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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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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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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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.” 

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26 Days to Being More Grateful For Where You Are Now

Learning to be grateful for the things, feelings and surroundings we have in life is a practice that will help lead us to  happiness. When we appreciate all that we already have and all the things we’ve experienced, we can see so much more opportunity in our lives. A few months back I did this challenge and it got me thinking how thankful for all I have gone through and how blessed I am in each day. Follow along this challenge to help open new ways of seeing your life and to express gratitude for all that you are and have today. 

So here’s how this works: Each day or night grab your journal and write what you are grateful for…there’s a twist – each day is going to be corresponding to a letter from the alphabet. Write down whatever comes to your mind. For me this challenge not only helped me see all the wonderful things and wonderful sides of some of my down times but it also pushed me to be more creative in my thinking. Some of these are a bit wacky but most will all be connected to a memory or a lesson, keep that in mind when you’re journaling. I’ve shared some ideas below to help get you started. Make sure to come back and share some of the things you’re grateful too! 

A – adventures, ambition, avocados…

B – butterflies, BLT’s, boldness…

C – courage, co-workers, cheese, curiosity, coffee, celebrations, cats…

D – dancing, dogs, discoveries…

E – energy, encouragement…

F – friends, family, fuzzy socks…

G – Grandparents, grass to lay in, grasshoppers, growth…

H – Heartbreaks (because we learn so much from them), healing, hot tea, hugs,  hope…

I – ice cream, insight, intuition…

J – joy, jobs, jumping…

K – kisses, kindness, kids…

L – love, life, lazy Sundays, ladybugs…

M – My Mother, the moon, memories, music, mornings…

N – nature, new beginnings…

O – opportunities, the ocean…

P – painting, photographs, patience, perseverance…

Q – quirkiness, quotes, quilts…

R – rest and relaxation, roses, 

S – sunshine, silence, storms, stars, sleep, smiles…

T – travel, time, technology, tacos, Thai Food…

U – unconditional love, umbrellas, unicorns…

V – victories, vivaciousness, violets…

W – water, wine, watermelon, wins…

X – xylophones, xoxo’s, x-rays…

Y – yawning, youthfulness, yoga…

Z – zeal for life! 

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20 Things That Make Me Smile

Happy Positive Thinking Day!!!

A good day starts with a good thought. Wake up every morning and think happy things to get your day going. To celebrate Positive Thinking Day I made a list of twenty things that make me smile. A simple trick but a trick that works – If you’re feeling a little down, think of something wonderful in your life. Gratitude is a gateway to happiness. Train your mind to see the bright side of everything. 

  1. Having breakfast with my son.
  2. Flowers.
  3. A good laugh.
  4. Talking on the phone with my mom.
  5. Having a beer and chatting life stuff with my best friends.
  6. A hot cup of tea.
  7. Snuggling with my pup.
  8. Getting my nails done.
  9. Brownie batter. Yum!
  10. Making my loved ones smile.
  11. Having my artwork in an art show.
  12. Looking at the stars in the night sky.
  13. Laying on the beach.
  14. When my favorite song comes on the radio.
  15. Dancing in the kitchen.
  16. A good Netflix binge.
  17. The sunset.
  18. Curling up under a cozy blanket with a book.
  19. A long hike.
  20. Crossing something off my bucket list!

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~ anonymous