Everything You Need To Create The Perfect At Home Yoga Studio

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect At Home Yoga Studio

Yoga, the ultimate strengthening and relaxing tool. I’ve spoken a little about yoga recently, but I really want to take that a step further. Over the years I’ve tried many many many techniques for easing my depression, and nothing has worked better than yoga.

Not only has yoga done wonders for my depression and anxiety, but it keeps my body happy and healthy too. I practice yoga every day for my mental health, and I hope it helps you as well.

This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, if you buy something through the links I’ve provided, I will receive a small commission.

Today I’m going to share with you how to make a beautiful yoga studio at home. I’ll give you the essentials so you can have everything you need right in the comfort of your own home my friends!

At Home Yoga Studio Essentials

Find the space first, and start practicing!

Most people say that if you have space for your yoga mat, you have space for practice. I think that’s partly true. What you really need is about twice that much space.

I recommend laying down your yoga mat, laying down on your back, and spreading your arms out wide. If your arms and hands don’t touch anything but the floor then you’re good to go!

Now, Preferably, find a floor in your home that isn’t carpeted. Hardwood, vinyl or whatever. This will be best for balancing postures. If you can’t then no biggy.

Now you need your materials! Here’s a list!

  • Yoga Mat
  • Block
  • Strap
  • Traditional Mexican Blanket
  • Yoga Towel

Barefoot Yoga has all your yoga essentials. What I really love about this company is their eco-friendly line of yoga mats! Check them out below!

“The Original Eco Yoga Mat is simply one of the best and most earth-conscious yoga mats available today. The Original Eco Mat is composed exclusively of all-natural rubber* and jute fiber. There are no chemical additives used. It is excellent for any consistent practice of Yoga. Its rubber underside grips the floor while the jute fabric/rubber mix on top offers superb traction – even in a heavy sweat. It is a highly durable, tactile, and pleasantly natural surface to practice on — and might remind you of walking barefoot on the earth.”

-Barefoot Yoga

Shop the link below to check out their eco-friendly yoga mats!

Barefoot Yoga

Are you ready to make your perfect at home yoga studio?!

 

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect Meditation Space

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect Meditation Space 

So lately I’ve really been into meditation. When I was in the midst of my Bachelor’s degree, I learned a lot about the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of meditation.

I now practice mediation every day and I’ll never go back to the days without it! My preferred times for meditation is right in the morning, after my at home yoga session, and before I go to bed.

Unfortunately I don’t have the space for a legitimate meditation space right now, but I make things work. Right now, my meditation space is in the center of my bedroom after I move the dog bed and toys! You gotta work with what you got you know?

My plan for my new house is having a little corner in the house on hardwood floor with my blanket, cushion and beautiful accessories!

(There are affiliate links in this post. At no extra cost to you, if you buy a product through these links, I will receive a small commission!)

Today I’m going to share with you how to make the perfect meditation environment so you can really get the most out it. If you’re serious about meditation, all these tips and tricks will really be worth your while.

Take what you need, tweak what you need and get yourself some essentials for your meditation space! I know you’ll be really excited about these, because I am!!!

Related: Meditation For Mental Health

Create a peaceful environment

First you’ll need to find a small space in your home (or outside) that is free of clutter, noise and distraction.

For me, this means move the dog beds, clear the dog toys and put the dogs outside my room. They really love to climb all over me when I’m the floor. I love it and it makes me laugh but it’s distracting of course.

Sorry dogs!

Engage your senses

Sight, Smell, Touch, Sound, Taste. Check ’em off the list!

Sight

Start with some ambient lighting such as some candles or low light strings of lights. Then add some zen art, statues, healing stones and/or plants!

Smell 

Fire up some incense, but if you hate incense (or someone else in the house does), light up some candles or an essential oil diffuser.

My personal favorite would of course be the essential oil diffuser.

Find out my favorite oils here: Essential Oils For Mental Health

Touch

Traditionally, mala beads are used for meditation. Beads are used to aid in counting or chanting during meditation, and they really make a difference.

Sound

Sound is really crucial unless you live in an area with none. Haha! You can go in any direction with this one. You can start up a zen playlist on your phone or computer, you can get yourself a little indoor waterfall piece, or a singing bowl.

What the heck is that you say?

“Singing bowls have been used for centuries to enhance meditation practices. The relaxing harmonics are created by tapping the side of the bowl and then rubbing an instrument, or striker, along the bowl’s rim to produce humming vibrations which quickly fill the room.” -BuddhaGroove.com

Taste

Oh baby, brew yourself some tea. Do you like green, oolong, black, rooibos, herbal, chai? Anything will do!

Pick your favorite, brew it, inhale the aroma and sip away!

Now if you’re ready to up your meditation game, or need an excuse to start, collect some or all of the items listed below! I’ve made a list of meditation essentials to really give you the best experience.

Once you’ve set up your space, bought your essentials, you’ll never want to go a day without meditating!

Meditation Essentials

Temple Zafu Meditation Cushion in Brocade

To make meditating more comfortable on a hard floors, use a cushion like this one! Isn’t this cream color BEAUTIFUL?

Premium Mala Beads, Beautiful Knotted Green Jade with Silver Beads 

These beads will fulfill your “touch” sense for the perfect mediation experience.


Stacked Stone Garden Cairns Statue

Whether you’re spiritual or not, this is a beautiful and neutral visual aid.

 


Pure Essential Oil Trio, Made In The USA

rareESSENCE Aromatherapy 100% Pure Essential Oils for energy and relaxation.


 

Meditation Singing Bowl with Embossed Buddhas, 4.25 Inches 

To create a beautiful zen sound, try a meditation singing bowl!


 

There you have it!

A few examples of what will take your meditation experience up a notch.

Did any of these pieces speak to you? (The cushion is my favorite 🙂 )

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been a catchy new trend, and for good reason. Mindfulness is a meditation tool that allows the mind and body to relax, observe, and experience life as it is.

Why is mindfulness important?

For many people these days, it’s easy to become caught up in daily activities and mundane tasks. Mindfulness helps you slow down, appreciate what you have in front of you, and release negative energy. For a more in depth description, see below.

Related: 5 Ways Mindfulness Affects Your Brain

5 Ways To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

As you wake up

When your alarm goes off, resist the urge to jump out of bed and start your day right away. Take 10 minutes (unless you’ll be late) to slowly rise. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply.

Notice your breath and take advantage of the warm and cozy bed. Use this time to maintain deep breathing, and recognize every good sensation throughout your body. Start from your toes, and work through the top of your head.

Maintain this for 10 minutes until you feel soft, content, happy, and completely relaxed.

During meals

Meals are one of my favorite parts of the day. Like most people though, I tend to rush through them because I have a ton of other things going on. Do you multitask while you eat? I would guess yes.

Instead of rushing and multitasking, take this time to really appreciate what you have in front of you. Think of the journey your food traveled to arrive on your plate. Notice every sensation as you eat. Smell the aroma, feel the texture, notice the taste and texture inside your mouth. Breathe and be fully engulfed in eating one bite at a time, slowly.

Take pauses to breathe in and out. Notice your satiety rising as your hunger dissipates. Eat slowly, and savor every piece of food on your plate.

You might find that with this practice that you eat less. I usually tend to eat less when I eat slowly and really enjoy every bite. I also tend to eat healthier because I make more conscious choices about what I’m consuming. This may or may not happen, but it’s a perk of mindful eating!

Afternoon break

It’s the afternoon and you’re dozing off at your desk. It’s been a long day and you’re ready to hit the hay. Or! Take a moment to recharge during your afternoon work break. Sitting in a comfortable position at your desk, (or wherever is most cozy) and practice mindfulness.

Take 10 minutes as you did in the morning, and repeat that process. Close your eyes, take in a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly. Repeat this for a few minutes until you feel calm. Spend the rest of your ten minutes just being. Don’t revisit thoughts of work or stress.

When you bring stressful thoughts into your mind, acknowledge them, and blow them out with each breath.

After work walk

After work is a perfect time to take a mindfulness break! There are so many things you can do, but a personal favorite is a walk for some fresh air. Or, you can sit in your car, sit on your deck, or relax on your couch or favorite floor pillow.

I would recommend finding a nice quiet place to relax or walk your daily stress away.

If you take a walk outside, dress for the weather and step outside. Walk around your block or at a local park. Breathe deep and relax your mind. Notice how your feet approach the ground and how your arms sway back and forth. Smell the fresh air and feel the elements on your skin.

Avoid thoughts that don’t relate to the current moment. Take as long as you need to to relax and melt the stresses away.

As you go to bed

Prepping for bed can be short or you can really take advantage of the time you have. If you like to draw out the self care, this is a perfect time to do so.

Wash your face, brush your teeth, apply your nightly creams and moisturizers and shimmy into your most comfortable and cozy pajamas.

Burrow yourself into your bed and lay flat on your back. Stretch your entire body by raising your arms above your head and reaching your feet to the opposite wall. Now place your hands on top of your belly.

As you breathe deeply into your low belly, notice your hands rising to the ceiling with each breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply, hold it for a few seconds and let it out slowly. If counting helps you keep track of your breaths, do so. Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4…Hold 1, 2, 3…Breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Focus your mind on your breath. Acknowledge thoughts, let them go and continue.

This has helped me fall asleep soundly better than anything else has. Practice mindfulness at bedtime and I promise your sleep will improve. It’s not easy to calm the mind, so practice, practice, practice! I still have a difficult time finding peace in the mind from time to time.

Create a challenge and practice mindfulness 5 times throughout the day when it’s convenient.

Did you wake more refreshed, or did it help you sleep better?

Did it ease any stress throughout the day?

Tell me how it goes!

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations!

Download, print, and hang up these body positive affirmations on your wall!

Repeat these golden words to yourself until you believe them, my friends.

From personal experience, these affirmations have improved my body positivity and I hope the same for you. I collected a combination of affirmations from my own ideas and anonymous authors online.

I hope you enjoy them!

Click the link below to download!

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations!

Body Positive Affirmations

When you’ve hung it up on your wall, share the photo with me!

I would love to see them!

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What My Life Looked Like Before Self Love

What My Life Looked Like Before Self Love

To be honest, I never really put myself as a priority until a few years ago. I didn’t know that it was important, and I was told it was selfish. I’m here to tell you that self love is not selfish. In fact, it’s not only necessary, but crucial to your mental health. Until a few years ago I was a wreck. I didn’t look like it on the outside, but I was a hot mess on the inside. Let me share a little of that with you.

What my life looked like before self love, and a little somethin' somethin' extra!

My sleeping habits were shit

Abnormal sleeping habits and depression go together like peanut butter and jelly. In my case, I either slept too much, or too little. I never got the right amount of sleep to power my body and mind.

I would go through spells of constant sleeping, and I would sleep eight hours a night and nap through the day after school. The first year of college I did the same. I felt as if I were just walking through life in a daze.

Then I would go through spells of hardly sleeping at all. At one time in my life I had two jobs, and would sleep an average of four hours a night. I would work, spend time with friends, nap, and repeat.

I don’t recommend it. Sleep when you’re tired, and keep a consistent schedule.

My eating habits were unhealthy

Abnormal eating habits are also common with people who have depression.

I ate too little or I ate too much. Throughout Highschool I starved myself, and the first year of college was the same. Sporadically as a young adult on my own, I convinced myself it wasn’t worth the money to buy food. I thought that saving money for emergencies was far more important than feeding myself. WTF?!

My eating habits also influenced my sleeping habits. The more hungry I was, the more I slept. I would try to ignore my hunger by sleeping, and it worked. At the same time I would always feel faint and weak like I was wasting away.

Other times I would be so hungry I would indulge on high caloric foods to ease my sadness. Gorging on tons of pizza roles and ice-cream at 2 in the morning after a day of no eating isn’t exactly healthy, you know?

I will not admit that I ever had an eating disorder, because I didn’t. I will admit though that I have had an unhealthy relationship with food. This is something that I am mindful every day.

I encourage anyone struggling with nourishing their bodies the correct way to seek help. Food is life, and you will feel like shit if you don’t take care of yourself.

I thought I was shit, and that’s what I told myself…over and over

I had very low self-esteem and self worth. I didn’t know that I deserved love, and I would let people walk all over me. Never did I stand up for myself or put myself first.

Like many young people, I spent too much time worrying about opinions of others, and letting their comments consume me. I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t want to find out either.

I believed all the bad things that was said about me. No matter who told me, my parents, friends, acquaintances, or random people, I would believe them.

My life was a constant cycle of striving for perfection, failing, being abused, and abusing myself.

Take some advice from me and take really good care of yourself. Do it before you think you’re ready. Do it before you know what’s best for you. Just start. Start early, and care for yourself all the time.

For some more self care tips! Read the links below.

How To Make A Self Care Package

Self Care During Winter Months

15 Self Care Tips For Winter Months

15 Self Care Tips For Winter Months

There’s something really special about the winter months that make you want to curl up with a fuzzy blanket, a delicious cup of Joe, and a book.

But then again, winter months for some people can be depressing, cold, and dark.

15 Self Care Tips For Winter Months

It seems like it’s either all fun and sunshine, or dark and depressing. Many people suffering with mental illness have a difficult time through the winter months. I know I do. For some reason it just puts me in a big sticky funk.

Summer is usually filled with unending sunshine and fun times, while winter can be a little less forgiving.

I’m going to give you some self care tips for the upcoming winter months, so you can stay in tip-top shape.

I don’t know about you but self care has become increasingly more important during the winter. It’s freezing, dark, and unforgiving. At least for myself, self care in the winter months is a bit more difficult.

Get some fresh air

Living in Colorado can be a little hectic. The immense amounts of snow and bipolar temperatures can really be exhausting. The mornings are frigid, but this is a good way to wake you up! I know we always have to urge to cuddle up and stay indoors, but getting some fresh air will do you some good.

Keep hydrated

Like many of you, I get my day started with a cup of delicious coffee. As delicious and comforting as coffee is, it’s not the best drink for your body. So I would recommend starting the day with a big glass of water instead. And then of course go straight back to the coffee because how can you not? Just make sure you prioritize water throughout the day first before your daily caffeination.

Moisturize

This one has been a doozy for me lately! I grew up in a very wet place, and after moving to a desert I realized I needed a lot of extra moisture! Especially in the Winter when it’s extra cold and dry. So make sure you moisturize a lot! I personally love Aveeno brand lotion, because it really gets the job done, and it doesn’t have irritating fragrances.

Get dressed and clean yourself up

This is especially important for you lovelies that work from home. To get a great start to the day, wake up and get ready for the day. And if you’re like me, make sure you stay comfortable. I keep my hair out of my face, my makeup nonexistent, and my clothes comfortable and appropriate.

Stretch your muscles

Cold winter months make your muscles tight from scrunching up in order to preserve heat. So release those tight muscles with some stretching, or maybe some yoga? You don’t have to be a yoga expert to do yoga. No need to spend tons of money at a studio…just find a beginner yoga session on YouTube for free, and you can do it in your living room. It’ll feel good to move around a bit, I promise.

Practice gratitude

Something my boyfriend and I like to do is tell each other three things we’re grateful for that day. We make it a priority on the bad days. Read more about gratitude here. To take this further, keep a gratitude journal next to your bed. At night, write down your three things you’re grateful for, or go for gold and write as many as you can think of!

Practice a hobby

You don’t have to be particularly good at anything to have a hobby. No expectations or rules here. Pick up something that you like to do. Don’t put any pressure on yourself, and just go for it! Learn to knit, craft, DIY everything… I know I love to craft, so any chance I get to make something myself, I jump on it. For example, lately I’ve been making my own soap. It’s kind of fun to change up fragrances and colors depending on the season.

Make a playlist

Everyone knows there’s something magical about music and how it can transport you to another place or time. To get your spirits up, put on some happy and confidence boosting tunes.

Healthy eating

Keep your body happy with wholesome, nutritious meals. And of course I don’t mean give up your favorite dessert because you need some soul food too. There’s no way I’m giving up desserts! Moderation is key here, people!

Unplug

Spend some quality time with loved ones, and start ignoring your phone! There are far more valuable things in the world than the latest update on who’s liking whose post! Building strong relationships, and meaningful conversations a far more nourishing, so make that a priority.

Read

Whether you prefer your kindle or book, rest and recharge with some alone time.

Get comfy

Take advantage of the the winter months and break out the bunny slippers! Have no shame! It’s getting cold outside, so is your wardrobe ready for it? Make sure you’re stocked up on coats, scarves, and mittens. Can you ever be too comfortable? Go ahead and treat yourself.

Go minimal

Something really awesome that I’m doing this year is going minimal for this holiday season. Wait. You can do that? Yes, and I might write an entire post about this one because I feel pretty strongly about it.

I grew up in a household where the holidays were always stressful. My family had always been responsible for buying each and everyone a gift, and it produced so much anxiety in myself (but mostly my dad) that it ruined the enjoyment. It ruins what makes holidays special.

Holidays should be about family and friends. Holidays shouldn’t be centered around endless material gifts that no one needs anyway. Don’t get me wrong though. I love to spoil the people I love, but not unnecessarily.

Instead of buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts, make something meaningful for the people you really love.

For example, this year my boyfriend and I are making one gift for each person whom we love in our family. The only one that’s getting unnecessary gifts is our beloved dog child, because she deserves it…obviously.

Make a vision board

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Have you ever heard of a BHAG? A Big Hairy Audacious Goal? It’s a 10 year plan for your life, it’s action oriented, it’s innovative, and it’s exciting!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you WANT to be? Set your goals high, and think about the steps to get you there! This would be a great idea for a vision board.

Or if that seems a little too intimidating, go for the year! What do you want your year to look like?

Make a winter bucket list

Hoo hoo! What’s better than a short list of fun things to accomplish this season? There are beautiful, interesting, and fun things to do in each season, so make yourself a list and complete it! Mine looks a little like this…

  • Build a snowman
  • Create a Christmas Eve box, more details here.
  • DIY almost all Christmas gifts
  • Bake all of the delicious desserts
  • Read a book
  • Watch the Nutcracker
  • Make tamales and give them to a homeless shelter
  • Deliver homemade cookies to all my relatives
  • Be so fucking grateful I blow up with joy

How are you going to take care of yourself this season?

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How Wearing Less Makeup Has Made Me More Confident

How Wearing Less Makeup Has Made Me More Confident

This post is for the girls and women who think they NEED makeup

How wearing less makeup has made me more confident!

You slept in, and you’re running late. You’ve thrown some dry shampoo on your scalp, brushed your teeth and gotten dressed. Now you’re ready for work, right? WRONG! Next you spend AT LEAST 15 minutes in front of the mirror smearing on foundation, drawing on eyeliner, and brushing on mascara.

Why?

Is it because it makes you feel put together and polished? Or is it because you cannot leave the house without it? Does your natural face make you think you look sick or tired?

Society can be ugly

I always thought that, and in fact I’ve been told so many times I can’t count. Here are a few examples.

One day I went to high school and wore no makeup. It was devastating to be asked the question, “Are you sick?”

“NO! This is just my real face, dickwad!” That boy who asked me that, was so used to seeing me with a perfect Barbie face that my natural face looked sick. And it’s not only high school boys who notice.

Working as a teller a few years ago, an older woman asked why I wasn’t wearing makeup, and told me I looked tired.

Umm, “I don’t look tired, and I’m wearing none because I don’t want to, and I’m trying to love my natural face, bitch!”

Can you relate?

People think it’s their responsibility to police your beauty routine. You won’t ask for it, but they’ll give it you anyway. It’s alright though. It’s not really their business, so ignore them. You don’t exist in this world to look good for others. Don’t let people make you feel that way.

Imagine how different the world would be if no one wore makeup, and everyone accepted their face as it was.

Impossible?

Maybe. But it can be true for you. It’s possible to love your natural face. It’s possible to feel confident in your skin. Sometimes it just takes practice. For me, lots of practice!

My Makeup Journey

I started wearing daily makeup in 6th grade. In my adult opinion, this is way too young. By 7th grade, I didn’t go a single day without makeup. Not even Sundays where I was only seen by my parents. When I became a junior in high school, I began to wear less, but never zero. Throughout college, I wore very little.

Now I’m almost 25, and I wear makeup maybe once a week, and on special occasions. Like I said; practice, practice, practice!!!

The Reason I Quit Wearing So Much Makeup

The society we live in, convinces young girls and women that they need piles of makeup, plastic surgery, and Instagram filters to be beautiful. There is so much emphasis on physical appearance, and it’s extremely damaging to the self-esteem.

I didn’t want to live like that anymore. What I wanted was to love my natural face, and feel confident as myself!  I wanted to spend less on makeup, and more time doing what I loved. Like spending time with friends and family, experiencing new things, and living my damn life!

Every weekend morning when my boyfriend and I go out and run errands, I think about how much time I would lose if I spent those two hours getting ready instead. I would either lose my precious sleep, or I would skip out on brunch with friends.

Which is more important to you? For me, sleep, brunch with friends, running errands is far more important to me than looking like a fucking Barbie doll.

I’m not saying that wearing makeup is bad. I’m saying that wearing makeup to hide your insecurities is bad. Ask yourself why you wear makeup. If you wear makeup because it’s fun, but you don’t need it, fine. But if you wear it because you can’t stand what you look like without it, let me help you.

I promise you, you don’t need makeup to be loved or to feel beautiful.

What I Gained From Wearing Less Makeup

Wearing less makeup has improved my skin

This is kind of a given, but let me tell you again. The less shit you put on your face, the clearer your face will look. The more shit you put on your face, the more you’ll want to cover it up…with more shit. It’s kind of a dangerous cycle.

Also, the more you wear makeup to conceal flaws, the less you’ll accept your true natural face. Your natural face has flaws, and that’s okay.

Wearing less makeup has saved me money

Let’s be honest. Makeup is expensive, and when you want quality stuff that is better for your skin, you pay out the wazoo for it. If you saved the money you spent on makeup, what could you buy?

A spa day? New computer? A new wardrobe? Me too.

Wearing less makeup has encouraged me to accept my natural skin

I don’t try to look like the perfect Barbie doll, therefore I don’t expect to look like one. I realize I’m a normal woman, with hormonal changes, and blemishes just like everyone else. That’s okay.

Wearing less makeup has made me more comfortable in public

I’ve become comfortable in public rocking my natural face, because I don’t live for anyone else but me. It’s not your job to look good for everyone else, and they shouldn’t expect it. Women often believe that being beautiful is the rent we pay to live in the world. You have no rent to pay, and you owe the world nothing but your true and natural self.

Wearing less makeup has improved my confidence

I have become comfortable in my natural skin, and I don’t hate my skin anymore. Therefore, I feel more confident in my natural skin. I don’t see blemishes as the enemy, I see them as a part of life. No longer do I feel the need to hide my face behind makeup, and I don’t feel ugly and uncomfortable without it. I’m beginning to love myself the way I am naturally, and you should too.

Now Get Started!

Decrease the amount of makeup you wear until you feel comfortable, and love your natural self.

If You’re Feeling Motivated!

I have a challenge for you. Go 7 days without makeup. Record how you feel and what you’re thinking in a journal.

Check in with me, and let me know how it goes!

Email me, or share in the comments!

How To Be Body Positive

How To Be Body Positive

how to be body positive

Body positivity. Lets talk about the one thing no one teaches you as a young person. Body positive. From my experience, this is one of the most difficult things I’ve tried to teach myself. I still struggle with it every day. You know that opposite feeling you get, when you want to love your body but you hate it too?Or you know what to say to yourself, but you don’t believe it?

That stops today. We are going to be body positive together, starting now.

In today’s blog post I’m going to challenge you to live by the rules I’ve listed below. Let us do it together!

Be more than a body

Despite popular belief, you are more than just a body. Yes, you have a body, but you also have so many other things about you that matter so much more. You have your dreams and your passions. You have what your provide for your family. You’re a friend, and a family member, and a colleague.

You were not put on this earth for the eyes of others. You were put on this earth to live your life the way you want. Your worth does not depend on what your body looks like.

Read more on following your passion here…

Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own

In our society it’s difficult to avoid the airbrushed, photoshopped, perfect bodies and faces we see everyday. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to unachievable beauty. You will always come out feeling discouraged.

Just because someone is beautiful, it does not mean that it takes away from your own beauty. They are beautiful, and so are you.

Think of it this way. A willow tree doesn’t compare itself to a pine tree. Although they are very different, they are both beautiful. The willow tree doesn’t wish to be the pine tree, because it knows it’s worth and purpose.

Loving your body ONLY when it’s in perfect shape is like loving your kids ONLY when they behave

Do not have conditions on your self love. Love yourself unconditionally, and you will love yourself everyday, with every perceived flaw. You deserve love no matter what you look like.

Health isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about you say and think

Physical health is important, but physical health does not equal mental health. Health is not having a perfect body, and hating yourself at the same time.

Read more about mental health here…

Losing weight does not cure negative body image

Negative body image is something that stays with you no matter how much you weigh, or what you look like. If you hate your body, you will always find something to hate about yourself. Once you lose the ten pounds you wanted, you’re going to find an area on your body that’s still not perfect. It’s a never ending cycle.

Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it

Does this one seem a little backwards from popular belief? But also exactly what it needs to be? Maybe it’s just me, but working out has always been in conjunction with me wanting to change my body. I sure as hell never went to the gym thinking that I’m there because I love my body. But it’s the right way of thinking, isn’t it? Being physically healthy is a key ingredient to living a long and happy life. Often times though, people are punishing themselves at the gym. Not loving themselves.

There is no wrong way to have a body

You were born with an extremely unique set of genes that have been passed onto you from generations. You are your mother and your father. There are a gazillion (it’s a number) different combinations of bodies out there, and yours is exactly what it needs to be. A body is a body. It’s very simple. You weren’t made incorrectly, therefore there is no wrong way to have a body. Every part of your body is what makes you unique, not wrong or ugly. 

Beauty is not what people say is beautiful. Beauty is what you already are.

What’s beautiful is who and what you are naturally. There is no one type of beauty. There is beauty in every person and living creature. You are beautiful because you are you.

Be whoever the hell you want to be. There is no wrong way to be yourself.

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend

Imagine yourself in front of a mirror. What are you thinking? If you’re saying things to yourself that you wouldn’t  and couldn’t utter to your best friend…take it back. You deserve the same respect you give your best friend.

You would tell your best friend that she’s beautiful including all her perceived flaws, and you wouldn’t be lying. Because she is beautiful, and so are you.

Life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself

To reiterate, there is so much more to life than your appearance. Don’t waste another minute hating yourself, and wishing you were someone else. Spend your life doing what you love. Be unapologetically you.

Think about all the energy you put into being at war with yourself. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate and love yourself no matter what? Think about the peace you would feel. Hold onto that and don’t let it go.

I’ll keep you accountable, if you hold me accountable.

What’s your story?

Share with me in the comments!

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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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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!

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!