Mental Health: Week 4 - Gratitude Challenge

Day 4: What memory in life are you most thankful for, reminding you of joy?

I don’t think there was a singular memory that I look back at to find joy. I think all of my memories, negative or positive bring me some sort of joy, because they shaped me into the person I am today. I have come a long way since childhood, and I think all of that has to do with the variety of memories I hold onto, reminding me of my “why”.

I have memories of all of the travels my family and I went on, which helped open my mind, and learn more about different cultures and people. I have memories of my parents, showing me what real love was. I have memories, with friends, getting into trouble in school, having fun at the mall and plenty of pain from fake friends, and rumors. I have memories with exes, whether it was ex-friends or ex-boyfriends, both funny and sad. I have memories of myself crying myself to sleep every single day for 5 years straight, and memories of lying in bed, wishing my life would end. I have dark memories, where I was in my darkest place, feeling nothing but anger. I also have memories of risking it all, and trying to create something beautiful and unique that would be a platform for those struggling with mental health. I have memories of failure and memories of success! I have beautiful memories conquering all of my fears and demons, and romantic memories of meeting the love of my life. I have memories of building a life I wanted to live with my best friend by my side. And there are the most recent memories, of my little family, growing, exploring and laughing together. All of these memories are important aspects in my life and all of them I hold close to my heart, reminding exactly of why I do, what I do today.

I feel our society is too wrapped up in social media and portraying ourselves as influencers, documenting every single thing we do, that we never really have an opportunity to create memories with those around us. Just because we are so busy trying to “show off” our lives. That’s why I have taught myself to just put my phone down, and live in the moment, providing me with a plethora of opportunities to create life changing memories with family and friends. With this being said, that is probably why I have some many amazing memories, and there isn’t a particular one that out weighs the others.

If I can make this challenge into another challenge, (that’s annoying I know). I would like to test all of you to put down your phone. Next time you’re having a family dinner, leave your phone in your room. Next time you go out for coffee, leave your phone in your bag. Next time your kid wants to watch a movie, turn your phone off. Be in the moment. Spend time really giving your full attention to those around you, and you may just surprise yourself on all of the amazing things you’ve been missing out on. I can promise you, that your followers, will not miss seeing another picture of your coffee that you get everyday, nor will they die not knowing that you and your lover went out on a date, or that tonight is your girls night out. But your friends and your family, they will, and honestly, probably do miss your attention. They miss your time and they want you back, fully back to make memories that will last a lifetime.

I know the likes are addicting and the attention on social media is extremely flattering, but your friends and family have been by your side since the beginning. Don’t ditch them, and ruin memories by giving your all to your followers. Give your all to those who know and truly love you. Besides, if you spend all of your time on social media, creating this fantasy Instagram influencer life, are you really living?


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Meghanlee Phillips is the Editor-in-Chief of The Volk Magazine. With a passion for fashion, a love for writing and her lifestyle focused around mental health; she has been able to bring all three together to create the mid-western fashion/lifestyle magazine, The Volk. Keep up to date with her and her vibrant style by following @msmeghanlee (Instagram)