Step out of your comfort zone!

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a slump, but I have a time or two. And lately, it seems I’ve been in a slump for what feels like ever. Judging based off the fact that I posted to this blog weekly religiously for a little while, then I fell off the wagon for a month or so.

Every single day I would say to Josh, or Jill or anyone in my friend circle “oh yeah, I have to work on my blog for a bit today, it’s been awhile” but…. I didn’t. A week went by, then two weeks went by, then added stressors in my outside life just put me and my blogging at bay for a little while. How could something that makes me so happy bring me so much dread? Thinking of writing a post brought me so much stress, and for absolutely no reason. Or not really, it wasn’t “no reason”. I was just not happy and hadn’t taken any time to realize that or find out why. What have I been doing to get myself out of what feels like a forever slump?! Well, I’ve started making minor tweaks in my everyday life to get a little more organized. I’ve also had a few major changes and I’m now working on getting back into a routine… for now.

First off, I didn’t want to beat myself up for not working on my blog. I do this for fun right now, it isn’t a job for me. But, it definitely helps spark some creativity into my life, and assists me with getting away from Netflix every now and again. I get a lot of enjoyment out of being able to write and share my opinions with people, but this isn’t my full-time job- although one day that could be a possibility. I am still holding myself accountable without beating myself up. I took time to reflect as to why I couldn’t make time to work on it.

Speaking of this blog not being my full-time job…. Work was something that had been stressing me out for a long time. I’ve been in retail for over 5 years and as much as I love chatting with people and getting to know them, I like to do that from a more personal level rather than from behind a counter being yelled at—if you sense a little passive aggressive tone there you are probably right, ha-ha.  What seemed like the end of my world was when my store decided to sell to different owners and not keep all of the same staff—I would be jobless, or so I thought I cried. I hadn’t been unemployed since the day I started my first job. Having a job was something that I identified myself with. I sat around feeling sorry for myself for a day and then I realized that it wasn’t going to get me anywhere. So, I picked up my laptop and applied for jobs. I needed to remain positive. That positivity manifested itself into something because I am now working as a receptionist which is sooooo different from retail. Scary. Almost borderline uncomfortable because I have no experience with actual office work as I’ve only worked in store settings. But guess what, I’m loving it so far. Like I said, what felt like a crappy situation at the time, ended up to have a huge silver lining. My only regret, not doing this sooner. If I hadn’t been happy for so long, why did I stay at the same job? Simple… comfort. I was comfortable and I didn’t want to jump into something new. My point—STOP BEING SCARED! DO SOMETHING NEW.

I am now doing something completely new to me, which makes me completely happy. I feel stressed only from learning my new job, which is less actual stress and more anxiety of failing. But, I’ve been talking myself through that as well by creating lists, and scheduling out my weeks using a Bullet Journal—which I’ll be discussing in a new blog post within the next couple of weeks.

I think overall, getting out of a slump requires you to do some deep personal reflection and find out why you aren’t achieving what you want/need to be. If you aren’t happy, find out why & do what you can to change it—but do so within reason! “Life Is Short” is so cliché, but if you think about it has so much meaning. Stop spending your life unhappy and make changes that allow you to step out of your comfort zone.

Have you done anything completely out of your comfort zone? What was your experience like?

 

 

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5 Things I’m Grateful for

Gratitude- meaning to be thankful, show appreciation and reciprocate kindness to one another… I’ve always been thankful for things, but I have never been truly thankful for things until recently. I started putting some deep thought into things that I am thankful for in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Previously, all I would ever have in regards to any situation– was negative thoughts. You could tell me I won a million dollars, and I’d probably find something to bitch about, I’m not even kidding, it was insane. But, then I decided for the sake of myself and everyone else around me, I needed to change that.

Thats when I started to think differently. I would turn whatever negative thought I was having into a positive one. Here are five things I’ve been taking for granted, but seriously could not be more thankful for.

  1. My Job — I honestly do not like working, but instead of thinking about how much going to work sucks, and how much I’d rather be doing other things… I’ve now chosen to be grateful that I have the job that I do. There are so many people who struggle to have a job, I am lucky enough to have one that treats me well. Ever since I’ve started thinking this way, work has been much more enjoyable.
  2. My Friends — Cheesy, I know. But seriously, I used to get so frustrated listening to my friends problems. It would make my blood boil, but now, instead of getting annoyed when my friend is upset about a boy, or a stupid situation, I appreciate that they feel like they can confide in me, and I listen 100% (most of the time), and I’m not afraid to give my advice, wether its nice or not. I’ve noticed since I’ve given more attention to my friends instead of giving the same generic advice, that my relationships with friends have become much stronger.
  3. My Relationship — I’ve been with Josh for almost four years now, and we’ve lived together for pretty much four years. In that amount of time, we start to lean on each other to do things. A few weeks ago he left for a week and I realized how much stuff he does. Since then, I’ve eased up a little bit on asking for help– and I also appreciate everything he does for me that much more. I’ve always appreciated him, but that was just a little reminder that he does a ton for me, and is my biggest support, so for that I am grateful xox.
  4. Family — this is obvious. I am a very family oriented person, more so than anybody else in my family really… but I dont mind that. NEVER TAKE YOUR FAMILY FOR GRANTED. Please show your parents love every single day, you never know when you will lose them– SHOW. THEM. LOVE.
  5. My blog — This is a new outlet for me to share my ideas. I was so nervous to do this at first, and for the first few months I kept it a secret and had posts sitting there, never being read. Now– I’ve become so thankful for it. Writing this blog gives me something to do when I’m not working, it allows me to constantly educate myself, connect with people, and its a bonus that I love to write + share my experiences/reviews. Either way, I’m thankful for the blog, even though its small right now!

This is just a reminder to everybody, that even though life sucks sometimes– that if you manifest your negative thoughts into something more positive you will start to notice small improvements in your life– which can relive tons of stress in the long run! Whats the worst that could happen? You become a little more thankful for those around you?!

 

Self Care Can Change Your Life

Ever since I can remember, I have cared so much about people to the point where it can drive me a little nuts. I am always worrying about somebody or something, and I often put others before myself.  The simple act of caring to much, used to give me such terrible anxiety (and sometimes still does) so bad it would get to the point where I would be terrified to tell somebody if I didn’t want to do something.

I unfortunately experience a lot of the physical side effects of anxiety when it creeps up, and it takes such a toll on my body. It can put me out for a few days, and lately I have been sick and tired of this happening. I needed to look into doing something for myself to make myself feel whole and healthy again.

I am ALWAYS worrying about people; if they are okay, if they are upset, if they need me… the list goes on and on and on. This caring for people too much started with just family, then the over caring trickled into my friendships and relationships, and even more so recently, it has started to take over my life at my job, and once this started happening I became mentally drained very quickly. It wasn’t until I discovered infographics, other blogs, Pinterest posts all dedicated to this lovely thing called self care.

Self Care is the act of taking care of yourself, you are putting your own personal needs before the needs of others. It is so important to take a few minutes a day to practice self care! I try and set aside an evening when I know I’ll be alone to take care of myself and reflect on my current situations.

A few ways I practice self care…..

Reading: a few pages can turn into hours and hours of reading, I get lost in books. This is a great way for me to tune out and focus on doing something productive for myself. Not only does reading keep my brain sharp, but its a few hours that I’m not staring at an electronic device, so for me, thats a bonus in itself.

Meditation: I use an app on my phone called Smiling Minds. It was free in the iOS App store, I try and set aside a few minutes a week to meditate. It is recommended that you meditate every single day, but sometimes for me its just not something I remember, but I do set aside at least one day to focus on meditation.

Colouring: I picked up a few colouring books from my local bookstore, and once I get started, I get absolutely lost. It is so relaxing.

Guided Journaling: As I’ve talked about in previous blog posts, I love to do guided journaling. It gives me time to reflect on things that I normally would not look into. I get a better understanding of my life and where I am at mentally. A check in every now and then has huge benefits.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup”, is a quote I have had the pleasure of reading and reminding myself several times thanks to many forms of social media. This quote speaks to me in so many ways because of its truth, you need to take care of yourself in order to be able to care for others! If you aren’t practicing this yet, give it a try! Try and set aside one day a week to practice self care, for me its #selfcaresunday! Whenever I am extremely anxious, or having a really bad day I try to take some time to do one of the self care tactics that I stated above, I notice a huge difference in my overall mood and physical well being.

Fitness Inspo: What Keeps Me Motivated

I have a love/hate relationship with the gym. I love it once I’m there, but ask me to go and I’ll find every single reason not to. I just have zero motivation, but once I finally step foot in there, I always make sure to do what I intended to do, without leaving early. It is so hard to stay motivated to work out, but I’ve implemented a few things into my life that help me stay motivated and inspire me to reach my goals.

 

  1. Fitness Gadget/Tracker.
    I use the Fitbit Alta, a cute little bracelet that has interchangeable bands and hooks up to my smart phone. This allows me to track my steps each day. Before I got my Fitbit Alta, I don’t even want to know how many steps I walked. I would be embarrassed. I did not realize you need to be moving 10,000 steps a day…. And I didn’t realize how many steps 10,000 were. I’m guilty for taking my Fitbit off and not charging it for long periods of time. When I don’t wear it, I know I am less active and lazier than usual; but, when I have it on I am definitely more motivated to get up and get moving.
  2.  Friends.
    Seriously, I would never go if it weren’t for my friends. Okay, I might go once a week or once every two weeks alone for the first couple of months. I need to get into a routine before I can go by myself. If I make plans to go with a friend, I feel more accountable for going. It kills me, because nine times out of ten I don’t want to go, but I appreciate having friends that encourage health and wellness; and try to keep me motivated!
  3. Make It a Goal.
    Write it down, post it to social media, tell a friend, say it out loud. I don’t care how you get it out, but once you make it a goal, you feel so much better about going. If I commit to go 3x during the week on a Monday, I will try my hardest to get out and exercise 3x that week, whereas, if I don’t set a goal for the week, I probably won’t work out at all. If you are saying out loud that you are going to do something, you are much more likely to commit to it than not.

 

Now that I’ve done this, I’m going to have to commit to getting back into the swing of things! I used to spend lots of time at the gym, but like everybody, I’ve fallen off the wagon for a bit! Keeping motivated can be hard, but implementing little changes can make a big difference in the long run!

Loving Yourself When Society Tells You Not To

a little body positivity can go a long way.

I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life that I was under a size five. I’m almost positive that I went from a children’s size XL to a woman’s size 5 to a 14/16. Im twenty three years old. I could eat better, and I’m working on it. I make sure to exercise once a day, I try to make healthier choices more so than not. But, no matter what I do, I’ll always be curvy, ill never be “skinny”, and I’ve accepted that, now. But, imagine how confusing it was for me as a child to not understand why I couldn’t wear the clothes my friends were wearing. Imagine how hard it was for me to go to school and get called fat, gross, ugly whenever anyone didn’t agree with me, no matter what the argument was about, that was always the first jab. Hearing from guys “wow, Taylor would be so pretty if she lost some weight”, and when I did lose some weight after high school, the messages I would get about how good I looked from guys who never paid attention to me before were disturbing. I never let people see that those negative and insensitive comments bothered me, but they still haunt me from time to time.  The worst part is, looking back at photos of myself in school, I would KILL for that body now. But, because of society and social media and the way it portrays the female body, I spent all of those years hating myself instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for pity here. I was also a mean girl. People may have said things that hurt me, but I know I’ve hurt people.

We see articles online, in magazines & newspapers that display a certain mold that people need to fit in, in order to be admired and accepted. And if somebody has an imperfection that does not fit into the mold, they aren’t good enough. But why is that?  Social media, one of the easiest ways to view other peoples opinions (wanted or not). It has the capability and potential to be so positive, however there is a ton of negativity on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. People are hated because of their race, religion, income, weight, hair colour, they are hated for pretty much everything.

I follow SO many body positivity accounts on Instagram, therefore, my explore page is filled with all kinds of body types. The other day, there was a picture of my favourite model, Ashley Graham in a bathing suit, I thought it was a great picture. Then, I read the comments. The majority of the comments were all things I’ve personally heard before.

“Look at that cellulite, so gross”

“she would be so pretty if she lost weight”

You get the drift.

WHY? WHY? WHY? Why does your opinion on a body that IS NOT your own matter? WHY do we need to associate a number on a pair of pants with being negative? WHY do we let social media mess with the way we see other people. THERE IS NO NEED FOR IT.

Self love and respect is one of the healthiest ways to deal with the negativity that is thrown everybody’s way on a day to day basis. You need to love yourself. That does not mean that you don’t need to change, if you are not healthy, you should do what it takes to get you there. Workout, eat healthy, see your doctor, whatever you have to do. I am in no means trying to glamorize an unhealthy lifestyle. If you need to make changes, you can recognize that but continue to love yourself in the mean time. While you are doing that, think about all of the things you say to yourself about yourself on a daily basis.

IF YOU WOULDN’T LIKE YOUR FRIEND SAYING IT TO YOU, DON’T SAY IT TO YOURSELF.

Be positive, you will notice a glow from within you over time. I don’t love everything about myself, but I’m learning to accept things on my body that I would not have before, I’m learning on how to grow as a person. I’ve learned on this journey that unless you love yourself, loving anyone or anything else is not easy.

 

 

The 5 things I do to manage stress.

sometimes, a little time to get out of your head is all you need.

Trying to balance work, friends, family, health & wellness, finances, education, etc. has become extremely hectic, even if more times than I’d like to admit, I find myself doing nothing. I find lately no matter what I’m doing, I’m either behind or barely just getting by. Which, can pile on a ton of unnecessary stress. So, I’ve been trying a few things to keep the stress at bay, and thought I would share my findings/guilty pleasures with you. Even if some of these are only temporary fixes, I crave and look forward to each and every one of them!

**I am not sponsored by any of the following products I am promoting, and this is 100% my personal opinion**

  1. Essential Oils. I know, the first time I heard about essential oils, I wasn’t sold. Then, we got a Saje Natural Wellness store in my area, and I learned about the many benefits of using plants as remedies. Having trouble sleeping? Having trouble waking up? Having trouble digesting? Skin condition that wont go away? Honestly, there is an oil for that. Don’t even get me started on the nebulizers, because that is an addiction on its own.
  2. Walks. Up until recently, I dreaded taking my dog for a walk. I would still do it, but I would always associate it with something negative. “Oh crap, I have to take the dog out”, when really, I should be using it as an opportunity to get outdoors, and be mindful. Throw some headphones on and I could walk 5k easily. Now that I take time to appreciate being outdoors, I love walks- and they help relieve stress.
  3. Massages. If you have health benefits, see if you have coverage for massage. Massages are life saving, they relieve all kinds of stress. I could fall asleep on the table.
  4. Cooking. I have recently discovered that I like to cook. I have become obsessed with trips to Chapters, which typically result in me purchasing cookbooks. My absolute favourite cookbook right now is Cravings, by Chrissy Teigen. All of the recipes are fun, flavourful and easy. Not exactly quick, but worth the time. I get a lot of enjoyment from preparing meals for people! So this adds some calmness to my life.
  5. “Spa Time”. I LOVE to pamper myself. Hair masks, coffee scrubs, showers with only candles for light, facials, anything of the sort, I’m into it. I’ve recently started to take one or two days out of the week to treat myself to some me time- nothing makes me feel more relaxed then washing away everything after a long day. Followed by getting into bed and getting cozy, throwing something on Netflix, or a good book to fall asleep with.

These are five things that personally help me get out of my head and calm down, even if its only temporarily. What helps you calm yourself down after a long day/week/month?