Hey, everyone! My name is Jennifer Vu, and I am the Director of Writing at Magnify Wellness. Thank you for being here! I’ll be sharing the stories that have shaped me into the person I am today and my journey thus far at Magnify Wellness.
TW: discussions of sexual harassment, Asian fetishization, and self-harm.
On the morning of February 17th, 2021, I was in an online class talking to my peers, in an individual breakout room we were assigned to. Suddenly, something struck my body — a voice filling up my mind. At this point, I relived an exact moment: what he had done on a FaceTime call three months before. All felt distant, except for this palpable memory. I was not who I am anymore. The only thing I could see was my 14-year-old self on FaceTime, the only thing I could feel was his eyes, staring at my body without a blink, and the only thing I could hear was his voice, constantly annoying me with statements about how good my body looked and making fetishizing remarks about the “fragility” of Asian girls.
Productivity keeps us moving toward finishing our work and motivates us to work harder to check off the bullets on our to-do list. Soon, it rewards us with the feeling that we need to work more to gain something, whether that would be a raise, becoming valedictorian, a Division I scholarship, or recognition from an important figure in our lives. Productivity brings us to our goals much more efficiently.
“Productivity Obsession,” also known as hyper-productivity, workaholicism, or overwork, describes how someone can be addicted to working and feeling productive. It’s an oxymoron derived from the need to micromanage every aspect of one’s life. The issue can be concealed extremely well and depends on many factors, but it all starts with one’s attachment and identity dependency on a job.
I woke up last week checking Snapchat with the Memories notification. “Memories last year” caught my interest. It was a video of my friends dying my hair purple. The bittersweet feeling of small anniversaries, either from happy experiences or a traumatic event, has moved me along my path of growth. Often, out of nostalgia, I’ll try to find something throughout the day that reminds me of that moment or listen to a playlist from that time. Our memories make us who we are, and when the one-year mark comes, we’ll notice the ways we’ve grown.
Last summer came one of the most challenging internal conflicts I’ve faced as a developing teenager — all derived from one issue: insecurities and comparisons surrounding my body image. I constantly questioned, “Will I ever have as nice of a body as she does?” or “Will the boys ever notice me or my body like they notice hers?” Struggling with body image was only one example of how comparison impacts us. At fourteen, I thought I was ready to tackle the revolting world of social media and the pressures that come from interacting with people around me.
Of course, when we’re young, we have a lot of time to physically grow and change. Unfortunately, I was reluctant to listen to any of these reassurances and continued to try unrealistic diets and exercise to be like the other girls.
Star Wars fans are using the film franchise to make connections to their mental health.
Written by Caleb Izaguirre
With The Bad Batch releasing on Disney+ this Tuesday, many fans are eager to watch their favorite characters return for a follow-up to The Clone Wars. And while May 4th is Star Wars Day, there are more than a few avid members of the fandom who like to celebrate the month’s official designation as Mental Health Awareness Month.
Hey dad, how much do you love me? You have written countless letters reciting the words, but have you felt them? I see you lay the words out on paper, but I cannot measure them. Should I have counted that time you forgot to pick me up after school? A lesson on patience, perhaps. Or should I have added in when you told me in fifth grade that I must go to Harvard or you’d be distressed? Maybe that was your way of inspiring me to dream big. Or was your love multiplied when you started a new family?
The above picture shows a group of friends. This group happens to be made up of the main characters of a video game called Persona 4, and the picture does a great job of depicting each of the characters’ unique personalities: Rise looking at Yu with admiration, Naoto hiding half of her face with her hat (which reflects her tendency to hide who she is), and Chie’s cheerful look towards the camera. The image serves as a great way of communicating how these characters are during the game’s story. Even though these people have different personalities, the image beautifully shows how they all accept each other for who they are and love each other all the same.
As we approach a year of mentally and physically breaking pandemic life, concrete statistics don’t yet exist to put numbers to what people have felt and absorbed. But numbers often miss the core of every story. In this case, they would reinforce a narrative which we already know and feel but don’t yet have words for: people struggle profoundly with their mental health. Now that hindsight truly is 2020, we must collectively think critically about the question: what should the mental healthcare field look like?