling and overthinking on unrealistic thoughts. You just gotta push though and just do it. Literally just do it – no nike.
Blogging is no joke. You’re never just a blogger – you’re a creator, an editor, a business owner, a photographer, a stylist, a visionary, a leader, an entrepreneur, and so much more!
There’s so much that goes into it and at first I felt overwhelmed, but now I’m just having so much fun with the process of figuring out my aesthetic, my writing style, and what I’ll add next.
ALSO, if you’ve noticed my insta bio @thelifestyleplaybook I’ve added 3 locations: SD l LA l ORL
San Diego is now where I currently live and am based out of, Los Angeles because I’m a couple hours away and visit often if you watch me on Snapchat, and Orlando because I would claim myself as a bicoastal blogger knowing I visit back and forth to Orlando all the time and was born and raised there. Love love love Orlando! (fun fact: I wasn’t a Disney theme park type of person).
Digging deep into my identity as a mental health & lifestyle blogger has been challenging but reassuring and only confirmed why it is that I do what I do. Through this post I mainly focus on my intentions, goals, and reflecting on my personal journey. It’s just the beginning, but I am so excited to share this journey with you!
2018 is all about consistently pushing out valuable content every single week.
SO MUCH NEW!
If you want an accountability partner just email me email@example.com 🙂
Let me know if you want me to share on how I got started blogging, web hosts I use, recommendations, etc…
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY @CAPTUREDBYSEL