I'm not talking about big money (at least not today) that funds important research, pays for mental health professionals in schools, and provides needed treatment to low-income individuals. I'm talking about small money spent at an individual level on seemingly trivial solutions for daily anxiety, stress, and depression-inducing problems.
Let me walk you back a few steps to my "AHA!" moment over the weekend to help explain my thinking. Winter always brings unique struggles to my life: constantly feeling cold, waking up angry more often than I would like (for no reason), and unwanted weight gain. The weight gain in particular creates a not-so-wonderful emotion when I get dressed each morning. While most of my pants technically still fit, my hyper-aware and sensitive brain can't stand the physical and emotional feeling of how my jeans fit today versus a few weeks ago.
One pair of jeans in particular (my favorite pair) had been glaring at me from the bottom of the drawer since the beginning of January. Yet, I kept trying them on in total agony hoping they would magically fit again; over the weekend I decided it was time for them to go. I bought them less than a year ago, but the almost daily cloud hanging over my head needed to stop. Maybe they would have fit again, but maybe these few extra pounds are here to stay, and if they are, I want to feel comfortable and confident in my clothing.
As a total side note, I haven't actually weighed myself, in a number of weeks. One thing I have been working on over the past year is taking power away from a number. You can read more about that here.
Anyways, in my moment of empowerment I not only donated my favorite pair of jeans to a local thrift store, but I also unloaded a pile of clothing that no longer worked for me and my body. Some items were too small, others too big, and still others no longer the right shape, but regardless, I decided to do a mini reboot on my wardrobe.
Here is where the money conversation starts. I currently have two other pairs of jeans that fit and that I like, but they aren't my favorite jeans. While physically giving away my clothing felt uplifting and empowering, a small piece of me still felt defeated. Letting go of those jeans symbolized letting go of my slightly smaller size, knowing I may never return there again. So what was my solution? You guessed it: money. I bought myself a new pair of favorite jeans, and not just any pair of jeans, an expensive pair ($140). I don't think I have ever spent more than $70 on a pair of pants before, so this seemed rebellious, but it worked. I wore those pants proudly for the rest of the day; each step I took on my way for an afternoon coffee filled with certainty in how great I looked.
I know this may all appear trivial, but it's not. These moments move me beyond feeling helpless and small. They propel me into a reality where a few pounds doesn't matter, where I more easily ignore the negative thoughts in my head, and where I can focus on more important aspects of my day.
So for me, money was the answer. I know it's not the answer for everyone in every situation, but I believe it alleviates stress and anxiety in certain situations. Maybe money allows you to eat out for lunch a few extra days at work in order to make your mornings less chaotic. Maybe money pays for a few extra sessions with your therapist because you really need additional support, or perhaps it grants you the ability to attend your favorite yoga class this week. It's okay to spend a little extra if it creates time and space for mindfulness, relaxation, and empowerment. I can only hope to help work toward a world where money is a possible answer for everyone.
Walking enthusiast, and kitchen experimenter currently living out my dream in Mexico City, Mexico.
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