June has arrived and my smile could not be bigger. This is the best time of the year to be in the Mid Atlantic. With the sunny days, relief can be found from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The sun is my serotonin. I am filled with excitement at the thought of all the outdoor festivals ahead. I can already smell the aroma of food trucks in the air and hear the live music. Just the thought of it brings me joy. Of course, it’s not all good. Warm weather comes with some negatives as well. I choose to focus on the good.
For now, my focus is on all the positives. I’m looking forward to long walks, beautiful landscaping, staycations, vacations, and flip flops. Let the festivities begin!
It was not my idea but my household is carb free for the time being. I have no idea how long this will last. Bread and pasta are my favs but I can’t think about that now. I accepted the no carb challenge.
Grocery shopping was easy. Here’s what we have eaten so far.
Few things are more devastating than plans gone awry but life happens. The good news is if you are wise enough to learn from the challenges you face, you will come out a better person. I try to use these experiences to positively add to my character and to be of assistance to others that are facing similar situations. Doing this allows me to stray from feelings of anger and bitterness and instead express gratitude. I know when you are pained or disappointed the last thing you’re thinking is to be grateful. However, when the dust settles you will be able to identify the positives. Here are some of my tips for overcoming.
Self reflection is key. I try to take a step back and examine the role I played. I also look for missteps like signs I may have ignored. Taking responsibility for how my actions may have contributed to an outcome will assist me in not repeating the same mistake. At the same time I want to avoid beating myself up. This serves no real purpose.
Next I allow myself to be in my feelings. Anger is okay. Sadness is okay. I just remind myself not to live in these feelings. Acknowledge them, experience them, and then move on. Never allow yourself to stay down for too long.
Now this is where my village comes in. Talking to people you trust helps immensely. I am grateful to have a small circle of people who I can depend on. They always know what to say and what to offer. For me it’s usually just a listening ear or another perspective. The people who love you generally will not steer you wrong, at least not intentionally.
As my life changes in ways I could not have expected, I can not help but smile and feel joy when I think about the people that love me. It is a beautiful thing to love and to feel love. That love allows me to keep my smile throughout all things.
One of my favorite things to do is take a spa day. The thing is, I have fallen into a routine. I always request the same treatments. Today I decided to try something new. I saw Lipo Fitness on the menu and thought maybe this will give me a jump start. I have been setting goals, mapping out different fitness routines, and planning my meals. Adding a spa treatment could help, right? After reading the description, it was a go. I was expecting a body wrap that would maybe help shed some water weight. Here’s what happened.
Disclaimer- this treatment is not for those uncomfortable with being fully exposed during treatment. It isn’t like a massage where one part of the body is exposed at a time. At times you will only be in the disposable panty, no towel. Also, your hair will get wet. Even with the shower cap, your hair will get wet.
So the treatment started with me on my back. The table was covered in plastic. The silly part of me went straight to Dexter. “This is how he starts his kills,” I thought. Then I snapped back to reality. I wasn’t about to be murdered. I was about to be pampered. I was covered in mud from my neck to my toes. Then I was completely wrapped in plastic. The plastic was then topped with what felt like a weighted blanket. It was warm and soothing. It didn’t take long for me to drift off into sleep.
I awoke just as the therapist re entered the room. It was time to wash off the mud. She uncovered me and turned on the shower heads. After the thoughts of water boarding left my mind I really started to enjoy it. Warm pulsating water hitting every inch of my body as she removed the mud. Now when I flipped onto my stomach, that was a little uncomfortable. This wasn’t a massage table with a head attachment so I had to position my head on the pillow in such a way where I could still breathe. I laughed to myself throughout the entire treatment but I really enjoyed it.
Next was exfoliation. I felt like I was exfoliated no less than six times. She was thorough and attentive. After the exfoliation it was shower time again. Lastly there was a full body application of moisturizer. The experience wasn’t quite what I expected and that is not a bad thing. I don’t know if there were immediate slimming results. I didn’t check. I can say though, that I walked out of the spa feeling taller and firmer…also a little sore as if I had just worked out. I love that kind of sore. I hope this helps you decide whether the treatment is right for you. As for me I will be back.
Making lists has made some of my most stressful days more manageable. This morning at 3am I was already dreading the day ahead. I was repeatedly running through the days to do list and growing more tired every time I thought about it. Then I remembered how listing helps.
A few weeks ago I was preparing for back to back trips and feeling overwhelmed. Then I wrote out everything I needed to accomplish before traveling. For some reason writing it down felt like a transfer of the burden. The responsibilities were very much still mine but the weight felt of my shoulders. I no longer felt the need to constantly recall the list in my head. I took it one step at a time. I crossed things of the list as I accomplished them. With the list, my overwhelming day was no longer insurmountable.
Today is going to be a list day. There is power in writing. Whether you’re writing a list, a goal, or a journal entry; there is power in pen and paper. The next time you set out to accomplish something, write it down. Watch how much more manageable it will be.
These tips are meant to assist both new and veteran writers with consistency. Choose the ones that work with your lifestyle.
Decide how often you should put aside time to write. My personal preference is daily. Others may choose to write weekly. Decide what works best for you and make an effort to keep that schedule.
Choose your writing style. I’m freeform. Others need outlines or guidelines. For instance, you may want to start with a recap of events. Next you could outline goals. Your next entry could track progress on goals set etc.
Choose your writing format. This goes hand and hand with setting a schedule. I journal manually. If you journal daily and manually, it’s a good idea to keep your journal in plain sight. My ideal writing time is right before bed. Keeping my journal on my nightstand keeps me consistent. (Worried about privacy? I’ll address that in my next post.) If you’re a spontaneous manual writer, consider a small journal that can easily fit into a purse or pocket. The same concept applies to those who journal electronically. Keep your laptop or tablet near something you use daily. Make sure your platform is mobile friendly for spontaneous posts.
The most important tip is to not allow yourself to become discouraged. You will miss a day, or two, or three. That’s okay. Life happens. What’s important is that you return to your routine.
Everyone needs an outlet. Sometimes life can get the best of you. The good news is you always have a choice in how you respond. Admitedly I haven’t always chosen the right response. Fortunately I’m able to recognize my missteps and learn from them. Self awareness is imperative in growth. It is my hope that sharing my mistakes will prevent others from making those very same mistakes.
One of the most beneficial lessons I’ve learned is also the simplest. Slow down. That’s it. For me, slowing down simply means not making major decisions when emotions are running high. I have made the worst decisions when I was angry, sad, overly concerned, or depressed. Taking a moment to live in the emotion helps. I use the time to explore how I got to that emotion and if I should even be there.
Then there are my dark days. They are not ominous as they sound. My dark days are just an extension of me slowing down. For me a dark day is a day of quiet. It’s a day focused solely on meditation and prayer. Dark days work miracles for my anxiety. The thing is, with scheduling, dark days can sometimes be impossible. That’s where journaling comes in.
Journaling is therapeutic. It provides much needed release. It creates a record that can help in reaching self-awareness. It can be done nearly anywhere. It doesn’t have to take much time and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.
The release I get from writing out my thoughts is priceless. I started writing poetry at a young age. Unfortunately I didn’t save my work. I wrote to heal and would discard it afterwards. I wish I hadn’t. There’s so much value in written word. I’m making a commitment to myself to stick to my writing and to save it. I know in my case it will ultimately lead me to find peace during the darkest storms. Perhaps journaling can do the same for you.