Advice For My Younger Self – But Everyone Needs To Hear

Advice For My Younger Self – But Everyone Needs To Hear!

 

advice for my younger self

 

Don’t you wish sometimes you could go back in time, and give yourself some encouraging words of wisdom? I know I do. I know that we all go through difficult times as children or adolescents. For those of you who didn’t hear this as a child or young person… I’ll tell you now.

Advice For My Younger Self

 

“You are really beautiful, don’t let anyone tell you different. Even yourself.”

“You don’t need the approval of your peers.”

“You are smart, dedicated, and you can be anyone you want.”

“Life can be really shitty right now, but it will get so much better.”

“Giving up early will take away your amazing future.”

“You are worth so much more than you believe.”

“Your body belongs to you, and no one else.” 

“No matter what anyone tells you, you are perfect the way you are.” 

“You will achieve great things.”

“Ride out this storm, and you’ll be able to handle anything. I promise you that.”

“You are so much stronger than you believe.”

“You deserve so much more than you let yourself have.”

So let yourself have it!

I’ll tell you a short story.

My junior year of high school I started receiving counseling for issues at home. It wasn’t the best counseling experience I’ve ever had, but I took advantage of what I had at the time.

The resources in rural Alaska are limited, so you take what you can get.

I took away something really special from those sessions. Through counseling I decided that someday, I would become the person I needed at that age. I wanted to become the strong, intelligent woman I always wanted in my life.

This is essentially why I decided to study Psychology. I wasn’t very familiar with it at the time, but I wanted to learn about people. I wanted to know why people think and act the way they do. I wanted to understand addiction and disease. I wanted to learn how to be that person I always needed.

And I did.

I spent five years studying psychology, in hopes of graduating with a whole lot of new skills and knowledge. And I did.

In a way, I used my psychology degree as a form of counseling. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but that’s exactly what it became. It was my own way of understanding what happened to me.

Really shitty things happen sometimes, but they happen. Your only option is to deal with your obstacles. You have no other choice. You either let life pull you down, or you rise above adversity.

When I was a child and young adult, what I really needed was really good advice. I needed a passionate mentor to help guide me through my obstacles. I needed love and encouragement. Through the adversity I experienced, I’ve blossomed into exactly what I needed as a child.

But It’s Not Easy!

Don’t let me fool you though. It’s been a grotesquely long, difficult journey. And it’s not over yet! Every day is a struggle, but life is worth it.

Life is so incredibly worth it! ***repeat, repeat, repeat!!!

I have so much love and compassion for the young woman I used to be. I had no idea how amazing life could be. I had no idea how amazing I would become. How amazing I will continue to be.

Every day I wake up with an opportunity to start fresh and learn something new. Life can be so rewarding if you make it!

The unsavory things that happen to us are simply reminders of how strong we are.

Take every experience you receive and learn something from it. Grow from it. Become better from it. 

Be the inspiration you needed when you were younger.

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Anxiety – Reduce Anxiety in 10 Ways!

Reduce Your Anxiety – 10 Ways!

reduce anxiety

Here are 10 ways I reduce my own anxiety!

  • Create a manageable routine

Create a plan for the day. Set goals for yourself. It’s extremely rewarding organizing a plan, and keeping up with daily tasks. Anxiety can often set you apart from your goals, so I would advise setting manageable goals. List your daily activities, and list everything that you would like to accomplish. My anxiety tends to get out of control if I don’t have a plan in place. I know that I need structure in my day, and a planner to keep me on track.

  • Exercise

Instead of worrying your mind into oblivion, you can worry about how you’ll get through your work out. Exercise keeps your mind busy on things that are in the present. Anxiety often keeps your mind in the past or future. To combat this, keep yourself in the present with exercising. It’s hard to focus on all your anxieties when you’re gasping for air, or keeping dumbbells from smashing your feet. Eh?

Plus it’s all scientific and stuff. By that I mean, your body releases endorphins when you raise your heart rate. Endorphins make you happy! If you’re not up for a hard core gym work out, just go for a walk around the neighborhood to clear your head. It works for me!

  • Write about it

Holy crap, this saved my life a few times. Okay, maybe not SAVED my life, but it helped a ton.

I’ll tell you a short story.

I flew to visit my dad for the holidays and I brought my dog along with me. For those of you who haven’t flown with an animal before, I’ll warn you, it’s a tad stressful. Or for me, I thought I was going to die, but mostly, I thought my dog was going to die. There’s prep work that goes into it including vet visits, certificates, planning, and some extra cash.

This is what happened

My fur baby was part of my checked baggage.

So every time I got on the plane, my anxiety would flare uncontrollably. Is she on the plane? Is she okay? She hasn’t gone to the bathroom in hours. She’s probably really sad and stressed out. She has no idea what’s going on. She thinks I’ve abandoned her. All hell breaks loose in my mind.

When you fly with an animal, a flight person will give you a scrap of paper saying that your animal is safe and on the plane. Naturally, I had WAY TOO MUCH anxiety to wait for them to come to me, so I would kind of freak out and call an attendant over as soon as possible.

Flying home, it got worse. My flight was cancelled, and everything was delayed after that.

When I finally got on that plane, I was hysterical. My anxiety was so bad I felt like I was going to blow up!

I was trying to conceal my crying and cringing, and almost vomiting from the happy couple sitting beside me.

In that situation I had zero control over what was happening to my dog. I didn’t trust that she was okay. She was probably freaking out, and I sure as hell was.

I WAS FREAKING OUT.

So what did I do? I started writing. Do what you can to calm down, and wait it out. Is there anything else I could’ve done? I got the little piece of paper saying my dog was okay. I wasn’t able to see her, feed her, or take her outside. My only option was to wait it out.

So short story, long, my sweet fur baby survived and I did too. But I almost didn’t make it.

Can any of you relate?

The point of this long story

So the point of this story is for me to tell you how I consoled myself.

I took out my laptop, hid my face and tears, and started typing. Just typing. Like a journal entry. I just started typing how I was feeling, and what was going on. After a few pages of angry, and booger filled tissues, I started to calm down. Did I fully stop freaking out until I saw my dog? No.

But I did what I could, with what I had at that time. 

The lesson to be learned here. Do everything you can, with what you have, at that time. There are many things in life we cannot control, but there are things to help us ease the anxiety that comes along with it.

  • Reason with yourself

This one is one of the more difficult ones, and I often find that talking it out with a friend helps. So you have anxiety. You might be thinking something bad is going to happen, but will that bad thing actually happen? Probably not. It’s easy to tell ourselves after the fact, but in the moment…we’re going to die! I know how it feels.

If you’re able, try to have an objective conversation with yourself. Are these walls really closing in on me? Is there actually no more air in the room? Will my entire life crumble from one mistake? Probably not. Unless you’re in space, in which case I would really pay attention to your surroundings.

If talking to yourself doesn’t work, talk to a trusted friend or loved one. People on the outside of the anxiety are really good at the reasoning.

  • Learn to say no

We know what triggers our anxiety, and we know what doesn’t. Learning to say no can be extremely calming.

For example, if you’re introverted, don’t force yourself to be an extrovert because you “have to”.

It’s funny actually, you don’t have to do everything everyone else does. Strange right?

There is nothing wrong with saying no. Do what’s best for yourself, and do what makes you comfortable. You don’t have to force yourself into uncomfortable situations just because you feel obligated. Your friends and family will understand.

  • Cuddle your pet

Oh baby! This one’s my favorite! Anytime I’m feeling extra anxious, there is no better time to cuddle my fur baby. Everything seems to just float away with a quick belly rub, or warm fuzzy purrrrr….. Your pets will always be there for you, and they want you to be as happy as they are.

  • Spend time with loved ones

Spend time with people you love. Surround yourself with people that you’re comfortable with. Take up all your time with people you can be silly with. Life is too short to waste time with people who make you feel uncomfortable or anxious.

Avoid the bad, cling to the good.

  • Smell the good smells

The right essential oils or candle can be very calming. Get yourself an essential oil diffuser and feel the anxiety melt away. Breathe in the good, breathe out the bad. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

  • Breathe dammit!

Meditation can be frustrating at first, but with practice you can really make progress. Our anxious minds have a difficult time staying focused on any single thing. I know how that feels! Our mind is racing a million miles a minute, and you expect us to be calm?! Yes.

You breathe…a thought passes your mind, and another, and another, you breathe out. Meditation helps you focus on breathing, being aware of your thoughts, and releasing them without frustration. That’s the key! Meditation isn’t for erasing what’s in your mind.

  • Be proactive about bedtime

Take a hot bath. Indulge in complete comfort.

Put on your bunny slippers and the cozy pants!

Brew yourself a cup of tea.

Set the ambiance by lighting some candles.

Turn off your electronics.

Read a book, and fall asleep. Easy peasy!

If you have difficulty easing your mind, try meditation. Focus on breathing and counting. When you lose track of the breathing, calmly start counting and breathing again. Just continue with your practice.

Breathe in 1, 2, 3, breathe out 1, 2, 3. Do that until you’re comfortable. Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4, breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe and count.

I’m not going to lie to you. Sometimes this doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I spend hours breathing and failing to fall asleep.

But like I mentioned before, do what you can, with what you have right now.

No one can ask any more of you.

Anxiety is really tough, but I promise you… you are a hell of a lot stronger. 

Let me know how it goes, friends!

An Open Letter To My Depression

An Open Letter To My Depression

open letter to my depression

F*CK YOU

Fuck you. Seriously. I didn’t ask for this. Who do you think you are? Coming in here and latching onto me like I don’t have other things going on. I have friends, and family, and a life.

Show some respect, and exist the room quietly. I’m sorry, but you’re just that person no one likes. Don’t make it more awkward by sticking around, keeping small talk, and hovering over me like I’m your only friend at the party.

Do you get a kick out of this? Do you like making people miserable? Do you get off on that? Because that’s sick. You should be ashamed of yourself.

It’s Not Really Your Fault

Despite all the shitty things you say to me, it’s not your fault actually. You were gifted to me. It’s your job. Me being the hopeless ignorant child I was, I had it coming. I didn’t know who you were. We became best friends early on. We became close, you know, because misery loves company or some bullshit like that.

I should’ve broken up with you a long time ago. I guess I wasn’t ready? I needed some time to figure some shit out before I let you go.

It’s Time To Let Go

But now I’m annoyed. You’re like the obsessed ex-boyfriend that just won’t let go. You linger. You call, and I hit ignore. You text me an embarrassing amount of times, and I don’t reply. I should block you, but in a sick twisted way I kind of like the attention.

Every encounter with you is miserable, but you remind me of how incredibly fucking strong I am. So thanks for reminding me of how much I’m worth, and how much I deserve.

In a way I like constantly rejecting you, because it shows me how much I love myself. I’m too good for you. I’m too happy for you, and I have too much to accomplish in my life. You hold me back, and I’m ready for separation.

But know this, I’ll never forget you. And I thank you for making me stronger. Because how do you know how strong you are until you’ve been tested?

But We’re Not Done Yet

I know you’ll visit me now and again. I know you’ll be stalking me you fucking creeper. I know this isn’t over, but remember that I’m chipping you off bit by bit. I wash off your stink every morning. I don’t even feel bad. No regrets over here. I’ll be glad to be rid of you someday. But it is not this day.

Today you’re still the faint fog lingering around me like an unsavory aura. On the bad days, it’s suffocating, and difficult to see through. On the good days I can barely see you. It’s like you’re not even there, and eventually, you won’t be.

Someday Will Be Goodbye Old Friend

Eventually, I’ll see you as an old friend. I’ll wave at you as you pass and consume some other poor soul. I’ll smile at that other person with grace and understanding. I can’t offer them a solution, but I can offer them an experienced ear to listen.

For The Friends Of People With Depression

And for those of you who were gifted with that shiny depression shield, I’ll ask you a favor. Listen, and try to understand. Help out your fellow human and accept them as they are. Everyone needs a little love. Pass on the love.

Why You Need A Gratitude Journal

Why You Need A Gratitude Journal

gratitude journal

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

 

How grateful are you? That may not be a question you’re often asked. It’s just kind of assumed right? “I have gratitude!” Well just to solidify that…

The More Grateful You Are, The Happier You’ll Be

I’m a firm believer in the idea that the more grateful you are, the happier you can be. Positivity and gratitude was a total game changer for me. Because who doesn’t want to be happy and positive and grateful for shit?

I decided a while ago that I have complete control over my own happiness. Something that got me there was my gratitude. It’s very simple. It takes a little work, but you can really change your world if you want to. The more you are grateful for, the more things you have to be happy about.

I find that nowadays people take everything for granted, or at least that’s how it seems. And there is so much to be grateful for. Like damn, we have everything we could ever need, and that’s doesn’t seem to be good enough.

Bottom line, look at how much the world offers you all the time. Appreciate the people who take time out of their day to improve yours. That’s really special, and don’t ever take that for granted.

My Journey To Gratitude

So, my mother wasn’t well equipped to be a mother, and that kind of sucked for me. Although I don’t wish how I was treated upon anyone, I would never wish for another upbringing.

Why, you ask?

I can’t take back the past and change who I came from. There’s no point dwelling on that. And, if I had a different upbringing, I wouldn’t be the strong resilient woman I am today. I’m grateful for that.

I describe my mother as a bad role model. She taught me how NOT to do everything. She showed me how NOT to treat people. She showed me how NOT to talk to people. She showed me how NOT to live my life.

Granted, it took me a while before I figured that out. What I did (instead of being salty about it my whole life), was I started to become grateful for what I did have. I did have a lot of things I learned from her. Whether it was a hard lesson learned or not, a lesson learned nonetheless.

So I took that, and I ran with it!

You Can’t Change Your Past, And That’s Okay

A huge part of becoming happy again was learning gratitude. I figure since I can’t change my past, I’ll change how I think about it. I’ll change my future. You forgive what bad happened to you, and you become grateful for what you do have. Sounds pretty fucking easy, and it can be!

Now I can’t help you with everything, but I can show you how to be grateful. I promise if you really want to change your life, you will. I have all the faith in the world in you! I know that if I can do it, you can too!

So the first time I made a grateful for list, I went all out! I listed everything my mind could muster up. I ended up writing like ten pages worth of things to be grateful for, (because there is a ton to be grateful for!) Sometimes you just need to remind yourself.

Then you make a habit out of it. Before you know it, you’ll be grateful all day, everyday.

Be Ridiculously Fucking Grateful

That’s how you should be. Ridiculously fucking grateful. Because life is short. Why waste your life complaining about what you don’t have? Spend your time thinking about what you DO have!

You don’t need a ton of money, fancy cars, tons of friends, expensive clothing, or a mansion to be happy. All you need is to be grateful. “What? It’s that easy? There’s no way!”

Well, there you have it folks. Be fucking grateful, and you’ll find you have a ton to be happy about.

I’ve practiced this for so damn long that I can’t even journal about why I’m pissed off. I’ll tell you something kind of funny.

Now I Can’t Be Ungrateful

I was kind of pissed off the other day. I mean, we all have those days right? Things and people getting on our nerves and such?

How I figure out my shit

Well something that I’ve done to help calm my nerves and mind, is to write. I’ll take my computer somewhere and I’ll type angrily until I feel better. Everything goes. (Insert every swear word in CAPS here) It releases the bad vibes onto my computer instead of people.

What happened instead

So I got my computer and started typing. I was expecting to mildly abuse my computer with my angry typing fingers, but instead something else happened. I listed why I was upset, and then I started talking about how fucking grateful I was for everything. What the fuck? I wanted to be angry, but I just resolved my issues instead. By being grateful. Who knew? Strange right?

So it’s taken me a while to get to this point, and I’m not saying that I’ll cure all your future angry outbursts. However, I can tell you how much I’ve changed by just being grateful. Damn. Quick solution. You’re welcome friends!

So I challenge you to start a grateful for list.

How To Make A Gratitude Journal

First, grab a cute journal. Check!

Then list everything that you could possibly be grateful for. Friends, family, lessons learned, education, happiness, health, books, knowledge, your favorite food, your home, coffee (because yum!), the sun, the grass, your favorite smell, movies, the air you breathe? I could go on forever.

You may not have your dream job, your favorite car, or a house in the hills, but you sure as hell have things to be grateful for. So write them down.

Practice gratitude everyday. After you’ve covered everything you can think of, read my blog post about Three Good Things. This is how you practice gratitude every day.

Eventually you’ll start looking for the good in your life,  and the difficult situations will be a lot less hard.

To get started, buy yourself a cute little journal to record all your happy thoughts in.

This will be your gratitude journal. Use it, and let the gratitude and happiness flow!

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Forgiveness – It’s For You, Not Them

Forgiveness is for you, not them.

forgiveness

My story of forgiveness

My icky, sticky road to forgiveness. Feel free to skip this and get to the good stuff if you can’t help yourself!

I’m going to share with you something very personal. I had sort of an epiphany moment one night while bullshitting with my roommates.

For all my life I was upset and resentful towards my biological parents. To put it simply… abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, and drug addiction. They didn’t ask for forgiveness, nor do they deserve it, but I need my peace. ‘Nuff said.

So with all those wonderful little gifts that were given to me, I couldn’t help but believe…

If my biological parents can’t love me, how on earth can anyone else love me?

Epiphany moment! TA DA!

The people in my life that DO love me, aren’t related to me by blood. So this must mean I’m actually really lovable, because they don’t HAVE to love me. They choose to love me, for me! (Because I’m awesome) Isn’t that better anyway? (In a sick, twisted sort of way) Haha, but anyway…

Through this realization, I learned a lot all at once. I learned that I am lovable, and I do deserve love. I gained self awareness, and self-esteem by switching my mindset. This also gave me the strength to forgive my biological parents. I feel sorry for them, and I also feel compassion for them.

Why? Because I refuse to let them weigh me down anymore. I forgive them because I want to be at peace, and I want to let go of all the ill feelings they created. I don’t want all those bad beliefs to linger and spill over into other relationships. I’m going to be happy, dammit! And I deserve nothing less!

Forgiveness frees you, and brings you peace. I’m a walking example of that.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness, by definition, is the conscious and voluntary decision to release yourself from ill feelings and resentment from another that has caused you harm in any way. Note this does not mean forgetting and excusing actions of the other person. Forgiving someone also means letting go of the ill feelings, regardless if the other person asked for forgiveness, or even deserves it.

Kind of harsh right? Hell no!

This brings us to our next conversation. Who is forgiveness for?

Who is forgiveness for?

Forgiveness is for you, and only you.

I know it’s tempting to expect an apology from someone, but that will only keep you frustrated. Don’t expect an apology! If the person thinks you deserve an apology and has the courage to do so, they will give you an apology!

Sometimes people don’t realize they’ve hurt you.

This is when you speak up and tell them! They can’t read your mind! Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. What are you afraid of?

Are you afraid of them not listening to your feelings, dismissing them, or making fun of you? Fuck them. You don’t need people like that in your life. Only keep people in your life that care about you. It’s very simple.

So who is forgiveness for? Forgiveness is for people who want to let go of the bad feelings left there by others.

Don’t do it for them, do it for yourself and you will have peace.

Why we need to forgive

Some people don’t ask for forgiveness. Others don’t deserve forgiveness. That’s okay.

We forgive for ourselves right?

You need to learn to forgive others so you can live as happily and as healthy as possible. Forgiveness allows you to be aware of the situation, and let it go.

We all know bottling up feelings is harmful right? Do yourself a favor and cauterize the wound before it festers and creates a bigger problem.

This brings us to when we should forgive people.

When should we forgive?

Right away!

The sooner you forgive someone, the sooner you can move on.

I know this ones hard, but just suck it up and do it!

How do we forgive?

Forgiving someone is difficult, and especially when they don’t deserve it. But remember, we forgive to give ourselves peace.

We have zero control over others and their actions. Let go of what you can’t control.

What you can control is how you react to people and their actions. For example…

Someone does something shitty to you. *it hurts and we’re aware of that*

When they apologize, or don’t. *remember that they treat you that way (perhaps) because they’ve been treated that way*

I feel some compassion coming on…

Just like us, they have the option to be shitty or not. We don’t cause their actions, so DON’T believe that they’re being shitty because YOU deserve it. You don’t deserve people being shitty to you, and they don’t deserve it either.

Start the chain reaction, and kill harm with kindness. Stop harm in it’s tracks, and don’t let it gain momentum.

The quicker you forgive, the quicker you can feel peace.

This is where you make the decision to distance yourself from them, or keep them close. You are the best judge of what’s best for you. Make good decisions for yourself.

Remember you are the one responsible for your own happiness. Let yourself have it!

So what’s your story?

Have you forgiven someone that didn’t give you an apology?

Share with me in the comments!

Art Therapy At Home – Self Care And Healing

Art Therapy At Home – Self Care And Healing

So what is Art Therapy?

It may sound pretty straight forward to some of us, but for those of us who want more information…

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that utilizes the creative process of making art to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

So how does it work?

This creative artistic process can help people alleviate issues, manage behavior and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self esteem and awareness of the body and mind.

You don’t need to be a professional or talented artist to partake in the fun! Anyone can participate in art therapy, and anyone can enjoy it!

What’s really fantastic about art therapy is that it can be tailored to each individual, and can be varied depending on each person’s interests. And if art isn’t something that interests you, there is also music and dance therapy.

The therapy part comes in when a professional guides and interprets the art you create. To manage emotions and increase self esteem, therapists often use talk therapy in conjunction with the art making. If you’re not interested in actually going to a therapist, try this at  home version to help yourself.

How I Use Art Therapy At Home

Since I’m a painter, I love doing art therapy. I use specific techniques in art therapy for a variety of reasons. I use it as a sort of meditative painting to get myself started for days of painting, and to get my creative juices flowing. This prep work helps me center myself, gain awareness of my emotions, and loosen up my creative hand.

I’m going to share with you my own little form of art therapy I do at home!

This is not professional practice because I lack the actual therapist! But that’s okay, it’s still very calming and healing.

While I was in therapy recently, my wonderful counselor recommended this practice.

Depending on what you like as far as art medium, this will vary with each person.

How To – Art Therapy At Home

First, put calming music on that would be beneficial for meditation. This is also when I turn on an essential oil diffuser to really set the mood for success. I really like jasmine or lavender!

Second, gather all your art supplies and surround yourself with them. This is also when I prep my canvas or paper. Using a plate or other round object, I trace a circle on the paper to create a guide for a mandala.

A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. A mandala is often used for meditation, and is said to represent the universe and life as a whole.

You don’t have to use a mandala as a guide, but I particularly like the cyclical shape, and orbital direction of the painting after I’m finished.

Third, sit in a comfortable position. Take a few minutes to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and gain awareness of what you’re feeling at this moment.

Are you feeling calm and collected? Are your feeling frustrated and anxious? Really listen to what your body and mind is telling you.

Fourth, set all judgement aside and pick up your brush, pen, or your favorite utensil. Start by adding the medium to the page. Create what you’re feeling. It doesn’t have to be anything or any particular object, but it can be if you want. It can be abstract, expressionist, or realistic.

Why We Love Art Therapy

The purpose of this is to create awareness, mindfulness, peace, and calm. I can’t provide a therapist for you, but I can provide a little something that I do to center myself.

Remember, do not place judgement on yourself or your creation. This is purely for your enjoyment and mindfulness practice.

“But Jordan, I don’t have art supplies and creative mind! I know I’ll just embarrass or frustrate myself!”

I totally know how you feel. I’ll take care of you!

An Easier Version!

Now! If this all seems a little out of your comfort zone, I have something else for you!

If you’re not up for creating your own piece of art, color in one that’s already made for you! I know not all of you are artists like me, so I found something completely stress free for you to try!

Adult coloring books are the thing for you! They are just as enjoyable, equally as calming, and super fun!

ANYONE can do this! I’ve taken the time to find what you need. Thank me later! This Mandala Coloring Book comes with everything you need to get started!

 


What are your thoughts?

Share with me how it goes in the comments!

How To Improve Your Body Image

How To Improve Your Body Image

Ways To Improve Body Image

What do you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror? What are you saying to yourself?

Do you feel content, beautiful, and confident? Do you tell yourself that you’re grateful for your body, and what it does for you?

Or do you focus on your flaws, weight, and skin color? Do you compare yourself to the Instagram model that is the epitome of perfection? Because she is damn beautiful. But guess what? So are you. You are equally as beautiful and worthy of love.

I know that I’m guilty of comparing myself to others, but I’m going to share with you what I’ve done to help myself stop.

Avoid hurtful media 

Avoiding the media is nearly impossible, but you have a say in what you give your attention to. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with the media’s expectations of appearance. Don’t buy into it! The entire business thrives on our insecurity! If one day everyone woke up happy with their appearance, they would go out of business.

Understand that there are infinite varieties of beauty, and the media’s representation is not the only one. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others on magazines or social media, find something else to give your attention to.

Seek out media that reinforces a positive body image

Instagram is a great place to find thousands of body positive people! I love following beautiful individuals on Instagram who celebrate their bodies, and love themselves for who they are. They respect their bodies, and don’t judge themselves by their size, color, or appearance. I especially love the proud women who show their natural skin and hair. It’s incredibly inspiring.

Avoid conversation about appearance 

As a society we spend so much of our time and effort on appearance. There are a gazillion (that’s a number) and one other things to talk about. Think of all the characteristics you have to offer that don’t include your appearance.

Your job, your family, friends, your contribution to your community, your influence on others. It’s a huge list, right? Putting too much emphasis on your appearance will devalue all of the other great things about you. Talk about what you’ve accomplished rather than your appearance.

Eat mindfully, not obsessively

Eating mindfully means being intentional with the food that you’re consuming. Provide your body what it needs by feeding it healthy, nutritious, wholesome food. Obsessing about the number of calories you consume, or being prisoner to diets, is horrible for your health. Not to mention it is zero fun!

Please take care of yourself and don’t punish yourself for eating what you love. Moderation is key with everything. If you love chocolate, eat the damn chocolate! You know, just don’t eat an entire gallon because it’s probably not good for you. Or splurge on pizza once in a while, because how can you love without it?

Live by this one rule

Don’t say anything to yourself, that you wouldn’t say to your best friend. This is so incredibly important! You wouldn’t bad mouth your friend, so don’t do it to yourself. Think about this for a second. If you talked to your best friend the way you talk to yourself…would they still be your friend? I hope so, but if not, change the way you talk to yourself.

Instead of criticizing your body, focus on how beautiful and unique you are.

Create an awesome affirmation, or a few!

Say it with me, “I love and respect my body for what it is right now.” “I am equally as beautiful as everyone else.” “My worth isn’t defined by my weight. I define my worth and I am worthy.” “Body, I promise to love and cherish you always. I am sorry for ever being cruel to you and ask for forgiveness.” Repeat, repeat, repeat…and repeat some more.

Write down your favorite body positive affirmations, and pin them up somewhere you can see them every day. I challenge you to speak these affirmations out loud to yourself, every day until you believe them. It might take a week, a month, or a year. I promise you it’s worth it.

Keep yourself busy with what you love

You are unique, interesting, smart, and talented! Share all of those wonderful things with the world! No one has that special thing that you have, so I want you to celebrate it, perfect it, and share it!

Get lost in what makes you happy. The outdoors, art, music, volunteering, whatever gets you there! The more you focus on what you have to offer, the less you can worry about your appearance.

Have you struggled with a positive body image?

What have you done to improve your body image?

Share with me in the comments!

How To Make A Self Care Package

How To Make A Self Care Package

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

Call me a grandma, but I love to stay in, cozy up in a blanket with a cup of tea, and read. There is nothing more soothing and repairing than a self care day. Whether you’re extra stressed from work, or you just need to pamper yourself, you need self care days!

The amazing thing about self care packages is that you can personalize them to your unique needs! I recommend bringing together a few things that never fail at making you feel fantastic.

Below is a list of my 5 top self care package essentials! Feel free to tweak and exchange whatever you like. Just make sure ultimate relaxation is your top priority!

How To Make The Best Self Care Package Ever!

#1 Comfort Clothing

To make a great self care package, you have to start with ultimate comfort. There is nothing better than going home after a long day and putting on your favorite pajamas.

My favorite pajamas include, soft polar bear pajama pants, a loose comfy t-shirt, and my favorite pair of slippers.

This pair of slippers I received as a gift years ago, and I absolutely love them! They keep your feet comfortable, cozy, and warm. They are essential for the colder months!

#2 A Warm Cozy Coffee/Tea Mug

No self care package is complete without a cozy coffee or tea mug. Warm yourself from the inside out. Collect a beautiful mug that you will love using all day, every day.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am the tea queen. I love tea, and I love coffee. One of my favorite parts of the day is making myself a delicious cup of coffee in the morning before work. I would not survive very happily without it, so I make its priority.

Also, the only thing I collect are coffee mugs. To me, they’re more than a delicious liquid vessel, they’re a crucial piece of my every day comfort. You can say I’m obsessed, it’s okay.

This hand warmer mug is perfect for self care days! The mug wraps around your hand like a little hug! These mugs are perfect!

#3 A Cozy Blanket And A Plushy!

Now I didn’t say that this self care package was something you had to share with anyone! Don’t be embarrassed to reach the ultimate level of comfort! Curl up under a fuzzy blanket and give yourself something to cuddle!

I personally love the snuggle up in cozy fleece blankets. I have this cute little fleece throw that was given to me as a gift and I will never part with it!

Everyone needs a plushy blanket like this!

#4 An Essential Oil Diffuser

This piece of your self care package is super important! Essential oils can be very healing for the mind, body and spirit. I recommend you invest in a small but powerful essential oil diffuser. They are cheap, and they promote such great feelings.

Different essential oils promote different feelings. Essential oil blends are very popular too. For any ailment, I guarantee there is an oil blend you can find to help.

My all time favorite scent is jasmine. I use jasmine and lavender to promote calm and peace of mind. For a more energizing scent, I like to use citrus scents such as lime, lemon, and grapefruit.

This essential oil humidifier is perfect for at home serenity!

#5 A Great Book

Clearing your mind and taking yourself somewhere new an interesting is key! A fun and cheap way to get away is to read a book. Whether you love fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, or even comics, this is a great way to take your mind off the every day stresses of life.

I love reading fantasy and fiction. The last series I read was The 5th Wave series of three books. Ahh! It was so good. If you’ve seen The 5th Wave movie and loved it, definitely buy the series to read! You won’t be disappointed!

What do you do to repair and recharge?

Share with me in the comments!

Toxic Relationships-How To Protect Yourself

Toxic Relationships – How To Protect Yourself

Below I will share with you a simplified version of my childhood, and what I’ve done to protect myself from the toxic relationship that has sprouted from that time.

What I’m about to talk about isn’t easy to express, but it is necessary. I hope that my story and advise will provide you with the confidence you need to protect yourself.

If you have a toxic relationship in your life, and you’re wondering what to do about it, let me share a little of my experience with you.

Let us first talk about what a toxic relationship consists of.

What exactly is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship is characterized by behaviors of the toxic partner, that are emotionally and often physically damaging to the other partner. A toxic relationship damages self-esteem, creates insecurity, selfishness, dominance, and control.

A healthy relationship is the opposite. A healthy relationship promotes self-esteem and good energy. This type of relationship involves compassion, love, care, understanding, and is utmost an emotionally and physical safe place.

For more information about types of toxic relationships and how to know if you’re involved in one, visit this website.

Mommy Dearest

According to popular belief, mothers are undeniably the caretakers of our society. (This isn’t to say dads aren’t amazing parents-go dads!) Mothers are caring, nurturing, loving beings who unconditionally love their children.

Or so they should.

This is not the case with everyone. I, for example do not have that nurturing relationship with my mother. To say that this is painful, would be an understatement.

My Story

From the moment of my conception, I have persisted through many challenges, and at birth I came into a world of uncertainty, abuse, and neglect.

It was at the age of 3 when I was introduced to one of the best relationships of my life, my stepdad (whom I call Dad). Go dads!

Although I’m eternally grateful for what he’s done for me, he could not protect me from the abuse that I endured until the age of 18 when I moved out.

My mother is an alcoholic. It’s a common term, but far more painful than I can express. Her use of drugs and alcohol caused her to abuse and neglect her only child. Me.

Learning What’s Right And What’s Wrong

When I was young, I didn’t understand that it was alcohol forcing my mother’s hand. Instead, I attributed all the physical and emotional abuse to myself, and my failure as a daughter. She hates me, so I must hate myself. She doesn’t give me love, so I don’t deserve love. This relationship is conditional, therefore there is no such thing as unconditional love. The list goes on.

You can imagine the lack of self-esteem, confidence, and the type of body image I had.

When I grew older, I started to realize what was really happening. This occurred around the age of 12, which was the start of my rebellion. My dad asked me, “Do you understand why she pushes your buttons? She wants you to fight back. If you fight back, she can punish you. She has no other reason to.”

I was a good kid, but I was always in trouble. I never seemed to do anything right, and no matter how hard I tried, my mother was never happy.

My dad saved my life. If it hadn’t been for him, I’m not sure if I would be here today to tell you all this.

Although I had one amazing (actually the best ever) parent, my main concern was still the danger that haunted us both.

The Difficult Truth

Living with an alcoholic is sort of like living with an elephant in your living room. An elephant is really an understatement, let’s say instead, really pissed off bull. It’s loud, messy, and dangerous. You have to tiptoe around the house in hopes that you don’t wake the bull. You live in fear.

Ironically, the physical abuse didn’t hurt me nearly as much as the emotional abuse. Physical scars stay with you, but you forget about them. Emotional scars are persistent. These type of injuries stay with you long after the abuse is over, and influence your every move.

The Bright Side

Luckily, there are things you can do about it. First and foremost, if you’re able, avoid toxic relationships in the first place! There is no need to learn from experience with this one, so ditch those toxic people! Repairing damage is far more difficult than avoiding danger entirely.

This is what I’ve done.

Distance Yourself From The Bull

This one is really obvious, but difficult. The first step to protecting yourself from toxic relationships is to get far, far away from them.

When you burn your hand, you take your hand out of the fire. Then, you don’t put it back in. Now this is a bit extreme, because with people, we give them second chances.

When you become close to someone, inevitably you also become vulnerable. Therefore, you may get hurt, but don’t hurt yourself over and over and over again. Do what’s best for yourself.

Take yourself out of the damaging situation as soon as possible. It will be far more worth it in the long run.

Set Boundaries

This step is for those toxic individuals who remain in your life. Whether we choose to keep them in our life, or we have no choice, you still have control over yourself.

You can choose to set boundaries to protect yourself from people. Some examples include:

Talking only when necessary.

Visiting only during family holidays.

Making contact only when necessary.

Setting rules for communicating and being together.

Do what’s best for yourself, and don’t force yourself to be uncomfortable to appease others.

How I Set Boundaries

Personally, I can’t bring myself to cut my mother off entirely. Therefore I set boundaries for myself and for her.

I keep communication to a minimum. When she’s drunk, I tell her nicely that I’m busy, and I can’t talk now. It’s very simple. When I physically see her (which is maybe once a year) I prepare myself, set my boundaries, and create a plan for escape.

Choose when contact happens, and cut it off once I become uncomfortable.

I don’t apologize, because I’m doing what’s best for myself. It may hurt her feelings at times, but I’m protecting myself.

Rebuild, and Relearn

If you have endured a toxic relationship, or are in one currently, do this.

Rebuild what you want to improve. Often times, toxic relationships change the way we see ourselves and the world. Rebuild trust with people, rebuild your self-esteem, rebuild your confidence, and rebuild your independence.

Relearn that you are loved, you are lovable, and you can love. Teach yourself that healthy relationships are possible, and that you aren’t doomed for failure. A healthy relationship starts with two healthy individuals, and grows into a healthy partnership. Remember that.

Don’t allow the past to weigh down your future.

What have you done to protect yourself from toxic relationships?

Share with me in the comments!

How To Live A Positive Life

How To Live A Positive Life

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

You Can Choose To Be Positive

I believe every situation can be seen negatively or positively. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react.

Instead of allowing negative situations to weigh you down, I challenge you to look at it in a positive light. You can choose to be negative, or you can choose to be positive.

I promise you that living life in the positive light will make you so much happier.

Negative Nancy

We all have that friend. Let’s call her “Negative Nancy”. We love Nancy, but we also can’t stand to be around her for too long. She’s so negative! Nancy always has something bad going on in her life, and she never gets a break. It seems like she’s not grateful for anything.

And don’t get me started on her one-up game. You know, you say something, and she negates what you say by telling you she’s dealing with something worse? Gosh I despise that.

Us positive people try to look on the bright side of things, and let Nancy know that you’re there for her. But no amount of listening, advise, or help will change her mind.

It’s quite sad really.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time in my life living on the negative side of things. And guess what? I was miserable. Who wants to live their life unhappy? It’s not fun, and it’s painful.

So if you are a negative Nancy, or would just like to push yourself towards happiness, keep reading.

Change your mindset, Change your life

Let’s be honest for a second. I’m not saying that every minute of every day will rainbows and butterflies. We all have bad days, and it’s appropriate to be upset. But living your life in the dumps is only blocking you from your full potential. Change your mindset, change your life.

Let me provide you with a few examples…

Negative: “I have to walk all the way up this hill to go to school.”

Positive: “I’m grateful that I have healthy legs to take me up this hill, so I can be educated.”

Negative: “I can’t believe I have to wait in line at the grocery store, there are never enough employees working here!”

Positive: “I’m glad that I’m wealthy enough to buy the groceries me and my family need.”

Negative: “I hate driving in traffic to go to work!”

Positive: “I’m lucky enough to have a car to take me to the job that supports me.”

Change your negative into a positive

When I found myself complaining, I would stop, and change it into a positive.

The other day, I was being particularly salty about life, and I had a pretty bad day. I was upset all day and when my boyfriend got home, I told him all about it…

Negative Version:

  • I didn’t work out this morning, I’m so lazy.
  • I took a nap today because I was so exhausted. I’m ashamed because I got less work done.
  • I ate unhealthy, and I shouldn’t have because I’m supposed to be eating healthy.
  • The paintings I made were terrible, and I didn’t make any solid work.
  • I only made ‘x’ amount of sales this month, I wish I had more or done more.

Whoa! Stop right there Nancy!

Sheesh, sounds like I’ve been pretty hard on myself all day right?

This is when my boyfriend responds with, “Now turn all of those negatives into positives.”

(We remind each other to do this when we’re having a bad day).

Positive Version:

  • I’ve worked out every other day this week, I deserve a day off.
  • Catching up on much needed sleep was great, because my body obviously needed it.
  • I ate delicious food today, and it’s okay not to eat like a rabbit all the time.
  • I got to practice new techniques, and explore new ideas today with my paintings.
  • I’ve sold ‘x’ amount of paintings this month, and I’ve worked hard for that. I’ll sell more.

Easy right? Well not all the time, but with practice it will come more naturally.

If this advise isn’t enough for you, let me give you a little something else. I’ve found something you can take home with you, enjoy, and enjoy over again.

Jordan, “I want to be happy now, DAMMIT!”

I’ve got just the thing for you.

A Bedside Read

Now, if you want a quick, fun, and helpful read, read this book.

How To Be Happy, Dammit! Written by Karen Salmansohn. This book is a “cynic’s guide to spiritual happiness”!

I absolutely love this book! This book is different. It’s easy to read, it’s colorful, and it does not sugar coat anything!

Seriously, I’ve read this book three times to remind myself of all the pearls of wisdom inside.

Before you know it you’ll be that annoyingly positive person AND YOU’LL LOVE IT! People will flock to you because your energy will be contagious! Your friends won’t be able to help themselves; they’ll have to be positive too.

If they don’t, share this post with them and hopefully we can change the world together!

Remember that sadness and negativity loves company, but also remember that happiness and positivity are contagious!

 

Be that positive happiness magnet!

What do you do to keep yourself positive?

Share with me in the comments!

Finding Motivation When You Have Depression

Finding Motivation When You Have Depression

find motivation when you have depression

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

I’m guessing that if you’re here you’d like to know how to find motivation. Maybe you’re here because you have depression, and motivation is something you struggle with.

Well I’m here to tell you this is normal! And it’s okay!

One of the major symptoms of depression is lack of interest and motivation to do the things you love. Ugh. (The exact opposite of a good time) That’s a drag, but there’s fantastic news!

You can do what you love again! I know because I’ve gone through it.

I know exactly what it feels like to lose motivation for the things you love. I’m going to share with you the things I do to regain my motivation!

Also! Read this blog post to learn how I combat my own depression.

But first, a little bit about me:

I was born and raised on an island in Alaska, and moved away at 18. Since then, I’ve gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Studio Art, and I now live in Colorado. I’d say that sort of accomplishment would take a hell of a lot of motivation. And it did. Living with depression from a young age, I feel I’ve had a lot to make up for. What I mean by that is that I’ve had to reteach myself to think and to live. I decided at 18 that I would no longer allow depression to rule my life. So I took action.

Finding motivation when you have depression is exhausting to say the least. You have good days, and you have bad days. Either way, it seems like a full-time job dealing with that unbearable fog.

So if you want to do something about it, keep reading.

How To Find Motivation When You Have Depression

Get enough sleep

What does sleep have to do with motivation? Umm, everything! It seems obvious to say, but I’m going to say it again! Get enough sleep!

How can you expect to be productive when you’re falling asleep during the day?

Now I don’t know about you, but my type of depression makes me want to sleep ALL THE TIME. If I don’t get enough sleep, I turn into a zombie and it’s far more difficult to be productive.

The amount of sleep you get each night sets the building blocks for the day. So take care of yourself, and give your body what it needs!

Keep a planner

This is my favorite! For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE organization. I love writing lists, keeping organized, and checking items off lists! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Now, I’m very deliberate when planner shopping. I like a lot of space to write daily tasks, weekly goals, monthly goals, and inspirational quotes.

I recommend this beautiful planner from Amazon.com. It has everything you could ask for, and it comes with a eco-friendly bamboo carved pen! How cool is that? I especially love it because it has 18 months, an annual chart, month charts, and lots of space for writing! An added bonus is that it has pages for important dates, and the fun stuff in life! You’ll see 🙂

Go check it out!

The reason keeping a planner works for me is because I write down tasks, and goals, and check them off. It’s a friendly reminder of all the things I need accomplish throughout the day. If I have nothing on my list checked off, it gives me a little push to get things done! It’s highly rewarding feeling accomplished at the end of the day.

Make goals and take the necessary steps to get there

Now you should write these in your planner! Another win for the planner! Hoo hoo!

Alright. So before every new month in my planner, I have a page for goals. It goes a little something like this:

Monthly Goal:

Achieve By:

Steps I Need To Take:

There are three for each month. If I didn’t originally have three goals to start with, I create more. These can be personal goals, career goals, financial goals, social goals, physical goals, etc. Write them down, and make a game plan for how you’ll get there!

Have a buddy that holds you accountable

Having a buddy to hold you accountable doesn’t necessarily mean a work out partner. This can be any trusted person in your life that is a consistent and positive influence! Make sure that this person is aware of your goals, is thoughtful and respectful to you. Don’t choose someone that will make you feel bad about tripping up.

For example, when I was first starting my small business, I would have my boyfriend remind me to post a new photo of a painting on Instagram (if he hadn’t already seen one).

I explained to him that posting to Instagram was important to me for marketing purposes. If he didn’t see a new post by the end of the day, he would kindly remind me that he “didn’t see any new and beautiful art on my page!”

Thoughtful and respectful. Also encouraging and positive!

Reward yourself

The fun part about regaining motivation is that you get to reward yourself afterwards! If you accomplish a goal, you deserve some praise and treats!

You worked hard for what you’ve done, so treat yourself! It’s extremely rewarding to work towards a goal, and treat yourself afterwards! This will …motivate… you to keep working towards your goals. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

I reward myself with dessert. I usually go for a piece of tiramisu and a cappuccino, or dark chocolate. YUM!

But it doesn’t have to be food. It can be an at-home spa treatment, buying a new book, the options are endless!

Force yourself for 5 minutes

If all else fails, and you have zero motivation, force yourself. I’m going to serve you a little tough love. Get up, and do whatever you need to do for 5 minutes! No slacking! Really do that thing for a solid 5 minutes.

I know it’s miserable but this often works for me. Getting up and starting the momentum really gets me past the hard part. The hard part isn’t what you love doing, it’s finding the motivation.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

Know that you’ll trip up, and forgive yourself for it

We all make mistakes, we’re human. Forgive yourself for the little set backs and try again. Finding motivation isn’t easy, and it will be far more difficult if you beat yourself up for making mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up!

You’re an amazing human being with wonderful and unique talent. Don’t let that go to waste. It’s your responsibility to share that with the world! So smile, and share the great things you have to offer!

Were these tips helpful for you?

What do you do to get yourself motivated?

Share with me in the comments!

Morning Routine-Why You Need One!

Morning Routine

Create A Great Morning Routine, and Change Your World!

Why You Need A Morning Routine

You need a morning routine because it will make you more productive! Having a productive morning routine starts the day off right, and puts positivity in motion!

Morning routines set the tone for the day. A great life starts with a whole bunch of great days!

My personal morning routine consists of:

Wake Up Before The Sun Shines

This one I struggle with.

What I want for myself is to be a morning person! I am far more productive when I start and end my day early. The key here is consistency! Set yourself up for success and have a regular bedtime seven days a week!

Creating a consistent sleep schedule will reduce sleepiness throughout the day.

Exercise

Wake up your body and mind by moving your body and changing your surroundings. Exercise will stimulate the body and jumpstart your day.

My boyfriend and I go to the gym for our exercise. This usually consists of some amount of cardio, weight lifting, and ten minutes in the steam room.

To keep things interesting, I schedule a different exercise for every day. Scheduling and planning is incredibly important to me, and this way, I have something different every day to look forward to.

  • Monday is arm day.
  • Tuesday is cardio.
  • Wednesday is core day.
  • Thursday is cardio.
  • Friday is leg day.
  • Saturday and Sunday are for some sort of fun exercise. Weekends usually consist of basketball, volleyball, or some other form of cardio.

Shower

Of course! We don’t want to be stinky!

Dress For Success

You know the phrase, “You look good, you feel good.” Well, it’s true.

Depending on your occupation and the day, your attire will change. Be the best judge for yourself. When you wear clothing that makes you feel good, you will portray that to the world.

Although pajamas are comfortable, (even if you work from home) wear something that you wouldn’t be embarrassed being seen in.

Wearing something deliberate will put you in the right mindset for what your day holds.

Skin Care

It’s time to prep your skin for the day! Slather on some moisturizer and SPF to protect from the sun.

Now I keep this step simple. Face moisturizer and little to no makeup. When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll put a little powder foundation on, mascara, and brush out my brows.

Like I said, I like to keep things simple. Because who has the time or motivation to spend four hours getting ready everyday? Definitely not me.

I used to spend hours getting ready in the morning, but as I’ve grown and matured, I’ve preferred a more natural face. (More on this later).

Hair Care

Again, simple! Yay! I have made this as easy as I can make it for myself.

I wash my hair with sulfate free shampoo three days a week. After my hair is washed, I spray in leave in moisturizer, brush it, let it air dry, and do something to pull the hair away from my face.

On the days I don’t wash, I spritz dry shampoo on my roots, and pull my hair out of my face.

Now wasn’t that easy? My younger self would not have survived this way, but over the last few years I’ve taken good care of my hair and skin.

I use heat on my hair maybe once a month.

Whaaaaaaat? How is that possible?

Well, I make due because I care more about the health of my hair, than the way it’s styled. Don’t get me wrong, it has taken me a long time to master this skill.

(Healthy hair post to come!)

Take Care Of The Pup

Feed, water and take the pup outside, because her health is just as important as mine.

Help Prepare The Boyfriend For The Day

I prepare his lunch, and coffee for him while he’s getting ready for his day.

We as a couple do everything as a team. So yes, this includes the little mundane daily tasks too!

I have the liberty to do this because I make my own schedule, and I start my work day once everyone else is taken care of. This benefits everyone, and keeps this busy household running smoothly!

Now is when I start my tasks for the day.

Fuel The Body

First I drink the coffee, then I do the things.

I start by making myself a delicious cup of coffee (because I don’t think I can survive without it).

Breakfast time!

Then I make myself a big bowl of cereal. I love cereal, so this is exciting everyday, haha! My favorite is Rice Crispies, what’s yours? 😉

Make My Bed

Because… “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” – Naval Admiral McRaven addressing the University of Texas, Austin, Class of 2014.

This was only one lesson from his speech, but I particularly like this one. Changing the world, changing your world, and making a difference, starts with little everyday tasks.

Little actions turn into big changes, and it all starts with making your bed!

Haha, but really, this is still pretty true.

Making your bed not only jumpstarts the productivity for the day, but it also communicates that it’s time to carpe the hell out of this diem.

Create a morning routine to promote productivity that will last all day.

Prep My Work Station

Now it’s time to really get to business. I set out my supplies for the day and get started. It sets the framework for what is expected of me that day.

There is no time to waste when you’re a full-time painter, and blogger! I am a business woman, and I take full advantage of my strengths and opportunity!

Review Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals.

I keep a planner, and boy does this set the day off to a great start! I love staying organized, and it really keeps me on track! I also bought one of those really beautiful, helpful, inspirational planners. This has made a world of difference!

I bought this one from Michaels, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

This planner is customizable, pretty, and fun to use. My favorite part about it is that they have pages for monthly goals. This really keeps me on track and motivated for every day!

Begin The Grind!

 

What does your morning routine look like?

Share in the comments!

What To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day-7 Tactics

A Bad Day

How To Tackle Down A Bad Day – 7 Tactics!

What do you do when you have a bad day?

Wallow in self pity!

No, no, no… We take action! Take action instead and get yourself out of your funk quicker!

I’m going to give you tools to help you through a bad day. We’ve all been there. Whether we actually have something bad happen to us, or we just feel sad for no particular reason.

Bad days are tough already, and I often see people making them worse for themselves.

Sometimes this is me. Like the other day, I had a hard emotional day. I’m not entirely sure why, but I had a difficult day. I was sleepy, lethargic, sad, and my body was sore. You know those days where you just want to curl up in a ball and shut out the world?

That was me.

I had no motivation to work, and no interest in doing things that I know would make me feel better. All day I couldn’t shake this feeling. When my boyfriend came home, I cried in his arms until I felt better. Occasionally, this is what happens to me. This is part of my depression, and I deal with it. I’m also very lucky that I have the most wonderful man that always helps me with this. It’s not easy for anyone, but it’s okay.

Sadness that seems to come from nowhere; I like to think of it as a feeling that another me is feeling. Me from the past, future, or another life is struggling with something difficult and our sole feels it. We share a connection, and I’m helping carry the burden temporarily.

I acknowledge it, talk about it, let it go, and say my three good things.

So what do we do to tackle that funk?

1. Acknowledge that you’re having a rough time.

When you’re having a bad day, acknowledge where the feeling is coming from. Don’t ignore the issues your body and mind are trying to tell you about.

When your body needs nutrients, you feel hungry. If your body needs hydration, you feel thirsty.

The same goes for your mind, but it is not so obvious.

When you feel sad, there is a reason for it. I suggest listening to your mind and giving it what it needs.

2. Take care of your body’s needs. 

Make sure that your bad day isn’t because of a deficiency in food, water, exercise, or medication.

These all contribute to how you’re feeling, so cover the basic needs first!

So drink a glass of water, feed yourself something healthy and delicious, and take your daily vitamin and/or medication where applicable.

I personally like to start with a nice cup of tea or coffee, and go from there.

3. Tell a loved one about it.

Tell a loved one that you’re having a bad day. They are more than likely willing to help, if not happy to help! The people that you surround yourself with care about you, and want to make sure you’re feeling your best.

If they cannot help the situation, the least they can be is a listening ear.

Don’t be afraid to tell people about how you’re feeling.

Now, you also should use your best judgment about the people you’re sharing with. Not everyone in your life is worthy of knowing these feelings. Tell people you trust with your feelings, and will care for you.

4. Meditate.

Meditation can be very helpful in calming the mind, and calming the body.

To recenter yourself and reset your bad day, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. If you are not familiar with meditation, there are many helpful YouTube videos that will talk you through the process.

I subscribed to mindbodygreen.com, and after subscribing, they sent me a great meditation video to follow along with!

I suggest trying this one out!

They also have an amazing blog about health, wellness, and living greener! I love this blog, so check this one out!

5. Get moving.

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” -Elle Woods from Legally Blonde

 

This quote is slightly off topic, but it relates. Endorphins really do make you happy. It’s an easy and cheap way to boost your mood, and motivate yourself.

Find something you’re good at, or something that you’re interested in! Don’t just head to the treadmill because your friend loves it! If that sounds like torture, it might be!

There is an endless list of activities you can do to get moving, but here are my favorites!

  • Run/Jog/Walk
  • Get outside and hike somewhere
  • Hit up a Yoga studio (or YouTube it, and hold a session in your living room)
  • Play sports or join a league with friends
  • Weightlift! Because it’s fun!
  • Try something new! Maybe a kickboxing class, or a cycling class?

6. Say your three good things.

Say your three good things! For those of you who don’t know, this is magic!

For an in depth description, read my blog post, How To Boost Happiness In One Simple Step.

When you’re having a bad day, tell yourself three things that went your way today. These things can be as simple as eating a healthy meal, or walking the dog. Or maybe you didn’t hit traffic on the way to work, or you talked to your best friend.

Three things that happened in your life today that went your way or made a positive impact.

This works because it reminds you that you have great things going on in your life, even when the world seems like it’s against you.

This works for me! Try it out!

7. Forgive yourself and try again tomorrow.

Know that even if you didn’t accomplish what you wanted, know that you tried your best.

There is no use in beating yourself up over it. This only makes it worse and prolongs the pain!

Make a game plan for tomorrow, and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle down tomorrow! There is absolutely no shame in taking a break and trying again tomorrow.

What you need to take away from today:

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Talk it out
  • Forgive yourself and try again tomorrow

What do you do to make yourself feel better?

Do you know anyone who could use these tips? Share it with them!

Share in the comments!

Reconnecting With My Long Lost Mom and What I Learned

What I Learned From Reconnecting With My Long Lost Mom

Reconnecting With My Mom After 2 Decades

Reconnecting With My Long Lost Mom

 

The most amazing thing happened to me recently!

Let me give you a little bit of background so the situation makes more sense.

Like a lot of people, I have four parents. My birth parents never married. My birth mom married my step-dad, which I just call Dad. He’s been my dad for 20-something years, so you understand! My birth father married a woman with a daughter a few years older than me. When I was very small, I would occasionally visit my birth father and his new family. Those two divorced a few years later, and since then, I haven’t seen or heard from my second mom.

Until a few months ago…

The Spark

The most amazing thing happened! My second mom came in contact with one of the oldest family friends I have. One of my best friend’s sisters (who looks almost exactly like me) ran into her while at work.

Mind you, this is in an entirely different state.

My second mom saw her, and got a strange nostalgic feeling. She immediately thought of me, and thought that maybe this is what I would look like all grown. Funny right? She was brave and went to talk to her.

“I know this is out of nowhere, but would you happen to know someone named Jordan McLean?”

“Oh my god! Yes I do! She’s actually my little sister’s friend! My sister just moved in with her!”

Small world right? (Still blowing my mind)

And the rest is history.

Just kidding, but long story short, I contacted her after being given her information, and we’ve been talking ever since!

Feeling Cautious About Reconnecting

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I have not been able to foster a good relationship with my birth mother. Therefore, this whole situation BLEW MY MIND, and completely caught me off guard! I was honestly terrified. Having a relationship with a mother will be something completely new to me.

I had forgotten about that part of my life, but I am so glad the universe reconnected us.

With much hesitation, I texted her after a few weeks of contemplation.

She replied with such enthusiasm! We talked periodically and a few months later, we scheduled our first Face Time date for last Thursday!

The first time we talked on the phone, the conversation lasted over an hour. She was kind, and interested in what I have been up to lately. I asked her tons of questions, and learned a lot about this new person in my life. I also learned my used-to-be-step-sister was a professional fighter, and now owns her own gym! How amazing all this was! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

She also wanted to apologize for not being there for me after all these years.

Apologize?!

I cried.

While she was doing the best thing for herself and her daughter, she was also leaving me in a not-so-savory situation.

That was exactly what I would have wanted her to do. Never would I want someone to sacrifice his or her own happiness and safety for me. I had my step-dad (Dad). Let’s call him my dad from here on out. He protected me and loved me for as long as I can remember.

And I am eternally grateful for that relationship. Seriously, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

But on to the good stuff! ☺

Face Time Date

When we Face Timed for the first time, I was nervous so I prepped for it, wrote down questions I would ask, put makeup on, and did my hair. I found the best lighting and space in my room to Face Time. It’s like I was going on a blind date. It was nerve-wracking!

It sounds silly now, thinking back to that time, but I’m just an anxious person. Reconnecting with someone you haven’t seen in 2 decades is an interesting experience.

I mean, who wouldn’t feel a little nervous talking to someone after two decades?

Let’s put this in perspective.

She had not seen or talked to me since I was beginning to speak. Now I’m a full-fledged adult woman with a degree! The change she experienced with me was astronomical!

Our Face Time lasted over an hour. We talked about our careers, our hobbies, and new news in each other’s lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, and we left it excited to finally know each other!

Cherishing Relationships

Phew! Wasn’t that amazing? The universe brought us together, and I believe that this was meant to be. I feel so incredibly loved, and I am so grateful.

Before diving in headfirst and trusting this new woman in my life, I was confused and upset.

Let me explain. I was confused because I couldn’t think of a good reason for her to contact me. After I began to trust her, I was upset that it happened so late. I was upset because I wanted more. More love, more relationships, and more family.

Better late than never, right? I cherish what we have, and I always will. I am so lucky to have another woman in my life that supports me. Relationships, real genuine, healthy relationships are something to be treasured. They do not occur around every corner, and because of this, I latch onto great people.

More good news! What! How could this story get better?

Then! Another fantastic thing happened! She really showed me that she supports me, and my crazy new adventure!

For those of you who don’t know, after I graduated I decided to become my own boss, and sell my paintings full-time. (More on this later).

Today I received a package from Amazon that I wasn’t expecting.

My second mom sent me a package of art supplies! Oil paints, high quality brushes, oil paint medium, and a set of sparkly watercolor paints! I started freaking out and began to cry. This was such a thoughtful and generous gesture.

This means so much more to me than a surprise gift.

This gift is a gesture that says, “I believe in you, I support you, and your dreams matter to me.”

This tells me that she truly cares for me, and what I’m aspiring to be. It’s not just a gift. It means so much more than that to me.

Reconnecting with her means everything to me.

What to take away from my story

  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Have an open mind.
  • Do what is safe for you.
  • Go out on a limb once in a while!
  • Recognize when you have something wonderful in front of you.
  • Forgive people, you might be surprised!

Your time to share!

Have any of you had a similar story?

Do any of you have that one person in your life that you’re just SO GRATEFUL FOR?

Share your stories with me in the comment section! I would love to hear about it!

Confidence-How To Build Confidence Like A Pro

10 Ways To Build Confidence

Confidence! How To Build Confidence Like A Pro!

How to build your confidence in 10 steps!

Notice I didn’t say “in 10 EASY steps”,  because it’s not easy, and it takes constant work. That’s okay though! You know why? Because these steps will give you long lasting confidence, unlike pretending to be someone you’re not and altering your body. Changing your body every time beauty standards change is expensive, dangerous, and reinforcing false beliefs about beauty.

You know what’s really beautiful? You and your natural self. Rock it, and don’t be afraid!

This brings me to my first step to confidence…

1. Stop comparing yourself to others by letting go of societal beauty standards

I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Wow! This is a really tough one! Everyone is bombarded with constant expectations of beauty. The internet, news, social media, billboards, television, advertisements, and everything else…tells you what to look like. They tell you that if you don’t fit this description, then you’re not beautiful. THIS IS A BIG FAT LIE.

In turn, the emphasis on physical beauty makes us believe that beauty is what’s most important about ourselves. Let me tell you, you have so much more to you, than what you look like.

Are you a mother, or father? Maybe a sibling or cousin? Do you have a career and hobbies? What do you do to inspire others, or teach them? What have you created lately?

You don’t have to be fit, thin, muscular, tall, tan, or a damn supermodel to be beautiful. You are beautiful just the way you are. LET ME REPEAT.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, DAMMIT!

And I’m not going to lie to you, I have always struggled with this. I always wanted to be skinnier, taller, and tanner, a thinner nose, bigger lips, longer hair, and bigger curves.

Admitting this is difficult but I wanted a thinner nose so bad when I was younger that I started planning my plastic surgery appointment for when I graduated high school.

How sad! How sad that I hated my nose so much that I wanted to cut part of it off! The insanity! That poor child. I’m so glad I don’t feel that way anymore.

It’s difficult to live in a world where we’re constantly told we’re not good enough. I’m here to tell you that you are beautiful, and have compassion for yourself.

2. Think positively

Practice makes perfect! Leave out the negative self talk. If you find yourself ridiculing yourself, STOP! Change that negative into a positive.

Instead of saying, “I ate like a pig today”, say something more forgiving like, “I ate some bomb ass foods today, and it was delicious!”

Change this, “Gosh I wish I was skinny like her”, to this, “That woman over there is beautiful, and so am I.”

Instead of saying, “If I don’t make (x) amount of money this year, I’m worthless”, say this “I worked hard for everything I’ve earned this year, and I will continue to do my best.”

Like I said, it takes practice to rewire those negatives into positives, but it will change your life. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all slip up sometimes. When you find yourself thinking bad thoughts, acknowledge it, let it go, change it into a positive. Change is often uncomfortable and needs constant reminders.

3. Learn confident body language

Describe yourself as you walk into a room full of strangers. Are you quiet and reserved? Do you stand in the back of the room? Do you hide next to your friends the whole time?

Now imagine what you would look like if you walked in there like you owned that place. You’re probably standing tall, head high, smiling, and going somewhere with a purpose. You grab yourself a drink, and go make conversation!

Ahhh yes. That sounds better doesn’t it?

Stand tall with your shoulders back.

Put your head up high and smile.

Relax your arms and try not to fidget.

Give people eye contact, and not for like, 1 millionth of a second. Give this a try! Learn the eye color of everyone you meet. This allows enough time to show that you’re confident, but not being a creeper at the same time.

Remember people’s names when they tell you. Repeat it back to them. This shows them that you’re listening and attentive. Also, this will make conversation a lot less awkward the next time you meet.

4. Compliment yourself

Go stand in front of the mirror, and tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Tell yourself all the great things about yourself. It may seem silly now, but trust me, it gets better. Mention how awesome your hair looks today, or how cute your smile is.

If you can’t think of anything, no worries! Remind yourself of the compliments you’ve received in the past. Talk to yourself like your best friend or loved one would describe you. You are always your toughest critic, so be forgiving.

5. Pull yourself together

Take a shower, put on your favorite clothes, slap on some lipstick (if you’re into that sort of thing) and present yourself with care and respect.

Maybe this is just me, but I don’t feel too terribly confident when I first wake up in the morning. Why? Like most people, I smell bad and I look like a hot mess.

This is what I do. I get ready every day, with the mindset that I’m ready to open the door when an unexpected guest stops by.  This means I take a shower, wash my face, brush my hair, brush my teeth, and put some acceptable clothes on. Heels and a dress? Heck no. Work out clothes? Absolutely. My favorite polar bear pajama pants? I don’t think so.

Just enough to make yourself feel good.

6. Give yourself a pep talk in the mirror

Today’s the day! You’re giving a presentation in class, taking an exam, negotiating a raise with your boss, or meeting a date at the coffee shop. What do you do?

Be your own cheerleader! GO TEAM ME! 🙂

Get in front of your mirror, do a power stance for a few minutes, and give yourself a pep talk!

Tell yourself all the reasons you’re going to perform your best. Tell yourself that you deserve the good things coming your way, and there’s no reason to be scared. Bounce around and be goofy with it! This is intended to force out the nerves, and give yourself a confidence boost!

7. Set personal goals and go get them

What do you want out of today, the week, the month, and the year?

Health goals? Career goals? House cleaning goals? Hobby goals? Relationship goals? DIY projects goals? The number of dogs you need goal?

Write these down. Take the necessary steps to get you there. Check in with your progress every day, and reward yourself for being an awesome human being!

You will feel amazing once you’ve set goals and accomplished them. This will help you build confidence in yourself and your abilities.

8. Accept that you make mistakes and forgive yourself

If you don’t transform into the most amazingly confident person by tomorrow, that’s  okay! I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe building confidence is an ongoing task. We are always learning new things, and progressing in our activities.

We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Embrace this and learn from it. Don’t let minor setbacks knock you down.

9. Do what makes you happy and be true to yourself

You are an individual. You are a combination of unique and interesting traits. No one else is better at being you, than you! So don’t fall into the crowd, and do what everyone else is doing. Find your passion and pursue it. Be brave and be yourself.

Pretending to be someone else will only make you unhappy and uncomfortable. Pretending to be someone else is not the truth. The truth is something you can speak confidently of, and be confident with.

10. Fake it till you make it

Yikes! Did I just say that? Hear me out.

A few seconds of bravery can take you farther than you expected. If all else fails, and you just can’t find confidence, do this…

Practice confidence (even when you don’t have it), and build actual confidence.

My true and tried example:

I walked to the front of my classroom and began my presentation. Even though I wasn’t feeling confident…I stood up there, spoke loudly, smiled, walked around, and radiated confidence.

A few seconds of forcing myself to be confident paid off, and allowed me to rock that presentation.

The more you practice, the more you’ll believe it.

So get out there and share with the world how amazing you are!

Major Take Aways From Today:

  • Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare yourself to others.
  • Change your negatives into positives.
  • Forgive yourself for not being perfect, none of us are.

 

What are some things you do to feel confident?

Share with me in the comments!

Depression-14 Ways To Combat Depression

14 Ways To Combat Depression

14 Ways To Combat Depression

We’re about to get real here.

I open up in hopes that this will benefit someone out there reading this.

Keep reading to learn 14 ways I have helped myself reduce my own depression.

First, I would like to say that I am not a mental health professional.

Second, this post will include all the tips and tricks that has helped me with my own depression.

Third, I want you to take what you like from this post, tweak what you need to, and listen to yourself and your own needs. Not everything listed will help everyone. We are all unique individuals who require individual care.

For me, this has been an ongoing, dark, cyclical battle. I have worked my ass off to be where I am today.

All the challenges and obstacles we face throughout our life make us better equipped for our next struggle. You don’t just wake up one day, happy and healed forever.

Helping yourself with your depression is an every day task and routine. It takes work, and it’s often uncomfortable. Do it when you don’t feel like it, and when you do. Every effort will bring about progress.

I will tell you this though, it is so worth it. It’s worth it to take action and help yourself. I probably would have scoffed at that comment as my young self. I hope though, that I would have taken it to heart and really understood what it meant.

There is such a thing as being happy.

This is how I helped myself get there.

14 Ways To Combat Depression, From Personal Experience!

1. Educate yourself

Learn what you can about depression. Know what it is, and understand the symptoms. Educate yourself on causes of depression, and treatments. Read blogs. HI! 🙂 I’m delighted you’re here!

Know what your resources are and where to find them. Take advantage of your resources. We live in an amazing time where all the information in the world is at our fingertips.

2. Listen to yourself, and really get to know yourself.

Find out why you have depression. Is it something in your life that’s really bringing you down? Do you have a neurological issue? Does depression run in your family? Maybe it’s a combination of a few or all of these examples.

Knowing where your depression is coming from is an important part of helping yourself feel better. Tackle it at the source!

3. Create a routine

With depression, it is often times difficult to stay focused or to stay on task. Maintain a healthy balance in your day with everything that your body needs.

Wake up at the same time every day. Exercise. Eat a healthy breakfast. (Insert coffee here) Smile at yourself in the mirror. Get dressed for the day.

Carpe the hell out that diem, and repeat. Whatever makes you feel accomplished, do that.

I personally love to spend time writing daily tasks and goals in a planner, checking them off, and planning for weeks ahead. It makes me feel organized, and I can see myself accomplishing what I need to every day.

4. Take care of your body

This might be the most important step. A healthy and happy mind needs a healthy and happy body. Denying your body what it needs makes everything so much harder.

Do this one for me please? Sleep enough. Take your vitamins and medication if you need it. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy food. Eat enough. Treat yourself sometimes. I prefer tiramisu and a cappuccino. Be active, and make sure it’s something you enjoy. I personally love yoga and going to the gym.

Bare minimum…give your body what it needs. I know this is hard sometimes, but I promise it’s worth the effort. When you’re having one of those “I cannot get out of bed” days, force yourself up and do the bare minimum.

5. Forgive yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize that you have made it this far, and congratulate yourself for it!

I got out of bed today? Damn straight I did! I didn’t forget my medication today? Go me! I went to work, and actually enjoyed myself? Heck yes I did!

When you make a mistake, apologize quickly, and forgive yourself quickly. Think about how hard you are on yourself. Would you ever be that hard on your best friend? I didn’t think so.

You are going to make mistakes. This is part of life. Keep swimming. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and then learn from them. Take three steps forward, and five back.

That’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward. Forgive yourself, and pat yourself on the back for not giving up. Try again tomorrow if you need to. It’s okay.

6. Stop the negative self talk!

This is the hardest one for me, and this is something I work on every day. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend.

This keeps coming up, and I’m repeating myself because it’s important. Don’t talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend! You wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who talked to you that way.

Consider this. The relationship you have with yourself, is the longest one you will ever have. Make that relationship a healthy one.

When you find yourself talking negatively to yourself…stop, and change it into a positive.

Example: “Gosh! I’m so lazy, I took a nap today after sleeping in. Then I ate like crap. I’m so fat.” Sheesh! That was harsh! Change that into this…

“Gosh! I had the most amazing nap! I slept a ton today, my body must’ve needed it. Then I treated myself to my favorite dessert, because I deserve it. I’m an adult and I do what I want! 🙂

So much better right? Try it out next time you hear those bad vibes creeping up.

7. Maintain a gratitude journal

This one’s easy. Write down everything you’re grateful for. Then add the new things for every day. For added oomph, check out my other blog post!

8. Remove yourself from negative people in your life

This is really difficult sometimes, but it’s worth the pain. It hurts for a while, you miss them, and eventually you realize you’re better off without them.

You know that person in your life that loves to complain about everything? Ditch them because they bring you down.

9. Surround yourself with understanding uplifting people

You slowly pick up habits from the people around you, so you might as well make those positive habits!

You know that happy person in your life that is in love with life? Latch onto them and learn their secrets!

10. Learn to say no

If you don’t want to do something, don’t make yourself miserable to appease others. Don’t constantly make yourself uncomfortable if it’s ripping out all your energy.

It’s okay to refuse invites sometimes. Sometimes I love to just stay home, eat dessert, cuddle my dog, and watch scary movies with my boyfriend. It’s fantastic.

11. Do what makes you happy, and make it a priority

I know this is a tough one, but if you can, find a career that makes you happy. Make time for friends if you enjoy that. Make time for the outdoors if that helps you recharge. Spend time doing that hobby that you love. Make your happy a priority.

I personally like to go hiking, and spend time cuddling my dog.

12. Keep yourself busy

This one can be dangerous if you don’t do it right.

Keep yourself busy so you have less time to be inside your head.

Don’t be so busy that you overwhelm yourself and lose sleep. Once I started doing this, I took it too far. Moderation is key here people!

13. Love yourself like you love your best friend

Imagine the things you say to yourself on a daily basis. Explain what you do for a living, what you look like, and how you feel about yourself.

Now pretend to say that to your best friend.

How nice are you to yourself? Would you ever put your friend down the way you put yourself down? Hell no, because they deserve better and we love them. Be your own best friend and love yourself because you deserve it.

14. Understand change takes time, and constant work

If you have been thinking a certain way your entire life, don’t expect one blog post to heal you forever and fix your problems.

I’m giving you some hard love right now. If you need to retrain your mind to think of yourself differently, or speak to yourself differently…it’s going to take time.

Make the effort every day, and you will see results.

You can change your life if you put in the effort.

I promise you it’s worth it.

Three major take aways from today:

  • Love yourself by taking care of your body and mind.
  • Forgive yourself, and embrace change.
  • If you put in the effort, you will make positive changes in your life.

Was any of this helpful for you?

What are some things you’ve done for yourself?

If this post helped you, or if you think it might help another, share it, and share it with them!

Happiness-Boost With 1 Simple Step

Boost Your Happiness

Boost Your Happiness With 1 Simple Step!

Looking for something to improve your life? Searching for the solution to your happiness?

Guess what?

You already have it.

Yeah, it’s right there… Inside of you, and it always has been. Cool, right? Sometimes we just need a reminder of where to find it.

Sometimes we need a little boost of happiness to really make a great day. Let me show you how I boost my happiness.

Do this simple thing every day, just once a day, and I promise you things will change.

But Jordan, how?

Okay here we go!

The SECRET SIMPLE STEP TO HAPPINESS…Shhh…

Just kidding, I want you to share this with everyone.

Gratitude!

Well damn, we’ve heard that before. Yawn.

No seriously, keep reading and I’ll share. This is what I do, and I’m happier because of it.

How To Boost Your Happiness (1 amazing step)

1. Name three good things that happened today, and share this with a loved one.

There is one rule: You cannot repeat anything that has been said already!

This gets fun when you’ve spent the whole day with someone!

BOOM. DONE. Keep reading.

I’ll elaborate. Recall three things that went well today. On great days, this is easy! On horrible days, it’s tough, but even on the bad days, you have something to be grateful for. This may be as simple as being grateful that you got out of bed today. Because you know what? That’s hard sometimes, and good for you, for getting out of bed!

Here are some examples.

Maybe you just received a promotion, or a baby was born.

Perhaps you got brunch at your favorite place today, and it was beyond delicious.

Maybe you got to spend time with your friend, and laughed…a lot.

Did you hit zero traffic on your way to work! Heck yes!

And maybe it’s as simple as waking up to your loved one, or your adorable fur baby.

I’ll write my three good things so it’s easier to picture in your mind.

My actual example today as I’m writing this.

1. I slept in today, because my body needed more rest, and it was amazing.

2. I do what I love, and I love what I do. Writing this post is really inspiring me and I hope you try this.

3. My adorable dog is sleeping on her back next to me with her feet in the air, dreaming.

Seems simple right? Well this works for a few reasons.

Why this works

  • You recall three things that made you happy, or went your way. This forces you to think of the great things that happened throughout the day. Reminding yourself of the good things will bring about good thoughts and feelings.
  • Saying this out loud with someone, and sharing that with them reinforces good thoughts. This is a positive bonding experience, and costs zero dollars. Extra points if you can make them do the same!
  • As mentioned before, every day has something good to be thankful for, even the bad days.
  • After this becomes habit for you, you will be searching for good things throughout the day to share with someone. You start seeing the good in the day, rather than letting the bad ruin your day.

My own testimony

I love doing this every night with my boyfriend. We both share, and it really lifts our spirits. This also starts great conversation about the positive things that happened that day. This is a good time to shower compliments and appreciation too! We do this at night before we go to sleep, and we end the day on a great note.

SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s crucial to do this on the bad days! It may seem hard to recall things that went your way, but I promise, it will help the day seem better. I often find myself laughing and finding the humor in things that didn’t go my way. Added bonus!

My best friend’s experience

I told this to my best friend once, and guess what?! My best friend does this too! Her and her boyfriend have a great routine, and it caught me by surprise! While visiting them last year, we sat down for dinner and it began. Every night they make dinner together. Before the eating begins, they share with the table their three good things. Then they dive into their delicious meal!

I almost cried because I was so happy that my simple little technique really improved their lives.

They told me that it helps them look for the good in every day. They also said that it really does help them feel happier.

So there you go!

One simple step to happiness!

Now wasn’t that worth reading?

It has completely changed my life, and I continue to do it to this day.

What to take away from today:

  • You always have something to be grateful for.
  • If you look for the good, you will find it.
  • So get out of your own way, and find happiness every day!

What are your three good things?

Share them with me!

3 Reasons Why You Should Give A Damn About Your Mental Health

Mental Health

3 Reasons You Should Give A Damn About Your Mental Health

Mental health is important? We don’t just have to work out and eat right to be healthy?

You should give a damn because mental illness is really common!

1 in 5 adults in the United States have a mental illness of some sort. That’s over 43 million people!

Think about your five closest friends, or your five closest family members. One of them is bound to have some form of mental illness.

We care don’t we, and we have compassion for these people.

These people need a little love and attention. So why don’t we give them some?

Would you agree that we should do something about this?

I don’t know about you, but I believe this should be a higher priority than it is currently.

Consider these two situations:

1. When someone breaks their arm, we run to them with doctors and bandages!

2. When someone discloses that they have a mental disorder, we run away. Or maybe we ask a ton of personal questions out of our own curiosity. That’s not okay either, and it’s actually none of our business.

So if something so prevalent is raiding the streets of America, why don’t we do something about it?

Why are people so scared of what they don’t understand?

You should give a damn about mental health because it’s part of who you are!

People often forget that the mind is a huge part of who you are. Physical health is incredibly important, but it’s no more important than mental health. The two influence each other. Your body has the ability to change your mind, and your mind has the ability to change your body.

Haven’t you heard of those psychological studies where doctors convince patients that they had broken their arm when they were young?

I don’t have the study cited, but what I learned from it is pretty interesting.

Basically, these people never broke their arm, but they would eventually tell stories of breaking their arm, or feeling pain in said area because of the break. In other words, if you tell yourself something enough times, you’ll start believing it.

Have you ever encountered this situation? I have. Sometimes it’s not so humorous.

This is only one small example of how incredibly persuasive your mind can be. So what do we do with this information? We train our minds to work for us, and not against us.

Think happy thoughts 🙂

Being proactive about mental health could prevent larger issues.

Physical Health Holding Hands With Mental Health

Think about how you visit the doctor once a year. We do this because we care about our bodies. If something is wrong, we want to catch it before it spreads. We want to be in tiptop shape, because we understand how important it is.

Imagine seeing a mental health professional once a year. They check on you, ask how you’re doing, what’s new in your life. Maybe you disclose to them that some catastrophic event happened lately, and you’ve been struggling with it.

Maybe a loved one passed away, maybe you’ve lost your job, or maybe you’ve had a baby recently. All these are great reasons to talk to a professional. They have the skills and resources to help you along through the hard times.

What’s better than an objective advice giver, who really gives a damn about you?

Their whole job is to listen to you, and help you make the right decisions for yourself. You can’t say that about everyone in your life.

Health Professionals Over Friends

But Jordan, what about friends and family? They give me great advice, and I already trust them. Wouldn’t it be awkward if I talked to some random person about my issues?

This is important too! I want you to do this, and I want you to have those relationships with family and friends!

The difference between a mental health professional and a friend, is how they respond. A professional is trained and skilled in responding the correct way. They (should always) have an unbiased response that is in your best interest. Objectivity is key here people! They have less personal and emotional connection to the situation, and therefore should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Something that I would like to mention also, is that professionals see things we don’t. They are trained to see unhealthy habits, thoughts, and actions. They are also trained to help you change those negativity in your life to positivity.

Coming from personal experience, this is an entirely new world, but extremely helpful. Sometimes the people who are close to you don’t have an answer, or the right answer. This why you should trust a professional guide you to make good life decisions.

Mental health professionals are not there to solve your problems, and give you a quick fix. They are there to supply you with the tools to be a healthy, happy individual.

So go out there and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

What I want you to take away from this:

  • Understand how important your mental health is.
  • Love yourself, and take care of your mind, because it’s important.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

What are your thoughts?

How important is mental health to you?

Share your story with me! Don’t be afraid, this is an ENTIRELY JUDGMENT FREE ZONE!!!