And it’s possible to change Mother’s Day emails

It all started with an email. First the one that I got sent to my inbox by a dear friend with a subject line that read, “Thought this was really cool.”

The body of the email was a :

For context, I am someone for whom Mother’s Day is really hard. After losing my mom when I was 10 years old, Mother’s Day was never the same. I would still get my grandma (legal guardian) a card, but it was always with a sense of nostalgia. …

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Here’s my theory

The question I posed in the title is an honest one that I hope you’ll take the time to answer. I asked it to myself back in January. I was sitting up against a white wall in my apartment when the Zoom host let me into a room full of other students who were there for the same class — a writing habit class.

I signed up for the class because I wholeheartedly believed that I was lacking motivation, determination, or something else ending in “-tion” and that if I could just find it then I would churn out all…


It serves a different purpose

I love quotes. I keep a note in my phone with lines from books, sentences in articles, or lyrics in songs that I really enjoyed reading. On bad days when the motivation to write isn’t there, I’ll pull up the note and turn to some of my favorite writing-related quotes.

One of my recent additions is from Maren Morris’ “Line By Line” song:

“If I tried to sum it up I know I’d get it wrong
Sometimes if it don’t sound right
I apologize, I just said it ’cause it rhymed”

I was drawn to…


Take back your time

There is nothing that suffocates my creativity more than my misguided belief that I have no time for it. I know this to be factually true and yet, I often come up against the same wall — “I need to do this right now, instead of writing…” or “I don’t have time to write.”

Lately too it’s become apparent that the “hashtag Monday Motivation” culture doesn’t serve me either. …


Whether you’re navigating loss, a bad day, or a new diagnosis these may help

When I first started journaling I had a hard time following other people’s tips on how to start and keep going. Often the journaling prompts felt out of place in the narrative of my own life. I didn’t want to write about the way the birds showed up at my window that morning because first I needed to get out of my own head, stop the spiraling thoughts, or understand how my grief was showing up on that given day.

I think the best part about writing prompts is that they are launching pads. They open a door that helps…


It’s the creativity reset you’ve been waiting for

My boyfriend and I make the joke that 7 is our pup’s favorite number. No rhyme or reason got us there, but it’s a thing we often turn to just for a laugh. I’ve noticed that those out-of-the-box funny moments have been even more important lately.

We’re all still in the middle of unprecedented times. , there was a 31% spike in Americans who self-reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. The numbers jumped from 11% in 2019 to 42% as of December 2020.

The impact of these times over the last year…


Hear me out

I was hosting a webinar on the power of creativity as an outlet to contextualize any hard lived experiences when someone brought up the topic of anger.

Grab the popcorn, settle back, because we are in for a ride.

If you’ve gone through hell and aren’t holding some resent, you’re lying. I lost my mom when I was 10 years old. If the day ended in the letter “y”, I was angry.

As a 21-year-old, I was my grandma’s primary caretaker and was put in the position of making end of life decisions for my second (and last) mom. …


It helps you hold onto hope

I didn’t realize I had a mental health bodyguard until I read an essay in Anne Lamott’s latest book, Dusk Night Dawn. In it she shares a story about a friend who told her that when he first meets anyone new, they meet his bodyguard. They meet the version of him that’s less in the moment because his mind is focused on something more than jokes — it’s using all available energy to scope out the perimeter and decide a space is safe enough to exist in.

Reading this essay gave me a way to label what I have been…


Here’s what it did for my creativity

My “for you page” on TikTok is a mix of videos about puppy training, interior decorating, and now ADHD hacks. The rabbit hole that got me to ADHD TikTok started with general anxiety and mental health TikTok videos. I both work in the mental health space and live with my own mental health realities, so I’m not surprised I got there.

I was surprised though at how helpful the tips have been. I live with anxiety and bouts of depression, a history of disordered eating, and a penchant for perfectionism, but never diagnosed with ADHD. I have yet to approach…


And you don’t have to do The Artist’s Way to benefit…

I started doing morning pages in January. I also started feeling the heaviest symptoms of seasonal depression in January. At first I saw this as a coincidence, but the deeper I get into the by Julia Cameron (where the morning pages habit originates), the more I think this is synchronicity at its best.

Here’s where I ask that you don’t stop reading because this isn’t just a piece for anyone who is doing The Artist’s Way, it’s a good read for anyone who is trying to figure out how to survive a hard season with borrowed enthusiasm…

Vivian Nunez

I write daily about creativity, grief and mental health.

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