I’m not going to lie to you: I love being productive. Like, realy love it. It is quite possible that this is due to my Virgo rising and is an inherent, star-assigned part of my personality.

It’s also quite possible that because astrology is not science and because we live in the 21st century my slight obsession with productivity is nature, not nurture, and has been subliminally logged in my brain since birth.

And I do mean since birth. I vividly recall my mother bragging to her friends that I walked at months old and talked at 11 months. At…


The cozy, dimly lit room began to fill with physicians from all across the Bay Area. As people trickled in, the energy was a mixture of excitement and curiosity about how the day ahead of us would unfold. On a summer morning, at a recording studio turned wellness club in sunny Sausalito, California, we watched as physicians took the first step toward healing themselves, and then ultimately, healing healthcare.

Mindful MD started as a question — how can we talk about physician burnout in a new, innovative way that creates change? The last thing we wanted was to pull a…


(aka How a Perfectionist Mantra Kept Me From Experiencing Joy)

Growing up, I enjoyed writing; I penned an entire sequel to The Neverending Story in 4th grade (this is before there was an actual sequel). I wrote angsty poems and filled journal after journal with plans for my grown-up life. Because I enjoyed writing and had a knack for it, my parents told everyone — and I do mean everyone — “Christina’s a writer.” Being told from such a young age that I was something (writer), I believed that I was a writer. Not that writing was something I was good at. Or something I enjoyed. …


Years ago, at my first corporate job, I had a boss that loved to see his employees sweat. He had a fear-based leadership style; being asked to come into his office was enough to bring on heart palpitations. Even if no one had done anything “wrong,” he liked to make sure we were on the edge of our seats, waiting for bad news. If you had done something wrong…brace yourself, “winter is coming.”

That was a toxic workplace in every sense of the phrase. What made it worse was my anxiety — I’ve long struggled with not feeling smart enough…


For about nine months, I didn’t feel like doing much. I was depressed with a capital D. It took all I had to get through my workday. When my obligations were fulfilled, all I wanted to do was binge watch The Good Place and scroll mindlessly through Instagram. It didn’t feel good, necessarily. But it took significantly less energy than it did to do, well, anything else.

In my post, An Ode to My Prozac, I wrote about how I felt when I had been taking Prozac for about three months: “I wake up feeling energized and excited about the…


As I lay there in a darkened room, on a yoga mat surrounded by 10 other people immersed in their own breath, I felt the weight of so many years of perfectionism. With every breath I pulled in and released, I could feel my mind fighting against itself — you’re not doing it right, you’re supposed to do it faster, why can’t you get this right?, if you’re not going to do it right why do it at all?


January felt like 3 months and February felt like a week. How is that such a universal truth? Everyone I’ve talked to lately expresses the same sentiment. March is just a couple days away now and I wanted to take some time to follow up on my last post with some actionable ideas for how to spend that alone time I’m encouraging you to carve out for yourself.

Self-care is so important but sometimes it can feel a little daunting. Especially when we’re bombarded with the versions of self-care so prevalent on Instagram. Amil Niazi said it so well: The…


Have you heard Ariana Grande’s new song NASA? “I’mma need space, I’mma I’mma need space” <<< — basically my theme song. Because I love and need alone time. But I wasn’t always this way.

When I was in the Navy, circa 2008–2010, I hated to be alone. I would immediately feel restless and uncomfortable and seek out company. The feelings that came up when I was alone were just too much for me to deal with at the time. So I surrounded myself with people constantly — which isn’t particularly hard to do when you live on base in barracks.


The llama on my left is named Pablo. I know because I asked the women, “Como te llama, de llama?” and though I butchered the grammar, the joke crossed language barriers and the women laughed out loud. Making a word pun in Spanish is one of my favorite memories of this trip.

Darkness had fallen, the sky draped around the Vilcabamba mountains like a mother wrapping her child in a blanket. The inhalation moved air to every cell of my body and as I glanced upward, the deepness of my breath surprised me — as though my lungs were being filled directly from the cosmos. I leaned into the feeling of fullness, allowing my eyes to consume as many stars as possible between blinks. Mesmerizing, brilliant, absorbing, the sheer amount of light pouring down from the night sky was like a fireworks display of astronomical proportions. …


The orange bottle wrapped in white pharmacy instructions sits next to a mug that reads Mercury Is In Retrograde. It holds Four Pilot G2s and some of those old school Bic’s with the different color options. This little stash of necessities also includes a bottle of jasmine body oil, a deck of affirmation cards, and a bottle of super strength CBD oil.

Take 1 capsule by mouth every day, the bottle directs. The day I picked my prescription up from CVS, I felt disappointed in myself for needing an antidepressant again. I’d been off of my old medication since April…

Christina Vanvuren

Healthcare brand strategist passionate about women’s health + mental health. Mom. Human. Explorer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store