meet chrissy rutherford
The fashion writer, brand consultant, and mental health advocate who believes it doesn’t matter how much work you’re doing on yourself and how great your self-care routines are, sometimes there are things that knock you off your ass and you need to take a break.
What are some objects that keep you grounded?
I love Weed Sport CBD Muscle Rub because as someone who is very anxious and since our minds are so deeply connected to our stomachs, whenever I’m feeling really anxious, my stomach will be in knots and this CBD topical is a magic cure. I rub it on my stomach and within 5 minutes, I’ll feel better. I always keep it by me and it’s pretty helpful with any physical stress I’m feeling.
Also, Osea has this Vagus Nerve mist with calming ingredients like lavender and eucalyptus and that’s nice to spray on my pillow when I’m going to bed at night or even in the morning.
What has always been a form of self-care for you?
Journaling is something that I have been doing since I was in second or third grade. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve always been super creative with a very overactive imagination as a child. As I’ve gotten older, it’s helpful to process feelings and get things out that you’re holding onto. I always feel like a weight has been lifted off me after I get my feelings down on paper.
“I don’t use any journaling techniques. I am a free writer.”
I start writing and I write and I write until my arm is tired or I don’t have anything else to say. I try to do it weekly, but I would say I probably journal two to three times a month because I’m writing so much. If I feel like I’m going through a hard time, I’ll see that I’ve journaled a lot more than when things are going well.
In terms of my newsletter, I try to write it like I would write in a journal that a friend is going to read. I first launched my newsletter to share a lot of things I feel I’m still playing catch up. I try to bring in things in the present, of course, but it’s very heavy on reflection for me.
How does routine play a role in your mental health?
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It has a huge impact on my mental health because I’m someone who wakes up super hungry and is ready to eat. If I do not have a good breakfast, it throws off the rest of my day.
Back when I was working in an office and was busy all the time, I was rushing to get ready and get out the door. I always felt very frazzled when I had to go to the coffee shop around the corner and grab a croissant or grab a bagel. I love the act of being at home and making breakfast for myself and sitting down and eating. Maybe listening to a podcast or reading a book or even scrolling on my phone. Then I have a cup of tea and I’ll bring it up to my bed and get my emails done and whatnot.
How would you describe your mental health currently?
I just came off of a very weird week where I was feeling very depleted. There were some outside influences going on in my life and I was very worried and kind of over-functioning to take care of others around me. That really took a toll on me. I’m definitely one of those people where I always feel like I’m not stressed. I can handle it. Mentally, I’m like, I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. But it definitely shows up in my body more noticeably.
I have really good coping mechanisms and self-care is something I always practice, but normally I can bounce back from something within two, three days. It’s a reminder that it doesn’t matter how much work we’re doing on ourselves and how great our self-care routines are, sometimes there are things that knock us on our ass and you need to take a break. We all live in a very busy world where we are encouraged to constantly be going, going, going, going. Sometimes there is a disconnect between the mind and body.
How does intimacy and relationships impact your mental health?
Intimacy is super important to me, especially in terms of friendships. I’ve always been someone who has cultivated deep friendships because I like to be honest and open. I like to share my feelings and I always make sure to make space for those in my life to do the same with me.
What’s your take on medication like anti-depressants or supplements?
I’ve never been on antidepressants. I’ve had conversations with my doctor in the past about trying them because of how much anxiety can add to my stomach. But ultimately, I decided not to. I was a little scared about the side effects and how it might change the way that I function. I had such an interesting conversation with my doctor about it. I told her, I’ve made it this far without it. I don’t think I need it. And she said, “It’s always the people like you who are so resistant to it because you think that you need to suffer through it. That makes a lot of sense because there are no prizes in this life for suffering.
“I feel like I’ve put myself through a lot of agony to work through the anxiety issues I’ve had since I was a teenager.”
But I have also leaned on a prescription for Xanax here and there, especially when I travel because I have flying anxiety and it has been pretty instrumental in me being able to travel as often as I was these last couple of years. I definitely would not have been able to do it without it. I am in support of antidepressants. There are people in my family who have taken them. I think it’s really important that it be taken with therapy because we can get to a place where it’s an easy fix or it is a little bit of a bandaid when you use that to help you work through the deeper things.
What makes you stressed or anxious and impacts your mood?
Living with my parents. Truly. It’s a generational thing. I’ve been in therapy since I was a teenager doing the work and trying to unpack our generational trauma. It can feel very isolating at times because you see things that no one else is able to see. It feels very much like a catch 22 because it’s incredible to have the awareness. But at the same time, again, it can be isolating when you’re the only one that is working through this stuff and is the only one that can see it.
When do you feel most at peace?
In my bed reading.
When do you feel your body tense up?
When I feel like I haven’t done a good job.
What gives you serotonin?
Being outside in the sunshine.
What does your body language say about you?
I would hope that it is welcoming.
When do you speak your mind?
Any chance I get.
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