Self-Care Package: Tracking Progression

Recently, I’ve felt stuck in life. I am constantly trying to recollect any type of progress I have made in classes I am barely passing, or any changes to my approach of life, or any effects from switching the people I surround myself with. I also don’t know if I feel happy or just less sad on my medication.  Keeping track of my progression as a person who suffers from mental illness and is constantly advocating for human rights is hard. Mentally, I am never sure if I am on the right track to a life without medication or therapists. In regards to my social activism, Trump’s presidency has made me feel hopeless. I've questioned whether my work is worth it anymore. Fortunately, I have noticed some things that helped me alleviate this sense of uncertainty during these beginning weeks of the year These aren't cures for depression or an activist self-care routine template. Rather, I want to show teens who feel stuck in their activism, mental illness, schoolwork, or in their life that there is hope.

I started keeping a journal when I realized I needed a place where I could just write things that weren't final drafts of poems or school assignments. I wanted it to capture who I am now and all of the phases I have been through. Specifically, I wanted to write down everything I could never tell anyone other than my therapist.  I have dealt with panic disorder, depression, and anxiety since I was in seventh grade, so I knew I needed a space where I could just put down all of my frustration.

In this journal, I account my accomplishments on a daily basis. For example, a big achievement of mine was being granted a scholarship for high school and college. In contrast, a small one was keeping track of the times in which I apologize for taking up space rather than out of gratitude. I like to note how many times I automatically say “I’m sorry for being late” to “Thank you for waiting for me”. These things might seem small in the moment, but over time they have manifested into healthy habits. I strongly recommend to anyone reading this article to look at their situation and find immediate and long-term solutions to it. Quick fixes can include talking to a friend, doodling, writing, listening to music, etc. Long-term solutions could be finding a therapist who accepts your health care, forming a self-care routine, completing a digital detox for a week, or re-reading your favorite book.

I believe in you and I already know that you are on the right track to being the happiest version of yourself. We are still figuring things out and that's okay.

By Natalia Mercedes Rodriguez


  1. I bloody love this piece, so much, I love how it looks, I love every single word.

  2. Absolutely love this. It is so refreshing.