10 Healthy Habits For The Best Day Ever

Are you living your happiest life? Do you know what it takes to live your happiest life? Like any other successes, living happy starts every morning. That’s right, you can press that reset button of yours every morning.

Anything worth while is a big mess of little healthy habits repeated, over and over again.

Often times when we look at the successes of others, we focus on the end product and where they are now. We forget to remind ourselves that those people have worked everyday on their little healthy habits. Let us start today with those little healthy habits.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

-Maya Angelou

This quote has been so important to me lately I wanted to share it with you.

Now on to the reason you’re here!

10 Healthy Habits For The Best Day Ever

  1. Set out clothes the night before.
  2. Wake up earlier.
  3. Drink your H2O.
  4. Preset your coffeemaker.
  5. Make yourself your favorite breakfast.
  6. Walk outside and let the sun shine on your beautiful face.
  7. Exercise or stretch for ten minutes.
  8. Do your regular beauty routine. Shower, moisturize, and wear something that makes you feel good.
  9. Write in your gratitude journal. (Because you have to have one by now).
  10. Set your intentions for the day and set one goal. Then go kick some butt!

Now friends, I truly hope you have a wonderful day. Do something today that makes you feel happy and healthy.

New Year’s Resolutions – On the fence?

New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s that time of year and most of you have probably had this buzz across your mind already. Do you already have a plan or have you totally ignored it? The good, the bad, the ugly…I’m here to guide you into a healthy and happy new year. It’s never too late to start. And if you’re one of those “go-getters”, you probably already have a plan and you may not need this post. Move along and keep kicking ass you boss babe! 🙂

For all you other boss babes, let us talk about why or why not to have New Year’s Resolutions.

WHY

Many of us use New Year’s Resolutions to start the new year with a reassessment of what’s important to us and to set new goals for ourselves. This is why New Year’s Resolutions can be helpful and refreshing. If you’re one of those people that like to set goals, write them down over and over, and take the steps to get there…resolutions are definitely for you.

WHY NOT

But are you one of those people that are tired of hearing about it? Do you roll your eyes at the people posting about their new gym membership…knowing this won’t last more than two months?

If you’re a free spirit who likes to live day by day, embracing the flexibility and uncertainty that comes with it, by all means…keep us guessing. Some people don’t need solid plans to live the life they love. If you’re one of these people, accept yourself for the wild side you have and live in the moment.

Live life authentically. Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions knowing full well that you’ll break them within the week.

MY OPINION

I’m not on one side or the other—right in between thinking they’re the kick in the ass I need, and rolling my eyes at the cheese all over my social media. I’m also one of those people who love to write down my goals, make a list of everything I need to get there and check those babies off!

Resolutions ARE for me but it’s not a “new year, new me” thing. I’m still the same person, I just want to remind myself of all the goals I want to accomplish in the upcoming year.

RULES FOR RESOLUTIONS

Or not, because you’re a boss babe who can make your own decisions. Take and tweak what you like 🙂

  1. Only write down goals that are achievable.

If you create a goal that’s unattainable, you’ll end up feeling like a failure if you don’t crush that goal…or even get close. There is no way I’ll be an Olympic gymnast by the end of this year, but if I love gymnastics…I can take classes and still enjoy myself.

2     Start big and break it down into smaller tasks.

“I want to make an extra $5k this year to pay off all my debt.” That’s awesome, but how will you do it? Will you need a promotion or a new job? Do you need to work extra hours or pick up a second job? Figure out the specifics and day-to-day goals that will get you there. Live day by day, it’s a lot less overwhelming.

3      Learn your ‘WHY’.

We’re creatures who ask ‘why’. We want to know why we’re doing the things we’re doing, and we need to know that what we’re doing…matters. Or am I the only one? Just kidding, I know you want the ‘why’.

Why is that extra $5k so important to you? Will it relieve stress on you and your family? Will you be able to live comfortably without looking at your bank account everyday? Whatever your ‘why’ is, hold on to that and keep reminding yourself of it.

Your ‘why’ will keep you going.

Questions, comments, concerns? What are your goals this year? Contact me or comment below!

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

What I did about my worst depression in over a decade

Yeah, you read that right. I have not had depression this bad in over a decade. A DECADE. It’s really a big deal and I haven’t been able to write in months. 

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

Let me tell you a little something about depression. It fucking sucks. Period. It is completely encompassing of everything in my life. 

If I could take a magic pill and make it go away, I would. If I could “just get over it”, I would. But trust me, it’s not that easy.

Even now I’m having a difficult time explaining how hard it’s been the last few months. Most people think depression is all about sadness. It’s not. For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired. 

For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired.

When I was about to give it all up, I decided to make a few changes. With the little motivation I do have, I can schedule appointments to give myself a little nudge in the right direction. 

This is what I did about it.

Go back to counseling

At first it was difficult for me to accept that I needed help yet again. I didn’t want to admit that I needed to go back to counseling or start my meds again. But in the end what’s most important is that I chose to take care of myself, no matter what means necessary. 

It’s okay to go back to counseling. In fact there’s a ton of things throughout life that counseling would ease and help resolve. Mental illness, loss of a loved one, trauma, divorce, marriage, childcare, loss of a job, etc. 

Counseling is not a once and done sort of solution. It’s like going to your medical doctor once a year to check up on your body. You don’t go once and decide you’re good forever. Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care.  

Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care. 

Start my antidepressants AGAIN

Asking my doctor to start me on my antidepressants again wasn’t exactly easy, but I wasn’t embarrassed either. I am proud of myself for that because I sought out the help I need. 

I don’t see medication as a crutch or something to hide. Medication is something that allows my brain to function properly while I try to sort out my current issues. 

Purchase a gym membership

I got a gym membership again to force myself out of the house. And the truth be told, a gym membership that includes studio yoga classes is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a pass for a yoga studio. Yoga is kind of my thing, but so is lifting weights. It works. 

See a nutritionist

To really take care of every aspect of my life, I decided to see a nutritionist as well. Like many people, I didn’t develop the healthiest relationship with food, and I decided to put an end to it if I could. 

Instead of obsessing over every calorie going into my mouth and only thinking about what I shouldn’t be eating, I decided to learn what will nourish my body. That way I’m aware of the specific benefits of foods, and learn what my body needs. 

Read

There are few things in this world that allow you to travel time and space, and one is reading. Lately I’ve been reading anything and everything that will help improve my mood and mental health. 

Call me a nerd, but I am so proud of my library card. I just think it’s the coolest thing ever. Judge me if you want.

Take a break

And when life gives you a comfy bed and some spare time, take a damn nap and don’t feel bad about it. It’s okay to put yourself first, and really that’s the way it always should be.

I had to make the choice to give up, or to force myself in the right direction, no matter how uncomfortable. One thing I’ve learned about mental illness (or really anything in life) is that it’s a continual battle for something better. Recovery is an ongoing task throughout life. 

When tragedy happened and I needed the extra help, I started up my mental health routine again. And that’s okay. There is no need to beat myself up over starting over again. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help whether it’s the first time, or the hundredth time. 

Remember that you’re always worth it. 

20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People

20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People

Sometimes we have to go back to the basics because we get so into routine. Life can sweep us off our feet and we need to stay grounded. Often we forget to take the time and really do what’s best for ourselves.

I’ll admit that I have been in a serious funk lately. After my dad died earlier this year I just haven’t been able to get back on my feet. My depression has skyrocketed and it hasn’t been this bad since High School. I’ve barely written or painted anything new for months. This is a reminder to myself (and you) to get back into the right mindset.

If you’re looking for some guidance because you’ve been feeling down lately, read on. Here are 20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People. 

They sleep when they’re tired.

They eat when they’re hungry.

They keep hydrated.

They create a routine.

They drink responsibly.

They exercise because they love their body, not because they hate it.

They love themselves no matter their size, weight, or current struggle.

They talk to themselves with love and compassion.

They surround themselves with other healthy individuals.

They distance themselves from toxic people.

They set boundaries.

They improve themselves everyday.

They uplift others.

They seek help when they need it.

They admit their faults.

They embrace change.

They take on challenges with confidence.

They forgive themselves for their mistakes.

They trust their instincts. 

They take their self-care seriously and utilize it often.

There you have it friends. In a lot of ways this blog is for myself as it’s also for you. Welcome to my mental health journey. Learn with me, take care with me, and thrive with me.

Let’s build an unapologetic community full of beautiful badasses.

Cheers! Here’s to the upcoming work week!

 

Visualize Your Best Self to Build Confidence

Visualize Your Best Self to Build Confidence

Why Visualize Your Best Self?

Why would you want to visualize your best self?  Well, for a few reasons.

  1. Visualizing will remind you of how capable you are.
  2. Visualizing this will give you something to strive and work towards.
  3. And! Visualizing will help you gain confidence as you check off your list.

How To Visualize Your Best Self

Here’s your homework:

Answer these questions and write them down on a sheet of paper.

  • What words would you describe yourself?
  • Where is the best version of you living?
  • What job do you have?
  • Are you traveling the world, or are you settled into a cozy home?
  • Who are the most important people in your life? What roles do these people play?
  • What does a regular day look like, and what challenges do you face?
  • How are you dressing?
  • What hobbies do you have? What do you do in your leisure time?
  • How are you physically and mentally different as the best version of yourself?

Write your answers down and refer to them often. If you’re a more visual person like me, print out some inspiration photos and make a collage out of it! I made a few pages of collages for my dream home and it brightens my day every time I look at it.

My best self would look a little like this…

I see myself as energized, strong and confident. I see my best self living on a small farm filled with chickens and a few dairy cows. An ordinary day of the week would consist of feeding and caring for animals, spending time with family and friends, playing with my dogs, painting, blogging, and building furniture.

So try it out!

What does your best self look like? Share in the comments!

If you liked this post, Read This: How To Build Confidence Like A Pro

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What To Do When You’re Depressed

What To Do When You’re Depressed

Mental illness is a thorn in the side. Often times you’re able to function but not to your fullest capacity. Recently my depression has been trying to take hold of my life again, and I’ve been really struggling. I wrote this post to remind myself (and most importantly you) what we should be doing when we’re feeling a little extra depressed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression you might chuckle at a few of these tips because the struggle is REAL. Ordinary people don’t seem to understand that these basic daily chores are difficult, if not impossible.

Let’s continue.

Take a shower

As obvious as this may sound, it’s needs to be said. Why? I’ll be the first to admit that while I’m in a deep depression, I skip the shower some days. I know it sounds a little gross but it’s a lot more common than you may think.

It’s a huge understatement to say that depression is a huge downer. It keeps you from leaving your bed, and in turn, showering.

Do your chores

At very least, you can get up and do your chores. As someone with depression, I know that getting up and doing chores is the worst, but I promise you’ll feel accomplished after! And if that wasn’t enough to keep you going throughout the day, then go back to resting! There’s no shame in trying. At least you accomplished something!

(Write down your chores in your gratitude journal).

Rest, but not too long

Having depression is exhausting, so take a rest! But make sure you’re not growing roots in your mattress. You battle with this everyday and you deserve a little rest. For those of you with mental illness, you’re badasses! What’s more exhausting than going through the struggles of daily life with that piled on top?

Not everyone understands that struggle.

Eat healthy

Obviously, eating better will make your body feel better. Therefore, your mind will feel better. Also, you’ll feel better about yourself if you make yourself something delicious. You leave no room for negative self talk that says, “Why’d you eat that you tub-o-lard?”

For the record, you’re not allowed to talk to yourself like that anyway, but be proactive! I know how that goes…

Call your mom

Or call that trusted loved one. They always know how to make you feel better.

Spoil your animals

Oh baby! This is one of my favorite things to do! There’s no better pick-me-up than spoiling my fur babies! Replace their old ratty toys, and give them a luxurious bath.

Low budget? Take them on a walk, play with them, or DIY a new toy out of ratty old t-shirts or rope! Pinterest is your friend.

Spoil your self

I wasn’t going to forget you! You deserve some spoiling too! I know you all work your asses off so don’t neglect that sweet, sweet pampering.

Give yourself a pedi/mani, coconut oil treat your entire body, buy a new book, take a class on something you want to learn, bake yourself that delicious dessert you’ve been eyeing (and share with me), and/or take yourself to lunch.

The options are endless!

Choose happiness

Understand that you control your life, and no mental illness/other person/outside factor controls you. You have the ability to choose to be happy or not. I know it’s a tough thing to hear, because I understand you can’t “just be happy”. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

But! You can choose to see the good in the world, and you can choose to be that bright warm beacon of light for yourself and others. Be your own hero. Just make the choice first.

Do you want this depression to control your life, or do you control your life? Do you want to be depressed all the time, or do you want to be happy? Make the choice, and take steps in the direction you see yourself.

Share your story

And, if you can build up the courage, share your story. Even if you’re only comfortable sharing your story with your loved ones, do that. You’ll give them the chance to understand you more fully. The love and trust will grow, and your relationship will flourish.

Hey, you might even encourage someone else to speak up about their struggle with mental illness.

Now get out there and change lives people!

 

Did you like this post? Learn What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

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What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

Over the past decade or so, I’ve learned a lot about not only my depression but I also went to school for it as well. That’s kind of one of the reasons I went to school for Psychology. (More on that later). 

I’ve compiled a collection of “anti-recommendations” for depression.

DON’T get out of routine

For the love of coffee! Do not get out of your routine. Sure, be lenient with your routine if you must but don’t fully neglect it. Us humans like routine and we should stick to it. Get up, shower, and feed yourself. Routine is good for your mental health and it keeps you glued together. Not only is routine good for your mental health, but it’s good for everyone around you. This brings me to my next “not to do”.

DON’T neglect your responsibilities

For the love of your dogs! Do not neglect your responsibilities. You’ll feel like shit if you neglect all the things you need to do. Feed your dogs, walk them, water your plants, feed your kids if you have them, and do your chores. I promise you if don’t neglect your stuff, you will feel so much better. If nothing else, take care of the things that need you and go back to bed. Zzzz…

DON’T lay in bed (too long)

For the love of….! Just kidding. As someone with depression, I know how easy it is to just sink into bed all day and sleep. Sure, some days you need that…when you’re sick.

Give yourself permission to sleep in a bit when you need it, and when you feel up for it…get up.

Then see step one and two.

DON’T eat shitty food

Don’t go for your stockpile of treats and processed shit in your pantry. You’ll feel much better about yourself (not to mention your body will thank you) if you make yourself something delicious and nutritious.

As a huge dessert advocate, treat yourself! Just don’t go overboard to the point where you’ll regret it later.

DON’T sulk over social media

On a day when you’re depressed to the max, it’s easy to sulk in bed all day. And what do you do when you’re in bed? TV and social media. Watch your favorite show and binge the crap out of it. I love those days.

But for the love of your mental health! (Last time, I promise. Haha!) Don’t go on social media if it’ll make you feel like shit. Don’t sulk over perfect instagram models if that’s something that makes me feel inferior.

What to do instead?

Fill your social media accounts with body positive, life positive, and inspiring individuals. Follow people who love their bodies no matter their size and shape. Follow people who advocate being true and genuine, and follow people who want to make the world a better place.

DON’T shut out your loved ones

When your mom calls you to ask if you’ve had your coffee and if you’d like some chilaquiles for breakfast…answer the phone. These people love you and would do anything to make you happy. Don’t be shitty and shut them out because you’re feeling depressed.

I bet talking to them on the phone for a bit will make all your worries go away. Be open with them, tell them what you’re feeling, and talk it out. They might have some stored up words of wisdom and encouragement!

DON’T talk down to yourself

Don’t talk down to yourself. Each time you do this, it chips away at your self-esteem. When you find yourself talking shit…stop and go to your gratitude journal. Make a list of everything you love about yourself.

DON’T change your medication

Don’t mess up all the hard work you’ve done with your medication by self medicating or changing doses. Always consult with your doctor before you make any changes in medication.

DO understand the reality 🙂

Understand that this feeling is temporary. Even for those of us with diagnosed depression, it’s temporary. Who knows, maybe tomorrow, the next day, or next week will be different.

What I’ve learned about depression is that if you let it take control of your life, it will. No matter how hard it is, you need to take control of your life. You can choose happiness.

It’s ugly, sticky, and almost unbearable but it’s worth it to push through the depression and find your happy. The more often you do this, the stronger you’ll get, and the easier it’ll get.

Good luck my friends!

What tactics do you use when you’re feeling depressed?

For those of your with depression, how do you deal?

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How I Deal With My Depression

How I Deal With My Depression

I’ve struggled with depression for a long time. I was officially diagnosed with depression a few years ago, and then later diagnosed with PTSD. Although it was only a few years of “officially” being depressed, it didn’t just sprout from nowhere!

I’ve had depression for a while and I’ve coped in many many many different ways—some healthier than others.

Now, if you’re interested in how I’ve dealt with my depression over the years, keep reading.

Let me remind you that I’m an individual with individual needs and concerns. Not all of these tips will work for everyone, but I find that some of these can be universal to many folks.

Exercise

As much as I loathed exercise in the past, I know it’s important for my body and my mind. Why did I loathe exercise? Because I wasn’t doing something that I loved. The body and the mind are interconnected in a way that there is no definitive line between them. This means that both need each other to fully thrive. Healthy body, healthy mind.

My advice? Find something you truly enjoy doing. Don’t follow trends or force yourself to run miles everyday if you completely hate doing it. Exercise can be fun if you find what makes you happy.

I do yoga because it really makes me happy. I like hiking, gardening, and making things. Sometimes your activity doesn’t even have to be labeled as exercise. Walking your dog? Building furniture? Working on the yard? Do that. It gets you moving and it’s productive. Even better.

Eat dessert

As much as I talk about eating healthy (and it’s crazy important), I find a happy balance between eating healthy and eating dessert. Because dessert is life.

Healthy eats are for the body, and dessert is for the soul. Feed the soul, people!

I pamper myself

Lately I’ve been seeing blog posts on Pinterest about how self care is a selfish millennial excuse for pampering. Uhh hell no. Pampering is a way of grooming, and every species grooms themselves for personal hygiene, finding a mate, and social time.

Pampering isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. And pampering doesn’t have to be about nail polish or coconut oil. It can be about drinking tea in a cozy blanket and reading a book. Pampering can be anything that relaxes and revitalizes you.

So pamper on millennials!

Try these natural remedies out!

I push through the depression

I’m hard on myself. I like to get stuff done, and I need to get stuff done, and I hate allowing my depression to take over and keep me in bed all day. I know it may be harsh, but sometimes you just have to push through the depression and get shit done.

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, and I learn. Other times I relax and take care of myself. I try to find a balance that helps me get stuff done and babying my depression. Some times you have to lay in bed for an extra hour and other times you have to get your ass up and get shit done.

It’s a balance.

I learned gratitude

Oh for the love of dessert! This one is important. I’ll repeat. The most important piece of this post is right here people.

The more grateful I become, the happier I become. Sound crazy?

Well, not very many people talk about it. So! Here I am, telling you to be grateful. And it’s not that you’re not grateful, because I know you are. I want you to be more…proactive about it. I want you to write it down, I want you to tell people, I want you to influence other people to be grateful.

When I’m having a shitty day (actually everyday), I write down my three things I’m grateful for and everything seems a little less…depressing. We all have so much to be grateful for, and that lifts a lot of depression for me. Seriously, I have a gratitude journal that I write in everyday.

Related: Why You Need A Gratitude Journal

I got dogs

My dogs make me so happy. Sometimes I threaten to give them back to the pound when they don’t behave, (they totally call my bluff). Haha, really they’re turds sometimes, but I love them! What’s better than the unconditional, butt wagging, love that you get from a dog?

Related: How Dogs Have Helped My Depression

I’m very picky about my friends

I purged my life of the shit friends, and surrounded myself with loving people. ‘Nuff said.

I do what I like

This is a pretty big one too. Quitting the job that sucked the life out of me was a great step towards happiness. It won’t solve your depression, but it definitely helps! Instead of working a life sucking job, I create things and I absolutely love it.

There was a big shift in my depression once I started blogging. And even if you’re not willing to open a blog, you can just start writing about it. Talk about your struggles and how you’ve overcome them. Then share that with me!

I ask for extra love

When I know I’m having a tough morning (usually it lingers all day), I ask my boyfriend for some extra love. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been. Usually he’ll come back with a response of, “I’ve got all the extra love to give.”

How f*cking sweet is that? But it’s true. You would do the same for someone you love, so why not ask for it in return? It really strengthens the bond of your relationship.

Try it out!

What do you think is most helpful?

What have you done to help with your depression?

And if you know someone who would benefit from this, share it with them!

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been bottling up frustrations at work, or maybe you’ve been struggling with something and it’s caught up with you. It could also be a combination of everything in life that has been scratching at you. Life tends to sneak up on us like that without us being aware.

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, I’m here to help you through the breakdown.

I’m actually writing this because I had a mental breakdown the other day. I’ve been in a low spot lately for many reasons. Partly because I lost my dad, but mostly from the daily grind. As much as I’m smiling in my pictures, I still have depression. It never really goes away and some days it’s heavier than others.

I’m sure some of you can relate.

As someone with depression, I tend to spiral into my dark little abyss and dive into self-doubt, self-hatred, and negative self-talk. It’s a nasty concoction. Often times I can handle things pretty well, and I’m proud of myself for that. Other times it’s not so easy, and I forgive myself for that. It’s something we work on everyday to improve our lives and our mental health.

Like I said, we’ve all had a breakdown. And if you haven’t…are you an alien?

So what can I do to stop this breakdown from ruining your life?

Feel The Feels

First, I want you to allow yourself to feel the feels. The days of bottling feelings are over. Just let it be. You’re feeling these things for a reason and we all know bottling feelings isn’t healthy.

Feelings and emotions are your mind’s way of communicating with you. The good, the bad and the ugly. Allow all of that emotion to flow through you like a damn river. If you cry or scream that’s okay. I’ve definitely done my fair share.

If you want a more calm outlet, continue on my friends.

Write That Shit Down

Once you’ve felt the feels, organize your thoughts and feelings on paper. Wipe away the angry face crinkles, the snot-filled tears, the ugly cry faces and get a pen to some paper. You’ve got some writing to do.

It doesn’t matter if it’s grammatically correct, or polite. If you’re angry, angrily write until you’re free of your anger. (Insert swear words in CAPS here) Write down what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours. Tell that paper all the shit you’ve been dealing with. Don’t hold back.

Feel better yet?

Once you’ve journaled your little heart out, proceed to the next step.

Talk To A Trusted Friend

Call up your favorite BUATCH and vent to her. Make sure to ask them first if she has time, because they might be busy. (This might take a while).

My go-to BUATCH is my best friend Miranda, and she always backs me up. When I’m mad about something, she’s mad. When I need reassurance and some backup, she’s there.

Or during my recent breakdown, my boyfriend called me. We talked out the issues, and he made me feel better. Think of that person in your life that you have, and call them up. (Or have them call you).

Don’t Make Any Crazy Decisions For 72 Hours

When we’re distraught and in an emotional rage, we often like to make crazy life-changing decisions. Don’t say anything you’d regret, don’t quit your job, don’t hurt anyone, and don’t hurt yourself.

Wait it out. Wait 72 hours, and reassess the situation. For those of us who have struggled with some sort of mental illness, this is crucial. Many times during a breakdown I’ve wanted (or tried) to change my entire life and it’s just not healthy in that mindset. Wait until you have a clear mind.

Do you still want to move across the country? Do you still want to quit your job and flip off the boss? I hope not. Talk it out with someone, and wait until you have a clear mind.

Have you ever had a breakdown? 

What did you do to help yourself?

Meditation For Mental Health

Meditation For Mental Health

What is meditation exactly?

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind that encourages and develops concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, calm, and understanding of the true nature of your world.

By engaging in meditation practice you learn the flow and habits of your mind. This practice offers new and more positive ways of being and thinking. With regular practice and patience, you can fully nourish the mind and gain peace and serenity.

Why?

Coming in many different variations, meditation has been used as a tool to master the mind and cope with stress. There’s no denying it. Studies have shown time and time again that meditation reduces depression and anxiety. Most notably, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, PTSD and ADHD.

Meditation benefits people who have mental health conditions, as well as those who don’t! This practice even takes the place of medication for some. That’s pretty impressive! This can be really important for some, but as an alternative or addition, meditation is a fantastic treatment!

Meditation is especially beneficial for reducing stress and managing anxiety. You will gain a patient and peaceful mind that leads to a new understanding of life, and improved mental health.

I meditate everyday, and I highly recommend it. It refreshes the mind, calms the nerves, relaxes my body, and eases my depression. A nourished mind is a happy mind. Take this step towards mental health and start meditating.

When?

You should start your day by meditating. Right when you wake up, cozy up into your meditation space and start breathing mindfully!

Then I recommend working meditation into your night time routine. As you’re getting ready for bed, take some time as you’re winding down to meditate.

How?

  • Carve out uninterrupted time in the morning and at night.

 

  • Start small. Try 5-10 minutes at a time and increase as you improve.

 

  • Practice, practice, practice! Every day if you can.

 

  • Explore different types: DIY at home, mindfulness app, meditative yoga class, or mindfulness while doing what you love. For example; meditate while gardening, walking, or whatever lets you focus, breathe and be present.

 

  • Create a calming space for at home tranquility. Situate yourself into a quiet space, add a blanket, a cushion, some delicious smelly smells, and some ambient lighting!

Now you’re good to go! I’ll have some more in depth posts coming up soon!

What’s your meditation routine?

Essential Oils For Mental Health

Essential Oils For Mental Health

Essential oils influence and heal your mind through your olfactory system (sense of smell). So, if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or stress, here are the 10 best essential oils for mental health.

I myself, use essential oils everyday. The easiest way to use them (for me) is to use them in my essential oil diffuser. I pour water to the fill line, drop in the scent I’m needing at the time and turn it on.

My personal favorites include: Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Lemongrass. I also make my own delicious concoctions for stress, productivity, anxiety and depression. More on that later!

10 Essential Oils For Mental Health

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is most commonly known as a stress reliever. Its fresh and floral aroma is relaxing and calming. Lavender essential oil is perfect for improving mental concentration, reducing stress, calming agitation, and aids in sleep.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is refreshing and energizing. This strong uplifting aroma will alleviate stress, boost energy and lift mental fatigue.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood oil has a beautiful woody aroma. It has amazing therapeutic effects in regards to balancing emotions.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang helps decrease feelings of agitation and anger-induced stress.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage is known as a natural antidepressant. It’s pleasant aroma helps ease anxiety, and uplifts your mood while calming the mind.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Derived from the jasmine flower, jasmine oil’s delicious floral aroma has many mental well being benefits. Jasmine has been used for centuries to aid anxiety, insomnia, low libido and depression.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is sourced from a native tree in Somalia, and commonly associated with spirituality and the increase of intuition.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

The aromatic, calming scent of lemongrass will quickly relieve anxiety, agitation, and help ease insomnia.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint an excellent ingredient in toothpaste and other hygiene products, it can also be used for your mental health. Particularly, peppermint oil is used to energize, increase alertness, and helps concentration.

It also has a pleasant cooling effect (due to the menthol it contains) when spread onto the skin.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree oil is commonly known for its anti-dandruff and acne fighting properties, but it does much more than that! This yummy smelling oil is also energizing and an amazing stress reliever.

6 Ways To Use Essential Oils:

  1. Inhale: Add 1-2 drops into the palm of your hand, gently circle with your fingertips and take a deep breath.
  2. Apply to skin: Rub 1-2 drops of oil into your temples, wrists or pressure points for full body relaxation.
  3. Add to skin care routine: Add essential oils to carrier oils or lotion for DIY skin care!
  4. Shower or bath: Create your own steam room or essential oil bath by adding a couple of drops in your shower or bath water.
  5. Diffuse: To get long-lasting aroma throughout your special space, use a diffuser.
  6. Air Freshener: Combine oils and distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle, shake and spray!

Things To Consider

Essential oils are powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any oil. Before you dive head first into them, do a small skin patch test on your arm or leg.

If you’re pregnant, nursing or using any kind of medication please check with your doctor before using essential oils. As a general rule of thumb, ask your doctor before changing or modifying the doctor’s orders. This includes essential oils, crash diets, or anything else. Take care of yourself people!

 

Anything strike your fancy?

Have you used essential oils before?

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Natural Remedies For Mental Health

Natural Remedies For Mental Health

If you’re looking for a natural remedy to promote a healthy mind, you might want to give these practices a try. Natural remedies have been used to treat depression and anxiety for hundreds of years all over the world.

In conjunction with conventional medicine, these natural remedies may be exactly what you need!

Natural Remedies for your Mental Health

Conventional vs Alternative vs Integrative

Conventional medicine is a system in which health care professionals treat symptoms and diseases utilizing drugs, radiation, or surgery.

Alternative medicine is any range of medical therapies that are not recognized by modern medicine, such as herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture.

Integrative medicine is a combination of both! This is the method I’ve always used, and I’ve always found to be the most efficient.

Now, lets talk about what you came here for! 🙂

Natural Remedies For Mental Health

Or what I like to call, “at home natural therapy”. These natural home remedies can help start you on your path to finding your inner peace and tranquility.

Aromatherapy

Also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, aromatherapy uses plant materials, and aromatic oils to improve psychological and physical wellness. Aromatherapy often used in conjunction with other therapies for mental health.

Herbs

Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat depression and anxiety. Some popular herbs used are mulungu bark (sleep aid), bacopa (improves cognitive function), mucuna pruriens (contains L. Dopa), passionflower (sleep aid), kava (stress reducer), and saffron (balances mood).

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are crucial for optimum mental health. A healthy brain is a healthy mind. The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals and amino acids. People usually take supplements to satisfy these needs.

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is an interesting way to say “Get out of your house and soak up some nature!” With this natural remedy for mental health, all you need to do is find some uninterrupted time in the green.

Forest bathe by walking through a park, going hiking, or spending some time getting covered in dirt in your garden. Get out and get yourself some green my loves! It’s good for your mental health.

Meditation

Meditation is an age old practice that has aided in improving mental health. Mediation may improve depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD.

I meditate everyday, and I highly recommend it. It refreshes my mind, calms my nerves, relaxes my body, and eases my depression.

Yoga

Not only is yoga amazing for your body, but it does fantastic things for your mental health and mind as well. Yoga has major mental health and wellness benefits.

This natural remedy raises your sense of body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms the nervous system. Therefore…

“Yoga is a psychology — the whole practice helps us work with the nature of the mind, the nature of being a human, how emotions live in our bodies, how they affect our behavior and our minds,” says Turner (a licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher), who reveals that yoga helped her recognize and cope with her own low self-esteem.” – Yoga Journal

Have any of these natural remedies inspired you?

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Ways To Give Back and Why It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Ways To Give Back and Why It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Have you ever heard of how giving to others creates your own happiness? It’s true, and it has a lot of researched backing.

Giving back has been correlated with positive emotions time and time again. It may seem a little backwards, but think about it. Doesn’t it make you feel super awesome to give gifts or do a little charity work?

I for one, know that I always feel better once I do something for another person…or animal.

Related: The Day I Gave The Little I Had

For example, when I was little my babysitter and I would create fresh treats for the woodland animals at a lake on my island. We would string fresh cranberries and plain popcorn to trees, so that the animals in the area would have a little treat. Kind of fun right?

When was the last time you did something for someone without expecting anything in return? I hope you can say this morning, but if not, try it out. Try giving to people without expectation, and note how you feel afterwards.

I’m guessing you’ll feel pretty good!

Now, if you need some ideas to give back, you’ve come to the right place!

For your partner (or best friend)

  • Do the chores that they loath
  • Make them breakfast
  • Surprise them with their favorite hot drink
  • Write them a letter
  • Call them
  • Compliment them
  • Make them dinner
  • Craft them a little gift
  • Massage their feet
  • Bake them cookies

For your parents and/or grands

  • Write them a letter
  • Send them a photo in the mail
  • Visit them for lunch
  • Take them shopping
  • Take them out for a fun date
  • Wash their car
  • Mow their lawn
  • Do some household chores for them

For your kids

  • Read to them
  • Play with them
  • Craft something with them
  • Finger-paint
  • Play in the mud or run through the sprinklers
  • Go to the library
  • Take them to the park

For your fur babies

  • Give them a bath
  • Clip their nails
  • Bake some fur baby friendly treats
  • Pull out the wet food and celebrate them for being wonderful
  • Take them for a walk
  • Take them to the park
  • Teach them a new trick
  • Give them a massage

For strangers

  • Donate your clothes and food
  • Donate unneeded items in your house
  • Volunteer
  • Prepare gift bags for the homeless
  • Compliment them
  • If you see someone struggling, offer help
  • Perform small acts of kindness wherever and whenever you can

There you have it my friends! A list of a few things you can give back to the people in your life.

There are a few things this world will never get enough of, and that’s love and kindness.

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Turn Your Mood Around In 6 Easy Steps

Turn Your Mood Around In 6 Easy Steps

Have you ever been in a bad mood for no reason? Maybe you feel tired and unmotivated and you don’t know why. Chances are your body and mind need a little stimulation.

Follow these steps and I promise you’ll start to feel refreshed and energized. Hopefully these tips will turn your bad mood around and give you motivation to take on the world!

Stand up and stretch your muscles

If you’re sitting down at a desk or laying in bed, get up and do a little stretching. Even if you have to force yourself out of bed for just 5 minutes, do that.

I understand some days are just so much harder than others, so give yourself a break if you really need it. But if you’re really looking for a solution to your sticky situation, follow these tips.

Drink a glass of water and Eat something nutritious

In order for your mind to feel healthy, your body needs to be healthy! Don’t abuse your body by depriving it of what it needs. Drink a glass of water and prepare a bomb ass meal for yourself.

When I would struggle through a bad bout of depression, I should have done myself a favor and feed my body what it needed. I would be so depressed I wouldn’t get up to eat. Then, I would be so hungry I would sleep through it because I didn’t want to leave my bed. That’s fucking miserable. Don’t do what I did.

I promise you’ll feel better once you give your body what it needs.

Clean your room

Maybe this is just something that starts my day off well, but I can’t start any work without it. Cleaning my room clears my work space and it also makes me feel accomplished.

Even if you’re feeling shitty, at least you can say that you’ve done something for yourself today.

Do your hair and put something nice on

Every time I do this, I can’t help but feel better about myself. I look in the mirror and the little boost makes me feel ready for anything.

You know that saying, “If you look good, you feel good.”? Well it’s kind of true.

Now I’m not saying that you need either of these to feel good about yourself, but I do strongly believe in keeping up with hygiene to keep up your mood.

Take a walk outside and go somewhere new!

Get out of your house and breathe in some fresh air! Walk around the block, take your dogs to the park, or go on a hike.

Stimulate your senses by breathing in some fresh air and by moving your body. There is something special about the outdoors that really boosts your mood and turns your bad day around.

When you do something new, it forces your mind to really think and get out of autopilot. Drive a new route to work, walk to a new park, order something new at the coffee shop, cook yourself a new meal, or switch up your workout routine!

Do something for someone else

I love this one! Do you have a ton of clothes you don’t use anymore? Collect them and donate them. What about food? You’ll probably never eat that canned asparagus in your pantry. Where did that come from anyway? Drop it off at a food bank.

Write your mother a letter. Give your dog a bath. Call your dad. Take your grams shopping. Wash your partner’s car. Do that chore that your partner HATES, you know, because you love them! Make some homemade ice-cream with your kids. Google it, it’s really easy.

Think about all the wonderful people in your life and how much they influence the good in your life. Give something back to them. This will always make you feel better. Not to mention, this is a researched topic, so it’s bound to work!

What always makes you feel better?

Dog kisses?

A walk in the park?

Tell me in the comment section below!

How To Have Stress Free Finals

How To Have Stress Free Finals

If you’re looking for a stress free final solution, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re just getting into college, on your last semester, or somewhere in between…I’ve got some good stuff for you!

I graduated from college a little over a year ago now, and I’ll share with you a few tips I picked up through my 5 1/2 years of experience.

How To Have Stress Free Finals

Start as soon as you can

If there’s one thing you need to learn, it would be good time management. Not everyone can procrastinate and succeed. More often than not, procrastination leads to stress…which is why we’re here right?

Get yourself a really good planner with lots of room to write, label, and organize. Use the slower time of the semester to really be proactive about studying. Study chapters as they come up, instead of trying to read through ten chapters the night before the final.

You’ll be far more successful and stress free if you’re proactive about studying.

Organize your shit

Like I mentioned before, get yourself a good planner. Write down deadlines, block out times to study. Hell, block out times for everything you do during your day if that helps you. (It does for me!) I’m a person who loves to organize, and good thing too because I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without it.

Color coordinate different classes, different types of assignments, or even by priority. What I like to do is color coordinate by classes, draw an empty little box next to the assignment, and fill it in once it’s done. Sounds easy right?

This way, I know what I need to do and I feel pretty damn good about myself after I check everything off.

Prioritize

Prioritizing is a huge part of having a stress free final. The assignments and papers that are due first should always come first. The big assignments and things that are worth the most points should be high on the list as well.

With the big assignments too, start early. Check number 1!

Single-task as much as possible

As much as everyone believes to be amazing multitaskers, research has shown over and over again that multitasking leads to shitty results. Sure, you get everything done, but if you had done them all one at a time, you know you would be creating some quality shit.

And as a side note, life is much more enjoyable if you really live in the moment and experience everything one at a time.

Build confidence

Did you know that confidence is a huge contributing factor to success? It is. People going into a stressful situation with confidence are far better off than those without.

Try this. When you need a little boost of energy and confidence, try a power stance. I know it sounds kind of funny, but it’s helped a lot of people gain confidence for difficult situations.

Stand up straight, step your legs to the width of your hips, place your hands on your hips, and breathe with purpose. Imagine yourself succeeding. Tell yourself affirmations that motivate and encourage you to do your best. Stand there for five minutes and smile at yourself in the mirror.

If you’re feeling embarrassed, go to a private place, and say these things in your mind.

Reward yourself

My favorite part, the rewards! You’ve worked hard and you deserve a little somethin’ somethin’!

When you’ve gone through the entire day according to plan, treat yourself. When you’ve studied your little heart out, treat yourself. Hell, even if you need to place a gummy bear throughout the pages of your book as you’re reading to get through it, do that.

If relaxation motivates you to work, treat yourself with a hot bath or a Netflix episode. If sweets motivate you, eat a treat after you’ve accomplished a goal. Whatever works for you, reward yourself with that.

Personally, I would always reward myself with some dark chocolate or a nap.

Reward yourself because you deserve it!

What helps you during finals?

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

I was prescribed antidepressants about a year and a half ago. I went in for an annual checkup when the University health clinic started asking a few mental health questions. And my answers concerned them.

I had already been diagnosed with depression at this point but I had a few more things on my plate at that particular time. I was in my last semester in college, my mom told me she might have cancer, and my biological father was really sick. He was the type of sick you worry about.

I was referred to a doctor to prescribe antidepressants and here I am a year and a half later…officially off of my antidepressants.

There were a few things that convinced me to go off of them.

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Meds

I plateaued

For the first 8 months my mood improved greatly, and after the 8 months, my mood plateaued. I also didn’t want to go through trying another medication either.

When I hit the plateau, my mood never improved. My mood stayed at the baseline.

In the mental health world we like to refer as a mood baseline as an average, neutral area in which your mood resides. This is not severely depressed, or highly manic. It’s the happy medium between the two. On a numeric scale, we could call this 5 on a scale between 0 and 10. 0 being the best you’ve ever felt, and 10 being the most depressed you’ve ever felt.

Make sense? It’s indifferent, but also bleh.

Once the 8 months had passed, it was difficult for me to feel anything but a 5. I would feel elevated depression and happiness occasionally, but not often.

Before the medication my level of depression floated in the range from 5-9, and occasionally 10. Once in a while I would feel happiness but it wouldn’t last long. So the medication gave me a huge improvement!

I worked my ass off to improve my mental health, and it paid off

The second reason I believe that I was ready to come off my meds was the astronomical changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve kicked my ass trying to improve my mental health since high school. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I do know I’ve done damn well.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself in my life, actually. Overcoming and improving my mental illness is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It is also one of the most rewarding feats I’ve ever tackled. I am new and improved. I am strong and I know now that I can handle anything.

The turn of the year gave me motivation to make big changes. But by January 1st, I decided I wasn’t quite ready.

Tragedy happened, and I survived without it

January 5th, tragedy happened. One of my parents died. I learned this at the same time that I was weening myself off my meds. I decided to stay on track with what my doctor had advised and kept with my new meds schedule.

As the month passed I endured all the shit that was going on, even with the decreasing amounts of happy pills. Should I have waited? Maybe, but you’d be surprised what you can endure. I know I’ve surprised myself a few times.

As a side note, I’ll mention that I’ve never had an addictive personality. Many people close to me have ruined their lives and even died from addiction and I refuse to let that get a hold of me. I believe that’s what deterred me.

So as I was dealing with this tragedy, I didn’t want my mind or body to rely on medication to solve my problems.

Take this into consideration before anything

I will also mention that I am a unique individual (just like all of you) and I did this under doctor’s recommendation. Not just anyone and everyone can simple ween themselves off of meds. It depends on the illness, medication, and doctor’s recommendation. Never self medicate (or ween yourself) without the approval of your doctor.

Instead of relying on antidepressants for the rest of my life,  I wanted to learn coping skills, and healthy habits to improve after utilizing what medication has to offer.

Going through this tragedy while weening off of my medication made me realize that I no longer needed them. I’m not going to lie to you. It was fucking hard, and I wouldn’t recommend going off your meds at the worst possible time ever, but I will say that it’s doable. At least it was for me.

Take this with you, if nothing else

I believe that there were many factors that played into my success. The therapy, the time I’ve spent working on myself, the self esteem I’ve been building, and my daily activities.

Now I am in no way encouraging anyone to stop their medication and refuse advice from their doctor. I am simply sharing my story with antidepressants.

I am not qualified or certified in any way to provide medical advice, so please talk to your doctor if you’re considering a change in medication.

With mental health, there is no quick and easy solution to anything. It takes hard work and dedication. And! It’s an ongoing process throughout your life, because you are always changing and evolving.

But I will tell you it’s worth it. Improving my mental health has been one of my best decisions.

So go on! Get out there and get your happy on!

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Why People Avoid Counseling But Shouldn’t 

Why People Avoid Counseling But Shouldn’t 

Counseling has a stigma

“Oh…you’re seeing a shrink? What’s wrong with you?”

Right now, it’s not socially acceptable to seek help for mental illness. Beliefs about people with mental illness are slowly changing in the right direction, but we are still far from where we should be.

Usually if someone is comfortable enough to seek help from a mental health professional, they probably won’t share it with many people. We’re afraid that if we share that with someone, they’ll use that label as a lens in which we’ll be seen.

If my label is “depression” people may assume certain things about me, like that I don’t like people or that I can’t ever have a good time.

Counseling can be expensive

Unfortunately, there are still many insurance companies that don’t cover mental health costs. Annual check ups aren’t included. Often times in order for an insurance company to cover a portion of the costs, there must be a diagnosis in place by the second session.

Not everyone needs to be diagnosed. Some people have temporary issues that a health professional can help with. These professionals come in handy when someone experiences a death in the family, a divorce, abuse, a traumatic event, etc.

These things and many other things should be covered by insurance. It’s disappointing that issues we all deal with throughout life aren’t covered because it’s a “mental health” issue. As if it’s not detrimental to your health…

Counseling takes courage

For many people it’s difficult to admit that they have an issue, much less ask for help.

Admitting yourself to counseling takes numerous steps. Admitting you have something you want to work on. Being comfortable enough to ask for help. Be willing to pay for it. Being brave enough to disclose personal information about yourself, and these things are usually things that you don’t tell others. Accepting feedback and opinions about your issues. And finally being vulnerable to the effort it takes to change and rewire yourself.

That last step is the hard part. This brings me to my next reason people avoid counseling.

Counseling is uncomfortable

Once you’ve admitted that you need help and have asked for it, it is now up to you to change. And we all know change is uncomfortable. Not only is change uncomfortable, but the whole reason for your counseling is uncomfortable.

The reason you’re there is to talk about all the shitty things that have happened to you, why they happened, how you felt about it, how it affected you, and what you’ll do to avoid pain in the future.

This often includes what you could’ve done better, such as thinking differently and behaving differently. But first you must admit that you’re…wrong…! What?!

Just kidding! Not always, but sometimes!

And I’m not going to lie to you, you might cry. It will be uncomfortable, and it won’t be easy, but it is worth it!

Some advice if you’re considering counseling

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the right therapist right away. Just like you’re not friends with everyone, you won’t mix well with every therapist.

Find someone qualified, and find someone with experience in what you’re dealing with. Talk with different people, explore what insurance they accept, meet them, and use your intuition.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, ditch them. You should feel comfortable and safe with this person because you’re going to share some personal things with them.

Have you gone to counseling? I have.

If you haven’t, what’s holding you back?

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

They require care, therefore I get out of bed.

Often times when someone has depression, they care for everything that surrounds them, and not themselves. Sounds familiar? We care for our friends, family, and pets, but refuse ourselves any love.

Owning an animal (specifically dogs) has kept me going through the most difficult times. This can be true for people without mental illness as well.

Because my two lovely fur babies are my responsibility, I get out of bed, feed them, water them, take them outside, and play with them. If it weren’t for them, many of those difficult days I would have cried in bed, and gone back to sleep. I have an awful track record of taking care of myself.

Having such responsibility gives my life a sense of purpose. They encourage me to be the best I can be because we both deserve it.

They kiss my tears away.

Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures. They understand feeling and they experience it themselves. When I’m upset, they know. They’ll cuddle up next to me and kiss the tears off my face. This in turn makes me laugh and eases the pain for a second.

I mean, what’s better than slobbery dog kisses all over your face to ease the blues?

They make me laugh because they’re absolute weirdos.

Just like people, dogs have personalities. From my experience, dogs are often just as weird (or more weird) as humans. They let their freak flag fly!

It makes me laugh when my dog Riley makes strange, excited monkey cries when she sees me. My new puppy is so goofy and hops like a bunny. They are just the cutest things ever, and we’re constantly having a great time together.

They teach me about unconditional love.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that this tidbit is on the list. Anyone who knows dogs, knows that they are the most unconditionally loving creatures. They love you no matter what you look like, or what you do. They have zero expectations and will love you until their last day.

Have you ever met anyone who is as excited to see you as your dog? I didn’t think so. Walk out of the room for five minutes and they’ll welcome you back like the amazing, beautiful queen you are.

Strive to be the person your dog thinks you are. That is some motivation right there.

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

What I’m Grateful For

What I’m Grateful For

The reason I’m doing this now is because I’ve lost someone recently, and it has been a really strong reminder of how short and precious life is. There are so many things to be grateful for, and I’m going to list my top 10.

What I'm Grateful For

I find that it’s really easy to become accustomed to the things we have, the people around us, and we often take those things for granted.

We don’t do it on purpose. Like I said, we just become comfortable and forget to be grateful. I challenge you to take a few minutes and write down 10 things you’re most grateful for. I’ll do it with you.

What I’m Grateful For

I’m grateful for my health that keeps me going

I’m grateful for my knowledge of the world

I’m grateful for my freedom to do what I love

I’m grateful for the food that nourishes me

I’m grateful for the abilities and opportunity I have 

I’m grateful for my freedom of speech

I’m grateful for my loving family who have helped me through the past two weeks

I’m grateful for my supportive friends

I’m grateful for my loving and understanding boyfriend who is always there for me

I’m grateful for my fun-loving and happy pups that always put a smile on my face

How To Be Grateful Everyday

Spend some time every day being grateful for what and who you have in your life.

I keep a journal where I write the date, and three things I’m grateful for that day. It’s a healthy reminder of how lucky I am.

 

What are you grateful for?

Share with me in the comments!

How To Cope With The Loss of a Loved One

How To Cope With The Loss of a Loved One

Having recently experienced this, I can honestly say that it isn’t easy. There is no way to soften the blow, and there is nothing really I can say to make you feel better. And you don’t need to feel better.

How To Cope With The Loss Of A Loved One

No amount of “they’re in a better place” (s) is going to help you feel better. Or at least it didn’t make me feel better. So this brings me to my first piece of advice.

Allow yourself to grieve

There is no weakness or shame in crying and grieving. Losing someone you love hurts, so don’t hold back your tears. Allow yourself to feel the feelings that are coming up. If you don’t, you might explode and that’s sounds like a mess, yeah?

Take care of your body

Losing someone you love is emotionally and physically draining. The bare minimum you need to accomplish throughout the day is to give your body what it needs. Don’t forget your medication, drink lots of water, and eat.

I know sometimes eating is the last thing on your mind, but you’ll cope better when your body feels healthy and nourished.

Continue your routine

Another piece of advice that’s crucial to coping with the loss of a loved one is continuing your routine.

This means you should try to remember to shower, brush your teeth, brush your hair, feed yourself, feed your animals, water your plants, exercise, and clean your house.

If some of these are too much for you at first, give yourself a break. Take a nap and eat a tub of ice cream in bed if you need to. There is no right way to grieve, so give yourself time.

Surround yourself with people who love you

People who truly love you will have your best interests in mind. They will give you space if you need it, they’ll give you comfort if you need it, and be a great listener.

Ask for help

An important lesson I’ve learned over the past few weeks is that asking for help is perfectly fine. In fact, I highly encourage it. If it weren’t for the help of my family through this time, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Probably blown up.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in asking for help, and this is no time to handle everything yourself.

I am so incredibly grateful for all the love, support, and help I received lately. My family took the liberty of cleaning and calling for a day or so before I arrived to help ease my pain. It helped me tremendously.

Turn off your phone

One amazing piece of advice I received from the dear man at the mortuary is this: Turn off your phone. All the logistics and phone calls are extremely overwhelming, and as mentioned before, take care of yourself first.

I was getting phone calls dozens of times a day it seemed like and I was getting so stressed. I mentioned that to him one day, and he told me to turn off my phone and treat myself to lunch.

Even if it is for just a few hours while you’re eating or relaxing, take that time to give yourself a break. You need those to keep going.

I felt so relieved that I finally got permission to turn my phone off, and now I’m giving you permission.

Turn your phone off, breathe, and eat something that will make your heart and soul happy.

Understand that feeling better is not linear

Give yourself time and compassion while you’re healing. Healing after something so tragic is not going to be linear.

You may feel better one day, and the next feel worse than the day before. There is no time limit in which you need to “get over it”. If you break down a week, a month, or a year from now that’s okay. Time helps you feel better, but you’ll never stop missing them.

I’ll share a poem that I found on Pinterest with you that I used for my dad’s obituary.

Forever in our hearts

Fill not your hearts with pain and sorrow, but remember me in every tomorrow.

Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles, I’ve only gone to rest a while.

Although my leaving causes pain and grief, my going has eased my hurt and given me relief.

So, dry your eyes and remember me, not as I am now, but as I used to be.

I will remember you all and look on with a smile, understand in your hearts, I’ve only gone to rest a while.

As long as I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts, of all of you.

-Unknown

I hope this poem gave you the same tear-filled smile it gave me, knowing that your loved one will never really be gone as long as you keep them in our heart.

My favorite memory of my dad and I is when we used to sit on his porch in the mountains. We would sit on the porch and drink coffee as the sun came up. We would sit in silence as we’d listen to the birds chirping and the mountains waking up for another day.

I often forget how silent, yet full of life the country is. I love the bliss we would share, sitting there with the morning sun shining on our faces.

If you’ve lost someone, please share your best memory with them in the comments.

How To Start Living In The Moment

How To Start Living In The Moment

Get the most out of life by living in the moment.

How To Start Living In The Moment

Embrace minimalism

When you have less possessions, every piece left becomes much more important and useful. Hoarding too many useless possessions will clutter your house and your mind. Donate it, sell it, or throw it away.

Take a moment and look at everything you own. Have you been looking for a good reason to organize and purge your closet? Every weekend spend some time going through your stuff and clearing out everything that you don’t use and believe to be beautiful.

Begin each day as a blessing

See every new day as a fresh opportunity to do something amazing. Let go of what happened yesterday and begin each and everyday with motivation and vigor.

Be mindful every moment of the day

With all of the responsibilities we have everyday, it’s easy to slip into a monotonous routine. Sometimes the day flies by without us even noticing!

I know we are all fantastic at multitasking, but single tasking is far more efficient and enjoyable. Single tasking is performing one task at a time without losing focus on the task at hand.

When you are at work, fully engulf your energy into that task. Do you best and strive for efficiency. We are far more productive when we put down our phone, get off of Facebook, and refrain from mindlessly pinning to our wedding board. Or is that just me? hehe

There is a time and a place for this, and it’s not during work time, or family time.

Eat mindfully

Fully enjoy your food. Take advantage of every bite, and appreciate every bite.

When you eat breakfast, focus on the taste of your food, how it feels in your mouth, and the mouthwatering aroma.

Put down your phone and just eat. Sounds crazy right? Well when we multitask while eating we tend to eat more, eat more calories, and we simply don’t enjoy it as much.

Forgive the past

Forgiveness is something that I’ve been working on in the past year, and I’m far more happy now that I have.

Holding onto the negative energy of the past will constantly hold you down. It ruins the present, and wastes so much valuable time. Forgiveness is hard, but it will set you free. I promise.

Read more about forgiveness here.

Enjoy what you do

To fully enjoy the present, it would make sense that you must enjoy what you do, right? Make the most out of everyday and see everything you do as practice or a learning experience.

We don’t always love our jobs, but take advantage of what you have and learn something from what you’re doing. At very least, be grateful that your job puts food on the table.

And if you’re one of the lucky ones and you enjoy your job, good for you! Don’t let a moment pass where you take for granted what you do everyday.

Dream big

Set goals and plans for your future. The work you do today is the very beginning of your lifelong success. Every little bit of effort counts.

Understand what you can control, and let the rest go

Do you spend a lot of time stressing about other people or what they’re doing? Be rational with yourself. Understand that you are the only person you have control over. You cannot control traffic, or your siblings, or the pace of the checkout line.

Take every moment as it is, and understand what you have control over. Yourself, and how you react to your world.

Learn every day

Like I mentioned before, every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. The wonderful thing about learning is that we have to be fully focused in order to actually learn the thing.

Search for answers and more efficient ways to handle your work. If you’re constantly learning, you are constantly progressing.

Keep and form healthy habits

Keep the healthy habits you have and kick the bad ones. You may be really good at taking your medication or vitamins. Keep doing that. Are you really good at getting enough sleep? Keep doing that too!

On the other hand, if there is something you want to work on, do it. Have you been waiting to kick your addiction to smoking? Or ice cream at 2 in the morning? Or maybe you have a bad habit of biting your nails.

STAAAAHP.

Keeping bad habits denies you from living in the present, and healthy living keeps you in the present. All you ever have is RIGHT NOW. Make the most of it.

How do you live in the moment?

Tell me in the comments!