Day 28: Self Care Sunday: Walks in Nature

Ahhh we’re so nearing the end! I’m trying to make it with a strong finish, and there’s definitely a lot I’ve learned about doing Blogtober, but ANYWAY. Today’s Self Care Sunday I actually got the idea for earlier this week. I had woken up and was supposed to go to the gym for a really intense workout, but what I wanted more than anything was a nice, slow, meditative walk in nature. So after arguing with myself for 45 minutes, I decided that going to the gym wouldn’t actually be that productive because A) I would hate myself the entire time, and B) I would be so miserable being there that the workout would probably suck. So in the interest of #SelfCare, I put on my sneakers and set out on a walk down to the riverside.

Something about being out in nature just resets me, and I think this is a pretty universal feeling. The air is clear, the weather is soothing, and something about all the trees really just helps you get in touch with yourself. At least that’s how I feel. So I downloaded a podcast from Kalyn Nicholson, put on a jacket and my sneakers, and went for a walk. I spent a lot of the walk practiciing mindfulness; trying to be cognizant of the way the leaves looked, of how the air felt, of the scent in the air. I found a flower randomly going out of the pavement, and then had a rush of gratitude; if I hadn’t been watching where  I was going, I would’ve missed it entirely.

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Literally just growing right out of the sidewalk!   

I live right near the Naugatuck River, and there’s this beautiful little river walk I love to run on, and that was where I decided to go take my walk. So I walked down there, saw the sun, smelled the river, and honestly just felt so at peace with the world. It sounds so “hippie-dippy”, but some time in nature is sometimes really just what you need. As much as we all think of meditating as sitting criss-cross on the floor, sometimes it’s just as helpful to walk through nature and be mindful of your surroundings. That was what I focused on Sunday, and as much as I was obsessed with getting home and getting a bunch of tasks finished, I tried to push all that away in favor of just being mindful and enjoying what I was doing in that moment.

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Casual morning. I am so grateful to live near something so beautiful.

In the end, I ended up walking 3 miles, which although took me about an hour at a much slower pace than I would’ve normally run, was super cathartic and wonderful. I returned home at peace, feeling at one with the world, and ready to take on the day. Sometimes, we need to just forgive ourselves, take it easy, and do what’s best for our minds versus what we believe is the ultimate end-all-be-all. I’m still learning how to accept that, but it’s something I’m really trying hard to believe in.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this Self Care Sunday, and here’s to making a strong finish with the rest of Blogtober!

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Blogtober Day 19: The Little Things

Happy Blogtober Day 19! We’re definitely getting up there; I can’t believe October is almost OVER! I’m a little sad, but I also love the holidays, so I’m not reaaaally super mad.

Anyway, this is going to be kind of a short little baby post, but I really was just FEELING it, you know? I’ve been really appreciating fall lately and I really just wanted to sit and make a list of all the little things I’ve seen lately that have just made me really grateful for being alive.

When I started thinking about that, I started thinking about how cliche it sounds, but how important it is. Whenever I get too stressed, Bobby tells me to just BREATHE. Stay in the moment, recognize where you are and what you’re doing, and be mindful. It’s great advice, and we should all take it more often. When I take the time to appreciate the little things around me, it makes me an all around more mindful, happy person.

We have such a tendency to get caught up in whatever is going on- work stressors, relationshps, filling our already cluttered schedules with emails and phone calls and coffee dates where we anxiously check the clock the whole time to makes sure we’re not late for our next appointment…we never actually get to ENJOY anything.

So, this week I’ve been making a special effort to really notice and appreciate all of the teeny little things the universe has to offer. Sort of like the world is saying, “Hey, look. It’ll be okay.” Here’s a few examples of things I’ve stopped to notice and appreciate over the past week:

  • a perfectly shaded,  bright red, yellow, and green leaf just laying in the grocery store parking lot. Literally looked like someone had pulled it off the shelf at Michael’s. It was PERFECT.
  • the shade of blue the sky turns right around 9 am when I leave the gym
  • the Glade “Cozy Autumn Cuddle” candle. I buy one (two) every single year and burn through them.
  •  that really nice in-between weather where the air is crisp and chilly, but the sun is shining down, so the entire outdoor climate is just in perfect equilibrium
  • the moment when you first wake up in the morning before you open your eyes where there’s just total peace as you float between asleep and awake
  • a really good, long, belly laugh with your best friends. The kind where you laugh until you can’t breathe and you’re crying and your stomach hurts.
  • the colors of the trees driving down the Merritt Parkway (Connecticut is BEAUTIFUL in the fall. New England does not play.)

I guarantee there will be more, but these are just a few things that make me really happy when I see them and just kind of give me a really good feeling about being alive.

Share with me some of the fun little things that bring you joy in your life! I’d love to hear them!

Blogtober Day 6: Q: Is blogging a stressor or a stress relief?

Hello again,

Lately this question has been running around in my mind about whether blogging is more stressful than it is helpful. I mean, think about it. It’s a time committment, it takes a lot of creativity and practice, it’s definitely an act of effort.

So then why do it? If you’re already stressed and busy, why keep something else on the plate? That’s time you could be sleeping, or working on another project (like the forgotten novel in my harddrive…), or doing any number of things. So why blogging?

After thinking, I realized that my blog is truly a stress relief for me. Yes, it takes time, but it allows me to have this window of time where I am doing something I still deem productive, but I’m not stressed about (as opposed to doing homework). It’s just for fun. There’s no stakes. This isn’t my livelihood. It’s just something that lets me take a breather and share some funny stories with the world. And by world, I mean my Grandma, who is the MVP and reads literally every single one of these and comments because she’s the most wonderful woman in the world and I’m so blessed to have her (HI GRANDMA I LOVE YOU!!).

This is all stuff I enjoy. I love exploring different ideas about happiness and self love and the psychology of humans. I love the fall. I love beauty and lifestyle content. I love connecting with people and making new friends, and truly I have met some wonderful people through the short time I’ve been blogging. It’s just FUN.

It also helps you to learn how to make mistakes. If I miss a post, I learn not to beat myself up over it. I just write it the next day, and keep going. If my content isn’t perfect, I have to remind myself that perfection isn’t an attainable standard and whatever I can do is ENOUGH.

This sounds so bizarre, but it’s really therapeutic in a way! So if you’re considering starting a blog, you should! I think you’ll be surprised at what it can do for you. And of course if you need any support just let me know! I’d love to chat!

Self Care Sunday: Self Love Habits to Form

Hey y’all!

On Friday, we chatted about self-love at the core of what it is. Now, after emphasizing how cool and important it is, I thought it might be fun to give you some ideas of self-love habits to form to really make this a part of your everyday life!

These are things that I either already do or intend to implement in my life, so don’t worry; I’m not giving advice without taking it!

1. Make time for one act of self-care a day.

This is something I’m actively trying to implement in my life. You have to do ONE act of self care every single day. Could be as simple as taking time to read a few chapters of your favorite book and lighting a candle. Could be an intricate spa day with relaxing music and shopping. Doesn’t matter what it is, just so long as it gives you a nice break from the stresses of every day life.

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2. Positive self talk.

This one always makes me feel a little ridiculous, but it usually helps. Whenver you’re beating yourself up about something, or you’re just being really harsh, talk yourself out of it. Literally. I will stand there and go, “Okay, STOP. We are NOT doing this.” Out loud. (Usually I’m alone.) Then, re-route that thought into something positive. “Maybe I don’t have a lot of energy to do things today, but that’s okay, because I work really hard, and sometimes I just need a break.” See?

3. Forgive yourself!

Tip number three! FORGIVE YOURSELF! This one is SO hard but SO necessary. Sometimes, you’ll mess up. You’ll screw up a work assignment, get a bad grade, eat something that doesn’t fall in your healthy lifestyle. IT IS OKAY! Humans make mistakes. What’s important is that you can go, “Okay, I screwed up. It’s okay. It doesn’t define me. What am I learning, and how can I do better next time?” Then just leave it. That’s it. Takes practice, but super valuable.

4. Do what you NEED, even if you’re not feeling it.

Sometimes, showing yourself self-love is eating that ice cream you’ve been craving even though it’s not super healthy. But sometimes, showing yourself self-love is dragging yourself out of bed to go move, be it a full workout, a stretch, or a walk. Sometimes it’s making sure you get all your veggies in for the day, and drink enough water, and get enough sleep. These aren’t always fun things, and they’re not always what we feel like doing, but our bodies CRAVE healthy habits, and by doing these, you’re loving your body enough to put in the extra effort so that it gets what it really deserves

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So there you have it! Those are just four of my favorite ways to show your body self-love on a daily basis. What are some of things you like to do to keep your self-love rolling strong? Share in the comments below!

What IS self-love, and why are we so obsessed with it?

We always hear all this talk about self-love and how important it is, but what exactly IS self-love? What constitutes as self-love? And why are we as a generation so obsessed with it?

I mean, think about it. Self-love wasn’t a term I heard until well into my college years. Self-love and self-care wasn’t something I grew up on, and I’m willing to bet most of you didn’t either.

Self-love at its core is defined simply as “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristics).” Yes, I did google that, and yes I think it sums it up pretty well. Self-love is really just putting yourself first. Taking the time to do the things that make you happy, that put you in a good state of wellbeing (be it physical, mental, emotional), and that put you in the best place to take on life!

Self-love also means being kind to yourself. Not being too harsh on yourself for making mistakes, pep-talking yourself, and treating yourself now and again when you need it!

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All in all, self-love comes down to just truly taking care of yourself and being cognizant of all your needs. So why are we so obsessed with it today? It seems every time you turn around there’s a new article or post about how to show yourself a little bit of self-love. Maybe it stems from the new emotional and psychological awareness this generation seems to have. Millennials seem to be a lot more sensitive to the true state of our emotional affairs than generations prior were.

Think about it. The norm even as early as twenty years ago was to bury your emotions, to just get over it, and to not rock the boat, even at the risk of having to suppress some deep-seated trauma. I’ve asked my mom about this in the past, and the best answer she has is “That’s just how it was,” because that’s really all there is to it!

Now, thankfully, we have much more of an emphasis on lifting each other up, lifting ourselves up, and caring for the all around well-being of ourselves and others. I love the self-love movement, and I’ll be the first to admit I preach it to anyone and everyone. Here’s to continuing loving and caring for the wonderful person you are; whether you know it or not, YOU DESERVE IT!

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How To STOP Caring So Much About What Other People Think!

Hey everybody!

On Monday, I talked about why we all care so much what other people think about us. Not that I have an exact explanation, but I have my theories. I felt like it only made sense to follow up with how to STOP caring about what other people think.

Disclaimer: I do NOT have this down pat. I definitely still care way too much, and I hate that I do, but these are some things that I do when I catch myself being too aware of the rest of the world.

1. Remind yourself of the people whose opinions actually matter.

This is a smaller list than you think. Of course, the only one who actually has to be happy with yourself is you, and you are entitled to cut out any toxic people who make you feel badly, and no one is allowed to tell you how to live your life. That being said, there are a few people whose opinions I value, and genuinely care what they think and have to say, and I try to live my life in a way that they will respect and be proud of. Just as an example, here’s my list:
-God. My parents. My grandparents.  My boyfriend. My best friends.

Yeah, that’s it. The guy sitting in traffic next to me? The couple in front of me in line at the store? The girls in my class? Doesn’t matter. Decide on your own list, and run through it in your mind in moments you find yourself caring too much about how you appear.

2. Ask yourself what consequence you’re really trying to avoid.

If this random person is actually judging you as you think they are, what’s the consequence of that? What exactly are you trying to avoid? Are you afraid of being ridiculed publicly? Are you afraid of people talking badly behind your back? Are you afraid of losing friends? Are you just afraid of that judgy thought existing in someone’s mind? Try to really narrow it down. And then…

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Okay, so the thought process doesn’t have to be THIS in depth, but you get the idea! 

3. Ask yourself if that consequence would really be so bad.

Being ridiculed in public would be really embarrassing, but would your life end, or would you be afraid to leave your house? If people are talking badly about you behind your back, are they really the petty, negative individuals you want to be impacting your life? Because they probably aren’t giving what you think of them a second thought. If your friends would abandon you over whatever decision you’re trying to make, are they really the supportive, loving people you need in your life anyway? Do you see where this is all going?

4. DON’T STOP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING! 

This can manifest in a number of ways, but all of them definitely require stepping out of your comfort zone, so get ready. If you’re worried about people judging you for listening to Hannah Montana at top volume with your windows down, resist the urge to side glance at drivers next to you and turn the radio lower. Just keep rocking out and ignoring. On the other end, if you’re worried about people judging you for leaving a graduate school program, but you’re sure the decision is right for you, then just make it. Everyone will get over it, and that decision impacts YOUR life, NOT theirs.

It’s a lot of self-analysis, a lot of self-awareness, and a lot of stepping out of your comfort zone, but going through this thought process tends to help me when I’m really caught up with the world around me. This is exactly what I was going through when I was trying to decide if I wanted to start a blog. I ultimately decided it was worth it, put on my big girl pants, and said screw everyone else, I’m trying something new. And guess what? The world is still turning, I still exist, and everything is pretty okay.

I hope that was somewhat helpful! Let me know what you think, or if you have anything you do to help you stop caring so much about people’s opinions!

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I know this is cheesy, okay, I just felt like it was necessary.

Why Do We All Care So Much What Other People Think?!

Hey everyone,

Today’s post is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve been doing a lot of self work, and in my attempt to be more self aware, I realized I care WAY too much about what other people think. Like, WAY too much. Once I was aware of it, it seemed like every single move I made I was doing with the thought of what everyone would think.

And by everyone, I mean EVERYONE. My best friend, my boyfriend, my instagram followers, my next door neighbor, the people in line behind me at Target, all my facebook friends, the girls I went to high school with whom I haven’t spoken to in years. And you know the worst part? I couldn’t figure out why I cared!

I mean, think about it. Really think about it. What difference does it truly make if a few of your followers think you’re a dork? Or if the girl behind you in Target is prettier than you and makes you feel awkward? What if someone else notices? None of that stuff matters!

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This is what I always tell myself whenever I get too caught up in people’s opinions!

And so why do we all care? Is it social media? Is it just that we as humans have an inherent need to be liked and included? Maybe a bit of both? That’s what my money is on. Humans like to belong. We like to feel included. We like to know that we are liked and supported. And no matter how many times you say you don’t care, you do at heart, even a little, because I guarantee you still run decisions by your friends. Why? Because you want them to approve and remain your friends.

Really think about it. Start to notice your own thought process, and you’ll see how many times a day you wonder what the people around you are thinking. And honestly ask yourself why. I know that I want everyone to like me, and I need to get used to the fact that not everyone will. That’s just how life works.

We as a population put way too much stock into what the rest of the world thinks–myself more than most people–but we never really stop to think exactly why it’s important to us, and what would happen if we just stopped noticing.

So, think about that a little. Sit with it. Let it make you uncomfortable, I’ll be back Wednesday, and we can chat about it some more.