Sunday Self Care: The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

We are a society always on the move.

We go to work, fill our schedules, and tend to the everyday tasks required to be productive and responsible people. More often than not, “self care” isn’t on those to-do lists.

Today, self care is #1 on my list.

It’s Sunday, and my alarm went off at 7AM. As I heard rain falling outside my window, I began resenting the things I had planned for the morning. I couldn’t remember the last day I got to spend simply caring for myself. I looked around my room and spotted the book I was reading and thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to just stay home to read and journal all day?”

So that’s what I’m going to do.

It’s important to stop and pause when we begin to feel restless or irritable. The two questions you need to ask yourself are:

Why am I feeling this way?

What have I done to care for myself?

You’ll probably find a correlation between the two answers; and it’s likely you’re caring for others better than you’re caring for yourself, whether it’s your family, your job, or other responsibilities. When your intuition tells you it’s okay to just stay home, say no, or relax, listen to your inner voice. It’s a gentle tap on the shoulder to remind yourself that it’s okay to sit still and take a break.

Self care Sunday is a perfect way to reset for the new week and to recharge your batteries. Whether you choose to do some yoga, enjoy a long meditation, enjoy a sea salt bath, or go for a walk in the park, these moments to yourself are crucial to living a happy, balanced life.

You’re the only one who truly knows what you need, so I hope you can take some time out for self care today, too.

Davis Daze

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The Path To Becoming Your Authentic Self


When you’re on the path to becoming the person you are meant to be, there will be many road blocks and challenges along the way.  Just because you may see the world differently doesn’t mean everyone around you will, too! 

Think of these road blocks as tests to challenge you and to see whether you are on the right path, or whether you have fallen into your old habits.  Are you handling these situations as you would have before, or have you developed new skills to better handle them?  It’s important to maintain a high frequency despite the bad energy that comes your way- these low vibes want you to fall to their level.  Don’t let them!  I have learned that the low vibes will continue to stick around until you show the universe that you won’t let them disrupt your positive energy. 

I’ve also experienced a lot of discomfort while making positive life changes over the past year.  It hasn’t been easy to live authentically, but I know that change is necessary for growth, learning, and my overall happiness.  

I’ve noticed several “growing pains” that, although uncomfortable, have been signs that I’m on the right path to authenticity.  Have you experienced any of these, too?

Becoming A Loner 

I’ve been much more comfortable in my own company over the past year.  I used to fill my social calendar with events, happy hours, coffee meetups, and dates- especially when I felt a void in my life.  

I’ve never been afraid of being by myself, though.  In fact, most of my life I have preferred it.  So why is it hard for me to sit with myself when I am feeling uncomfortable?  Over the past year I have sat with many feelings of loneliness- but those feelings were an indication that I needed to work on my relationship with myself (the greatest relationship of all!).

Cutting Off Unhealthy Relationships 

I would much rather live a peaceful life than spend my time combatting energy vampires!  I used to constantly give multiple chances to people who have made me feel bad about myself or tried to steal my joy, but life is too short.  I value myself and my time today.  Sadly, I have had to cut off many people, simply because they were not in alignment with the energy I want to exude. Today I am no longer comfortable with spending time with Negative Nancy’s who will find problems wherever they go. 

Boredom

Now what?  Once you have cut the negative energy and chaos out if your life, you may find yourself wondering “what’s next?”  Your life used to be filled with drama and excitement, but now it’s just… life.  And that’s okay.  I’ve begun to enjoy uneventful days and quiet evenings much more than I used to.  It may take a while to grow accustomed to this lifestyle change, but know that you’re on the right path to becoming the best you. 

Health Becomes More Important

I didn’t think a lot about my health when I was unhappy with myself.  How could I be? If I didn’t value myself, I certainly wasn’t concerned about caring for my body.  Something began to change, though- as I became happier with myself, I started to eat better.  Getting sufficient sleep became more important, too.  I used to live off little sleep, coffee, and nervous energy- but now I know that it only causes me to be grumpy, irritable, and impatient.  As I become more mindful of my body in the short term, I’m caring for my body in the long term, too.

You Feel More Feelings

Have you been feeling more emotional?  It’s possible that you have been numbing your true feelings with busyness, relationships, work, or addictions.  Have you faced your emotions or have you been masking them?

If your answer is, “I’ve faced them,” great!  Now you are much closer to overall awareness and self actualization.  There’s a good chance you haven’t faced these feelings, though.  In order to grow, you must recognize your emotions.  You no longer have to push them under the rug or be afraid of your feelings- vulnerability can be a gift in the healing process. 

You Become More Self Aware

Not only have you become more aware of your feelings, you’ve become more aware of who you are as a person, too.  You know your faults and the traits you want to work on.  You’ve acknowledged what is healthy for your life and what you will no longer accept.  

You’re Unapologetically You

You are what you are- and you won’t apologize for it!  I used to be a chameleon and fit in with many groups of people, but although this characteristic is helpful in business and basic social situations, I am much more selective about who I allow in my life today.  I wouldn’t want to fit in with everyone!  The people I surround myself with bring out my positive attributes, not tear them down.

When you’re in alignment with the person you are meant to be, you won’t fit in like you did before.  You will see the world much clearer, more serene, and with a sense of purpose.  The noise from the outside world will no longer affect you so much and you will begin to find ways to improve the world around you, not complain about it.  As you continue to discover your true self, remember that the positives far outweigh the negatives.  Although it can be uncomfortable at first, keep doing you- you’ll thank yourself later. 

Struggle Brings Strength


Sometimes you need to step away from the life you’ve been living and reset yourself for the future.

It can be a lonely journey while you’re aligning with your true self.  Letting outside influence has blocked me from truly following my heart, finishing projects, and doing more meaningful work.  Doubts and fear have changed my path repeatedly over the past decade, but thanks the struggles, I now have strength to stand still.  Just like the moth, we have to struggle to escape the cocoon- our old self- to become what we are meant to be.

Over the past year I’ve been shedding my old beliefs, behaviors, relationships, and limitations.  It hasn’t been easy learning to act and view things differently than I have in the past.  I used to be defensive and took everything personally; now I’m trying to avoid attaching these negative “stories” to meaningless events.

We are all going through our own struggles, but one thing I have learned: happy people aren’t mean.  Love isn’t selfish.  When we align ourselves with our true beliefs, heart, and soul, compatible people and opportunities begin to appear.  I’ve experienced this many times throughout my life- the right people always come to me at the right time, the phone rings after I’ve been thinking about someone, or a job pops up out of the blue.

If you’ve been feeling confused about why you keep repeating the same patterns, it’s likely that you haven’t learned your lesson yet.  Despite moving to a new city last year, I still held on tightly to  resentiments and the people who hurt me in the past.  Unknowingly, I let my old mistakes and pain limit me from reaching my potential.

No matter how difficult your path seems now, try not to give up.  There have been many times this past year I have wanted to; I’m used to running away when life is hard.  Just three months ago I felt absolutely helpless- I learned I needed to find a new apartment with two weeks notice and didn’t have work lined up.  Figuring out how I could pull off finding and funding a new place to live seemed impossible.  Not knowing what else to do, I nervously sat in the park day after day drinking coffee, making phone calls, applying to jobs, and listening to positive messages from thought leaders like Wayne Dyer.  I can look back at those horribly uncomfortable days now and laugh, but back in August all I could manage to do in my spare time was pace the streets of Boston or sit by the ocean in between my legwork.

One day after writing and meditating at the beach, I was on my way to the library to do more work when the phone rang.  I never answer my phone while on the train, but for some reason I did.  It was a phone call about a work assignment for the following day.  Just when I had exhausted all of my worrying and felt like giving up, I saw a little bit of light.

Ever since that day, I have kept following the light.

Life may not unfold exactly how you expect, but that’s what is so exciting.  Living your authentic life for yourself- not for someone else- will lead you on the right path.  Keep shining… life will get brighter.  Enjoy the magic and surprises along the way!

Raise Your Vibration!

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In a world full of so many distractions, it can become difficult to stay conscious of your mind, body, and spirit.  Constant running, going and doing has left us feeling irritated, incomplete, flustered and alone.

This morning I saw a post by the inspirational April Adams, who has helped me over the past several months through her book, online advice, and messages of hope.

“If you’re tired of being overwhelmed by feeling other people’s stuff, clear your own stuff (traumas, fears, triggers…). Then you won’t resonate with the lower frequencies anymore and it won’t bother you like it did. Go forth and be free.”

This got me thinking; how can we be free?

Raising your vibration is the first step to clearing your mind and connecting with your higher self.  Enlightenment and connecting with my own spirituality has completely changed my life, perspective, and overall happiness.  This is a new concept for many people, but in a world of hustle and bustle, it’s important for me to share the simple ways that you, too, can live a more peaceful, free life.

Live beautifully.  Enjoying the simple things in the world around me has made my life so much fuller.  I started becoming more conscious of my surroundings while living in New York City, where life seemed to pass by quicker than I could enjoy it.  Amidst getting pushed through the city sidewalks and squeezing into a sweaty subway, I found solace in Central Park, beauty in buildings, and peace by the river.  Slowing down and observing the world may be difficult, but there is beauty all around us.

Become conscious of your thoughts.  I can easily fall into old thinking patterns.  When someone annoys me or life doesn’t go my way, I become grouchy, negative and selfish.  It has become much easier for me to catch myself when I’m thinking negatively about other people and situations; instead, I try and think with compassion.  This is not easy, but there’s a power in positive thinking.  If you continue to think negatively, negative things will come your way.  If you think, “today will be horrible” or “I’m going to miss the train,” chances are, those things will happen to you.  Alternatively, if you start your day with a positive mind, positive things will come your way.

Meditate.  This one can be difficult, but once you are able to sit still and focus on your breath, you’ll discover that the benefits are huge.  I never understood meditation or why I should do it until the first time I felt the “tinglies.”  This can be a bit tricky to explain!  I used to look to people, chemicals, or activities to feel a physical and mental sense of peace, but once I found it in meditation and a connection to my higher self, I didn’t want to stop!  Once I truly learned how to meditate, an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort came over me.  I finally understood what it meant to connect to my higher self!  Meditation is how I start every day, but I often meditate before bed, at the park during lunch, or sometimes I simply close my eyes on the train to re-center myself on my daily commute.

Make a gratitude list.  I never go a day without writing down what I am grateful for.  I’ve had many stressful situations over the past couple of weeks; I’m looking for a new apartment, I’ve experienced job changes, and to top it off, I have my own personal issues.  Sometimes it feels like the walls are crashing down on me.  However, there’s much more to be grateful for than to be upset about.  I write down simple joys, from my morning coffee to a meaningful conversation that I had with a friend.  Once you start writing down your gratitudes, you’ll realize there’s much more to be thankful for than to be discouraged about.

Focus on physical health.  This includes eating right, drinking plenty of water, avoiding toxins and staying active.  I didn’t realize how negatively alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, and diet impacted my life.  I used to “push through” the day, not listening to my body when I was hungry and jittery.  The first step to being mindful is to pay attention to what your body is telling you!

If you want to read more about awakening, enlightenment and consciousness, I recommend taking a look at Conscious Life News.  There are some wonderful resources to help guide you along your own spiritual journey!

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Healing Through Art

Hand painted inspirational art

The arts have been a major part of my life ever since my earliest memories of drawing, creating handmade cards, writing poetry, and illustrating storybooks.  

Creativity has also been an outlet for me to express my emotions, from drawing to daily fashion.

“Keeping it simple” is something I try to embody on a daily basis- life is such a complicated journey that it is imperative to stay grounded in order to stay sane.  While I used to love more of everything and a variety of anything, today I adore simple beauty and minimalism.  I decided not to complicate things and stick with white and gold- less is more.

With every brush stroke, I gained a little bit of strength and began to let go of insecurity, fear, and doubt.  

A coach of mine once suggested the “post-it practice”- sticking affirmations on your walls or mirror- and ever since I have been mindful of writing down positive thoughts to remind myself every day that I am, indeed, enough.

This coach even put me in a hula-hoop and told me that the only thing I could control what was inside that hula-hoop: me.

Since I began painting I have also been inspired by so many amazing women in my life.  Their love has helped me gain confidence and heal, so I have started to make art for them, too.

Together, no matter what our struggles, we can help one another by sharing our own inspiration and journey.

Be brave. Hand painted inspirational art.

Choosing Grace, Not Aggression

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“I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn’t something left in life of charm and grace.” -Margaret Mitchell

Life sure is funny.  Just when I was beginning to feel strong standing on my own two feet, the universe threw me a curve ball to test (and strengthen) my skills and strength.

This past weekend was challenging.  Despite the joy I was experiencing, the wonderful community I have found and my own practice of self care, outside forces triggered past pain and emotions- and this scared me.  Instead of self destructing as I have in the past, I took a deep breath, sat on a bench and called a friend.

Setting healthy boundaries has been a huge part of my own happiness and recovery, as I have experienced insecurities, pain and fear due to the messages I have received throughout my life.  This includes family members, teachers, peers, boyfriends and even public figures.  I have consistently questioned my worth, second guessed myself and backed down when I began to achieve some form of success.  I had no confidence- if what I was doing wasn’t “perfect” it wasn’t worth doing.  My self esteem and foundation were always a bit rocky, but old feelings of fear crept up on me when someone’s criticism and judgment set me off out of nowhere.

The defensive Kristin came back- and it was extremely uncomfortable.

I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder toward people who try to dominate me, thus acting out and being overly defensive and aggressive.  I have held on tightly to this defense mechanism through the years, only to realize how awful it made me feel.  I remembered traumatic experiences- bullying, sexist messages, abandonment and physical abuse.  I have kept all of this inside for years.  Had I been acting out for decades without realizing it?  Yes, I had.  It just took me thirty-some years to learn it.

After speaking with friends about traumas I suppressed (and failed to recognize as abuse- I thought it was all my fault), I am grateful for these triggers.  Old feelings of shame came to the forefront, and I was able to meditate on these uneasy feelings.  So, as always, I walked to the water for solace.

Water brings me such peace.  It is the closest way for me to connect with my higher power, so on Sunday I meditated on a rock and prayed for the courage and grace to get through the day.

I received just that- strength and hope.  I faced the day with grace, not aggression, and everything worked out just fine.  I tried not to let the negative messages affect my mood, so after leaving the pond I turned my negative energy into productivity.  Since art and writing has always brought me peace, I decided to stock up on art supplies to paint inspirational messages for my friends.  I’ve received endless love, compassion and hope from the friends I have made in Boston, so instead of living in my one-woman pity party, I decided to give the love back to those who have helped me.

As I go about my Monday, I will remember the feeling of peace and serenity I experienced by Spy Pond.  When I walk with grace, the world is a little lighter, a little freer.  If you’re also experiencing some aggravation, try a meditation to bring you back to center.  Remember, your true home is within you- everything outside of yourself is not in your control- but you can control how you react.  Once you’re able to manage outside factors with grace, not aggression, you will feel better- I promise.

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Gratitude

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“You can’t be fearful and grateful at the same time.”

As I reflect on the past five months in Massachusetts- where I was at before I arrived, where I was at when I settled in, and where I am at now, I think about how resistant I was to ask for help.  I felt I needed to be strong; that I needed to do everything on my own in order to prove to those around me (particularly the naysayers) that I could bounce back from a difficult year.

It was a lonely place- a place I was stuck in until very recently.

I have always been fearful of rejection and criticism.  Instead of focusing on self-care when I got here, I focused on appearing like everything was fine.  Deeply lonely but throwing myself into work, I journaled, read self-help books, created my blog, meditated and more- but I still found myself isolated and empty.

Over the years I looked for external ways to fill the void inside; shopping, alcohol, dating. Although I learned that those things only made me feel emptier inside, I failed to do the one thing that I had been resisting for so long: looking for spirituality through other people.

With a clear head and wide eyes, my fear is starting to slip away. Over the past couple of weeks I have opened my heart and myself up to those around me; the people that have given me love, hope and strength.  There have been many changes in my life and within my own perspective that I have recently acknowledged, and one of those changes lies within my purpose.  I have felt I have merely been “going through the motions” for the past few months, wondering “what exactly is the meaning of life?”  As I continue to write, help others and look for a career that fits my passions and my purpose (spreading the message of hope to others who have been through what I have), I have nothing but gratitude from the women in my life, especially here in Cambridge, who have shown me that I am whole on my own.

This morning I have an immense amount of gratitude to those who have helped make my transition easier, have taught me to lighten up, and helped me learn to love myself.

Thanks to a little help from my friends, I live in the solutions- not the problems.

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