It’s one of the most important tools in her toolkit. That’s the way Krystianna describes the North YMCA and its role in helping her navigate life as a new mother. The Mead-area native says she comes to the Y, not to work out, but to have some quiet time to focus on all the things she can do while sitting down and taking a breath. “I’m taking courses to complete by Bachelor’s in Communications, so it gives me time to do homework. It also gives me time to decompress and I’ve made friends here. It’s hugely important for my mental health, just to have time to…write in my journal or work on my blog.” That time to herself is important for Krystianna as she cares for her 9-month-old son, Weston. Although, her baby boy isn’t the only thing she has on her plate.
Krystianna is open about her struggles with depression and bipolar disorder. Instead of hiding behind her fight, she embraces the challenges she has faced as a person and a new mother, “People will say ‘you know you’re not alone’ but that doesn’t always help…it still feels pretty alone. But coming to the Y supports me in that way.” Knowing Weston is safe and happy in Child Watch gives her the chance to keep positive energy flowing. “Sometimes feelings of guilt, worthlessness and depression creep in and I can start to beat myself up. But having a chance to get things done, accomplish some goals and make progress here at the Y, helps me feel so much better about myself.”
Krystianna says between the time spent being productive, planning things out and socializing benefit her and her family long after she walks out the door, “I always leave feeling better than when I walked in. It’s infectious.”