Bullet Journal Diary: Part 2- Focusing on the present

Listening now…

 

I have been using my bullet journal more than ever lately. What I have realized from the time I have had with it so far is that it has been helping me focus on the present more.

 

First post here- Bullet Journal Diary: Part 1

 

I think we could all use a little help being able to focus on the present more.

To breathe. To be mindful.

 

Except dogs- they have that pretty down pat. They just run and they don’t think about it. They chase the ball- not knowing if they will get it or make it in time.

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Just go for it.

 

I can’t believe it’s May already. I feel like this year is definitely going by faster than last year already.

Please excuse the pictures below as Molly stepped across my journal with her muddy feet. =P

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Washi tape is still my best friend when I make mistakes.

 

Another thing I love about bullet journaling is the ability to look back and see what you have done, how you have improved and made progress (especially using these habit trackers), and remembering your memories. It feels pretty good to fill in boxes for good things like exercising, meditation, no alcohol, etc.

 

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I have been tracking my self care, moods, and habits. I find it easier to be consistent with the journal compared to planning because once you do one of these for the month, you just fill them in day to day.

 

I got this tea cup mood tracker idea from Pinterest but really love how it came out.

How cute is this?!

 

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The Bullet Journal has been wonderful for my mental health as well. Good habits on the tracker boost your self esteem and hold yourself accountable and looking back at your mood tracker helps you to realize even more that we are all human! That means- the good days and the bad. 

An Introvert’s “Peace” of Mind

Listening now…

 

Ohhhhh, Sunday.

This weekend was a busy one.

I had a bunch of things I wanted to get done (and I did) and had to work a fundraising event for my job today.

Tomorrow brings Monday yet again and also brings… people. Lol.

I have talked about my Introversion  a few times and have definitely come to terms with it over the years, and even learned to embrace it and take pride in it.

Being an introvert with anxiety takes on a whole new level of self care that is needed to get by in every day normal life.  Self doubt thoughts are common and hard to shut off and we tend to…..ruminate. Any other anxious introverts out there with me? (This is not my life goal to be known as this, but it is what it is, so let’s all forge together now and bond over it, okay?) Some day I will talk about my particular anxiety I struggle with when I have the courage more on this blog.

Talking about mental health is so very important. Working on our own mental health is incredibly vital.

So I created this sanctuary.

This Introvert’s Haven.

This little mediation corner.

 

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Candles, plants, meditation pillow, & essential oils.

Lately I have been meditating to summer crickets or rain/rainforest sounds. Do you also know about the Insight Timer app? It’s great and full of guided mediations and wonderful calming sounds.

Winter is at that “feeling way too damn long” point right now (thanks February) and trust me- listening to these summer sounds with the lights off, eyes closed, with some yummy and soothing smells really helps ease the mind.

Something that has really helped me lately are essential oils. My mom and I have been really into Young Living Essential Oils right now. She wrote her own post about it here. 

 

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Essential oils are very therapeutic and there are so many combinations that you can put together for different purposes- stress, headaches, congestion- just to name a few.

So when I need a little down time, I shut the lights (and the world) off, light a candle, turn my salt lamp on, and pour some water and oils into my diffuser- this one’s the desert mist diffuser. 

This diffuser changes colors as it diffuses which is extremely calming. (And fun to watch)

 

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Tonight i’m diffusing: Copaiba, Cedarwood, and Lavender (for stress)

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We also have a few other stress relieving oils like this Tranquil roller ball (I love it so much) and Stress Away oil for the diffuser.

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My mom has the Aria diffuser, which is really amazing because it comes with a remote, has a glass dome, and it plays meditative music as it diffuses. She got this with the premium starter kit, which comes with 11 oils.

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And we finish with a wise word from my mama…

If you think Essential Oils might be for you, take a pop over to Young Living and check out the Premium Starter Kits – they are definitely the most ‘bang for your buck’ to get started on your journey. You will want to become a ‘member’ to purchase a kit – it doesn’t cost you anything and you have no further obligation, but it does guarantee you get the wholesale pricing, which is far less expensive than retail pricing! When I reviewed the individual oils, diffusers, etc. it was going to add up to a LOT more than buy purchasing the kit, so I went with the kit, it just made sense. If you do place an order, please use my member number 13867635 in both the SPONSOR ID and ENROLLER fields so they know you are part of my essential oils family.

 

How to support loved ones with holiday blues

Listening now…

(This is a beautiful cover…. )

 

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That time of year again! Christmas and snow. I am a Christmas lover and always have been. I think it’s partially because we grew up loving the holiday and all it brings and my mom did (still does) everything possible to embrace the holidays.

However, my dad was always upset at Christmas time. His family was back in Ireland and so Christmas for him was never something he never looked forward to. It was kind of hard to be around at times because we all loved the holiday so much.  

But it’s important to be supportive of those who don’t feel the holiday magic like we do- for whatever reason that may be for them.

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This holiday season, it seems like those around me are struggling more than usual. Many of them are having mental health issues and the “pressure” of the holidays cheerfulness is getting to them. Some have grieved for many years and every year Christmas is a struggle.

Do you have anyone you love struggling through the season as well?

 

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How to support loved ones with holiday blues:

 

Let them do their own thing. 

 

Don’t pressure them to celebrate if they aren’t feeling up to it. They already can’t escape the holiday decorations in every store, the holiday music on every station, and Christmas movies no matter what channel they are on. It might be hard for you to come to terms with not doing these things together, but if you give them space and time they may come around enough to enjoy it, if even just a little bit.

 

But know when they need someone around them. 

 

I had someone who was struggling tell me they wanted to be left alone but I felt like they really needed someone nearby. So I went over and they later told me that they were happy that they had me there. Sometimes people don’t know what they want in their struggle and need help seeing that.

 

Get them a thoughtful gift.

 

This may seem like a silly one but if you get them a thoughtful and personal gift  for the holiday they will feel better about celebrating!

 

Help them with holiday preparation.

 

If they are not feeling in the holiday spirit and generally down and out, they are probably not going to want to do anything necessary to make the holiday happen. Things like baking and holiday shopping can feel like a chore to them. Helping them with anything they need to make it happen will be a big support.

 

Ask them if they want to talk about it.

 

If they do, just listen. If they don’t, just be there for support when they do.

 

Encourage them to do what makes them happy & keep busy.

 

Keeping busy helps people not focus so much on their mind so it’s important to help them realize they need to continue their normal routines, hobbies, and interests.  (Also exercise is really important!) Maybe encourage them to go for a walk with you if they need help staying motivated.

 

Suggest doing something helpful around the holiday.

 

Volunteering in the community, doing Toys for Tots, giving time to those in need that have less than us makes us feel good. It also takes the pressure off of the person you know whose struggling to enjoy the holiday and makes it not about them, but about those they help.

 

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How do you help your loved ones who struggle with holiday blues?

Mental health monthly faves: October

It’s been awhile since I have done a mental health monthly favorites post!

These are the things that help me maintain mental sanity in that particular month.

Although I love the month of October, it gets dark by 6:30 pm now and it snowed twice already here on the mountain top. Within a week.

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With this change of seasons comes even more of a need for life’s little comforts…

October mental health monthly faves:

Outfits that make me feel good:

I feel prettiest lately in my dresses with tights and boots. My 2 favorites right now are my new plaid dress and these orange sparkly tights from H&M.

This is one of those outfits that after the fact I realized-I really wish I staged a whole fashion shoot with! But instead, you have me posing for Frankie as he takes pictures of me in his room. (please excuse the garbage can, lol)

Some day I will stage another actual fashion photo post. Like real bloggers do. Hehe.

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Another well planned out fashion photo for the blog. Lol. This sweater was thrifted as well but is from Target!

Thrifting and thrift hauls:

Let’s be real….shopping makes you feel good. There’s something about the thrill of finding those perfect items unexpectedly while out thrifting!

Last weekend I went Halloween costume searching at goodwill and salvation army and was not sure what to be when I arrived. When I left, I left with a pair of moon boots, which I knew would work perfectly for this weekend’s space themed party. 

Not only that, but I came across these wonders.

The dress is the one I am wearing above and it’s now one of my favorite dresses. The bag is a Dooney and Bourke, which I got for $15 and it goes for $60 or more on ebay. The shoes are Bass duck boots, which I found online for and can retail for $100 or more depending on the site.

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The crazy moon boots that I won’t wear ever again…but they will be great for my costume!

Sims:

I have been playing sims since I was 7 years old. I have played ever since, on and off, in binges- I will play it obsessively (when I have time) for hours, months, then put it down for 6 months and pick it back up again.

When the days start to get dark earlier and many people can be found curled up with a good book, you can find me curled up with a good sims session or another game.

My obsession with Shameless went a little farther this time when I went and created a whole Shameless Gallagher family and re-created their entire house, as best as I could. I think the kitchen came out the best!

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My next plan is to make Patsy’s pies diner where Fiona works since I have Sims Dine out expansion pack. And I’m basically going to have Frank come in and out and wreck havoc on their lives every now and then.

And you know I plan on getting Sims 4 city living when it comes out November 1st! Then the Gallaghers will move to their real hometown of Chicago.

I am pretty excited about the new social media and food critic job as well as festivals in the city and other city aspects like high rise apartments!

Exercise and keeping busy:

I think I am the kind of person who needs to be busy most of the time, but also make time to relax in between.

I have been trying to keep my gym routine from getting boring by trying new classes- Piyo, spin, and zumba. Now Zumba and cycle have become part of my regular routine!

It’s also been a good way to see my friends, who are just as busy, and we can do classes together.

Exercise is amazing for your mental health and I can’t imagine having a week without it! This week I missed my spin class because I had to stack wood and yesterday it snowed so I missed working out, but still shoveled snow, and I feel it in my arms today! I think it’s all about balance.

 

This is good for everyone’s mental health:

 

Two of my favorite things in 1 glorious video….Stranger Things and Peanuts. I just watched the great pumpkin last night with mama!

It’s a bit early to start thinking about Christmas, I know, but honestly with all the snow we got, it doesn’t seem that weird to me right now…

 

Here’s the article where I originally found the video. 

Thanks, Hellogiggles.

 

 What are some things that helped you this month?

 

 

A 20 something’s guide to an anxious mind

Listening now…

[My Discover weekly on Spotify this week was totally on point. ]

 

 

Welcome to another guide for our 20 something confused souls. You can find my other guides here: Guide to adultingGuide: 20 something mythsGuide to housework.

 

I pretend to be an expert and you read on foolishly! [ Kidding, I am a complete expert on this actual topic of anxiety. So, no worries. ]

 

If you are in your 20’s, my  guess is that your mind is like  a constant hamster wheel, squeaking obnoxiously in the middle of the night, when you were just about to hit your deepest sleep, only to be awakened by every thought of every possible scenario imaginable.

 

I’m with you, I hear you. 

 

I’m here to offer you a guide to navigating the hamster wheel mind of being in your 20’s.

 

First of all, is it any wonder we have minds running a mile a minute?! We have to think about: student loans, jobs to pay off those student loans, having jobs that are meaningful and that we like, moving out of our parent’s house, surviving on our own, learning how to cook, clean, pay bills, balance our work lives and our personal lives[ I swear this is a learning process forever]….etc, etc.

 

Here is my guide to:

A 20 something’s anxious mind: 

  • Drown your worries in Netflix, blogging, music-whatever your vice is. [As long as it’s healthy. ]  Honestly, you may not want to hear it, but exercise is great too.

The trick is- you need to distract your mind. Find that hobby that makes all of your worries [or at least most of them] go away. 

For me personally,blogging has been therapeutic for me. More than I ever thought it would be. Also, the gym has been very relaxing too- I learned to look forward to getting my anxieties out while running and working out to music.

  • Remember that most people are as nervous as you and don’t know what they are doing, either.

It’s true.

  • Revel in the fact that you are young, have the world in front of you, and have time to figure it out. Revel in the fact that no time figuring it out is wasted. 

Sure, time is precious. But time learning who we are and becoming who we are I think is a necessary process as a young adult. If not now, when?

  • Also, they say it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Frolic about in the fields,  in your buzzed confusion, while taking in the scenes surrounding you. Notice everything. Realize that you are a small fragment of this world, but a huge part of the lives of those you love and connect with. See that this is what matters most in the scheme of things. 

  • Most of all I think- accept and trust your path and the uniqueness that it brings.

Know that it’s completely okay to drift apart from the “norm” and the anticipated path that many take.

I think a lot of our anxieties in our 20’s come from comparing ourselves to others. We know it’s not heathy, but we subconsciously do it anyway. Remember that a Facebook picture tends to hide the struggles going on beneath the surface- comparing ourselves to others without knowing the true story is just mis-leading.

  • Canceling plans is okay…just don’t make a habit of it.

If you don’t feel like leaving your pajamas and your dog, that’s fine. But if it gets to the point of where it is an unhealthy anxiety-avoidance cycle or you find yourself isolating, that’s when it’s not okay.

 

Do you have any other tips that work for you personally?

Thanks for reading! XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenging our comfort zones

Listening now…

com·fort zone
noun
a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.
“times when we must act beyond our comfort zones”

 

My therapist is always telling me to challenge my anxieties. “Challenge, challenge, challenge,” he says.  

I’m working on this- it’s always a work in progress.

I think it mostly comes down to fear- why else would we be afraid to leave our safe little box?

 

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

H. P. Lovecraft

 

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Via:

 

In my Weekly round up post, I mentioned how I made further steps towards my dreams, and I think to achieve anything we really want,  it puts us out of our comfort zone a little bit.  So I spent a lot of yesterday being nervous, preparing, planning my outfit, and probably obsessing a little too much.

 

So hopefully good news will come of it, for now- I wait.

 

 

 

 

Have you been challenging yourself lately?

 

XOXO

 

 

We have our days

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Last week, I did a post called The hustle and bustle of us

I was having a different monday perhaps than now.

It just made me think of how we just have our days.

I didn’t wake up as cheery as last Monday and didn’t feel as inspired at work or about a blog post to write, even.

Don’t get me wrong- I wanted to get out of bed and start my day and my week; but i felt more like this today: Delicate.

The seasonal sadness hit me a little harder today as I struggled to stay warm, it was bitter out. I still had a good day and it’s not over yet- I’m just happy to be home.

But we have our days and that’s okay. This is only human, we are not stagnant. We change like the seasons and our feelings, thoughts, and emotions shift day by day.

“Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.” 

It’s mid January and [some of us] are freezing- how do you all cope with your winter mental health? Maybe we can help each other out.

For me lately it has been:

Tea

Blogging

Planning [Goals, with gratitude]

Watching good shows-[Downton Abbey and Shameless!]

Staying cozy- more time inside to relax

Keeping up with my exercise- even if it’s only once a week, I feel a lot better.

Thinking about my future and my goals

 

Looking forward to this:

But in the meantime,