Rid Yourself of Pre-Race Nerves with these 5 Thoughts

Today is race day! Woot! Woot! There’s such a difference between being in a live race verses training on the treadmill or even running outside solo. It’s invigorating. It’s waiting at the starting line anxiously to be let free! With all that said I totally get nervous before every race but let’s be real, what reasons do I really have to be nervous?

  1. Nobody else is paying attention to you. They’re all focused on their own running.
  2. Everyone else is pumped up too. We’re all there for the same main reason (to run! and many times for charity). Soak up that energy from around you!
  3. You really probably are not going to fall…and if you do, heck you have a story to tell now.
  4. Everyone is going to be sweaty and stinky during and after the race…we all look like hell. We just ran in the blazing sun.
  5. Pride. The pride and the sense of accomplishment you have after you get to the finish line…it’s so worth it, every time.

Not up for a live race yet? No worries, check out some of my favorite spots to sign up for virtual races. Virtual races can be done solo, on your own time, and anywhere – Like on a treadmill at the gym when there’s snow on the ground or throw one in on your training schedule to keep it fun.

www.virtualstrides.com

www.virtualpaceseries.com 

www.medalmiles.com

14 Reasons to Eat the Superfood Snack Blueberries

Berry-picking season has begun. I love berries! I’m more of a raspberry and blackberry kind of girl but my son especially loves blueberries. Blueberries are an amazing and tasty Superfood!  They are the perfect low-calorie snack for hot, Summer days.

  1. They help detox the body.
  2. Blueberries contain vitamins, nutrients and minerals that help improve brain function.
  3. They promote digestion and helps prevent constipation.
  4. Blueberries contain compounds that help prevent and fight cancer.
  5. They’re good for the heart and help keep blood pressure under control.
  6. Blueberries are a snack that uplift your spirits. They can act as a natural anti-depressant.
  7. They boost your immune system.
  8. Blueberries are high in fiber and help you stay full and aid in weight loss.
  9. The minerals and vitamins in blueberries help improve and maintain bone health.
  10. Blueberries assist in the promotion of good eye health.
  11. They have been shown to help prevent wrinkles, age spots and acne.
  12. Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  13. They are great to snack on after a workout because they help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.
  14. Blueberries also help promote healthy hair and hair growth.
* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.

10 Powerful Life Lessons That Will Make You Happier

I have been thinking of writing a post of this sort for a few years now…well since the year I turned thirty…this coming August I’ll be turning thirty-four…guess I felt I still had some lessons to learn before I was ready to share. I used to think that roadblocks, delays or procrastination were forms of failure. I thought that they were things holding us back from success. Today I sit and I ponder the idea that maybe all of those things get in our way to help us be more prepared for when the opportunity strikes. Take dating for example. I haven’t ever met anyone that doesn’t have a story of heartbreak. Heartbreaks are necessary for our growth, an opportunity to learn more about our ourselves and about what we not only want in our lives (and relationships) but also what we need. I believe that applies in several other areas of our lives as well. The failed business or career dreams that pushed us to learn new skills and new ways to prevail. I’m not the same girl I was twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even a year ago. I’ve evolved with every experience and it’s a beautiful and powerful process and I owe that to the challenges, the delays and the procrastination that gave me the time to absorb the things I needed to become this person. 

  1. Learn to love yourself. – Learn to love yourself fully, unconditionally and fiercely. I know I preach this all of the time but this was one of my greatest lessons. Love yourself the way you love others. You deserve as much love yourself as you give out to others. This doesn’t mean I don’t get disappointed with myself, it doesn’t mean that I think of myself higher than anyone else either. It means that I have to see myself in the perspective that I look at others in. It means that I have to see the good in myself everyday, it means that I have to be accepting of who I am and also take responsibility for the things I want to change and how I want to grow. It means I have to make it a priority to take care of myself – body, soul, mind and heart.
  2. Learn to forgive. – Forgive everything, everyone, every situation. Spite and anger will eat you from the inside out. We’ve all been hurt, we’ve all dated the jerk, we’ve all been slighted or been cut in front of in line, life just sucks sometimes. Sometimes it just has to come down to spitting out the famous phrase, “shit happens” and moving on.
  3. Be patient. – I suck at patience. I want instant gratification just as bad as the rest of you do. I want to awake in the morning and have an empire sitting in front of me. I want the paint on my canvas to dry immediately…but time is something we need to discover possibilities. Time is space, space allows things to grow. Be patient and allow the process to roll out.
  4. Anger is okay sometimes. – Anger can be a motivator – if and only if you learn how to process it effectively and thoroughly. Anger is not a true emotion, it is a reaction to other emotions. You become angry because you are hurt, or scared, or disappointed or whatever. Expose the true root of the anger. Use this to motivate you to make positive changes.
  5. You are responsible for yourself, not anyone else. – For what you do and for how you feel. You want to be happier? Stop blaming it on circumstances in your life…either choose a new perspective or change the circumstances.
  6. Don’t accept the mundane. – Do something you love everyday. Add your twist on everything. Make every moment magical. Love glitter? Carry the damn glitter notebook. Live your life full of color. Shake it off and laugh often.
  7. Take time to be lazy. – I am actually one of those weirdos that likes to stay busy. I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have a notebook full of to-do tasks and at least ten projects in motion, but you’ll burn out. I know this from experience (lots of experience) and yes I still struggle with this one but I’m getting better, Netflix helps…
  8. Stand up for yourself. – In all places (respectfully of course) but in all areas of your life. Speak your mind.
  9. Never stop learning. – I believe that we are meant to explore, experience and absorb as much information and wisdom as we can in our lives. Life is supposed to flow, we are not meant to be stagnant.
  10. Take risks. – Make a bucket list. Don’t let fear hold you back from goals, dreams, or telling someone how you feel.

 

How to Stop Making Assumptions About Yourself

You know the saying “assume makes an ass out of you and me”? How many times does this prove true? How many times do you find that your assumptions about a situation or a person turn out wrong? I’ll say 8 out 10 times…sometimes it’s not an assumption, it’s an intuition. But that’s not what I was going to chat about tonight…

Tonight I wanted to talk about how we don’t only make assumptions about situations and other people but we fall into the same trap about ourselves. We assume we’ll react to a certain situation, we assume we can’t accomplish a goal……the assumption we create in our head is manifested by fear isn’t it? Don’t we get to choose how we react in a situation? Don’t we get the chance to make a difference? Don’t we have the power to push past fear and set our minds to reach that goal?

So are assumptions actually blocks we put in place to protect ourselves from disappointment? What if you pushed through those thoughts? What if you took the power back and opened your mind, saw past the blocks we put in place?

Another place we make assumptions is in how other people view us. The best advice I ever read is “what other people think about us is none of our business”… mostly true. Physically, let that shit go. Learn to love yourself and how you look. Love your body, your mind, your heart and your soul. If you love yourself fiercely, then others will too – and more importantly the right people will love you no matter what. If you want to lose weight or get more fit, then do it for yourself and not for anyone else because that really is none of their damn business.

I find myself in thoughts of worrying about what other people think about me and how I make them feel…so I’ve started asking instead of assuming. Asking gives me the power over my mind. It becomes their responsibility to be honest with me.

My challenge to you (and to myself) is when you find you’re making an assumption, stop… do this instead:

  1. Break it down – dissect it. What concerns, thoughts, fears are driving you to this assumption?
  2. Evaluate it – Okay, are these concerns and fears justified by facts? Are they based on previous experiences and can you take steps to change the outcome?
  3. What other possible outcomes are there? Is your assumption built up of ultimate facts?
  4. If it’s proven facts that the outcome will be then it’s not an assumption…if it’s an assumption, take a deep breath and let it go.

5 Spring Cleaning Hacks for the Super Busy

We all know how life can get…crazy, hectic, a mess…When you’re super busy trying to keep your house clean can feel like that final push off the ledge…never enough time to get it all done…but you’re in luck today because I have 5 super hacks from the fabulous Gemma Tyler from www.smartvacuums.co.uk! 

Spring cleaning is one of the most relaxing things you can do, after all, it means that you are giving your home the deep clean it needs so that it is ready for the summer. Of course, many of us are incredibly busy with work and family, so there isn’t always time to get it done in one fell swoop. To help those who are super busy, we have a few top tips to ensure that you get the spring cleaning done, and done well.

#1 One Room at a Time

If you look at the big picture, the whole thing becomes overwhelming, and so the best thing you can do is take it in stages. When you start cleaning, just go for one room at a time. You could focus on cleaning the bathroom on Monday, the kitchen on Tuesday, and so on. Work around your own work/life schedule so that you leave enough time to clean, but also to relax. After all, you don’t want to burn yourself out.

#2 Organise Your Wardrobe

Spring is here, and winter has left until the end of the year, so now is the time to sort your wardrobe out. Take those winter clothes and sort through them. Get rid of the items that you won’t wear again (donate them to charity), and put the rest in the back of your wardrobe, or on the far end, where they can be stored safely and nicely until the cold weather returns. You can also sort through your spring clothing before placing it at the front where it is most accessible.

#3 Declutter

Take the time to declutter each room as you clean. Over the course of a year, we all end up with stuff that shouldn’t be there, and clutter truly can be the worst when it comes to collecting dust and making a room look untidy. Ask yourself if you really want or need an item before placing it in a box and donating it to charity, or putting it back where you found it (after cleaning it). The process of decluttering can leave you feeling lighter and more relaxed as your home starts to look better.

#4 Clean the Light Fixtures

It’s amazing how much dust and dirt your light fixtures will collect, and when you are organising your cleaning schedule, you simply must remember to take a moment to quickly dust them off. It’s a fast process, and all you need is a dusting cloth to get it done. On top of and around the lampshades, the top of your light switch, all of these places are dust traps. It’s a cleaning task that will only take a moment and leave the air in your home feeling clearer than ever.

#5 Vacuum Little and Often

Getting the vacuum cleaner out is important, as most of the dirt and grime in your house can be found in carpets, rugs, and on your flooring in general. You should try to fit in a little vacuuming three times a week, or once a day if you have multiple pets in the home or high volumes of traffic.

You should also consider investing in a model that has a HEPA filter, as this acts to trap all of the dust and allergens, allowing only clean air to be pushed back out. This means that you have less dust to clean up later – as everything is trapped in the vacuum. It’s the best way to rid your home of dirt and debris quickly and efficiently.

To Conclude

Hopefully, this has helped make your spring cleaning efforts a little easier. After all, it’s not easy running your life and finding time to clean. The best thing to do is to look at the smaller chunks instead of the big picture so that you don’t get overwhelmed, and to take the time to declutter when you can. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be done in a day!

About the Guest Author

Gemma Tyler is a freelance writer and blogger. You can keep up to date by following Gemma on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest. If you are interested in reading more of her vacuum and cleaning related content, be sure to check out her ultimate guides here .

50 Self-Care Focused Hashtags to Follow for Encouragement

I am a big believer of surrounding yourself with inspiration and motivation. Some days we need a little push to get us through the day. Social media has had a huge impact on what we are surrounded by, unfortunately sometimes it can inundate us with negativity but we can take control of it to help skew what we interact with on a daily basis.

  1. Unfollow folks on social media that are constantly posting negativity. 
  2. Limit how much you watch the news. It’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world and in your community but manage how often you’re taking it in. Choose one time per day to watch/read the news.
  3. Control how you are obtaining the news. Focus on using reliable media companies to get your news verses taking it in on social media sites. If you see something on social media, research for a fact filled story to follow up on what you saw.
  4. Express how you are feeling about the negativity you came in contact with. If it was something on the news that hit you hard, sit and write a list of what you can do to make a positive impact in response to it. If it was a negative situation you were involved in, take some time to journal and work through your feelings.
  5. Shift the scales and add more positive posts and images into your social media feeds. Follow inspirational accounts and motivational hashtags.

  1. #selfcare
  2. #selfcarematters
  3. #learningtolovemyself
  4. #selfcarefirst
  5. #selfcaretips
  6. #selfcare101
  7. #selflove
  8. #selflovematters
  9. #selflovefirst
  10. #loveyourself
  11. #selfcaresunday
  12. #selfcareissexy
  13. #selfcareissacred
  14. #selfcareisntselfish
  15. #selfcareeveryday
  16. #selfcareisnotselfish
  17. #selfcareeverydamnday
  18. #selfcareisimportant
  19. #selfcareempowerment
  20. #selfcaredaily
  21. #selfcareiskey
  22. #selfcareritual
  23. #selfcaresaturday
  24. #youdoyou
  25. #putyourselffirst
  26. #sundayselfcare
  27. #youareworthy
  28. #takecareofyou
  29. #selflovery
  30. #selflovejourney
  31. #selfloveproject
  32. #selfloveadvocate
  33. #selflovesunday
  34. #selfloveisdope
  35. #selflovewarrior
  36. #selfloveclub
  37. #selflovemovement
  38. #selflovechallenge
  39. #selfcaretribe
  40. #selflovequotes
  41. #selfloveisthebestlove
  42. #selfcareboss
  43. #selfcarerocks
  44. #selfcarequotes
  45. #selfcarediva
  46. #selfcarewarrior
  47. #selfcarechallenge
  48. #selflovetips
  49. #selfcareday
  50. #selflovetribe

Challenge Yourself to Pump Up Your Self-Care

Need a little boost in your Self-Care? Need to give yourself a little bit more love?

Here’s Five Challenges to give a try:

  1. 21 Day Self-Care Challenge from Brit+Co
  2. 30-Day Self Care Challenge from Brianna Fae
  3. 33 Questions That Will Boost Your Self-Care Routine from AJAEDMOND
  4. 7-Day Self Love Journaling Challenge from LiveStrong.com
  5. 30-Day Life Makeover Challenge (A Month of Affirmations for Inner Peace and Self Love) from KelseyAida

10 Posts to Read When You Need Some Advice for Life

This one is for my fellow bloggers (and everyone else too!) – Do you ever find yourself in need of a little reminder of your own best advice? When you’re feeling a little off, a little bit more vulnerable than other days and you think hey I totally wrote a blog post about that and I need a little kick in the butt…well I do so I thought “hey, this could make a fun, little round-up post”, are you with me?

When I’m feeling overly self-critical about choices I’ve made in my life: 10 Quotes that Help Me See the Silver Linings in My Mistakes

When I’m feeling a little lonely being a single gal: Why I’m Enjoying Being Single Right Now

When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed: 12 Ways to Deflate Anxiety Naturally

When I need to add a boost of some extra self-care into my week: 55 Self-Care Activities to Add to Your Schedule

When my schedule has gotten super chaotic: How to Plan a Healthy Schedule when you’re Super Busy

When I need a some positive inspiration: How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide your Life & Happiness

When I need to love myself a little more: You are a Magical, Beautiful Being: 15 Affirmations for Self-Love

When I find myself feeling a bit judgmental: Why It’s Important to Let Go of Toxic Judgments

When I need a little help getting my finances back on track: How to Build a Budget for those that Hate Budgets

When my to-do list has gotten out of control: How to Build a Better To-Do List

12 Ways to Make the Most Out of a Rainy Day

How do you feel about rainy days? Do you find yourself feeling slumped? Do you put your activities on hold, stuck in a spiral of bummed out feelings? 

Rainy days don’t have to be bummed out days. You can embrace them, take comfort in the solitude and tranquility they can bring to you.

I love a good rainy day. A chance to slow down my routine a bit. To take advantage of the drops hitting the ground, reminding me to be mindful of what is brought to me in my life. I perceive rain as an opportunity for cleansing. As the rain washes the dirt from the road, I can take the day to refresh my soul and my mind. 

  1. Catch up on laundry – this is such a great day to get caught up on some of your home chores. You’re stuck in the house and have the opportunity to check some things off your to-do list for some peace of mind. Take advantage!
  2. Curl up and read a book.
  3. Stay in your pajamas and have a movie-thon or get a good day of Netflix binging in of your favorite show.
  4. Paint a portrait.
  5. Do an art & craft or a DIY project that you’ve been wanting to try.
  6. Clean up your computer files.
  7. Research and plan your next vacation – lift your spirits by thinking of how you’ll be enjoying the sunshine when it returns!
  8. Cook and prep your meals for the week.
  9. Have an at home spa day – take a long bubble bath, give yourself a facial, deep condition your hair, paint your nails.
  10. Have a game night.
  11. Spend some time on self-development – join an online development workshop, take an online course, journal.
  12. Meditate or do an at-home Yoga Practice.

5 Easy Ways to Listen to More Podcasts Everyday

I have come across some really awesome, kick-butt podcasts lately…it’s all the buzz right now, and with good reason too. There are so many powerful, amazing, inspiring, empowering podcasts out there! My Castbox subscriptions list is rolling with ones I am eager to listen to – and if I could sit around all day and listen to podcasts, I’m not going to lie, I probably would most days…but time doesn’t quite allow for that. With so many distractions already in the world, in my life, it can be a bit challenging sometimes to find times to listen to podcasts. 

  1. While you’re getting ready in the morning – I love to push play and connect to my wireless speaker and listen to an empowering podcast while I’m getting ready for the day. This is such an awesome way to get pumped up and ready to slay some goals!
  2. In the car on the way to the office – I have an hour commute to the office in the morning so this is a wonderful time to get one of the longer podcasts into my day. I’ll also occasionally pop one on while I’m running errands, just hitting pause in between of being in and out of the car.
  3. While you’re cooking dinner – Instead of turning on the TV for background noise, use this time to listen to the next exciting episode!
  4. At the gym – instead of hyped up music, I use this time to get some self-improvement tips in my mind. I tend to prefer music when I’m running but I like a good podcast while I’m lifting weights.
  5. Taking a bubble bath – wind down after a long day with an inspirational story.

Some Podcasts that are on my playlist right now:

The Lively Show

The Lavendaire Lifestyle

The Mindful Kind

Awesome with Alison

Your Kick Ass Life Podcast