The Blue Chair

My palms are sweating, but who am I kidding, they always sweat like this. My heart is racing and I feel it beating hard in my chest. I pace the hall, checking my phone to make sure I am on the right floor, in front of the right room. I have no idea who will be on the other side of this door but I reach for the doorknob anyway and push it open knowing there’s no turning back now.

And then I am there, situated awkwardly in a low blue fabric-covered chair. It’s the kind of chair I was expecting, I guess. Typical. Normal. I am sitting on the edge of it, my back miles from the actual back of the chair. My feet are firmly planted on the floor, hoping that will keep me from floating outside of my body.

Then I do what you are supposed to do here, I just start talking…


I’ve finally been honest with myself, so I think it’s time I’m honest with the rest of the world.

I struggle with depression and anxiety.

Sitting across from a therapist was quite possibly the last place I thought I would find myself. But there I was, after months of fighting myself over it. I almost cancelled the appointment more than once and let’s not even get started with how many times I dialed the office number and hung up before someone answered.

I spent so long not seeking help because I didn’t know how to talk about it. And part of me was so afraid of what people would think, so ashamed of what I felt.

I reached a point where trying to handle it on my own was starting to get overwhelming.

So I decided to ask for help.


That blue chair eventually became more and more familiar. I didn’t sit so awkwardly in it after a while. It started to feel comfortable even.

Unfortunately my therapist moved her office and the blue chair turned into this really modern looking red chair. But it was just as comfortable because it wasn’t actually about the chair at all. It was that I finally had someone to listen to me and validate the things that I was feeling.


We live in an unfortunate world where there is a stigma about mental illness and it is greatly underrepresented in the health industry.

I’ve come to realize recently that my voice does matter in all this. I may be just one person, but I am one of many who are fighting everyday to live a happier and fuller life.

I started this blog not really knowing where it would go or what kind of content I would post. I think if I am to do it any justice, I need to use this platform to talk about things that matter, things that people are afraid to talk about. So I hope you will continue to read all my posts, not just the funny, helpful or quirky ones but also the ones that involve mental health.

I am not going to pretend for one minute that it was a simple choice to ask for help. It was hard, almost impossible. And every single day is hard. I will never regret asking for help, though.

One of the things my therapist said to me on that very first day was, “You are brave. Don’t ever forget that.”

I no longer feel ashamed talking about my mental health and neither should anyone out there who is struggling. Despite how hard it may be to get the words out the first time, I hope you find a way to say them.

And when you do, just know:

You are brave. Don’t ever forget that.

Thanks for reading.

Here are some helpful resources if you or someone you love is dealing with depression or anxiety. And please remember that you are not alone. There is always someone who will listen, including me.

My Contact Page

Depression Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call or text 1-800-273-8255  Or visit

Anxiety Resources

Link to BetterHelp- an online counseling service

The Mono Chronicles, Part 3: The Aftermath

I really can’t tell you exactly how I contracted mono. It’s something that is nearly impossible to trace.

My only viable places of infection are the water fountain at my gym, which I never put my mouth on but did fill my water bottle up from frequently, and the hospital that I worked at. We all know how filthy and germ-infested hospitals can be and I admittedly didn’t wash or sanitize my hands as often as I should have.

Another contributing factor to my mono case is that the time frame just before I got ill was a very stressful time for me. I was still trying to continue my normal daily routine of working, going to the gym, and seeing my friends and family while also trying to plan a move. I was leaving in early May to start a new chapter in Brooklyn. The weeks leading up to that were filled with job applications, getting my paperwork sorted to leave my current job, packing up my apartment, saying goodbye to my work friends and making travel plans to get myself and my stuff to the city.

So, a lot all at once.

The early weeks of my recovery were okay. They went as I expected, I think. I felt weak still. And I couldn’t exercise mainly because of my enlarged spleen and lack of energy. But I figured that would pass soon enough.

I think for me one of the most disappointing and frustrating longer lasting effects of mono is the way that it interrupts your energy levels. And of course, having an enlarged spleen is pretty scary too (this just meant I couldn’t do any contact related exercise and I had to always be protecting my stomach are, so no ab workouts L).

Being a pretty avid runner and gym junkie, I had to go weeks without setting foot in a gym which felt pretty much like a death sentence.

Almost a month on the dot after I got sick the first time, I had a relapse of my original symptoms. Sore throat that made it hard to swallow, pain in my throat, sinus congestion and of course feeling like I had been hit by a train, this time lasting about another week. I traveled back upstate where my doctor informed me that this could happen and was actually quite common with people who had mono. I also learned that I could relapse even up to a year after my original infection (crazy, right?).

I think I will always feel remnants of my mono every time I get sick. Just this past month I found myself feeling symptoms again, from allergies or the wacky weather in New York, I can’t be sure. But it just reminds me that this illness will always live with me.

If I can give any advice to anyone in order to avoid getting mono, it’s to obviously practice good hygiene first and foremost.

But secondly, listen to your body when you start to wear out. Don’t over-do it, because that’s when your immune system becomes weak and doesn’t let you fight off silly little viruses like mono.

It’s ok to take a break sometimes. Slow down and enjoy the little things.

Life is not about finishing first; in fact it might be quite the opposite.

I hope you enjoyed this little mini series.

Read the first two posts here:

The Mono Chronicles, Part 1: The Infection

The Mono Chronicles, Part 2: The Kissing Disease

Leave a comment below if you’d like more like this but maybe another topic.

Thanks for reading!

How To Stay Fit in NYC

I’m a big fan of the gym. I’m also a big fan of running, so being able to find time to do either of those things has been a bit of a struggle when trying to balance a job, time with friends, schlepping back and forth from Brooklyn on the subway everyday and having some alone time as well.

Obviously it’s not hard to stay active when you live in a city that never sleeps. And when theres always something to do, you just kind of get a workout in without thinking about it. But when it boils down to it, some of us want to hit the gym or get a good run in anyway, so here’s some tips on how to do that.

1. Walk whenever you can, but not to an extreme.

Walking is great for burning calories and getting your heart rate up, especially if you’re dragging around groceries or your giant purse loaded with everything you need to survive in NYC. (See my post 5 Things to Never Leave Your Apartment Without) So walk when you can. Get off a stop early on the train when it’s only a few extra blocks to your destination. Walk to a store that’s a little farther from home instead of the one right around the corner. But remember not to over-do it. New York can get super hot in the summer, as I’ve learned. And with all the tall buildings and tons of people, there really isn’t much air flow here so be careful not to give yourself a heat stroke from too much walking. At the end of the day, cardio is the best way to burn fat, so walking is a great way to stay in shape.

2. Find cool places to workout that isn’t the gym.

I never minded running on a treadmill in order to get a run in. And the gym can have other equipment that’s nice to use once in a while. But that can get boring. Or, in my case, your gym can get super over crowded and have tons of broken treadmills that make it almost impossible to even find one to use. So, what my sister and I love to do is find other fun places to go for a walk or a run that gets us out of our boring gym routine and into the New York air (despite how dirty it may be at times.)

My current top 3 recommendations for outdoor places to run/walk are:

  • Chelsea Piers: This is super beautiful to run/walk at when it’s closer to sunset. The views are amazing and it’s less crowed than it would be in the daytime (plus a little cooler cause you get a nice breeze off the water). It’s a great path that’s safe and has tons of space so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck behind slow pedestrians. Highly, highly recommend. I love it here.
  • Maria Hernandez Park: This park has recently become one of our favorite places to walk or run. It was actually recommended to us by a friend that lives in our neighborhood. The setup is much like an outdoor track and even has markers to let you know that 1 lap= 1/3 mile, so that’s pretty cool. The part I enjoy the most is that it’s always full of people hanging out, playing sports on the basketball and volleyball courts, kids playing on playgrounds and tons of other runners. Definitely worth checking out if you live or work nearby.
  • Central Park: I haven’t had a chance to go for a run in Central Park but it doesn’t take much convincing that this is, no doubt, a beautiful park. And based on the countless movies and shows where people go for a run here, it’s a hit among all New Yorkers. I for sure can’t wait to get some miles in here and give my official feedback on it.

3. Turn everyday tasks into a workout

Carrying your groceries home, lugging laundry to the laundromat or even just walking a little farther to the next subway station can turn a mundane task into some form of exercise. We so often just skip the gym or say we’ll go tomorrow and feel guilty about it when instead, we can use everyday tasks as a way of burning calories. Again, make this something you do consciously but not to an extreme. Don’t ever force yourself beyond your physical limits just because you feel bad about not making it to the gym on a very busy Wednesday. Celebrate the victory of walking a few extra blocks to the train stop or carrying a few heavy bags of groceries home. I know for me, sometimes the constant pressure to swipe that little membership card weighs on me and I feel bad for not putting in effort. But in different ways, I am putting in the effort. And sometimes nontraditional forms of exercise can be so much more fun than walking on a treadmill and staring at a cement wall. So don’t discount the simple ways you can get in a workout when you’re just too busy to make it to the gym. Any effort (no matter how small) is better than no effort at all.

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how you’ll stay fit in NYC or any other big city. Feel free to share this with a friend, or leave me a comment and let me know your tricks on how you stay in shape. I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!