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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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Why I’m Putting Myself First

Earlier this week I wrote about the anxiety I was feeling and how much it had been kicking my butt and overwhelming my brain. This week I made it a goal to focus on myself and my goals, after all it is a new month and for me that always presents itself as a new beginning. It has made a huge difference in my thought patterns with putting myself back in focus.

So this week I made it all about me. It was tough at first because I felt selfish and it felt out of character for me a little. The challenge is finding the balance. I can get so wrapped up in doing things for everyone else that I end up leaving myself in the dust. I needed this week to find myself again. Putting myself first didn’t mean I was neglecting everyone else but it did mean I had to say no to some things that weren’t what I needed that moment and it meant that I said no to negativity and it meant that I needed to make time for the things I wanted to do and needed to do. I still spent time with family and friends this week but I also made it a priority for “me” time. I made the time to have a counseling appointment so I can work through my thoughts. I made time to go to the gym. I spent the time with my friends walking instead of drinking a beer and eating all that yummy not-so-good for you food. I made it a priority to blog each evening – which I did at the kitchen table with my mom so we could chat too. I said no to eating out last weekend so I could be home where I wanted to be…and I cooked which was relaxing.

I just got home from the gym from my first personal training appointment. Fitness is something that I know is important for me to have in everyone of my weeks yet so many times I push it aside to make time for other things. But because this week was all about me, I was able to commit to something that I needed to commit to and it feels awesome. I feel more energized, my mind is clearer and I’m motivated to do more. This week I started a new fitness journey with my personal training and I’m really excited about it. Although I do have the physical goal of toning up a bit, my real goals are to build strength, endurance and energy. I learned this morning that I’ll be learning to do RDLs and Deadlifts – who would have thought a couple years back that I’ll be weight-lift training?! 

See here’s the thing. We as a society want to do so much for everyone else which is amazing and we should but what we many times don’t learn is that we have to take care of ourselves too. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish if you do it the right way. Self-Care and Self-Love are not narcissistic, they’re part of a healthy life and routine. In truth if you are truly loving and taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to do so much more for everyone else and you’ll be able to do it for the right reasons.  Spend time with loved ones because you want to not because you feel obligated. Go to the gym because you want to better yourself not because you want to fit in. Eat healthy because you want to fuel your body not because it’s the trendy thing to do. See where I’m going with this? Let the love you build for yourself energize your day and your actions. Be nice to people because you want to be a nice person. We spend so much time looking outside of ourselves for motivation, strength and hope but really it’s all inside of us.

What I found out this week is that a lot, well most, of my anxiety was stemming because I had fallen off track, off my track, my path. I had stopped thinking about me, or I was thinking about me in all the wrong ways. I got stuck thinking about what mistakes I had made instead of looking forward to what I was working on. When I looked back I saw things I did wrong instead of the lessons I had learned and how far I had come. 

My “Me” Goals:

Exercising several times during the week. Being active daily.

Journaling – whether it be writing or art-journaling, something to relieve thoughts and emotions from my mind.

Choosing to eat healthier because I feel better when I do – minus the McDonalds I indulged in yesterday!

Stop focusing on what everyone else thinks and just be myself. The only standards that really matter are the ones I set for myself. 

Work towards my goals and dreams every day, no matter how little or how big of a step I make forward, to do something everyday. 

When I focus on taking care of myself, everything else falls into place. 

My advice for the week: Go look at yourself in the mirror and say this: “I am beautiful. I am strong. I will overcome this and anything else that comes my way. Pain and troubles are temporary. Today may be hard but another day will come and I will beat it.” 

Why It’s Important to Nurture Yourself First

This phrase has stuck with me for several years now, “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

So many times we look at others and their lives, especially with all the social media “glamour” out there nowadays, that we wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. The thing is, we don’t know their story, we don’t know what they went through to get to where they are. We cannot be anyone other than ourselves in truth but we can focus on nurturing ourselves and building our lives to be what we want and get what we want out of life. That’s where the truth comes in, that if we water our own grass we can make it the green we want it to be. If we are not taking care of our own selves and focusing on our lives then our grass will never be green and even if we were to go to another lawn, that grass would soon become dry too.

Look at your self and your life as your lawn – If you water it, feed it, take care of it, it will be healthy. If you feed it poison, allow it to be dug up, and do not give it the nutrients it needs then it will not grow, it will not flourish. This quote taught me to stop looking outward and to start looking inward. What was it in my life that I was missing? What was not fulfilling? Changes are never easy, but through reflection we can see how necessary they are. My journey has encountered much heartache and many hard choices but I came out at the other end a stronger, happier and better person. I’ve let go of toxic relationships, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned to make myself a priority. 

My tip to all is that the next time you are feeling down, beat-up, and sad – look inward – what can you change to work towards building a healthier and happier life for yourself? What can you water and nurture within yourself? Do not focus on what you do not have, take a good look at what you do have and work towards growing that. Before you know it, you’ll see things falling into place. You’ll see dreams growing in front of you. Focus within yourself and then project that out. We do not create true happiness from external circumstances, we make happiness within ourselves. 

How To Indulge In A Little Self-Care For Mothers’ Day

Let’s face it, being a Mom is a full-time job, and it can be a tough job too. Celebrate all of your hard work this Mom’s Day by indulging in some wonderful Self-Care! 

 10 Ways You Can Add Some Self-Care to Your Mother’s Day Sunday

1.) Have a spa day – go get your nails done, get a pedicure, put on a face mask.

2.) Sunday Brunch with a delicious mimosa.

3.) Cuddle up with the kiddos for some snuggle time and a movie.

4.) Take a hike and take in the beautiful scenery.

5.) Kick off your morning with some great jams and a solo jog.

6.) Watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee.

7.) Head to a Paint Night and indulge in a little creative expression and a glass of wine.

8.) Enjoy a home cooked meal from the hubby and kids…and skip out on the clean-up too!

9.) Take a warm bubble bath and read a great romance novel.

10.) Go shopping and buy yourself a new outfit that makes you feel great.

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.

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
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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.

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

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.

 

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

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

How to Recover When You’re Burnt Out

After catching the sick bug going around this past week, I landed myself home sick to recover a couple of days…I could have pushed through but then I would have landed myself in burnout mode so I tucked away on Thursday and stayed in bed! Oh the awful burnout, we’ve all been there at some time or another. When I go into burnout mode everything shuts down, my mind goes blank, my body gets weak, and my life becomes a bit of a blur…so recovery is a must! 

Today, I’ve decided to take a Selfish Saturday! I slept in, am still in my sweats and tee, binged on a kick-butt Netflix series called The OA (if you have an ounce of spirituality in your bones, you’ll be into this one! Okay, well it hooked me anyways lol – read between the lines in this one!), and I’ve eaten about a whole cookie cake – yum! Today is my lazy lazy day!

Sometimes we need some extra sleep, sometimes we need we need a day to be lazy, or a night out with friends to let loose. Burnout happens to the best of us but what’s important is that you take care of yourself so you can get back to your grind and keep working towards your goals. Today was my lazy day, re-energizing myself to tackle my tasks tomorrow.