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mental health self care

Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Why I Meditate

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I’m a person who once desperately needed to incorporate mindfulness into her life.

It’s strange to look back on how I used to act, react, and think before I learned to sit still, breathe, and relax.  I learned the value in mediation, and the biggest value wasn’t the sitting meditation itself- it was the way I reacted to the world around me afterward.

Meditation is a practice, and not something that can be perfected overnight.

I hear a lot of people new to mindfulness and meditation tell me they can’t do it, or that they can’t shut off their brain.

Hint: this is why you do it!  This is why you practice!

We are the ones who complicate our lives.  We are the ones who try and predict tomorrow.  The present moment is all we have, and without mindfulness, we’re letting it slip out of our hands.

There are always things we don’t want to do in day to day life, from sitting in a meeting at work to being stuck on a crowded train.  Mindfulness makes these mundane or uncomfortable situations more bearable.  Why?  It’s because due to your practice, you’re learning to be comfortable sitting still within yourself!

Several years ago I used to be go-go-go- manic, even.  I didn’t understand the point of sitting still, and thought I was missing out on something if I wasn’t moving.  All of these thoughts were wrong; even when I was sitting and relaxed, I couldn’t fully enjoy the moment because I was constantly thinking about the past or the future.

I used to use other things to distract myself or calm down my brain, such as drinking, but today I can close my eyes, listen to the birds, and soak in the sun while embracing the now.  I don’t have to make up fantasies or disasters in my mind to fill the blank spaces.

I can just be and live in the flow.

Categories
mindfulness self care self discovery

A Mindful Weekend

Every Monday morning, people ask, “did you do anything fun this weekend?”

They usually expect a grand answer.  With the exception of my old party days, my weekends are always pretty quiet.  I wake up early to explore the city, take pictures, write, and do a little shopping.  I indulge in coffee, see a few new spots, and do a lot of walking (Saturday alone was 12 miles!).  

My weekends are sacred to me; they’re my time to recharge, reset, and do the things I love.

I’m the rare breed of human who loves solo dining, going to a movie by myself, and exploring alone- not only because I am comfortable in my own company, but because I can truly be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.

I used to think I had to change to fit into other people’s lives, but I have finally realized that they’re the ones who need to be able to fit into mine.

I’m grateful to have wonderful people in my life who do fit- and these days, I don’t have to go to a major event or fill my time with activities just so I don’t feel alone.

I am already home within myself.

Categories
mindfulness self care

Simple Ways To Live Beautifully Each Day

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It’s the small things in life that bring the biggest joy.

“Living beautifully” is my MO, from engaging in self care to noticing all of the lovely things around me.  Living mindfully has helped me appreciate life on a whole new level, and it doesn’t take much to live a beautiful life.

Here are a few things that will help you live beautifully, too.

1.  Go for a morning walk.  Whether you are able to enjoy time in nature or breathe in the city air, being outside lifts your spirits and gets you moving in the morning.

2.  Arrange a bouquet- either from your front yard or the local florist- to display at home. There’s nothing like fresh flowers to brighten your soul and create a stylish home.

3.  Create a cozy environment with pieces near and dear to your heart.  Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world!  Adding personal touches is important when decorating your little zen den.

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4.  Indulge in a tasty tea or hibiscus drink the next time you go out for errands.  Even day-to-day tasks such as going to the bank or post office can be fun when you have something to look forward to.

5.  Use a pretty day planner.  I LOVE crossing items off my to-do list, and having a cute agenda makes daily life less daunting.

6. Embrace your inner goddess by creating a self-care routine each morning. I invested in a Jade roller, cocoa butter cream, and luxurious face serum to start my morning off right after taking a shower.  Bring the spa home!

7.  Drink from your favorite cup.  I have a great variety of mugs and glasses to make my morning coffee or seltzer water feel like a special treat.  Enjoy it!

What do you do to live beautifully?  Let me know!

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Categories
mental health self care

Being Mindful in Relationships: Setting Healthy Boundaries

Lately I have been thinking a lot about healthy relationships.

This isn’t limited to people who you would date- I’m talking about healthy relationships in every area of life.  It includes family, friends, mentors, coworkers, and even people in passing.  We spend so much time thinking about our physical health, yet mental health can easily be triggered and negatively impacted when we’re spending time around people who aren’t treating us in a way that is in our best interest.

Of course, we can’t completely avoid certain people or behaviors- but how can we set boundaries and interact with those people in a new, healthy way?

It’s up to us to make the change.

Over the years I’ve had a lot of “friends” who took their own issues out on me.  I’ve learned to step away, stopped taking their suggestions, and realized their behavior wasn’t about me at all.

The people I choose to let into my life lift me up, empower me, and accept me for where I am at.  They inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing, and would never try and make me doubt myself.

It can be hard to be alone at times, but remember- it’s better to be alone than to be invested in an unhealthy relationship.

Remember all the light you bring, and spend time with those who appreciate you.  They’ll help you shine even brighter.

Categories
empowerment mental health mindfulness self care sobriety

Five Ways To Live A High Vibe Life

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I’m a big believer that life is what you make it.

Circumstances may not always seem to get better on the outside, but we do– we have the choice to change within, and to grow stronger from the challenges life throws our way.

There have been a variety of things that have helped my life improve over the past couple of years.  Happiness is cumulative; we don’t magically become content overnight, but each and every day we have the opportunity to add positive things that will build over time.

Start Your Day With An Intention

Having a mental map of what you want to accomplish each morning is important to start the day on the right foot.  Do you intend to be kinder?  Are you hoping to be more grateful?  Would you like to remain mindful?

Maybe your intention is small, but it’s important to remember it throughout the day.  It could make all the difference in turning a frustrating day into a beautiful one!

Eat Clean

Giving up meat and most processed foods has been a slow-go; although I have dabbled with going meatless for the last few of years, it wasn’t until recently that I took it seriously.  Boy, does clean eating change things.

My energy has sky rocketed, workouts are more enjoyable, and I’m doing my part to help the environment.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

I’m proud to say I’m a happily sober person.  I used to begrudgingly tell people “I don’t drink,” but today I own my sobriety.  It makes me who I am.

Being substance-free has empowered my life in so many ways.  My intuition is keen, my health has improved, my mind is clear, and I make better decisions.  I no longer wake up in strange places, or do I say things I later forget.

Many of my role models, such as Brené Brown and Wayne Dyer, have written about the benefits of living alcohol-free, and how being sober has enriched their lives.  Why would I want to fit in with the drinking crowd when I could be helping someone who may be struggling by sharing my own story?  That’s badass, if you ask me.

Stay In Your Lane

This was the best advice anyone has ever given me.  When you get into the middle of someone else’s drama (especially when it doesn’t pertain you), you’re immediately sucked into their low vibes.

Sometimes we try and be “fixers,” and that’s totally okay- but know your limits.  It’s great to want to help people, but understand when it’s time to step back.

Gossip in general is low vibe energy, and remember- when you point the finger, there’s three pointing back at yourself.  Many use gossip as a bonding tool (haven’t we all?), but it’s some of the most harmful and hurtful types of bonding there can be.  Be mindful of the company you keep- are they benefiting and enriching your life, or causing you chaos?

Make Time For Joy

As you go about your daily commute, stop and smell the flowers.  Take the time to go in for that latte.  Play in the sprinklers.  Enjoy the sunset.

The most simple pleasures are sometimes to most beneficial- remember not to take them for granted.

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