Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered thoughts/eating, please see a licensed professional for help.
On my worst body image days, my mind goes right back to its default “I need to lose weight” mindset. Big events, summertime, comparing my body to others, clothes shopping, all of these things can really trigger this mindset for me.
I’ve found it helpful recently to set small goals for myself that are not weight-loss oriented. It’s a nice reminder to myself that health does not equal weight loss; health is doing things to make your mind & body feel good. Here are a few goals I’m setting for myself!
Eat colorful foods! I want to eat more fruits & vegetables-it always makes me feel better.
Take at least one virtual dance class per week! Dance brings me so much joy & the endorphins don’t suck, either!
Manage my time better-Teaching, grad school, upcoming certification tests, I have a lot going on. I’ve been feeling stressed & unorganized lately, so I want to take steps toward managing my time better.
Wear clothes that I love-no more trying to squeeze myself into my pre-quarantine jeans. I only want to wear clothes that make me feel amazing!
Eat breakfast-I want to continue eating breakfast every morning; it’s an easy way to nourish my body & kick off my day in a positive way.
It can be so easy to feel the burden of your past (or present!) disordered eating or thoughts. Society puts such an emphasis on how to “get a summer body”, “ways to lose weight for the wedding”, or “drop 3 sizes, fast!” Here’s a reminder for you, that you are amazing exactly the way you are, that there are a million things more interesting about you than what your body looks like, & that you are worthy of making fun, beautiful memories RIGHT now. Not when you lose X amount of lbs. Right now!
“What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” are a few questions I received when I told family & friends that I was going to therapy. While therapy is wonderful for those who are struggling (& if you are struggling, there is help out there for you!), it can also be amazing when there’s nothing wrong at all. I felt inspired by an Instagram post by Keiko Wolfe, to write a list of reasons why everyone should go to therapy, whether you’re going through something or not!
I’ve previously written about my mental health journey (I’ll link my post here!) & have mentioned more recently that I’m going to school to become a mental health counselor myself. My main reason for being in therapy right now is to be the best therapist I can be, but I’m also working through other things in my sessions. Here are a few reasons why someone might benefit from therapy!
To process a big life change
To nurture relationships with others (& yourself!)
To learn more about yourself
To unpack childhood trauma
To learn new coping skills
Therapy is so helpful for people who are struggling, but it’s not ONLY for those in a dark place. That is what the stigma surrounding mental health tells us in our society. Regardless of how you feel about therapy or where you are in your mental health journey, I hope you know that you are worthy of living your best life. I’m so happy you’re here!
I’ve always been a night owl. I love staying up late & sleeping in, & it’s been my default my whole life. My grandpa always used to tell me that my ideal work day would be between noon-8 pm; he was totally right!
I teach 2nd grade, which isn’t exactly conducive to sleeping in or staying up late. Add on my grad school coursework, & I was always TIRED. I would take naps for hours after work, wake up, & do my school work, staying up until 1 or 2 am. I slowly realized that staying up late was not sustainable.
So I started going to bed earlier. & it was magical. My mom has been trying to tell me that for years (sorry, Mom!) & I was so set in my night owl ways, I just didn’t want to hear it. I thought I would be missing out on something if I went to bed early (I have no idea what, I’ve just always felt that way haha.) & then I’d drag my miserable, exhausted body to work, after sleeping until the last possible second. Here are some tips for becoming a (albeit reluctant!) morning person:
Make gradual changes! You’re probably not going to become a morning person overnight. BUT you can choose to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Notice how much better you feel in the morning, & start there.
Create a morning routine you actually look forward to! It might include sipping a cup of coffee on your porch, playing with your dog, eating your favorite breakfast, or going for a run. Whatever can bring you even the tiniest bit of joy in the morning, do it!
I love naps. LOVE them. But, I had to cut them out (most days, anyway!) Instead of my usual post-work nap, we’ve been taking Theo for a long walk. This gives me enough energy to power through making dinner, doing homework, & whatever else I have to do after work.
I hope these tips help inspire you to become a morning person! If you’re just starting this journey like me, comment any tips you have!
We have NO control over other people; what they say, what they do, how they interpret things you say or do. We can only control our own reactions. That’s easier said than done, but I try to choose grace. Grace for myself & others, in every situation.
People can really suck, sometimes. It’s hard & it’s upsetting, especially for my fellow empaths. It’s difficult not to take on that negative energy; difficult to let it go.
Not everyone leads with kindness, not everyone is mindful of the feelings of others. That says everything about them & nothing about you. Don’t let others get you down, don’t let them dim that beautiful light of yours. Keep shining, beauty!
When we went back to school in the fall, I started setting weekly intentions for myself. This felt like a good way to be gentle with myself & not to feel too much pressure while teaching. It felt comforting & productive while not overwhelming. I really recommend setting weekly intentions, particularly if you’re struggling.
Each week, I would write in my agenda my intentions for the week; what I hoped to achieve & how I hoped I could leave those I interacted with feeling. Instead of the typical New Years resolutions, I thought I would set some intentions for the new year.
Appreciating the little things. 2020 taught me to slow down & enjoy the things I have.
Making time for hobbies. I love to be creative & life doesn’t always allow for much time to do that. I’m hoping to set aside more time this year to explore things that make me feel creative.
Being more intentional with my spending. I want to cook at home more often, order takeout less, & buy clothes that I truly love & will want to wear frequently.
I have a lot of goals I’m working toward (academic, profession, & personal!) but these three intentions are what is resonating with me currently. I like that if I make these three simple things a priority, my year is already off to a good start!
This is also only the second year that I’m not setting a weight-related goal at the beginning of the year, I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I spent my whole life telling myself that I would lose weight in the new year, that this would somehow make my life more fulfilling. Time & time again, life has proven to me that I do not need to lose weight to have value. I can be happy right now, as I am.
2021 is here; things aren’t magically better or less stressful. Life is challenging & messy & overwhelming at times. I’ve been feeling immense gratitude; for the health & happiness of my loved ones, for John, for our life together. I’m so lucky & even on my most difficult days, that doesn’t change.
I hope that you’re doing well! If you’re struggling, I’m thinking of you & sending light your way.
Acknowledging my accomplishments isn’t something that comes easily to me. I’m not sure if it’s something women are conditioned (thanks, patriarchy!) or if it’s something else, but I rarely discuss my accomplishments or things I’m proud of myself for. I wanted to write this post, because there is a lot to be proud of this year. I hope it inspires you to take a moment & to reflect on what you feel most proud of this year.
I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of myself for teaching in the midst of a pandemic. For showing up daily & trying to be the best teacher I can be for my kiddos, even when it’s hard. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out through grad school; through late nights of writing papers & discussion posts, on nights I feel like giving up. (Also for getting an A in my most recent course!) I’m proud of myself for adapting & finding ways to cope with an anxiety disorder that has really been amplified in this pandemic.
I’m proud of myself for how I treat people; I’m mindful of how I make other people feel (although maybe a little too much so sometimes!) & I try my best to make others feel valued. I’m proud that I enjoy learning new things & challenging myself. I’m proud that I lift other people up instead of tearing them down. I’m proud that during a difficult year, I found strength I didn’t know I had.
As we wrap up 2020, there is so much to be proud of. I’m proud of you, for getting through a tough year; for reflecting on priorities & making hard choices, for making sacrifices & showing up. Maybe you suffered a loss, whether that’s a loved one, a job, big plans. There is so much to be proud of yourself for!
What are you most proud of yourself for?
Thank you so much for being here; for supporting my blog. You inspire me & I couldn’t be more grateful. Have a happy new year!
The holiday season is different this year. There’s no getting around it; maybe you’re doing a socially distant Thanksgiving, or you’re celebrating Christmas just with your household. Maybe you’re used to cooking for an army of people, or you usually travel this time of year. The holiday season IS different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be great!
The holidays are typically a time for celebration & togetherness; those things might look different right now. You need to make decisions for yourself & your family, to stay safe & healthy.
I wanted to write this because I’ve spoken with several people who are feeling bummed this season. We miss our family & friends who we usually celebrate with, we miss traveling or other experiences & traditions. These feelings are VALID. All we can do is make the best of it, so I wanted to share a few ideas of how you can do just that!
-Make new traditions! Have a ginger bread house making competition, bake a new cookie recipe while listening to Christmas music, go for a walk to get fresh air & see Christmas lights. Do little things that help keep that holiday magic alive!
-Focus on gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for; the health of my loved ones & myself are at the top of my list this year for sure! We might be missing some traditions this year, but if everyone is healthy & doing well, that makes me so happy.
-Connect with loved ones, virtually! Host a Zoom happy hour where you make festive holiday drinks, FaceTime your family & eat dinner together, watch your favorite Christmas movies. Just because things are different, doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy this season!
I’m sending you a giant virtual hug & hopefully some holiday cheer!
I wanted to just do a quick mental health check in. I hope you’re doing okay & hanging in there! I’m hanging in there but I’ve also just felt like I’m not functioning at my best.
I feel tired. I feel good some days & am having terrible anxiety the next. I have happy days with my students & then other days where I get home feeling tense & overwhelmed by the weight of it all.
I haven’t been moving my body or eating nutritious food very often; actually, I’ve been turning to take-out food for comfort. I’ve noticed some weight gain which I’m trying to come to terms with. It’s hard to maintain a positive body image when I’m not taking care of my body very well. I’m working on taking some small steps toward nourishing & moving my body. After all, it does so much for me & I should really take care of it!
This morning, I woke up early enough to cook breakfast, drink matcha, & play with Theo before leaving for work. Those small moments of self-care set the tone for my day.
Even in dark times, I have so much to be grateful for. Here’s a quick list!
John 💕 I’m forever grateful to love & be loved by him. Even in my anxious, irritable moments, he makes me feel so loved.
Teaching my students how to be kind human beings.
A happy, healthy puppy who greets me with so many kisses every day when I get home!
It feels like we’ve been in this pandemic for such a long time; let’s remember to be gentle & kind to ourselves. Weight fluctuates, productivity comes in waves, & some days we just need to order Chinese take-out & binge a show on Netflix (these may or may not be my plans for the evening!)
I know I can’t be the only one who sometimes feels like my goals are JUST out of reach; close enough to almost touch & yet so far away, all at the same time.
Working on a graduate degree that will help me achieve my DREAM while navigating teaching during a pandemic feels hard. It feels nearly impossible sometimes. I find myself feeling a little discouraged lately.
But I’ll do it! Progress is progress, & I have to remind myself that I’m further along in this journey than I was, whether it feels that way or not. The late nights & early mornings; the frustrated tears while I finish an assignment. It’s all going to be worth it someday, when I finally reach that goal.
I just wanted to remind you that you’re doing it. Even if you’re at a crawl, you’re still making progress & moving toward your goal. You’re closer to it now than you were yesterday!
This week was hard. On top of going back to school & navigating the craziness that is COVID times, it was also the anniversary of my friend Bekah’s death. I felt my mental health suffering throughout the week; I try to be mindful of when I’m struggling but a sure sign that I am is when my apartment & my car get extra messy. When my anxiety is high or I’m feeling down, chores & cleaning are the last thing I feel like doing. I’m taking this weekend to recharge & take care of myself (also cleaning because it’s pretty bad!)
I had planned on writing about my favorite outfits or an easy makeup look, but found myself feeling unmotivated to film that right now. Those posts are usually fun for me, but I want to again be mindful of my mental health & be transparent about where I’m at right now. I think that vulnerability is so so important, especially right now. I know that there are many others who are struggling; life can feel difficult & heavy some days (or months or years? I’m ready for 2020 to be over with!) Please take care of yourself.
Here are some things that I am so thankful for; things that I clung onto for dear life this week as I navigated an especially difficult week!
My relationship! I’m not sure how I got so lucky to fall in love with a guy as kind-hearted, loving, & supportive as John, but I’m so happy I did! He always, always knows how to lift me up.
Our little family. No matter how hard my day was, or how down I’m feeling, I get to come home to the cutest little family. It’s impossible to feel sad when Theo is suffocating you with his kisses, & Phoebe is snuggled up purring next to you. How did I get so lucky??
My parents! I talk to my parents every single day. We always recap our day & compare funny puppy stories; always a highlight of my day.
My sister. I’ve said it before but my sister is my absolute best friend! This is the longest we’ve ever been apart (due to COVID we haven’t been together since Christmas) but we talk every day & doing our podcast together brings me a lot of joy. This time apart has made me appreciate our bond even more!
My friends! I have the strongest, best friendships with girls who love & support me through anything. Especially during COVID we check on each other & text, especially when we are struggling.
Comfy dresses like this one! It even has pockets. So cute, I’m ordering other colors ASAP!
There are plenty of other things I feel thankful for right now, but these things in particular just make me smile so much. No matter how difficult things feel or how bad my day was, these are things that aren’t going away! I hope you find strength in focusing on your gratitude for the little things.