Why having self initiative is key to maintaining sound mental health….and how sugary cereal helps too.

Im burning the midnight oil to get all the final details (of which in this pilot program there are none) of my work in San Jacinto these past 6 months . Tomorrow I will have a second site visit and as a volunteer who isin’t particularly close to headquarters (about 4 hours) I am really excited because I get some personal direction for my service. I’ll admit that I’m going through a personal low of service. It just takes so much effort and energy to always be the initiator and give this project the attention it needs.

There are aspects to my service that I am really enjoying; field work with agriculture, R&D on products and connecting with local artists to name a few. Alternatively, there are parts of my service that I have to try EXTRA hard to get out of bed for in the morning like teaching at the local school, developing curriculum and trying to understand the complexities of our relationship with our Host Country Partner.

Today I was spending most of my day on curriculum building for the Local Community Entrepreneurship/Financial Literacy Classes I host for anyone who is willing to hear a different point a view. It was particularly hard for me to sit down and focus this time around because I had just returned from a rest day in the city where my older brother treated me to a room with plush bed and HOT WATER (so worth it I would 10/10 do again).


I had returned to reality(home) and eleven had creeped up on me. Rain was trickling down and I was laying in bed with Netflix before I decided that I couldn’t go on like this. I  needed to motivate myself to get out of bed make me a nice bell pepper scramble and start my day.

I had taken 2 days to sulk and be in bed feeling frustrated and tired, and I am glad I took some time to recharge.

Being in the pilot program has taken a massive toll on my personal morale and I feel a little defeated. One of the lessons rubbing off on me here is to always take self initiative to set goals and hold yourself accountable while simultaneously being realistic and not too hard on myself. When you first join everyone tells you to set your expectation, not to think you’re going to change the world. Part of the reason my morale is so low is that the realization that I wont be able to answer all the questions I have about my project. Even though everyone had warned me it still feels rather sad when you’re living that moment.

I only have control over what I can contribute day by day and take things one step at a time. One I get into my work “groove” I often work for hours at a time. Today I did a 1:00pm-8:00pm shift from home developing work plans/materials. This is where the sugary cereal comes in because I don’t have time to be a boss volunteer, unpack AND have time to cook. Here on the coast the life motto is tómalo suave (take it easy). I’m taking the local advice when it comes to working on balancing the PCV workload and my mental sanity throughout service.

As the day concludes I’m hopeful that all my hard work will bleed into my pending site visit, with 5 new classes developed and celebrating my little victory of finally getting out of bed.

P.S. Mental health Vacation back home (Miami) departs in 15 days ❤


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