How to Make “Me” Time

I spent part of my evening today with the music turned up and dancing in the kitchen all by myself…and I was loving it. Last Friday, I enjoyed sipping a beer while watching everyone else buzz around me…I look forward to my time curled up on my bed with my laptop before I hit the sack every night…

Solitude: noun –

the state of being or living alone; seclusion

Some identify solitude as a lonely state but I find it a peaceful state. I’ve learned to enjoy my “me” time quite much. It gives me time to reflect, it gives me time to observe, and it gives me a place to remove all the screens that I put up to the world. Having solitude, ‘alone time’ or ‘me time’ is critical to living a well-balanced life and to a good self-care routine. For both introverts and extroverts (and ambiverts), it is a time to recharge and to reflect, and to relax. There was a time that I had a hard time finding time for my solitude. My schedule was so busy and not living alone can also make it a challenge but I found myself starving for it, craving that down time. It was a challenge I needed to find a solution to.

  1. Evaluate how you are currently spending your time. Take a look at your schedule. Do you spend time doing tasks that aren’t necessary or can be eliminated? What can you take out so that you have more open time?
  2. Schedule some alone time in your planner. Block off a little time just for you. Get up early before everyone else and claim that quiet time as yours, or set aside some time in the evening, whatever works for your schedule, plan on at least an hour to spend by yourself every few days.
  3. Make a list of things you can do alone. – reading, taking a bubble bath, coloring or painting, journaling…even just curling up and scanning Pinterest…whatever strikes your fancy!
  4. Get outside. Nature holds so much beauty and strength. It is a perfect place to find peace and solitude. Take a walk or go for a hike in the woods or take a solo bike ride along the river trail.
  5. Set boundaries. Say no. Don’t be afraid to turn down an invite if you’re cozied up for some down time. This takes a little practice but get into the habit of not overbooking your schedule. Allow time for you to just have chill time. Don’t feel guilty for turning down social activities to have some alone time.

 

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Hygge vs. Minimalism – What is best for me?

There’s so much buzz around Hygge and Minimalism. They both have beautiful qualities and benefits but which is best for me? What’s the difference between them?

Hygge

Hygge is a danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or a moment as cozy, charming and special. It’s the art of creating joy and comfort in one’s life. Embracing hygge is about creating a warm and cozy lifestyle. It promotes appreciation, a certain simplicity and about not only recognizing the present moment but also enjoying it. Think the quote, “Relish in the moment,” but up a few notches.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about living with less, living with the essentials, only the things that bring you joy. It teaches you to remove distractions from your life so that you can live your life with full intentions. Quoted from Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” Through minimalism you can discover clarity and freedom.

So which is best for me? I see value in both lifestyles. I see a sense of simplicity in both. I’ve been trying to work towards minimalism for a little over a year now and have really been struggling with it. Although I am able to embrace some of the thought patterns of minimalism I find that I struggle with limiting the amount of items that bring me joy. I find joy in so many things and in so many areas of my life. As an eclectic individual I have several hobbies and many interests creating a bit of a stock up sometimes. I do believe in removing the clutter and the chaos and I believe in utmost organization because I find I function better in a clearer, cleaner environment but as much as I respect the minimalistic lifestyle I’m not sure it fits who I am purely. I find myself at home looking toward hygge. Cozy is one of my top five favorite words. I am finding that I am falling in love with all things hygge. I don’t want to abandon all the values of minimalism but I think a more honest path to my true self is to build my home and my life with a hygge mindset. Looking back, I’m glad I took an attempt at minimalism and I grew as a person and learned a lot about how I work in the world during my journey but as we grow we also shift so here’s to 2018 learning all about hygge. <3 

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“Bust Out the Bubbly” – My 2018 Goals & Intentions

I decided that this year I’m leaving 2017 in 2017. Don’t come knocking past because I’m looking forward. I’m using the lessons I learned from my challenges and set backs to help me grow and to propel me forward. This coming year is the year I’m going to let go and flourish. I’m going to open up and bloom for the world to see. I’m going to learn to love myself so fiercely that rays of light bust out of me like a feverish disco ball. I’m going to own 2018. I’m going to stop thinking about it and I’m going to do it. 2016 was about realization, 2017 was for planning, 2018 will be my debut – the beginning of a masterpiece. I’m leaving the mess behind and walking into a world of possibilities this year and I’m going to do it my way.

 Areas of Focus –

19 Things Before 2019

Level 10 Life

Commit30

By products of my goals: stronger and deeper relationships with my family and friends, better self-esteem, money and financial security, style and grace, a simpler and more comforting lifestyle, a more positive story to tell, a stronger body and mind, more artwork, and a better understanding of myself and the world around me.

 Now down to the meat and potatoes of my business goals for 2018…which is a huge part of who I am and what I want out of life.

Business in 2018 –

Blog & Coaching

Boutique

Young Living Essential Oils

I spent a lot of time the end of this year planning out what I wanted 2018 to look for me and set a loose timeline of how it will play out. This gave me the opportunity to see things in a manageable way and to envision my goals realistically playing out. The first half of the year I will be focusing on launching and starting the steps to build my dreams. The second half of the year will be focused on defining and growth.

Jan-Mar – Quarter 1 – Organization of blog, social media promotion schedules and routine, launch boutique, start Young Living Essential Oils business.

Apr-Jun – Quarter 2 – Launch Coaching, defining and developing boutique and essential oils business.

Jul-Sep – Quarter 3 – Focus on business growth across all areas.

Oct-Dec – Quarter 4 – Continue to focus on business growth, evaluate year and start building plan for 2019.

I am a super planner type but what I learned in 2017 is that I can get myself stuck in the planning and dreaming and become a bit overwhelmed in all that I set out in front of me to accomplish. There is no perfect time to start but if you never get started then you’ll never give yourself the chance to finish. This coming year, my focus is on starting – wherever and however that may be. I am going to focus on my year one quarter at a time and learn as I go…and I’m going to allow my beliefs, my values, and my intuition guide me in all that I do.

Cheers to a New Year!

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How I Elevated My Self-Care & Wellness Routine with the Yogi Surprise Box

The smile that jetted across my face when I came home after a super busy day at work and saw my Yogi Surprise Box sitting on the table lit up the kitchen. I immediately grabbed the scissors and cut open my box to see what was inside. As I opened it up to see what was inside, I thought, it was like the good folks at Yogi Surprise knew the kind of week I was having. I started pulling everything out like a little kid tearing through the tissue paper at Christmas! This box was hitting my extra self-care needs in every way this week! How do they pack so much goodness into one little purple box? Is the suspense killing you yet? Let’s take a look of what’s inside!

Warning: I am super excited about this box.

What’s Inside the Yogi Surprise Box?

The first thing I pulled out of the box was this beautiful blue scarf from Rising Tide. I am an avid scarf collector and lover (see what I’m saying about the intuition of these folks?!) so this was a perfect reward after a long day. The scarf is super soft and the colors are exquisite in my opinion. Maybe because my favorite color is blue, maybe because they remind me of the ocean but I love this scarf and am very much looking forward to adding it to my wardrobe. The company that the scarf came from is Rising Tide, a company focused on assisting creating products that help improve the living standards of the low income artisans from developing countries and they also donate a percentage of all their sales to country-of-origin charities and NGOs, such as the Santi School Project in Nepal. How awesome do they sound?! There’s not much that beats an awesome fashion product that gives back!

 

I absolutely love that they add these little inspirational cards and thoughts to the boxes. They prompt me to slow down a little and take some time to just be mindful. This box included thoughts of Gratitude, reminding me, even in super busy times of my life, to sit and remember what and who I am thankful for and blessed to have in my life. On the back of each month’s card, they also share a short yoga sequence to practice. These cards are wonderful to pack for a trip too so I can always take my practice with me.

This little buddy is the perfect item to add to my wellness kit. Compact for on the go and easy to use, the WalBall is perfect for a gal on the go. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia and am a busy, workaholic, fitness junkie and I have found that massage is a fantastic and natural therapy that helps relieve my pain many times but let’s face it trying to find the time (and budget) for appointments or lug around bulky massage equipment is tough. The Walball works great because it lets you focus on specific trigger points which are key in flare ups for me. I love that it sticks to most surfaces too so I can stick it to a wall and adjust my pose to hit the spots I need to. Plus with a message on the package like, “Attention: This product is intended for use by people that use their muscles, or plan to use them. Use of this product on muscles that remain unused may lead to the desire to use those muscles more. Be awesome, use your muscles.” how could you not love it?!

 I started my ‘go natural’ journey last year and it’s been a bit of a challenge to replace some of my products…like perfume. I tossed all my bottles of chemical filled perfumes earlier this year and have been using essential oils such in scents like Sweet Orange and Lemongrass which were great for the summer but as the air has gotten colder I’ve found myself craving some more classic “perfumey” scents. Well Yogi Surprise has come through. In this box, I discovered Pacifica AromaPower Micro-Batch Perfume Oil. Their products are 100% vegan and cruelty free. With this perfume oil I get the benefits of aromatherapy, crystal therapy and also get to smell like a princess. The perfume oil came in this beautiful jar with a ball roller to control how much I put on so I don’t overdo it.The scent is called Breathtaking with notes of cardamom, vanilla, pepper and warm scents and is infused with rose quartz. Rose Quartz is a stone that aids in love, including self-love, trust, compassion and feelings of peace.

 I try and keep a handful of coins for parking meters and the occasional desperate vending machine run around but I’m not very good at having a place to keep them. Currently they’re thrown in cup holders in my car and loose in my desk drawer…which is a little out of character for my usual super organized ways. In classic colors and a chic design, this hand-dyed and eco-friendly coin purse from Batik Boutique will help me have a place to collect my coins and to help out the world giving me a little bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I use it. The Batik Boutique features items handmade by artisans from Malaysia which sales from these products helps provide skills training and economic opportunity to women from low-income backgrounds.

 

I am always looking for the perfect pick-me-up snacks for the afternoons at the office when my blood sugars start to drop and the afternoon sleepies start to kick in. This Rickaroons Coconut Energy Bar is the perfect treat to indulge in. Keeping the spirit of the season in a pumpkin spice flavor, this snack had just the right amount of bites to enjoy with a cup of hot tea.

With the winter weather wreaking havoc on my skin the past few weeks, I was super excited to find this Jivana Treatment Oil in my Yogi Surprise Box this month! Jivana is an Ayrvedic Skin Care line that produces products with natural balancing properties and ingredients. I started using my treatment oil a few days ago and can already see a difference. It’s great for acne, dry skin, and even razor burn. The oil provides soothing relief while helping to balance my skin and bonus it smells amazing.

This box has definitely stepped up my self-care and natural wellness routine. I can’t wait to see what comes in my next Yogi Surprise Box! Want to get your own? Check it out here: Get Your Box and because I think you’re amazing, use promo code yogilove for 15% off your box!

 

All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How to Care for your Face after Halloween

Halloween brings lots of fun – candy, party, creative costumes – but it also brings some havoc on  your face with all the heavy Halloween make-up. This year I went as a “jail bird”, it was super cute but it also meant my face was layered with face paint. By the end of the night I could feel my face was feeling all the oils it had been soaking in.

Step 1: The Night of Make-Up –

Immediately wash the make-up after getting home. I was exhausted, getting home late after dancing the night away but I knew I couldn’t leave the goop on my face overnight. Costume make-up is much heavier than daily make-up. I always keep make-up wipes on hand, these are great to be able to grab and wipe the make-up off when I’m feeling so tired. Follow up with a facial toner to remove any oils or dirt that wasn’t caught with the facial wipes.

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Cotton Extract, Amazon

Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner, Amazon

Step 2: The Morning After –

I woke up, my face still feeling tired from carrying all the heavy make-up the night before. I washed any lingering make-up off with another make-up wipe and then grabbed my facial mask. A good detoxifying mask will help clean out anything that got stuck in your pours and help rejuvenate your skin. I like a good charcoal mask. Leave the mask on as instructed and then wash off with warm water. Follow up with a rich facial moisturizer.

Poppy Austin 100% Organic Clay Mask, Amazon

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Alba Botanica Hawaiian, Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer, Amazon

 

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.
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12 Ways to Deflate Anxiety sponsored by SuperFoods Box – No Worries Box Review

Anxiety and depression are not a fun topic to talk about but many of us struggle with symptoms of these every day. Whether it comes from unexpected, extreme circumstances that come into our lives, clinically, or from being over-stressed with our everyday lives it can get in the way of what we want to obtain out of life. Anxiety and depression can leave us feeling exhausted and unmotivated and not so sunny. It can be a real struggle just to have a normal day. I used to think that the only way to get rid of it was to go see a doctor and get medication – I think in the past many of us were conditioned that this was the only way to treat it. That’s not the case though. (*disclaimer – in some cases that may be the best option but it is not the only option. Always speak with your health care provider for the best options for you). This past year was a very stressful year for me. I was faced with many unexpected challenges, changes, and stressors. Earlier this month I shared a little bit in my post The Beginning of My Fight with Fear & Anxiety, about how I had found myself filled with anxiety and how it was making me feel trapped. For the past month, I have been focused on finding myself again and pulling myself back into the light. It has been a month full of positive changes and I am feeling more and more free each day. I have brought many practices back into my life that I had let slide over the crazy summer months and I have added some new routines to my week as well. I feel much stronger today than I did just four weeks ago. I did this, though, by putting myself back into full focus. Self-care is the ultimate tool in all forms.

I had the opportunity to partner with the Superfood Box to bring you some ways to help de-flate anxiety and stress and bring more “No Worries” time into your life.

All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored, which means I received compensation for this post. in form of payment or trade. For more information please reference my disclosure page

 

12 Ways to De-Flate Anxiety Naturally

 

1.) Journaling – Writing in a journal has proven many times to be a way to relieve and help process stagnant emotions sitting in our mind. This acts as a great form of therapy. Try and write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. The more consistent you are, the better you’ll get at letting go and writing what’s stuck in your mind.

2.) Focus on your goals – When I started focusing back on my blogging and the launch of my business I started feeling more confident and more secure in my life again. It helped me feel more purposeful and I was excited about my progress which motivated me to keep at it. I took some time to make a list of what I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year and then set up a plan to reach it. This helped me set benchmarks so that I can see my progress each week as I go, helping me see the positive changes I was making each week.

3.) Eat well – When you fuel your body well you’ll have more energy to take on the world. Some foods have shown in studies to have properties to help lessen anxiety and improve stress management such as black walnuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. The black walnuts and the sesame and pumpkin seed Crunch bar I received in my No Worries Box were the perfect snacks to have at my desk on a busy, stressful day. Black walnuts contain a great amount of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that is critical for relaxation and helps regulate mood. By munching on these healthy treats, I noticed how much calmer I felt in handling the challenges of the day. I also received a Reishi Mushroom Elixer that has been used to treat anxiety. This was a great drink to sip on during my busy afternoons flavored with star anise, licorice and stevia.

4.) Meditate – Practicing meditation every day is a great way to clear your mind and to relax. I find it helpful to start each day with a quick meditation and then end my day with a longer, mindfulness practice. This allows me to focus on letting thoughts flow through rather than dwelling on them circling in my mind.

5.) Exercise – I started working out at least three times a week. This is such a strong stress reliever for me. Not only does it help me strengthen my body but it also helps strengthen my mind. I feel like I have more energy and am more motivated for each day. I joined a personal training program and put a few goals, like running a half marathon in April and a 10 miler in June, on the calendar to help hold me accountable. I also find that partnering up with friends has been an amazing way to keep going (and bonus I get that BFF time that I needed too!). My training program routine includes a good mix of running, weight training, and Yoga. This gives me a good all around work out routine and keeps it interesting for me.

6.) Soul Strengthening Daily Affirmations – It may seem like these are just words at first but reciting daily affirmations help you reshape your thoughts and your mind to see the world and yourself in a more positive light. If you retrain your mind to believe that you are strong, then you will be strong. I surround myself with daily affirmations and inspirational quotes. I post them on my wall behind my bed so I see them every morning, I stick post-it notes on my mirror in my bathroom, I receive #truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte in my inbox every day, and I post inspirational messages on my screensaver on my computer. Maybe it’s my love language being my ‘words of affirmation’ but I can’t get enough of them.

7.) Get enough sleep – This I struggle with a bit. I have quite a racing mind, filled with thoughts from the day, over-analyzing every situation of the day, and lots of ideas for new creations flowing in. I made it a focus to work on shutting it down so that I can get better rest. Without good rest, my emotions can seem heightened and I can find it hard to manage stress throughout the day. I have been setting my bed time earlier and scheduling in wind down time before. This gives me time to slow down for the night. The Yogi Kava Kava Tea I received in my No Worries Box has been a great addition to my routine to help me relax. Kava is an herb that has shown in studies to be amazing at reducing anxiety. This blend of tea includes kava, cinnamon, carob, sarsaparilla, ginger, cardamom and stevia making it a wonderful treat for the evening.

8.) Find a hobby to love – For me this is painting. I have always loved painting but I’ve been working on making more time for it. I can escape from the world when I paint. It gives me time to just be me and to recharge. The more I let go in this process, the more free I feel and the more beautiful my art is when I emerge.

9.) Natural Supplements – I’ve used melatonin to aid in sleep but many of these were new to me. In my No Worries Box I received two particular supplements to try – Passionflower and St John’s Wort. I loved the idea of using natural supplements verses medications so I gave them a try with the okay from my medical provider (*Always check with your medical provider before trying supplements). Studies have shown that Passionflower helps to improve sleep quality and in managing stress and anxiety. St John’s Wort has been shown to act as a natural anti-depressant.

10.) Talk it out with your BFFs – Sometimes a good night out with my pals is the perfect way to blow off some steam. I’m known to hermit up when I get stressed and bogged down in life but that can leave me feeling isolated sometimes so I’ve been working on planning more activities to get out and do with my friends, spending some down time with them to vent out what’s on my mind, soaking in some of their positive words and advice. Whether it’s taking a power walk on the rail trail, enjoying a glass of wine over dinner, or joining in on a local ghost stories walk in town I’ve been making sure to get some time on my calendar each week for some quality friendship time.

11.) Make time for more mindfulness and gratitude in your day – I’ve added to my routine some mindfulness time each day. I sit down with a cup of Ashwagandha tea from the No Worries Box and take some deep breaths and just listen, look and observe and think of what I am grateful for having in my life. These simple moments have provided me space and time to “just be”, this is my “no worries” time that I reserve for myself each day.

12.) Counseling – I find this a safe place for me to go to for help organizing my thoughts. I am also discovering a lot about myself through this process. I am able to approach my thoughts from an intellectual and creative stand point without judgement which helps me see them in a new way, in a clearer way. Starting counseling can be scary at first, going to talk about your innermost feelings and thoughts with someone you don’t know. I set my expectations up front of what I wanted to obtain in my sessions and that I wanted to complete therapy without medications. This set the standard for my treatment and helped me feel more comfortable.

 

 The No Worries Box from Superfood Box included many wonderful items that helped boost my self-care routine to help me manage the stress and the anxiety I was feeling. I really enjoyed working with this company. I could sense the compassion for the world and the love that they have for what they do. Superfood Box offers several different types of boxes for you to choose from. I am looking forward to trying all they have to offer. The value of the items you receive is spectacular and the pricing is very reasonable. They also offer the opportunity to order tropical fruit which is shipped using Fenugreen’s Patented Freshpaper infused with naturally antimicrobial and anti-fungal spices like Fenugreek that kept my fruit fresh during shipment. They have a great variety to choose from like rambutans (one of my favorites!), passion fruit, pomegranates, persimmons and many more. Something else I loved about my box is that they included a great document in my shipment that explained all the things I received so that I felt educated in trying my new products.

Check out some of their other boxes:

Inflammation Fighter Box

Workout Fuel and Recovery Box

Skin Health Box

Stay in the loop with healthy tips and specials with Superfood Box on social media too:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

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My Yogi Surprise Box Review

Swirls of Jasmine and Amber smoke fill my room encircling me in their sweet scents…

This is one of my experiences from my Yogi Surprise Box. I can’t get enough of the wonderful treats I received. Whether you are a new Yogi, a long term practicing Yogi, or just inclined to living spiritually this box creates the right moment for you.

Auromere Incense Sampler – I use incense on a daily basis. They are a huge part of my daily rituals and routines. However many times I run into an issue because many incense are made with imitation fragrance oils which send me into a fit with my allergies and sensitivities. Auromere create their natural incense blends with essential oils and fragrant herbs that leave a lasting aroma all around me. The incense are hand rolled by local village women in South India and 25% of their profits go toward supporting education in rural India. I received a wonderful sample pack to try several of their blends:

Jasmine – Replenishing

Lavender – Balancing

Indian Cedar – Elevating

Patchouli – Stimulating

Sandal – Purifying

Rose – Sensual Love

Amber – Centering

Lily – Calming

Scentuals Yoga Mat Cleaner & Yoga Designs Labs Yoga Strap – Two true essentials for the Yogi looking to grow. This mat cleaner smells amazing and is 100% natural. I love how well it freshens up my mat after an intense practice. I’m also looking forward to elevating my practices and increasing my flexibility with the yoga strap. You can check out some exercises to start with here: 10 Ways to Use the Yoga Strap

Brownie Brittle – Yum! I love a little sweet treat after practice or in the evening with my cup of tea. And they nailed it with this bag of goodness. Without a million calories as some, this treat en-captures the best part of the brownies – the crunchy ends! Bonus is that it’s made with all organic ingredients.

Yoga to the Rescue: Ageless Beauty by Amy Luwis – This is such a cute and fun and useful book. With hitting my mid thirties my mind is starting to wander into thoughts of how to stay feeling and looking young. It includes tips to help lessen signs of aging, relieve pain, and create more peace and joy in your life. This book is filled with wonderful ideas to help you stay feeling and looking vibrant and they illustrate it with such joyful sketches!

Gypsy Soul Barefoot Lake Candle – This smells wonderfully refreshing. Made with 100% natural beeswax, lavender and peppermint essential oils it creates a relaxing environment for me to unwind in.

I am in love with my Yogi Surprise Box and I’m sure you will be too! Other perks included in the box are some great discounts to expand your Yogi collection and a Love Yourself Yoga sequence card to add to your daily routine. Get started today with this special reader discount of 15% off with promo code YOGILOVE at www.yogisurprise.com.

All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How to Build a Balanced Self-Care Routine

Good Self-Care has many components to it. We must take care of our bodies but also take care of our heart, our soul, and our mind. It’s important to create routines that create a healthy balance for all areas of your self. I rounded up a list of ideas to take care of all areas so that you can create a well-rounded routine that works for you. I pick something off each list in addition to my weekly exercise routines each week to create a balanced self-care routine for myself.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Spend time with friends
  2. Journal
  3. Write a letter to a loved one
  4. Spend time with your pet
  5. Read a daily affirmation
  6. Pay-it-forward
  7. Give someone a hug
  8. Call a family member
  9. Watch a funny movie
  10. Make a gift for someone

  1. Take a class
  2. Read
  3. Organize your to-do list/planner
  4. Listen to a Podcast
  5. Declutter
  6. Complete a puzzle
  7. Explore a new place
  8. Visit a museum
  9. Declutter
  10. Sketch

  1. Meditate
  2. Watch the clouds
  3. Gardening
  4. Yoga
  5. Have alone time
  6. Go Hiking
  7. Watch the sunrise or sunset
  8. Look at the stars
  9. Painting
  10. Tarot Card Reading

 

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A Fall Hike & My Sunday Self-Care Routine

There’s something so healing and soothing about being surrounded by nature. 

Today I got to head out on a hike for a work event…sometimes my job can be so fun! We headed up to Chickies Rock in Columbia. A nice walk through the woods, down the path to a beautiful overlook above the Susquehanna River. We were in the perfect moment of the day between rain and the leaves had just fallen coating the ground with oranges, greens, and reds. There was a group of about eight of us, some of us meeting for the first time. The diversity of conversation as we stood at the overlook and peered at the river rocks was great, filled with chats about movies to kids to more hiking stories.

Prepare for your week by doing something relaxing, enlightening and releasing on Sunday.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. They’re my day to recharge and prepare for the week.

My #SelfCareSunday Routine:

  1. Go for a hike, do yoga in the park, go for a walk in your neighborhood – Get outside and breathe.
  2. Laundry day.
  3. Facial – a quick at home treatment to refresh for the upcoming week. My favorite right now is Triple Threat Detox Mask from Kalos. I received it in my Summer CauseBox this year and it is amazing!
  4. Paint your nails.
  5. Review your planner and schedule – this helps me prep for the week. I also plan out my exercise routine and blogging schedule for the week.
  6. Journal or Art Journal – this is a great way to release stress, thoughts and emotions from the previous week so you can start a new week with a clear mind.
  7. Pick up clutter and clean up the kitchen – this makes such a difference for me on a Monday morning.
  8. Call your Mom (or a friend) – I love a good chat with my mom. It’s a great way to go through all the “adventures” from the previous week.
  9. Netflix and Chill – I won’t lie, I totally spend part of my day Netflix binging and it chills me out for the upcoming week. My current obsession is Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.
  10. Have a cup of hot tea – I end every night with a cup of tea…okay actually I drink tea all the time but I always have one in the evening while I’m winding down.

Sundays are a great day for a little pampering, a lot of self care and some self love to prepare yourself for the upcoming week. Make sure to make a little time for you! 

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
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The Beginning of My Fight with Fear & Anxiety

This is one of those raw, emotional and disclosing posts…

I am in a tough spot right now in my life. This may come to a surprise to some and some know I’ve been hurting. This past year has been particularly hard on me. I’m left feeling burnt out and drained emotionally. So much has happened in this past year, both highs and lows, but leaving me feeling like a tornado has torn through my life setting all kinds of things out of order. I write about staying positive and pushing on and I hold those values high in my mind and in my heart but tonight I come to you to tell you that it’s okay to be in a rough spot in your life, it’s okay to not know what to do. I find that I am struggling to ask for what I need and I’m just trying to figure it out as I go along. I know the actions to take to move forward and I know things will get better and I truly believe that at the core of my heart, even when my doubts are circling in my head. Some days I’m feeling strong and am more hopeful than others and some days I feel like I’m just going through the motions. This is part of my journey, this is part of my discovery. I push on trying to believe that there is something better ahead and that all things have a purpose and a lesson. When I started writing this post I paused in fear. I paused because I worried that sharing this would destroy the image of who I am at my core. Fear. Fear is what holds us back from so many things. So I made the choice to not let fear hold me back tonight from sharing even the darkest part of me. There are many little parts that make us into who we are, don’t judge yourself on one. If we didn’t have struggles, then we couldn’t find strength. Pain is part of humanity, part of life.

My life has had many ups and downs this year and they have all caught up to me. We spend our entire lives trying to prepare for anything that could happen but in truth we’re never really prepared for everything that can come to us. When something new comes into our lives it can create all kinds of new feelings and emotions and thoughts and it can leave you feeling spiraled and overwhelmed, especially when it’s several new things all at once. For me I had several doors closing and many more opening at the same time. I found myself in a spot confused and some days I wasn’t sure if I needed to go forward or go backwards. I found myself filling with anxiety and the anxiety was winning, it was taking over. For months I kept telling myself it was just the chaos I was stuck in and that it would clear away when things calmed down, when hard times past but it held tight to me, to my heart and to my soul. I started feeling lost, not like myself anymore. I became overly self-critical taking my self-awareness to another level. The trait that I had always considered my strongest was becoming my nemesis. I found myself worrying about everything down to every second of the day. I told myself every night that it would pass and tomorrow would be better but instead I woke up in the morning completely drowned in feelings and tight knots in my chest. I found it hard to declare the feelings I was having but it came to a point where I wasn’t living my life anymore, not the way I wanted to, not as the person that I truly am. I was being masked by stress, by the anxiety. My pride had gotten in the way of getting the help I needed, of helping myself. I’d like to say that I was one of those people that just isolated herself but instead I started pushing people away and creating craziness where there was none before. I started doubting everything around me, including myself. The security I had spent so long building around me and within myself I was crumbling to pieces.

Recognizing this and admitting that I was falling to myself was my first step to recovery. The next step was to admit it to the people I love. This was the hardest for me. I was the friend, the daughter, the mother, that always stayed positive through everything and could find a smile in every day. I was the one that always saw the silver lining. I felt like a fraud. I felt like I was failing in my role. But I believe in honesty and I believe in no charades so as hard as it was I pushed myself to open up. What I found is that we’ve all felt pain, we’ve all needed help and they told me it was okay to hurt and they are telling me that it’s going to get better. 

I may still be hurting but I am making the choice to get better, that I have control of. No matter what is ahead of me or who’s going to be there on the other side, I am making an absolute choice that I don’t have the choice to not get better and that is an example of my character. I am telling myself that I’m going to come out of this a better person and a stronger woman. I’m learning through all of this that it is okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to hurt and you don’t have to be embarrassed for having a hard time. It’s okay to not have everything together all of the time.