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How to Manage Stress, Top Tips from Wellness Bloggers

Life can be tough. It can be challenging, busy, and stressful. Sometimes stress is unavoidable. But becoming over-stressed can hurt our health, state of mind, and our happiness. It’s important to make it a priority to help keep stress at bay no matter how hectic things get. I reached out to my community of Wellness Bloggers for their expertise on how to keep stress under control so that you can keep the joy high in your life and keep on managing every day beautifully and strong.

Julie Voss

www.hellopeacefulmind.com

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Julie was diagnosed with anxiety and depression during the summer of 2016 and has since helped hundreds of people fight these mental illnesses and become happier. Read Julie’s inspiring story, “My Journey Into Acknowledging The Depression” on www.hellopeacefulmind.com and find out how you can become happier too!

1.) The first thing to reduce your stress is to find out its source.

I used to start every day with one sentence “I don’t want to go to work.” At the time, I would wake up at 6:30 am, take a quick shower and rush toward the door with a snack in hand to be stuck in traffic for an hour.
No wonder I couldn’t get out of bed. Who is excited to start the day stuck in traffic?

So I realized that I needed to change my morning routine. Starting the day in such a negative and stressful note was transforming the whole week into a nightmare.

Now, I wake up at 7 am to do things that I love like working on Hello Peaceful Mind. I am no longer rushing out for work. I take the time to enjoy my morning by sitting down for breakfast and then I get ready to go to work.
By the time I leave the house there’s no more traffic and when I get home at night it only takes me 20 minutes!
I have to tell you that since I changed my schedule to avoid traffic (which was my main source of stress) I am so much happier!

So what is stressing you out and how can you change that?

2.) Break down your goals into smaller tasks.

Stress can come from many different reasons. For me, it’s usually because I have too many projects on my plate and I overwhelm myself.What happens is that I think about everything that needs to be done and get overwhelmed. So I don’t do anything. Then I stress about it and I am even less likely to work on it. Do you know this feeling?

Basically I get stuck in this vicious cycle.

But I decided to break this cycle and started writing down my goals and big projects. Then I break it down into smaller tasks. And every day, I add only 3 of these tasks into my to do list. This way I am no longer overwhelmed and I feel good every time I cross something off the list!

You should give it a try and let me know how you feel!

Laura Brassie

www.ivoryandpine.com

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Laura is a mental health therapist who works full-time in a hospital with patients in crisis. She launched the blog Ivory & Pine in September 2016, which focuses on intentional living, self care, and mental health. She loves spending time with friends, lots of coffee, hiking in the mountains, exploring new music, and helping others grow their own intentional life. She lives in Colorado.

1.) Build self-care into your busy day.

You don’t have to get a massage once a week or practice yoga for 3 hours a day, although more power to you if you can. Download podcasts so that you can listen to words of encouragement and learn something new during your commute. Get an essential oil diffuser and switch out scent combinations to help get you energized in the morning and relaxed at night. Do your best to meal prep the night before… it seriously feels so nice to be hungry and have a healthy meal right there, ready for you. Make your bed in the morning.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that help you feel like you are proactive about having a good day, rather than reacting to circumstances.

2.) Take a retreat.

I love the idea of periodic retreats.

If you can, take an hour a week, a day a month, and a weekend a year to totally disconnect from electronics, get away from the daily grind, and push that reset button on your soul.

Use this dedicated time to journal, meditate, pray, exercise, be out in nature… whatever helps you de-stress! It’s important to ask yourself tough questions during this time and answer them thoughtfully… increasing self-awareness is important.

You can do this retreat by yourself, with a partner, or a couple friends, but I would leave the group quite small. We can practice these things at home of course, and we should…. but distractions still come up constantly. I really value nature, and so I try to take my retreats out on trails or in the mountains. I always come back with a greater sense of peace.

Jessica Bignell

www.moderndaygirlblog.com

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Jess is a mental health blogger devoted to helping improve the lives of anxiety sufferers. She shares tips, help and advice for those struggling, so that they can live a better life. Anxiety can be controlled, rather than it controlling you.

1.) Look for the signs. 

Dealing with stress can be difficult. I find that sometimes I’m much more stressed than I might realize, and that my body is actually telling me more than I realize.

If this sounds like you, I would definitely pay more attention to what your body is telling you. It could be the little things like shaky hands, headaches, chest pains or back pain. Maybe you’re not sleeping well, or sleeping too much. If you can catch the stress early, you can work on how to make it better. For anxiety sufferers, it’s very easy to ignore the signs and thinking that you’re okay when you’re not.

As Julie mentioned, once you’ve figured out what is causing you extra stress, you can work on improving your situation.

2.) I find that writing can often be the best therapy for stress and anxiety.

You don’t even need to be a blogger to benefit from the therapeutic qualities writing has.

Quite a few of my friends suffer from anxiety and I always recommend writing as a way of releasing whatever is bothering them. I advise them to start with whatever is bothering them first (as sometimes you don’t always have someone to talk to). It doesn’t even to make a whole lot of sense, just getting it from inside the mind and onto paper helps relieve strain.

So the next time you’re feeling a little anxious, write about it, put pen to paper and write about how you’re feeling. What caused it? Is your stress and anxiety as a result of a situation you can work on? Do you need help from anyone else?

Get it written down.

Laura Romberger

www.dofivethingsaday.com

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Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She brings an eclectic mix of excitement, passion, and a story to tell of self-discovery, development, and love.

1.) Make sure you are well rested and getting enough sleep.

When we are overtired we aren’t as capable to manage emotions and stress. Being well rested will help you stay calmer and able to process situations better before reacting to them. I always find that I’m less stressed when I’m not so tired! 

2.) Set Boundaries.

Make sure you only take on what you can really handle. Steer clear of negativity. Take time for yourself.

I am a sensitive person and I naturally suck in everything around me. I need to make sure that I am setting limits on the amount of negativity I consume and I need to ensure I have time set for “me time” so I can recharge. 

Boundaries are important to keep you balanced.

Stress is a part of life but you can choose to not let it control you. We all have those days, don’t beat yourself up for it. When in doubt, reach out to your tribe, your close friends. Look for inspiration in all the RIGHT places. It’ll get you back on track.

You got this!

Inspiration & Motivation For When It’s Tough To Keep Going

I was browsing through some old posts, doing my monthly reflecting thing, and I came across this one. I wrote it in September of 2014, a true turning point in my life. With Easter soon here, it brings thoughts to mind of hope and new beginnings, a thought of how true pain can bring upon us glorious resurrection. I can’t say that my life became easy, or that heartache stopped to exist in my life after this turning point, and maybe some days I still don’t take it in the best stride, but I do come back from it every time, stronger than I was before. I can’t help but imagine that I am being trained for something so much greater out of this life. In the last three years, I’ve suffered more loss and held greater heartaches but I will not give up hope ever. I refuse to believe that life is anything other than a gift, that our suffering is anything other than lessons. I refuse to roll over and lay. My spirituality has shifted some as I grow but my core beliefs remain the same and I still believe. 

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have experienced many trials, challenges, and heartaches in my life (so far) but I do not look back at them with regret or resentment.  A couple of years ago when my ex left me three months before our wedding I was crushed, the very center I had built my future around had been shattered. Though I didn’t know it then, I had been saved. When my Grandmother passed away, I was deeply saddened, but with that sadness I found strength and courage. When my son was angry and told me he hated me I felt as if my heart had been pierced but it gave me focus and motivation to show him how much I loved him, to be a better Mother.
We will all have tragedies in our lives. Some we bring on ourselves, some that are dealt to us, but do not look at them as defeat, for there is no such thing as defeat. These are just twists in our path.

If it wasn’t for my heartaches, for the challenges I overcame then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or who I am today (or have the relationships I have today). Some hurdles I soared over, some I barely climbed but I can say with pride and boast that I survived them, I survived. The Universe does not break our lives but will always be there to give us strength to survive. We will be given the tools to rebuild. Life will always have tests – tests of strength,  tests of courage, and tests of faith.
Having faith isn’t about knowing what the outcome will be, it is about trusting that in the end it will all be well. I used to have a close friend that would always say, “It will be okay and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end”. Those words still linger in my mind. I truly believe that we are placed (or sometimes walk ourselves into) situations so that we may grow, that we may better ourselves. Ten years ago I didn’t have that same belief, I thought the world was against me. But then I learned some valuable advice – what makes us strong, what makes us happy, and what makes us wise is not what happens to us but it is in how we  react to it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am.

I don’t know what all will happen tomorrow but I do know that I will have faith to make it through and that I will come out a better person because of it.

I Choose to be, Therefore I am.

How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide Your Life & Happiness

Our beliefs can transform our lives. Many of my beliefs I have carried with me year after year,  helping shape me into the person I am today and the person I strive to be. These beliefs have continued to inspire and motivate me in each of my days. They give me strength and hope and the fire to keep going no matter what obstacles or heartache come my way.

Your beliefs become your perspective. 

What you put out into the world is what will be returned to you. Life is a circle, if you send good energy out, that is what you will be returned with. Although not all things in life will be roses, choose not to only see the thorns. Each experience that you have in life is preparing you for something much grander. If you chose to believe that, then you can be at peace in knowing that good things are coming no matter where you are in life right now. Keep your head up and keep pushing forward towards your goals and dreams and you will arrive when the time is right. Creating a positive mindset will help you get there. We each have the ability to change our way of thinking, to control how much power we give to negativity and circumstances, and the power to not allow situations or people control our emotions, feelings, and outcomes.

Create strong core beliefs and hold on to them to get you through anything. 

How to Let the Needy Friend Go

Sometimes we have to let people go just as we have to let things go. It can be hard, feelings of guilt or remorse can seep in. Sometimes we outgrow people, sometimes they aren’t healthy for us, sometimes it is just time to move on. We must let free all things that no longer serve value or purpose in our lives – things, people, jobs, habits…Just as a tree drops its leaves so that it may continue to grow we must also.

Dear Lost Friend,

You may think I don’t care, that I’m selfish or insensitive, but that isn’t the case. I needed to let you go. I needed to set us both free. I needed to make myself the priority and not you, not because I don’t care but because I cared too much. I needed to become the example so that I could be your teacher. I needed to stop being the shoulder you cried upon. I needed to show you how you have to put yourself first – not your wants or your desires, but your needs. I needed you to see how being alone could be a sanctuary, a place for you to heal and to rise again, stronger.

You have a piece of my soul with you always, and a spark, a connection to you, will always live inside of me. In so many ways we were the same, but placed in different worlds, different lives with different views. You are stronger than you would show, stronger than you knew, and I could see that in you. But you needed to step onto that ledge alone to find it. I couldn’t let you lean on me anymore. I had become your crutch, which wasn’t healthy for either of us. In separation we made each other stronger, more resilient, and brighter. 

Even though I am not by your side today, I still believe in you. You were meant for great things and I love you.

Always Sincere, xoxo. 

 

10 Positive Quotes for When You’re In a Rut

I get by with a little help from my friends.” ~ The Beatles

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for me. From feelings of stress to excitement to anxiety to rejection to frustration, it was quite the ride, I was all over the place. Just a passing time in my life. We all have these times, these ruts, those moments – and it’s okay, we’re human. I allowed the lack of balance in my life in those couple of weeks to get the better of me. I became overly self-critical and frustrated with myself. In reflection, that was the time I should have been more patient and more forgiving with myself. 

Yesterday I let it all out to my friends. It was like a I opened a stuck pipe…it was amazing, full of release, full of realness, it was like an ahhhh moment. It’s okay to need to lean on others sometimes. It’s okay to be in a funk and need a little help getting out of it. I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up trying to be so strong that sometimes I forget that I don’t need to do it on my own. Being truly strong isn’t about being on your own all the time, it isn’t about being able to carry the world on your shoulders and being able to take everything thrown at you in stride. True strength comes from being open about your vulnerability, it’s being confident in being able to ask for help when you need it, it’s about being honest about where you are in that moment. 

I’m glad I had that spurt of a rut. I’m glad that I had that learning opportunity. Because in it, I learned to be stronger, how to be more me, and was reminded how much love already exists in my life and around me. Being positive, being strong, and being a good person doesn’t mean we never have bad days or even weeks. It means that we can turn them around and that we can see a positive opportunity and lesson in them. 

1.) “Believe you can & you’re halfway there.” ~ T. Roosevelt

2.) “No rain, No flowers.” ~ unknown

3.) “Even the smallest steps move you forward.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

4.) “Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day. Stay positive.” ~ unknown

5.) “Life is tough, darling, but so are you.” ~ Stephanie Bennett Henry

6.) “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” ~ unknown

7.) “Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and become more comfortable not knowing.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

8.) “It’s okay to be a glowstick. Sometimes we have to break before we can shine.” ~ unknown

9.) “Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Never give up.” ~ Robert Schuller

10.) “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.” ~ unknown

 

Setting Healthy Boundaries: Simple Tips for a Happy Life

Boundaries. This is something I give a lot of thought to, something I’ve quite struggled with in the past – in relationships, in friendships, with family, and at work. It’s led me to feeling drained and burnt out many times. I know setting boundaries with those we care about can be tough, in fear of letting them down, but if we don’t it can lead to complete exhaustion, and even resentment. 

Setting personal boundaries is a very important aspect of taking care of ourselves and in building strong, healthy relationships with others. Boundaries are also key in keeping our lives balanced and keeping ourselves strong, physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you eat junk food too many days in a row, your body feels it. If you work too much overtime consistently, eventually you will burn out. If you are giving so much to everyone else, when and what are giving to yourself?  

Learn what limits you need to set (and stick to) in order to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and happy. I have learned that before I commit to something, I stop and I ask myself is this within my boundaries? Don’t be afraid to ask your night-owl friend not to text you after eleven because you have to get up early in the morning. Be honest with your boss if you’ve reached the total workload you can handle. Need some alone time? Then rain check on girls’ night out. Be honest with your partner if it bothers you that he teases you in front of your parents. In the end, being able to communicate your boundaries honestly will earn you respect, make you feel stronger, and will keep things more level for you – you’ll be happier you did! 

 


Another great link up for #LoveBlog2017! Today’s prompt was ‘Boundaries’. Why are boundaries so important to you? How do you stick to them?

Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Laurisa is one-third of an incredible team of women at Total Addiction.  Their mission is to encourage, uplift, and minister to other women. They collectively blog about their addictions to fashion, beauty, life, positivity, inspiration, and most of all, Jesus. When Laurisa isn’t at Total Addiction, you can find her at home with her hunky husband and their four delightful offspring.

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Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.

 Link Up!!!


Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!

The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

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15 Books To Bring More Self-Love & Self-Care Into Your Life

Ready to fall in love? Fall in love with yourself, strengthen your self-care routines and rise to your best self! 

What’s on my reading list: 15 Books To Bring Self-Love & Self-Care Into Your Life

(Click the titles for more details and easy shopping)

 

Radical Self-Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dreams – When you love yourself, life is limitless. You can do anything you want. In Radical Self-Love, you’ll discover exactly what makes you so magnificent, and you’ll gain a litany of tools and techniques to help you manifest a life bursting with magic, miracles, bliss, and adventure! Featuring fun homework exercises and cool illustrations, this book will take you from learning to fall madly in love with yourself, to loving others, to making your world a more magical place through style, self-expression, and manifestation.

 

 

Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman – Rise Sister Rise is a transmission that calls the innate feminine wisdom to rise. It is about healing the insecurities, the fears, and the inherited patterns that stop women trusting the Shakti (power) and wisdom (intuition) that effortlessly flows through them. Full of tools, calls to action, contemplative questions, rituals, and confrontational exercises, this book teaches women that it is safe to let Shakti rise, safe to trust their intuition, and safe to take leaps of faith – because in healing ourselves we are healing the world.

 

 

 

50 Ways to Yay!: Transformative Tools for a Whole Lot of Happy – In 50 Ways to Yay!, Alexi helps you with fifty motivating, empowering, and thought-provoking lessons and exercises to help you break out of the ordinary and jump into the extraordinary. With her guidance, you can experience a domino effect of inner peace, inspiration, and a whole lot of happy.

 

 

 

How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People): Spiritual Advice for Modern Relationships – How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People) is a smart, hip guide for spiritual seekers who want to experience more love and stability in all forms of relationships. At its core, this book is about learning to love yourself no matter what. Meggan and Lodro suggest that you are worthy of love, both self-love and the love of others. They aren’t experts on how to get that man or lady to fall in love with you, nor are they experts on how to have “the perfect relationship.” They are spiritual teachers who know that relationships have a life of their own, and can speak to the human element of what it means to experience them fully.

 

 

Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution. – Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

 

 

 

Self Care Matters: A Revolutionary’s Approach – For those self-care advocates, ambassadors and leaders in their communities needing a framework for serving others that incorporates practical self-care principles, this book is for you. For natural givers that want to continue giving without running themselves in the ground, this book is for you. For those in a business or personal relationship with someone that has poor self-care habits, this book is for you.

 

 

 

 

Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook – Based on Louise Hay’s bestselling book “You Can Heal Your Life” this interactive workbook is really about change. It directly applies Louise’s techniques of self-love and positive thinking to a wide range of topics that effect us all on a daily basis, including: Health Fears and Phobias, Sex, Self-Esteem, Money and Prosperity, Friendship, Addictive Behavior, and, Work and Intimacy.

 

 

 

The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time – This life-changing handbook by best-selling author Cheryl Richardson offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time. Designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble. The Art of Extreme Self-Care is a sane and sensible program that gives you the permission you need to dramatically upgrade your life!

 

 

The Goddess Revolution: Make Peace with Food, Love Your Body and Reclaim Your Life – 
All women are born Goddesses – but we tell ourselves over and over again that for some reason, we don’t deserve to feel good. We berate ourselves in the mirror, refuse to accept compliments and use food as a punishment/reward system to mask how we are really feeling about our lives. The Goddess Revolution is taking over as the new ‘anti-diet’. This is not a fad diet or a set of rules to follow, but a revolutionary new way of thinking that will help women to end the war on their bodies, start embracing an incredibly rewarding relationship with food, and become happier and more fulfilled than they ever thought possible.

 

 

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles – In her new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein shares the story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high.

 

 

 

 

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration – Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

 

 

 

I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl – In a crazy, media distracted world the important questions often get lost like: What’s your passion? What’s your purpose? Who do you want to be? Alexis Jones has built a career listening to and helping girls around the world figure out those questions in order to inspire them to think for themselves, to speak their truth, to discover their purpose, and to dream HUGE! Including stories from thirty incredible women, Alexis has compiled everything she’s learned into one complete guide to being That Girl, the best version of you.  

 

 

 

From Coping to Thriving: How to Turn Self-Care into a Way of Life – From Coping to Thriving is designed to give you the self-knowledge and awareness you need to start making self-care an integral part of your life, instead of something that lives at the bottom of your priorities list. Not only does the book contain hundreds of useful tips and ideas to get you going with a regular self-care practice, it will also take you deeper into related topics like habit-formation, coping strategies, dealing with resistance to self-care and more.

 

 

 

The Self-Care Solution: A Modern, Must-Have Guide to Health and Well-Being – Combining the thoughtful and expert narrative of a veteran mom of four children with the voices of hundreds of moms she surveyed, The Self-Care Solution offers insightful answers to poignant questions about how mothers take care of themselves, their relationships, and their jobs while raising their children―and how they don’t.

 

 

 

 

The 21-Day Self-Love Challenge – The 21-Day Self-Love Challenge will help you to develop self love and acceptance in an easy step-by-step way, Realize the importance of taking good care of yourself and your body, and how to bring this in practice, Let go of self-talk, behaviors, things and people that do not serve you, Understand why most self-love books you’ve read before didn’t work, Develop new habits that will significantly boost your feelings of self-love on a daily base...and much more inside!

 

 

 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

10 Signs of a Healthy & Happy Friendship

“I will text you 50 times in a row and feel no shame. You’re my friend, you literally signed up for this.”

I came across that quote the other day and I couldn’t help but immediately think of the friendships I have in my life right now. I have the greatest friends! 

The #LoveBlog2017 is back and today’s prompt is Friendship. This was such a fun post to write, thinking of all the wonderful moments I’ve had with my greatest and bestest friends!!!

I have the kind of friends that could see me at my ugliest moments and still would tell me I’m beautiful. I have the kinds of friends that will be brutally honest with me, even when sometimes that’s convincing me that I’m wonderful. My friends don’t tell me my dreams are stupid, crazy sometimes, but never stupid. They encourage me to live without fear and to not hold on to what-ifs. They ask a lot of questions and take time to listen to my answers to gain a deeper understanding of my wacky brain. They see me as a dreamer working hard to make my dreams a reality. My friends are my biggest fans and my greatest cheerleaders. They also always hold out a hand to help me back up when I fall and they help me brush off the dust so I can shine again. I have the kinds of friends that can get a deep belly laugh out of me at any time, in any moment. And they never let me shed more than three tears without a smile crossing my face again. I have the kind of friends that you will spend a lifetime loving. The friends that make you proud to be yourself and from where you’ve come from and how far you’ve grown. I have the best kinds of friends. 

Friendships are like any other time of relationship. It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Pick healthy friendships to harvest in your life.

Besides the obvious having fun, lots of laughter, there are some key points that are a must in a happy and healthy friendship:

 1.) You can be yourself around them – You feel comfortable in your own skin around them. You don’t feel pressured to meet certain standards or act a certain way. It just feels natural being around them.

2.) They’re honest with you and you’re honest with them – They can tell you how they’re feeling and you can tell them how you’re feeling without judgement or question. They share their honesty with you respectfully and with care as you do with them.

3.) They’ve seen you at your worst and still love you and believe in you and they tell you that!

4.) You don’t feel a need to compete with them. You are both helping each other thrive and be at your best.

5.) You can disagree in a healthy manner. Being good friends doesn’t mean you always share the same opinion but it does mean that you are respectful to each other and about each other’s opinions. You either agree to disagree or if the friendship depends on it, then you work towards a healthy solution or compromise together but you don’t let fires burn.

6.) There’s no jealousy or possessiveness. A healthy friendship allows you to have other relationships. It means you can have time apart and spend time with other people without jeopardizing your friendship.

7.) You trust each other. You can count on your friend not to gossip about you, speak ill about you or share your secrets.

8.) You respect each other’s boundaries.

9.) You each nurture the friendship. You stay in touch even when things get busy. Maybe that just means a quick text or a Facebook shout out but you make sure to touch base.

10.) You’re there for each other. This doesn’t mean in an on call 24/7 kind of way but you know you can always count on each other when it’s really needed.

Friendships can come easy but they still take work to keep them healthy. Focus on building the right ones.


Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

 

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Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur mamma living in Ohio. She uses her blog, “Enduring All Things” to inspire young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in everything they do.

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Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.

Meet Your #LoveBlog Sponsor:

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Sisters Kayla and Victoria run VDazzled, an etsy shop featuring beautiful wire wrapped stud earrings. Are you looking for the perfect sparkly gift for your best friend, sister, or bridesmaids? Check out the wide selection of beads and colors of VDazzled earrings, available in 3 sizes. VDazzled is a sponsor of #LoveBlog2017.

#LoveBlog Link Up!!!


Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!

The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

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14 “Me” Dates For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can bring controversial feelings to many singles but it doesn’t have to. Love comes in so many forms and in so many areas of our lives. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating that love in all places. 

This year will be the first Valentine’s Day in a bit that I’m on my own but that doesn’t mean I won’t be celebrating the holiday this year. I’ll be diving right in to the celebrations even so, actually this year I’ve decided to make Valentine’s Day about me and the self-love I am continuously cultivating in my life.  

1.) Light some candles, grab a book (My choice this month is “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert) and hop into a relaxing bubble bath.

2.) Take a cooking class.

3.) Send yourself flowers. Include a special self-love message on the card. My post You Are A Magical, Beautiful Being: 15 Affirmations For Self-Love has some ideas for you <3.

 4.) Go to a yoga class.

5.) Visit a museum or an art gallery.

6.) Have a personal wine and paint night – Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a blank canvas, some brushes, a Pinterest image or tutorial (Here’s some inspiration – Pinterest – Art Project Ideas & Inspiration), and pick your colors!

7.) Take yourself out to a movie or go see a play at your local theater.

8.) Dress up and head out to a fancy wine bar. Toast to you and all your magnificence!

9.) Have a puppy and me date – Take a long walk with your pup, get some special treats for him/her.

10.) Make yourself a fancy dinner, set the table, light a candle, and play some soothing music.

11.) Put on your favorite tunes and dance like a fool in your living room!

12.) Have a movie marathon in the comfort of your pj’s.

13.) Go for a hike. Make it a photo tour. Take in the beauty of the nature around you.

14.) Visit a bookstore – Pick up some books and curl up with a cup of coffee in their cafe.

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A Story of Loss and Finding

On the Monday he had texted me crying, I dropped everything and ran to him. A month prior he had told me he needed space because he didn’t know what he wanted. The whole drive there my body was shaking from the anxiety that filled it. I didn’t listen then, but that was my intuition telling me not to go, but instead I pushed on…six days later, I sat at home once again heart broken. 

It wasn’t that I was losing him that hurt the most, maybe it was the disappointment that I couldn’t save us, maybe it was the disappointment in myself that hurt the most. I loved him but I knew we weren’t the best fit. I mean I’m Sally Freaking Sunshine and he’s well Bah-Humbug. But it was the rejection that hurt so much. It was that he didn’t, or couldn’t, love me back the way I loved him. The truth was he drained me, but I stayed with him because I loved him. I loved every one of his broken pieces intensely and purely. I stayed even though I was exhausted, hoping that he would pull himself up eventually. I had looked at him differently than I had at any other man. When he was ugly, through my eyes I saw beauty underneath it all. When he cried, his eyes turned a vibrant blue shining the rawness of his emotions onto me and I fell deeper in love with him. He was telling me he was leaving because he was in love with another woman but I still couldn’t find anger towards him. He had betrayed my love yet all I could feel was hope for him still, hope that he would find his place and his peace. Sorrow and hope both filled my heart, it was an immense confusion of feelings inside of me. The agony of my loss, and the wish for his happiness. The darkness of rejection from him from the love I wasn’t getting back from him mixed with the relief from the burden and pressure from being under his thumb for so long. A sense of disappointment that he didn’t rise to meet my love but also freedom from the discomfort of the same trial. I had become lost in our relationship, in him. We had been walking next to each other but on different paths for so long. 

He told me when we broke up that I had been too good to him. I didn’t understand that at the time. How could you be too good to someone you love? What I was learning though wasn’t that I was too good to him, it was that I wasn’t being good enough to myself when we were together. The love I just gave to him wasn’t enough. I wasn’t being fair. I believe that love can take us many wonderful places but I now know that love must also be fairly given. It isn’t enough to just love another person, I must match that same love to myself. I needed to love myself as much as I had loved him. I needed to feel the same deep hope for my life as I did for his. 

In this break-up I found truth within myself. In my vulnerability and in my sadness I learned a most valuable lesson, that I needed to love myself more. This was my opportunity to love myself fiercely, to love all my own broken pieces purely and fully and to put them where they were meant to be. In that dark moment of loss, I found my own shining light. I found myself again. 


I am so very excited to be able to co-host some of this month’s prompts in #LoveBlog2017  You can check out Brita’s Intro Post to see all upcoming prompts for this month.


Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Jessica Lynn is the driving force behind Jessica Lynn Writes, a site about life as a pregnant, new, and toddler mom (currently expecting baby #3), military musings as an Air Force wife, and all the joy, laughter, and hardships life brings along the way. On JLW you’ll find tales about her journey around America, as well as good eats, fun crafts, real-life stories, and more.

 

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Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.


Link Up!!!

Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!

The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

a Rafflecopter giveaway