Cures For The Post-Trip Blues

Cures For The Post-Trip Blues

This past weekend Dan and I and some friends of ours took a quick little trip to a hot springs, in a cute little mountain town about 3 hours outside of Denver, called Glenwood Springs. For my West Coast friends, you actually pass it on your drive out to Denver. I’d highly recommend staying a night or two to walk around the town and go to the hot springs. Such a cute small town vibe and very relaxing. 

Anyway, the weekend was great and we had so much fun getting away for a bit, but what is it that they say? What goes up, must come down? Yeah, something like that. As the covid fog wears off, and we start going back to doing normal things like taking trips and such, the more I become aware again of the highs and lows surrounding a vacation. The beforehand is always a little stressful, but so exciting. And the end (at least for, but presuming not only, me) is always a little sad. Not that I don’t love my everyday life, I’m always excited to get back to our fur babies and into our routine, but I can’t help but feel a little down when we have to say goodbye to our little getaway and the people we shared it with. 

I think it’s mostly because it serves as a reminder that time passes, regardless of what we have to say about it, and that even good things must come to an end. I try to be as present as possible during trips like this, but I find it difficult at times when all I find myself thinking about is that it will inevitably end. It’s something I’m working on: savoring every moment while trusting that more await- moments yet to be savored. 

We came home Saturday night and I spent a good portion of Sunday and Monday feeling fairly bleh and finding it difficult to jump back into a productive mindset. I think this may also have had something to do with the fact that we had a decent amount to drink the previous 3 days and that I was about to start my period later that week; the perfect storm, really. And since vacations can’t last forever and we can’t always time it perfectly around our cycles or emotions or any other unpredictable aspect of life, I figured I’d share a few things that helped me climb out of my little hole of self pity and lethargy and get back into the swing of things this week. My cures for the post-trip blues:

LAY IN BED

Seriously, sometimes all you need to do is nothing. It’s actually incredibly healthy to do nothing. And while it may not feel like you’re doing much in the moment (because you physically aren’t), you really are. You’re allowing yourself to rest. And though we may not always think we need it, we all know what happens when we don’t get enough of it. Sunday I laid in bed all day and watched at least 5 movies (highly recommend this one– it’s my fav). It was so comforting and therapeutic and I really do feel like it was exactly what I needed after a long weekend of being out and socializing. Gotta recharge the batteries. 

UNPACK

In the midst of my day spent in bed, I did find time to get up and clean up a bit. I unpacked, showered, and cleaned the house a little. Not sure about you, but being clean in a clean house is one of my favorite feelings ever. I made the bed, lit a candle, put clean cozy clothes on and jumped right back into bed to continue my movie marathon. It was GREAT. Something about continuing my lazy day after a little bit of productivity, to set me up for success later on, allowed me to enjoy my lazy day guilt-free and not feel so behind on things when Monday rolled around.

SET SMALL GOALS

Speaking of Monday, that’s when things got a little more difficult for me. I wasn’t mentally ready for the week to start, but I knew it was best to at least start somewhere. So I set a list of to-do items for myself that were pretty straight forward and easy to do. I spent the day switching from unproductively watching a show or scrolling on my phone to then going to the grocery store or doing my laundry. By the end of the day I felt pretty accomplished and caught up on life a bit more, which helped me go into the rest of my week with a bit more pep in my step. 

On Wednesday my period finally started and I did take that day to be a bit lazy as well, but I felt my emotions balance out and I was then able to go through the rest of the week feeling more productive. I had a newfound sense of looking forward to the future, rather than stewing in the fact that our previous trip was over. And, more importantly, I was able to find comfort in the present moment and really appreciate that place too. 

I think post-trip blues come mostly from not liking the present moment as much as you did the most previous one. It’s never fun to come back from a trip and suddenly have to get back to all of your responsibilities. Some transition time is needed there, and that’s okay. With this in mind, I’ve found that making your present moment, regardless of whether that’s on vacation or in your living room, as pleasant a place to be as possible. 

So often we’re running off to the possibilities of the future or looking back to the lessons of the past. We then find ourselves uncomfortable in the present, romanticizing the past or thinking we’ll feel happier in the future. When, in reality, the only thing that will change how we feel at any other time, is how we feel right now. If we can learn to sit with our thoughts and make the present a pleasant place to be, then it will continue to be- which will make it so for past and future too. It may not completely take away those post-trip blues, but it will sure help you move through them and get you looking forward to all the exciting things that lie ahead.  

Have you experienced the post-trip blues? If so, what have you found helpful to get over them?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: 3 Things To Help You Stay Present.

Loving Yourself At Every Stage: Part 2

Loving Yourself At Every Stage: Part 2

Toward the end of this same year is when I took the next step in my journey and decided to go off the pill. Within a few weeks the weight that hadn’t been coming off with all the other lifestyle changes I’d made, started to melt away. I lost 10 pounds almost instantly. But see, that’s the thing. This weight loss was not a culmination of me going on some fad diet and killing myself in the gym for a few months. It was nearly a year of learning what my body needed, and treating it well, that I finally began to see a difference. And so begins loving yourself at every stage: part 2.

I went into 2017 feeling so good about myself. My body felt and looked healthier, and I had just graduated with my bachelor’s. That March I moved to San Diego and took the habits I’d created with me. I maintained where my body was for about a year, with a few fluctuations in between (cause that’s life), but knew that my journey to a healthier lifestyle wasn’t over. We got the news that my Dad was sick that December, which rerouted my journey in an entirely new direction. Sure, I’d been eating decently before my Dad’s diagnoses, but I had never paid much attention to the ingredients I was putting in my body.

I became obsessive about checking labels and only putting things in and on my body that I knew to be healthy. This of course included foods, but also makeup, soaps, lotions, detergents.. pretty much anything and everything I could find that I could switch to a better option. This is where my healthy anxiety and first and only panic attack set in too. There were times I’d go to the gym and feel like it was pointless. I was hyper-focused on our mortality and the fact that none of us knew how long we had left, so why waste time working out. It was another moment where I got mixed up on who was doing the betraying. I no longer trusted my body. I did my best to keep it away from toxins and anything bad for it, but it wasn’t primarily to treat my body well anymore- it was mostly because I didn’t trust it to take care of me. 

Early in 2018 my doctor found a lump in my breast and my whole world came crashing down- for about two weeks. I was convinced I had breast cancer and would have a very limited amount of time left (my reality was still very focused on the fragility of life). When they finally brought me in for my ultrasound they were able to tell me right then and there that I was perfectly fine. Relief washed over me immediately, but what was super eye opening was that, immediately when we got home, I began questioning the doctors. I worried that they had missed something and began to obsess. Which is when I realized my anxiety and irrational thoughts like these had become my reality. I needed to learn how to trust my body again because I could no longer trust these thoughts based in fear.

I continued paying attention to ingredients, and still do to this day, but was much less obsessive. I decided that my body and I needed to build our trust back stronger than it was before, and so I did what I could to treat it well, and trusted that it would in turn do the same. After all, that’s all we really can do, right? Staying away from processed foods and filler ingredients paved the way for the rest of my journey. My body naturally lost another 15 pounds overtime, and I’ve pretty much stayed in that place ever since. 

With my experience, I truly believe that if you can find that love for yourself to treat your body well, continuously overtime, it will naturally arrive at the place it is supposed to be. And that is real health. Not trying to reach a specific goal weight or body type, but to make daily choices to love yourself and to love your body. That is how you make lasting change. I know if you’re in a place you’re unhappy with right now, that reading this may all just sound like a bunch of bull. I get it. I’ve been there. But losing weight can’t just be about punishing yourself in hopes of looking like some unrealistic image you have in mind. It has to be about acknowledging that the lifestyle choices you are making have not been in honor of your best, truest self, and that they need to change.

It’s not what you want to hear at the beginning of the process, mostly because you haven’t formed that new relationship with yourself or with your body yet, but give it a week. Give it a month. No, it’s not a cold turkey diet. You can still eat and do some of the things you used to. You won’t get to your healthiest place as fast as you want (most likely), but, when you do get there, you’ll stay there. And, let’s not forget, the most important advice: you’ve got to learn to love yourself at every stage. Seriously. I know it sounds cliche, but if and when you reach your goal, whatever that may look like, if you haven’t practiced loving yourself at every stage along the way, you will never truly love yourself. Love does not come from attaining a goal, it is unconditional and accessible at all times. And the more you find that to be true for yourself, the more you’ll love yourself at every stage.

What are your thoughts on this article? Have you had a similar or different experience? Would love to hear more about your journeys! 

I also want to throw out there that I am not a health care professional in any way shape or form- this is merely my experience- and that, no matter where you are in your journey, I would highly suggest speaking with your primary health care provider before making any drastic changes. 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Loving Yourself At Every Stage: Part 1.

And, in case you’re wondering, above outfit deets are tagged here.

Loving Yourself At Every Stage Part 1

Loving Yourself At Every Stage Part 1

I know this title “loving yourself at every stage” is a little vague, so let me explain what I mean by it. I originally wanted to write a post about my journey with weight loss, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how my weight loss really had very little to do with my focus on actually losing weight. And I don’t want to write a post that’s just about how I gained 30 pounds and then what I did to lose it. Because the journey was so much more than that. I also want to note that I am not here to say anyone should lose weight. You know your body better than anyone, and you should do what makes you feel good. This is simply my own experience and journey, and the advice that I do feel I have enough experience to share. My main piece of that advice, that I think applies to most everyone, is the importance of loving yourself at every stage. 

I actually began to write this last week, and now that Halloween has passed it feels more relevant than ever. I’m seeing so many posts about how people feel bad for eating like shit/going out/not sleeping enough this past weekend. And I totally get it. BUT. I also want to take a moment to say…great work. You are LIVING. Assuming you did what you wanted to and had a good time, I think it’s cruel to turn around the next day and get down on yourself for it. Sure, you might feel like shit, but that’s no reason for regret. You had a great time, and in a couple days you’ll be back to feeling more like yourself. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend living the holiday celebration lifestyle every weekend, but my god if you have a reason to celebrate and that’s how you want to do it-  do it! Your best self can take place in many forms- let your inner party woo! girl be one of them, if that’s what you want, and then get back to the best self version of you that drinks lots of water and gets into bed at a reasonable hour. You can do both. 

With that being said… I also want to say that stage, in this context, doesn’t just pertain to a body. It also pertains to the mind and where you are in life, exactly at this moment. Appreciating every little thing, even if it’s not exactly how you think it “should” be. For most of my life, I’ve never had to worry about what I ate or whether my clothes would fit me the same or not the next time I tried them on. I was blessed with a mother who was super into health and so I ate home-cooked meals most nights of the week and “junk” food was a rarity. Then, at 18, I moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with two of my besties from high school. Our grocery list usually consisted of top ramen and fruit roll-ups- partially due to finances, partially because of inexperience with cooking, but mostly because that’s just what we wanted. And, because I was still a teenager, I got away with it. I never fluctuated weight, but I most certainly was not healthy. 

I remember vividly being the smallest I’ve ever been at 22, at the same time that I was going through a terrible break up. I had zero appetite and felt miserable. But, just a few weeks later, a new kind of anxiety set in and I wound up finding great comfort in food. I’d constantly think about what I was going to eat next, almost as a form of distraction from all the things I didn’t want to deal with. Or a way to feel better in the situation I had found myself in: broken-hearted, broke, living in a bedroom in someone else’s home, and still trying to graduate from college. I was so frustrated with myself and unhappy with where I was during that time period, and, before I knew it, (and to top it all off) I could barely squeeze into my jeans.

I was shocked. I had never had something like this happen before. I couldn’t believe that my body would betray me like that, but what I soon came to realize was that I was the one actually doing the betraying. I’d been disconnected from my body most of my life- never having to think about it much- and now it was sending a message loud and clear. This is the turning point in my life where I finally started treating my body the way it deserved, and doing what made me FEEL good. 

At the end of that year, and after 5 years of living outside of my parent’s home, I decided it was time to go back. I had fought going back so many times, swearing my independent self would figure it out and make it work, but I was tired. My body and mind needed a break. My Dad helped me pack and home we went. I still remember that first night, my Mom making me some tea and everything feeling so much calmer. I felt like I could take a deep breath. I wasn’t swimming upstream anymore, I was flowing with the current. 

This was all at the beginning of 2016, and, at the beginning of that year, I vowed to myself that I’d get back to a place I was proud of. But, what I was surprised to learn as the year progressed, was that I could be proud of myself for being right where I already was. Had I not loved myself enough to know it was time to go home, I wouldn’t have given myself the opportunity to focus on ME. And that alone, was something to be proud of. During that year I went gluten and dairy free, began paying more attention to macros and eating more nutrient-rich foods. I broke the relationship I’d had with food, where I saw it as a comfort, and built a new one focused around fueling my body with what it needed to perform well and feel good. No, this wasn’t some quick diet fix- I’d committed to switching my lifestyle completely, because I wanted the way I felt to last. 

I also began working out regularly each week, and, thanks to one of my closest friends, I became more and more comfortable and consistent at the gym. That was actually the most consistently I’d ever worked out on my own, and it felt so good to show my body that love. At first, I had started eating well and working out to lose weight, but the more I did it, the more I loved my body for exactly where it was. Because I was taking care of it and showing it the love it deserved, our relationship changed. I no longer needed my body to look a certain way, I had learned how to feel comfortable in it and appreciate it for all it had done for me.

Oddly enough, this year of progress ended up being one of the happiest years of my life. A year I had dreaded because I was afraid I’d fail, yet ended up feeling strong and energized. I got a job where I was finally making money again, I had an internship and was on track to graduate college at the end of the year. Everything felt like it had fallen into place. Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard, but my perspective had changed everything. I was taking care of me, and that’s what kept me going. 

More on that next week <3

Does this story resonate with you? Would love to hear your experiences.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like What Makes You Feel More Like You?

How To Stop Worrying When You Embarrass Yourself

How To Stop Worrying When You Embarrass Yourself

Earlier today I was on a call for work, and I asked a question at the wrong time. I felt SO embarrassed about it. All kinds of thoughts flooded in: did I make the other person feel uncomfortable? Do they think I’m incompetent? How will they feel working with me moving forward? Did I hurt the trust we had established? You’d think, with all these extremely negative thoughts, that I had done something to severely impact this person’s life in a negative way, but no. It was literally as simple as asking the wrong question at the wrong time. Afterwards my mind wouldn’t shut up about it. Not wanting to drain my energy and get sucked into this negative thought loop all day, I found a way to work through it. And now that I think I’ve got a pretty good system, I thought I’d write it down. For you, for me, for anyone who has EVER IN THEIR LIFE, embarrassed themselves. Here’s how to stop worrying when you embarrass yourself:

PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE

When we’ve done something embarrassing, our minds take us to the worst possible place and we spiral into a negative thought loop. This moment feels like the biggest deal in the world, and we think it will radically affect the trajectory of our lives. So, you have to shift the perspective. Is this moment something you’ll be thinking about next year? Next month? Next week? Tomorrow? I feel safe to say the answer is, probably not. I know this sounds morbid, but, let’s say you knew you were going to die later today. Would you care at all about whether or not you “embarrassed” yourself? Would that even be on your radar in any way shape or form? My guess is no. At least I’d hope that’d be the answer. Because guess what? Truly, it does not matter. We are a cluster of cells with a conscious floating around in outer space and we’re worried about saying or doing something that might make another cluster of cells with a conscious think differently about us? WHO. FREAKING. CARES. 

Also, the people you’re worried will think lesser of you or laugh at you when you inevitably do something embarrassing, have also done embarrassing things. And, if they’re the kind of people who would think lesser of you or mock you so easily, then do you really want to care about what they think anyway? 

REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE

As mentioned a few sentences ago, you are not the only one who’s ever done something embarrassing. You are not the first, and most certainly will not be the last. This is a totally normal part of life that we just have to let roll off our backs. If we spend our lives constantly trying to never embarrass ourselves, we’ll waste a lot of energy on that instead of just enjoying the life we’ve been given. Plus, you’ll be pretty boring. People who are “perfect” and never make any mistakes aren’t relatable, and they most definitely are not real. Don’t believe the hype. Rejoice in your imperfections. Utilize them and learn what you need from them, to take with you along the way.

PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION

Which is a perfect lead up to this next point. Practicing self-compassion is the most underrated thing EVER, in my opinion. I actually just started really thinking about self-compassion a couple of months ago when I listened to this podcast about it. It was a concept I had never heard of before, and the moment it was put in front of me, I became fascinated. Think about it as being your own best friend. How do you treat your best friend? How do you lift them up and help them understand how amazing they are? Can you say you do the same for yourself? For most of us, that answer would be a hard no. We are so mean to ourselves… we tear ourselves down and have trouble believing we’re worthy of anything good. If we do something embarrassing we beat ourselves up over it for an endless amount of time. Do we do that to our friends? No! We laugh about it, pat them on the back and say “happens to the best of us.” Imagine how our experience of such a situation would be, if we could do that for ourselves? Let’s start doing that.

LAUGH

Laughter is one of the best medicines in life, and, I’d argue, that the ability to laugh at yourself is one of the greatest qualities a human can have. It makes us more relatable, which allows us to authentically connect with those around us. People don’t connect with perfection. It doesn’t speak to anyone because no one is perfect. But when someone shows their imperfections, and isn’t ashamed of them, those around them have an opportunity to appreciate that person AND themselves in a new way. It breeds humility and this world could definitely use more of that. So laugh- it’s good for everyone involved. 

When you do something embarrassing, it may feel like everything you’ve been working towards might come crashing down right then and there. I get it, I was just there a few hours ago. And while embarrassing yourself does admittedly suck (I don’t think anyone’s out there trying to do it on purpose), it is an opportunity to show yourself and others who you really are, and to model self-love. You have a chance to remember how fleeting life truly is and that everything (even the tough stuff) is a miracle in its own way. You have a chance to connect with others on a deeper level, and love yourself on a deeper level too. And, while you’re at it, you may even get a good laugh in. And suddenly, embarrassing myself doesn’t sound so bad after all. 

What have you found helpful in situations like these? Would love to hear your experiences and advice!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: You are loved. You are you. You are perfect.

3 Things To Help You Stay Present 

3 Things To Help You Stay Present 

Do you ever wonder why time starts to speed up so much as we get older? I’ve heard a few different reasons for this, like that our reference of time changes as we get older and days feel shorter because we’ve lived more of them. But the one that rings truest for me is that, as we get older, we become less present in the moment we’re currently in. As children, we’re processing moment to moment, and not a whole lot outside of that (thank god or else the idea of 13 years of going to school would have REALLY overwhelmed me lol). As adults, we begin to spend a lot of time dwelling in the past or fantasizing about the future. We spend very little time just appreciating where we are in this given moment, which makes the moments go by faster. And I’m not sure about you, but that FREAKS. ME OUT. I don’t want to worry my life away and miss out on all the amazing things happening right here, right now. So, what’s there to be done? Here are 3 things to help you stay present:

CATCH YOURSELF

I know this is much easier said than done, but if you really want to be more present, you have to break the habit of not being present. Whenever you begin to feel yourself veering into the past or future, take a second to look around you. It can be a lot like talking yourself down from anxious feelings (which can also be caused by living in the past or future). Ground yourself. Count how many fingers you have, feel the feeling of whatever they’re touching. Breathe the air in, what do you smell? Paying attention to the senses helps remind you of where you are right now, and brings your focus back to that place. The mind will wander if we’re not paying attention, so it’s our job to bring more awareness to the process. And how do we do that? One way can be found below…

MEDITATE

Meditation is a common theme here for me, but that’s because I truly believe it’s a key to contentment that many of us are missing out on. If our minds are constantly trying to solve things and plan for things and avoid things, we may begin to feel a bit exhausted. Or a lot exhausted. For me, it’s the latter. So we practice becoming more aware of the chatter in our minds by meditating. Meditation is not about not thinking, but more so about realizing that you are, and about what. We live inside the reality our mind makes for us, and think that that’s the only reality there is. But guess what? That’s not the case. There’s what’s going on in our minds and then what’s ACTUALLY going on in the world. Our reality is just the reality outside ourselves, filtered in through our own biases and assumptions. Which is why it’s so important to quiet that internal chatter regularly to let some new information in, and learn to separate ourselves from the voice inside our minds that we seem to so easily identify with. 

LOVE YOUR LIFE

By no means am I saying I am an expert at this, because I most certainly am not, but it’s something I’m working on. We’re constantly thinking about all the things we’re looking forward to or all the things we may have done differently in the past, but if you take a second to just look around you, and switch your attention to simple appreciation about whatever good is in your life right now, it changes everything. Instead of constantly looking to the ways you want to better the future, see all the reasons your life is so wonderful right now. Instead of getting stuck in the past, use it as a reference point to see and appreciate how far you’ve come. Maybe you would have done it differently knowing what you know now, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t necessary, because it got you where you are today.

Sometimes I catch myself getting so excited for all the things we’re planning for in the next few years. I start scrolling through my calendar to the years ahead and imagining what it will be like. But then I stop and think of all the things I want to make sure I appreciate in this moment, because things are ever-changing and you never know what life will bring. Today, my mom is here and I can call her whenever I want. Moo is alive and well, and I still wake up to her sleeping on the pillow behind my head every morning. Dan and I and our families are healthy and happy. We have so much to look forward to. Right now we’re in the most magical moment that somehow we tend to rush through because we can’t wait for all the things to happen. But then they happen and life changes and we miss what it felt like to be here and look forward to it all. 

Kind of like when we were teenagers and all we wanted was to grow up and be adults. We pretended like we already were, and imagined all the things we’d do and be when it was finally our time. And then we grew up. And is it anything like you pictured? Do you wish sometimes you could go back and tell your younger self to stop rushing? I know I do. And I know my parents tried, but of course I didn’t listen. Those early years were the most present we probably ever were in our lives. Can we make it back there? 

There’s times when I’ll be walking Remi outside and, while she stops to sniff something (which happens every few feet or so I swear), I take a breath, pause my thinking, and look around me. And things look so different. It’ll actually feel like how I felt walking outside as a kid. I’ll breathe in the air, hear the wind rushing, crickets chirping, and notice the clouds changing shapes up above. I’ll see the sun reflecting off the leaves of a tree, and the shadow of those leaves cast on the sidewalk. There’s a new appreciation for it and, for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I felt that sometimes and not others. Then it finally clicked: it’s because I’m PRESENT. Just like when I was a kid. 

You want time to slow down? Enjoy every little beautiful morsel of your life. Linger. Trust that all that’s meant for you will come in its own time, and, in the meantime… use these 3 things to help you stay present. 

Do you have trouble staying present? What have you found that’s helped you?

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy Let Fear Move Through You, So You Can Move Forward.

My Current Favorite Mood Boosters

My Current Favorite Mood Boosters

Life has felt a bit chaotic lately and I’ve been experimenting with ways to change my environment so that I feel more motivated and uplifted throughout the day. It can feel at times like there are so many little things to do, and I start to get wrapped up in the feeling of overwhelm that comes up if I stay staring at my to-do’s for too long. I start to worry if I’ll be able to get it all done and how I’ll feel if I don’t. And in order to get past those feelings (that are based in fear), I’ve had to force myself to get going first thing in the morning. Instead of dwelling in all the “what-if’s” I’ve learned to take things one step at a time and put my focus toward what I can do in this moment to set myself up for success. Here’s a few of my current favorite mood boosters:

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Seriously, this one’s the most important. I’m a night owl by nature, but if I can get to sleep by 11:30 at night, I wake up earlier feeling so much more rested. And when I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, I feel like I have more control over my days. I have the energy and time to make things happen during the day, as well as to wind down in the evening to relax and do something I enjoy- like cooking, going for a walk, binging a show or reading a book. 

READ

I’ve been sucked in to RHONJ a little too much as of late, and I realized I needed to do something else with my free time too (something a little more stimulating for the mind). I picked up my books again and now I’m hooked. I usually have one “self-help” and one fictional book going. The self-help I read when I’m in need of an inspiring, motivational pick-me-up, the fiction I read before bed when I’m looking for something enjoyable, relaxing and that stops me from thinking about all the things I “need” to do. 

PLAY MUSIC 

This one has made a HUGE difference in how I feel throughout the day. Alexa has country music going pretty much all day now in this house, and soon it’ll be switching to Christmas music (woo!). Silence is nice too sometimes, but there’s something about a little music playing quietly in the background of your day that sets the tone and makes you feel more energized and focused (or at least it does for me). 

LIGHT A CANDLE 

I’ve been loving this one especially now that the weather is beginning to cool down. Something about a room smelling like pumpkin vanilla just makes me so happy lol (what up Trader Joe’s candles!!! For reference, find them here. They’re much more affordable at the store). And I KNOW I am not alone here. But don’t just save it for the fall- this is something that can (and should) be done year round to add to the good vibes and intentions we’re setting for the day.

We’re slowly working our way back into a routine that makes us feel happy, fulfilled, motivated and accomplished over here. The wedding kind of threw us off our game a bit (no regrets), and I’m so happy we’re now establishing this new momentum in our lives. But this feeling doesn’t just come naturally with time. We have to be intentional. Because when we’re intentional about the environment we spend our time in, we become more intentional in how we use that time, too. Having some go-to’s for when you’re in need of a mood boost makes all the difference. Try these out and let me know what you think!

Do you have any other mood boosters you’d add to this list? Let me know, I’d love to try them!

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy How To Steer Your Mind In The Right Direction.

Managing Travel Anxiety: My Best Tips

Managing Travel Anxiety: My Best Tips

So I’m headed to Austin tomorrow for my bachelorette weekend (eeeek!!). As excited as I am, I have to admit I’m a little anxious too. Leaving home for an extended period of time always makes me feel a little on edge, and so does flying. Not a huge fan of either, yet I manage to do a lot of both haha. You’d think I’d be more used to it by now, but, every time I’m about to leave, saying goodbye is always so hard. Especially when I know I’m about to board a plane. Flying with Dan is at least a little easier since I have some extra support with me, but then I worry about the animals more. When he’s home with them I know they’re good, so at least I’ve got that peace of mind. This is turning into one long ramble- basically what I’m saying is that I love traveling and seeing new places, but leaving home and flying are a bit tough for me. I feel knots in my stomach leading up to it, but once I’m at my destination I’m ready to have the time of my life lol. Can anyone relate? If so, here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way for managing travel anxiety: 

RESERVE TIME FOR A PROPER FAREWELL

I know when you’re in a rush, taking the time to say bye to the fur babes can seem a little silly. The pilot won’t wait for you just because you needed an extra 20 minutes to say bye to your cat (this is a joke but also I’d argue it’s necessity). Whenever I’m about to leave the house for a trip, I always find each fur baby and give them a little love and tell them I love them, I’ll miss them and that I’ll be back soon. When I haven’t set time aside for this I feel rushed and bad about how I left, but when I do set aside time I’m able to really be present with them and that actually helps calm my anxieties about travel- seriously animals are so therapeutic. This also allows me extra time to go over my checklists to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Then you can leave to the airport feeling at ease, with plenty of time to make it to your gate. 

ENJOY A GLASS OF WINE 

Okay so this isn’t something I do every time I travel; it depends on what my destination is looking like, but I will say it does help when the nerves are really kicking in. Sometimes I’m able to hop on a flight with a healthy dose of anxiety that I’m able to quiet down, but for those times when that little voice of doom just won’t shut up, a glass of wine really does the trick. It helps me get out of my head and release control, so that I can take a nap, talk to another passenger, or watch a movie, without a second thought. 

BRING ACTIVITIES FOR AIRTIME 

One issue I had with flying was the lack of things to occupy my brain with while I’m in the air. If I think about the fact that I am literally in a chair flying ridiculously high up in the air (doing myself a favor and not even looking at how high that is actually) then I’ll be borderline panicking the whole freaking time. That’s not fun for me, the person next to me, or anyone for that matter. This is actually one reason I prefer to sit in the aisle seat now. I know it sounds creepy, but if I’m not amused by my own activities, it’s a much better spot for people watching. Plus, I like to observe the flight attendants. I figure that if they have a panicked look on their face, I probably should too. Otherwise, we’re smooth sailing. Some activities I enjoy while flying are reading books or watching movies, but both need to be fictional and happy. I can’t watch some super stressful action movie or I’ll really be a mess.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BREATH

That last point brings me to watching your breath. When we’re in situations that we feel are threatening, we tend to respond with short, rapid breathing. We may not realize it at first (I know early on in my anxiety journey I had NO idea), but before long we’ll be feeling lightheaded, a little tingly; kinda like we’re about to have a panic attack. I had this happen while watching a stressful movie on a plane once, and learned my lesson real quick. Surround yourself with some happy, inspirational material and focus on taking full, slow breaths, and you’ll be in a much better place than you would be otherwise.

BRING COMFY THINGS

Whether it’s a certain fuzzy blanket, a picture of your cat, a favorite movie or essential oils, bring whatever is going to get you to a happy mental place as quickly as possible. If there’s turbulence or an annoying person next to you, this is the thing that will help you through. I personally have my three favorite movies downloaded onto my iPad. They are as follows: Crazy Stupid Love, This is 40, and La La Land. All of these are about everyday real life where nothing that terrible ever happens. They bring me back to planet Earth (figuratively, since I’m actually flying way above it) and put me in a pleasant mood. I also bring an essential oil roller ball and put that on my inner wrists. Whenever I start to feel myself tense up, I hold them up to my nose and take a big inhale. This also reminds me to focus back on my breath- sometimes that means stopping the movie to ground myself and breathe. 

It’s also helpful to remember how safe flying really is, and that, though leaving home can be hard, it’s also a very healthy thing to do. We can’t live our lives holed up in our homes forever; there is so much to see and experience in the world! I know some of you may be struggling with leaving home and flying more than others, especially as we emerge into a post-pandemic life, but either way I do hope you find some of these methods helpful. I really only became an anxious traveller about 4 years ago, so this is still kind of new for me too, but my last piece of advice is to not let the anxiety stop you. There were so many times I questioned going somewhere because I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with the worry, but I went anyways and had the BEST time. We’ll miss out on so much if all we focus on are the things that could go wrong. Think about how much fun you’ll have on your travels and let that fuel you to keep going. Managing travel anxiety is just like riding a bike, you get better as you go. So keep going. And safe travels! 

Do you have anxiety around traveling? Have any of the above methods worked for you? What other tips do you have to calm yourself?

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How To Fast Track Your Mental Bounce Back

How To Fast Track Your Mental Bounce Back

So I know I mentioned last week that I had been feeling fairly sluggish. Traveling + big life events means lack of sleep and lots of emotions, which left me exhausted. Which is weird, because I expected to feel the exact opposite in this moment in time. We’re 31 days out from the wedding now (eeeek!), my bachelorette is next week, and I thought I’d be flying up in cloud 9 with no end in sight. Instead, I’m feeling a lot of anxieties popping up and it’s leaving me drained. And now I’m realizing, it’s not the big life events or lack of sleep that’s the issue. Perhaps partly, sure, but not the only. What’s really been dragging me down is my mindset. And, typically, when I’m running on low vibrations, I stay there. For a while. It can be SO hard to get out of it. But once you stop blaming it on outside forces, you can get to the bottom of what’s really going on and turn things around. Here’s how to fast track your mental bounce back:

SLEEP

If you’re tired and groggy and lack of sleep is part of what originally got you to this place, then the logical thing to do is prioritize getting MORE of it. Yet, for some reason, we tend to do the opposite. When I’m tired I’m more likely to give into cravings, less likely to be productive, and typically have a difficult time falling asleep, which makes me REAL anxious. It’s a vicious spiral and the best way out is to rest. Give yourself the time and space you need to make it happen.

SCHEDULE

I’ve been slacking hard on my calendar scheduling. Everyday I have a list of things to do, but in order to give some structure to my day I put them in my calendar so that I have a step-by-step plan. Lately, I’ve been winging it and just getting things done (or not getting anything done at all) when I get to it. Which is always later in the evening and means I go to bed later and get less sleep. See how this is all connecting? It’s like I subconsciously want to feel like shit or something… but I really think it just comes down to habits. If we make a habit of scheduling our days, sticking to those schedules and keeping promises to ourselves, the process will only get easier and easier. And if you fall off the wagon, just hop back on and keep going. 

WAKE UP EARLY

Okay so this is a BIG one for me, and one I really don’t feel equipped to speak too much on since I am a self-proclaimed night owl, but it’s made such a difference for me that I have to mention it. A few weeks back I was in a great routine of waking around 6am and using the extra time to journal, read, meditate, or whatever the hell else I was into that day. The difference I felt in my mindset and productivity levels was undeniable, but then a trip knocked me out of it and I’ve had a hard time getting back. So, as I said above, if you fall off the wagon, down’t sweat it. Get back up and keep going. This morning I woke up at 6am for the first time in two weeks and I feel so damn good.

Also, side note, I’m about to start reading a book called The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma that’s all about the benefits of early rising. I listened to him speak on Rachel Brathen’s podcast, and I’d HIGHLY recommend you do the same. Will keep you updated on the book and on my early rising journey! 

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Sometimes when you’re in a rut, all you really need is a moment to wallow. It can’t always be rainbows and butterflies and meditation and waking early and all the positive quotes you can think of. There’s gotta be natural highs and lows for us to be human, so if you’re in a low, know that it’s okay. The only way to go lower in the low is to beat yourself up. But if you acknowledge where you’re at, and remember that it will pass, you’re on your way up already. You may not be able to do every single thing you would normally do to be on your A-game, but don’t forget to do the things that truly make you feel good. Nourish your body, nourish your mind, rest and recover. 

I’ve been feeling so off these past couple of weeks and part of me feels so guilty because this should be such an incredibly happy and exciting time in my life. But just because I’ve been feeling a little low doesn’t mean that it isn’t. I can’t continuously be jumping up and down all giddy-like ready to run off and have this damn wedding. Real life is still happening in the in-between, which is well worth acknowledging. This isn’t the movies where we only see the big moments; this is life, where we look forward to the big stuff and nourish ourselves in the in-between. The highs and the lows, they’re all necessary and they all make up a beautiful life. And although it may seem like there’s no way up when you’re in the low, try to remember that it will pass. So long as you’re committed to your journey and yourself, you will move forward and brighter days will be just around the corner. And the better we get at doing that, the more we’ll be able to fast track our mental bounce back. 

What do you do to bounce back when you’re feeling low? Would love to hear your thoughts! 

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How To Deal When You’re Sentimental AF

How To Deal When You’re Sentimental AF

This past week I felt pretty sluggish. There’s been a lot of emotions to process with all the wedding festivities starting to happen/getting closer and it’s making me a bit of an emotional wreck to say the least lol. Not totally in a bad way, I’m just super sentimental and I spend a lot of energy trying to soak in every last drop of every special moment I possibly can. It adds a lot of pressure to these moments; before during and after. And I hate it. But at the same time, I appreciate the perspective of knowing these moments won’t happen again and wanting to be fully present for them. The fact that I’m like this when the wedding hasn’t even happened has me thinking I should really prioritize finding the balance between soaking it in and letting it flow. Here’s what’s helped me so far, on how to deal when you’re sentimental AF. 

  1. Prepare accordingly and manage your expectations. Instead of ruminating over every little detail that could go wrong, or obsessing over making sure everything goes perfectly, try letting go and lowering your expectations instead. That doesn’t mean just assume it’ll all go wrong (cause that’s real depressing), but more so trust that it’ll all go perfectly, regardless of whether or not it goes exactly how you thought it would. I know this is something I’ve been writing about a lot lately, releasing control so you can find joy. Clearly it’s something I’m still working on and I’m pretty sure it’ll be a lifelong thing. 
  2. When the event has finally arrived, and you find yourself in the midst if it, try to remind yourself that what is happening is very special. In other words, bring your full awareness to the present moment. Doing this keeps me from getting lost in the rush and grounds me so that I really can appreciate everything for the fleeting moment that it is. Which leads me to…
  3. Take a moment alone if you need. I’ve heard this advice a lot leading up to our own wedding; that a favorite memory from many weddings was the time couples snuck away, just the two of them, to observe everyone enjoying themselves on their special night. I 1000% plan to do this with Dan, and I think it will help me a lot during the comedown afterwards. If you don’t take those moments to slow down, the whole event will fly by and be over before you know it, without you ever taking the time to let it sink in.
  4. TAKE PICTURES/VIDEOS. Anyone who knows me will confirm that I’m taking way too many photos on any given day at any given time. I love to capture moments so that I can look back on them whenever I want and remember the feelings in those frames. Same goes for videos. Whatever helps you relive the memory and cherish it forever! 
  5. Try not to stress it. I know the sentimental life can be a tough one, but better to have these worries now than 10, or however many, years down the road when you can’t get those memories back. Sure, I may be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to sentimental stuff, but I have no shame in my game. I want to remember all of the special things that have happened in my life, even the most mundane, tiniest little treasures. I mean, why not? Life is hard and if I can keep things around that remind me of my most magical moments, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

These pieces of advice are easy to dish out when I’m sharing them through writing, but actually implementing them effectively in my own life is quite another thing. Our wedding is 5 weeks away now, so wish me luck on this journey. From now until then, and for as long as I live most likely, I’ll be learning how to deal when you’re sentimental AF. 

Are you super sentimental? How do you handle big events? What do you do to enjoy yourself and take it all in?

 

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What Is Meant For You Will Always Find You

What Is Meant For You Will Always Find You

You know the feeling when you want something SO bad and you hope and pray it works out exactly like you’ve dreamed? Question… has it ever worked? Has it ever turned out EXACTLY like you pictured? Was it worse? Or.. was it better? Life is full of lessons, but one of my favorites (and most challenging to accept) is how little control we really have. We spend so much energy worrying about things with the illusion that this gives us more control than if we were to just let it all flow. And yet, it doesn’t give us any more control at all. I actually think this whole life thing becomes much more enjoyable when we do learn to let go and realize that it’ll all turn out how it’s supposed to; that what is meant for you will ALWAYS find you.

When I think of finding this level of acceptance within myself, I know it’s already there; even if I don’t currently feel it. The last summer I spent in Portland is a great example of this. I was 23, had just moved back in with my parents, was finishing up my Bachelor’s degree and spending lots of time having fun with friends and enjoying life. I didn’t have much, but I actually remember that being one of my most enjoyable summers. I found myself in a state of complete trust in the universe and, though I didn’t have a whole lot and there was so much to look forward to, I was so. damn. happy. I just kinda got in the headspace of trusting my path and knowing that, even though I wasn’t where I dreamed of being at the moment, that this was a necessary step that would make more sense and that I’d be grateful for one day.

I didn’t have to wait too long to reach that day. Even though moving home didn’t sound like the most exciting thing ever at the age of 23 (after being out of the house for 5 years), somehow I knew it was the right move. I felt so loved and safe and close being at home with my parents. It was fun to be back in their house with so much new perspective. How much more appreciation I had for them!

And now that my Dad is gone, it makes so much sense why that step was truly the biggest blessing. I was able to spend a year of my adult life with my parents; an amount of time that most might spend with their families over the course of many years during their adulthood. And, had I not been able to accept exactly where I was, I would have wasted all that time wishing I was somewhere else. 

You never know where life will take you, or what you’ll have thrown your way. We’re all on borrowed time and it’s our job to make sure we use it well. Where you are right now may not be exactly where you want to be; that’s NORMAL. If you were exactly where you wanted to be and had no dreams or aspirations for your future, that’d be another problem. But there’s something pretty special about being able to see the bigger picture, and cherish the chapter you’re in for exactly what it is: a necessary stepping stone that one day you might look back on with extreme gratitude and fondness. And there’s quite a bit of magic in trusting that whatever is meant for you will come your way. 

Whether it be a wrong turn while you’re driving, a new home, or a new relationship with someone special, everything that comes your way is meant for you. It may not be meant for you forever, but it is there to teach you and help you grow. Trying to control it doesn’t change anything but make your own experience worse. So whenever you find yourself wishing things were different, remember that where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be. It will be more difficult to do some times than others, but seeing a world where things happen FOR you instead of TO you, is a much better place to be if you ask me. Remember: what is meant for you will always find you.

When was the last time in your life that you’ve felt that kind of trust in your journey? What tips do you have for getting back to that headspace? 

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