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.

nature3.JPG
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.

nature1
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!

Advertisements

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!

Day 14: Self Care Sunday: What to do when you just can’t shake it

Once again, I have to apologize for disappearing briefly. Y’all, I’ve been a straight up MESS, with this insane sinus infection, and grad school finals (I’m in a really intense program where classes are only 8 weeks) and work and literally just attempting to function. Which brings me to today’s (late) post…

What do you do when you just can’t shake it? You know what I’m talking about. You get in that mood where everything is wrong. You’re stressed out. You’re busy. You start neglecting things like sleep, and proper nutrition, and working out, and you just can’t lose the funk, no matter how many self help books you read. Guess what? It’s okay.

adorable-animal-basket-127027.jpg
TIP: sometimes looking at cute lil animals cheers me up in the moment!

Of course, I’d like to say that if you are in such a state that you literally cannot function (as in get out of bed, shower, leave the house, go to work, complete basic tasks, etc.) on any level, you may actually be dealing with a clinical mental illness such as depression, and you should seek professional help immediately.

The funk I’m talking about here is when you’re just feeling kind of “meh” about everything and can’t seem to get yourself on a roll again. Sometimes, the first step is just acknowledging these feelings are here and this is happening. Okay, yeah, maybe I am stressed. I haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been eating well. I haven’t been taking care of myself. What can I do about it?

Start with just the basics. Look at your week right now. Is there anything you can step back from just for the moment? Cancel a weekly coffee date? Ask your friend at work to pick up your shift? Set aside a chunk of time for just YOU. Then, start restructuring things so that you can manage to squeeze in enough sleep. This is so important. Even if it means not making your 4:30 am workout, or closing down netflix early. Sleep is vital.

Yes, I know there are still other things going on in your life, but if you’re overwhelmed, trying to fix everything at once won’t work. Pick certain things. First, start getting enough sleep. Then, focus on feeding yourself more fruits and veggies. Then, start finding time to add a workout in.

I also like to try to put in little acts of self care throughout my day to try to get myself more excited and feeling better. Using a nice body scrub in the shower, putting on my really soft PJ’s at night, snuggling up with my favorite blanket and some tea, lighting candles. Just something that makes me feel special.

blur-close-up-coffee-236699.jpg
Tea? Fuzzy socks? Sounds good.

And remember, everything comes to an end. You will not feel like this forever. It sucks right now, but it will come to an end. Put your health first. There is nothing heroic or poetic about being miserable and about to burn out. I’ve found that to be such an overwhelming idea within our culture, that we fight to see who is neglecting themselves more. That’s a post for a different time though.

Sleep. Nutrition. Exercise. Self Care. Be gentle with yourself. Again, if you cannot function, if you are in more than just a “meh-feeling-funk,” you may be dealing with a clinical mental illness. Please seek professional help immediately to determine what is going on.

Thanks for reading guys! I promise, I’ll try to be more on top of things.  I only have one final left & then my new round of classes starts,  so hopefully I’ll be less insane. I’m also trying to input some of these tips in my own life LOL! We’ll see what happens!

 

 

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.

animal-cozy-cup-218763.jpg

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

adult-autumn-casual-663437.jpg

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!

treat yo self.gif

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!

bill-billboard-empty-953162.jpg

Self Care Sunday: Reflection

Hey hey hey,

Happy Sunday! This is the second Self Care Sunday post of this blog’s existence, which I’m excited about. So I figured today, I’d kind of just delve back into how my weekly focus on self care went in order to better direct the way this is going to go.

This week was hard, no lies. It’s not that I had a lot to do; it’s actually the opposite. I had a lot of time this week to sort of sit around and do nothing, and that is definitely not how I prefer to spend my time. I like to be goinggoinggoingoinggoing all the time. So this week, I was actually pretty sad and feeling useless about it. As much as I maybe didn’t handle it as well as I should have, it was an important lesson. It’s important to be able to sit with being by yourself and not having much to do. It’s not healthy to be moving at light speed every single day. It’s nice to have time to read a book, watch a show, sleep in a little more, dedicate yourself to an especially good workout. As it happens, I did all of those things this week.

Yeah, it was actually really hard for me, as crazy as that sounds, but I did something as a result of that. I scheduled today to purposefully be a pretty slow day after a busy weekend. I slept in a bit, took my time getting ready, and spent the majority of my morning at church. It was exactly what I needed today, and for the rest of this week. (It’s so crazy how sometimes it’s like, God just KNOWS what you need to hear!! Am I the only one who ever feels targeted??) I came home, ate a salad, read a book, and I did do the things I had to get done, but not like a crazy person. Not like my life depended on it. I just did them.

adult-armchair-beverage-846080
The look on this random stock photo girls’s face says it all; sometimes the most satisfying thing is just sitting down and having a cuppa tea! 

I’m going to finish a couple things for work. I’m going to eat some dinner. I’m going to talk to a friend on the phone. And I’m going to do the rest of the week like this; getting done the things I have to get done, but not at a speed where it feels like I’m punishing myself. Still making time to do the things that are good for me, whether it be mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

I think that’s a lot of what self care is, and that’s what I’ve learned this past week. It’s just being kind to yourself, living your life,  but living it in a way where you’re comfortable just being sometimes, you know?

That’s my self care reflection; next Sunday is going to be something super exciting, and I can’t wait to talk about it! Have a good week everyone; I’ll talk to you tomorrow!