10 Awesome Things I Do for Health, Happiness & Balance

It’s Day 7 of the #loveblog2018! Today’s prompt is ‘Wellness’ and this is a topic that has become a huge focus in my life so I’ve very excited to be sharing my thoughts about it today. Make sure to check out my post about Guilty Pleasures’ from earlier in the season and all the other prompts from the series too at www.bellebrita.com. One of the reasons I love participating in the #loveblog so much is because it gives me (or pushes me more) to share my story in a more personal way. 

I grew up with a mom in the medical field and a dad in safety management so I guess wellness has always been a part of my life in some way or another but it didn’t really become such a main focus for me until I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia in my twenties. At that time my mindset around wellness wasn’t very well at all though. I felt like true wellness was going to be something that would always be out of my reach after being diagnosed. I thought I’m always going to feel crappy, achy, tired, and everything that comes with that. I felt saddened that I was in my twenties and couldn’t keep up with my friends. I was taking nine pills a day and a bi-weekly injection just to ‘survive’, just to escape the pain. I felt like a zombie most days and if I wasn’t at work I was on the couch or in bed. It wasn’t how I dreamed of spending a good part of my twenties. I carried on like this, having ups and downs, good days and bad days, some weeks better than others…side note – *this is a general overview, I still had good trips and happy days but overall it wasn’t what I dreamed of for myself. The energy I dreamed of having I couldn’t sustain. Everything was in spurts. I craved consistency. I craved to be able to express the energy that filled my mind in physical expressions and actions. 

The year I turned thirty, I lost my job. I found myself home and on the search…it turned out to be a huge blessing for me, it turned out to be an opportunity to change my life. The job I was working I had very long hours and it was emotionally and physically stressful on a daily basis (which I laugh because my first Rheumatologist had told me that the best thing for me was to stay away from stress – ummm, right.) With losing my job I also lost my Healthcare benefits and that left me unable to afford my medications (it sounds awful, but really it was a blessing in disguise). So I went off my pills and off the injections. I started working towards a complete lifestyle change. I started practicing yoga twice a day. I gave up fast food and junk food and I started studying my disease. I started reading how to manage it organically. I taught myself how to eat better. I started using essential oil therapies. I meditated, and I learned my limits and how to schedule resting and recoup time into my weeks.

It took me about a year and a half to find a new job but fast forward and now I’m working at a job that even though can be stressful and have long hours (that seems to be a common thing in today’s world), I have the flexibility to work from home, I have a management team that understands I may burnout sometimes and need some downtime, and I have co-workers that get the idea of how important wellness is to me and they motivate and inspire me to stick with it. I’m naturally a Type A Personality so I always have a lot on my plate (i just don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t have a whole bunch of projects going on at one time) but I’m getting better each day at managing them realistically and being more forgiving of myself when I need to shift things or when I slip and I keep the focus on if I want to feel good then I need to continuously take care of myself. Today some of the words used to describe me is ‘energetic’ and ‘positive’ and ‘motivated’ and that feels good, they describe more of who I aspire to be. I owe so much of that to the idea of wellness, to the changes I made to bring wellness to be a reality in my world.

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

 

  1. Daily vitamins – Women’s Multivitamin (currently loving SmartyPants for Women), Vitamin D supplements, and a Vitamin C supplement
  2. 30 crunches daily and participating in a 30 days plank challenge – I co-manage a local healthy lifestyles/fitness group at work called No Sweat York and we’ve committed to doing a 30 day challenge this month – check out our No Sweat York Instagram Page for photos and thoughts from our challenge
  3. A Greek Yogurt daily during the week at the office – Yogurt was something I just couldn’t get myself to eat except for one – I love the Fage Greek Yogurts with fruit <3
  4. Gave up eating out so much and am cooking healthier meals at home – helps keep my sodium intake down which helps with decreasing inflammation
  5. Personal Training at my gym for strength training – Legs one day, Arms another
  6. Making sure I schedule down time each week for lazy days, just to mellow out and recoup
  7. Washing my face every night with Alba Organic Make-up Wipes
  8. Scheduling my tasks out throughout the week so I’m balancing out my time better
  9. Journaling ‘one sentence a day’ to help keep my mind clear
  10. Participating in my #FebruaryArtChallenge for some daily/weekly art therapy to release stress

Wellness is about being well rounded to me, it’s about being real and honest, rolling with the punches sometimes and having balance in my life. That’s what keeps me feeling good, keeps me happier. Wellness is something that I am continuously working towards and adapting to fit into what’s going on in my life. It is not only about health and fitness physically but also keeping our minds and our hearts healthy. What does wellness mean to you? 

This week’s giveaway is brought to you by Callie Richards, LuLaRoe Fashion Retailer. One lucky winner will receive a fabulous LuLaRoe outfit in the size(s) of their choice. The giveaway ends on February 14th. US residents only. While Callie will consider your style preferences, she cannot guarantee any patterns or colors in your outfit. Enter to win here: http://bellebrita.com/2018/02/winter-date-night-outfits/ Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the third week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita 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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Amritha from joinmeintransit.com. Amritha is a travel and food blogger offering travel, dining and healthy recipe guides for vegetarians who love to vacation. Her mission is to guide others in creating meaningful life experiences with friends and family through mindful travel, vegetarian food, and an active lifestyle.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. 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 every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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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

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.