Things I’m Thankful For

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!

I’m so thankful for this sweet puppy who came into our lives at the MOST perfect time!
  • 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.

Sending love (& Theo is sending puppy kisses!),

Danielle

Something I’ve Learned During COVID Times

Hi there!

Like so many others, I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions over the last several months. In May, we had to put our dog Luke to sleep really suddenly; it was heartbreaking & left us feeling completely devastated. Even thinking about him now brings me to tears; he was the best, sweetest dog & I miss him SO much. Not long after that, our new pup Theo came into our lives. That grief was still there, but Theo brought so much joy as well. This little puppy came into our lives at the perfect time, bringing so much light into a time of darkness.

My sweet angel boy, Lukey!

Something I’ve learned during all of this is that grief, joy, stress, hope, sadness, happiness. These feelings all can and probably SHOULD coexist. That’s what I lean on the most when I’m having a bad day or having trouble coping with everything going on; my feelings are all valid and can coexist. That also means that if things are feeling particularly heavy, I know that at some point there will be light again, whether that’s a FaceTime with a friend or puppy kisses or dinner on the patio with John.

Theo has grown SO much since this picture was taken. His cute little face KILLS me!

Practicing gratitude is something I can’t recommend enough, and I think it’s what gets me through the hard parts. Whether I’m having a bad mental health day where my anxiety is acting up or I’m grieving or just down for whatever reason, when I think of even little things I’m thankful for, it helps.

Allow yourself to feel however you’re feeling. Even emotions that don’t feel as though they can go together can coexist.

I hope you’re hanging in there,

Danielle

Things I do when the weight of the world feels a little too heavy.

These days, we’re all bound to have a day when the world feels a bit heavy. Whether you’re feeling angry with our political climate, anxious over COVID, or just down because you’re lacking a sense of normalcy, your feelings are valid. Our world probably isn’t going back to “normal” anytime soon. Being an empath, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed by the negative emotions of others. I think there is a line between providing emotional support for others, & taking their emotions on yourself. That’s a line that I’m still working on finding. I always say that we can’t control others but we can control our own reactions. Here’s a list of a few of my go-to things to do, when the weight of the world is a little too heavy.

  • Call or text one of my friends, my mom, or my sister.
  • Go for a walk. (John compares me to a houseplant because I NEED sunshine haha)
  • Take a long, luxurious-feeling shower.
  • Put on a favorite song & dance around.
  • Snuggle with my pets.
  • Do something that makes me feel strong & empowered, like a dance workout.
  • Support an organization or cause that I feel passionate about.

These are all really simple things; nothing ground breaking. But I think the most helpful thing to do when you’re feeling discouraged or out of control of things, is to focus on the things you CAN control.

If you’re feeling down today, I hope that you find things you’re able to control to bring a little light back into your day.

Sending light,

Danielle

Weighing Less Does Not Mean Being Worth More

I’ve spent my whole life with the goal to try to lose weight. I would research the latest diets, fitness teas, tips & tricks because I wanted results FAST. It didn’t really matter to me if I did it in a healthy way, honestly.

My new health journey is VERY recent. Like literally only about two weeks old. I’m not doing anything drastic or restrictive, & honestly I find weight loss goals to be pretty triggering, so I’m not doing that either. I’m simply eating healthier (more vegetables, home-cooked meals, minimizing junk food), drinking more water, & moving my body. No rules, no fads, no counting, just doing what feels good. & THAT feels good!

I’ve done a lot of self reflection in the past year; just trying to separate myself from that unhealthy dieting culture, restrictive eating, etc. The goal was always weight loss: how much weight could I lose? How quickly could I go down sizes? I realized recently that I used to believe that weighing less would cause myself to love myself more; that somehow weighing less would add to my value as a person. That’s incredibly inaccurate. I know that now, & hope you do, too.

I’m focusing on my health for the first time, not my weight.

For the first time in my life, the goal is not to lose weight but instead to just be healthier. If weight loss comes with that, then I’ll love my body as it changes that way too. But I’m trying my best to not let that be the focus of why I’m doing this. I just want to be healthier & feel good.

I’ll keep you updated on this little health journey of mine! Don’t let diet culture & comparison rule your life; change your mindset into a healthier one first. It’s hard, but worth it.

Danielle