Name: Lina Morales
City: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Fav thing about your city: It is absolutely breathtaking in the summertime. Living downtown, everything is a short walk away and there's always something to do
Tell us a fun fact about yourself: I was born in Colombia and lived there until I was 9 before I moved to Canada, so Spanish is my first language!
What is your connection to mental illness?
I was diagnosed with major depression 2 years ago. Since then I've noticed that my worst moods would come during the same times each month, so I started taking hormonal birth control to see if regulating my hormones would help (and it did!!). Although I wasn't diagnosed, I think it's safe to say I have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Basically it's really really bad PMS, and when it hits me I can go from feeling amazing to not wanting to be alive literally overnight. It sucks. Plus menstruation is still somewhat of a taboo topic so this isn't something that people normally talk about, but it's very real.
I've been told that I "don't really have depression" before, that it could be caused by frustration or that it's just sadness but not actual depression. Personally, I don't care about having an actual title. I was given "depression" over 2 years ago, but right now knowing exactly what is wrong isn't that important. What really matters is that I know there is something wrong, and I need/want to get help.
What does your everyday look like?
Wake up, go to class, come home and rest while I eat, do homework, relax for an hour or two, go to bed. Some days I'll go to the gym after class, run errands, or take a nap if I had a restless night. I usually tidy up my room while I'm relaxing before bed, and I get everything ready for the next day so my mornings don't feel rushed.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There's gonna be so many things that you think you can't get over, but as time passes you learn to handle them without even realizing it. Life goes on, and eventually you do get over those struggles and painful experiences. Things always end up better than you expect them to be, it just takes time to realize it.
Who is a Role Model to you?
Someone who dreams big, really big, and goes after it no matter what. My sister always had these huge ideas and plans for her life, whereas I've been more of a realistic person bound within my own limitations. She worked incredibly hard with her studies, finances, and networking, and now she's living in California studying for her dream job. Her persistence continues to encourage me every time I think something isn't possible or can't be done, and that inspiration is something I'm very glad to have in my life.
How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
I go to the gym in the morning, run any errands I need to run around the city, then go home and shower. I spend the rest of my time tidying up around my apartment, doing laundry, and watching Netflix. During that time I'll do my nails, maybe colour, and put on a face mask to pamper myself. Then I'll plan out my week in my Passion Planner, get all my things ready for the next day, and go to bed around 10 so I can have enough rest.
Photos by Dylan Hale