How to Deal With Having A Toxic Family

There are all kinds of different families out there, even toxic ones. If you are struggling with a toxic family, here are some tips to help you deal.

By definition, a family is “a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.” However, we can all agree that there are all kinds of different families out there, stretching beyond this simple definition. For most people, it is much more than a gene connection – it is the core of love, support, and compassion. However, while positive feelings are indeed present, families can be complicated.

Just remember the splendid portrait of a dysfunctional family that is the movie “The Royal Tenenbaums.” In this movie, eccentric and weird individuals are joined in one group, trying to overcome their past traumas and differences as the story progresses. It’s a tribute to all the people struggling with their family relationships. Still, the movie is only a two-hour snippet, while real life is something that you cannot simply put aside after the end credits. If you are struggling with a toxic family, here are some tips that will help you deal with all the poison.

Identify the signs of toxic behavior

Family relationships are packed with emotions, and it is often difficult to be cool-minded when thinking about them. That is why it is essential to take the time to reflect on your family’s behavior and identify toxic elements. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • One or more family members want to have control over your actions (who you’re dating, what you’re doing in your career, your choice of friends, etc.)
  • Your siblings are too competitive, and they seek to outshine one another in everything.
  • They use threats or emotional blackmail.
  • They are too critical about everything.
  • You don’t feel comfortable being yourself in front of them.
  • Someone is always complaining.
  • There is no end to the drama.
hand on window rainy day

Assess the impact it has on you

Sometimes, it seems more comfortable to ignore the problems and observe them as occasional quarrels. If you asses and admit the effect that situations like these have on you, it will be easier to face the problem head-on. If the majority of your interactions are negative, this could lead to depression, anger management problems, anxiety, and stress. Think about how you feel after a family dinner, what emotions a phone conversation with your parents causes, etc. Don’t hesitate to talk with an expert about it.

Understand your differences

It’s only natural that people are different. These dissimilarities are even more apparent when there’s more than one generation involved. Just think about the different ways you and your parents tackle finances and success in general. And what about romantic relationships, marriage, and offspring? Acknowledge their viewpoint, but don’t let it have any impact on how you live your life. Make sure you make that clear to them.

Set boundaries

Toxic family and people meddling in your personal affairs can be exhausting, and it’s no exception with family. They will test your patience and tolerance to the point where you start losing it. Tell them how far they can go with you and don’t allow them to take one step over that line. You don’t need to be there for every crisis or be available at all times. Most certainly, you are not obligated to change yourself in any way.

black and white shoes rainy day

Practice detachment

You don’t have to be involved in every petty argument in your family. Don’t participate in messy situations, try to keep the conversations light, avoid topics that lead to quarrels, or be shy to abandon the conversation when it becomes too much for you.

Keep some things to yourself

Toxic families and individuals have their way of using the things you say against you. Are there some past actions or personal regrets of yours that you’ve told your family, and now you never hear the end of it even though you’ve asked them to finally let it go? Are your personal failures and fears used against you in arguments?

If that’s the case, try to save some details from your personal and professional life for yourself, and share only the things that are either very relevant or have a positive context.

shh

Enough Is Enough

All of us feel like we’re in debt to our family  – and that is true, to some extent. However, when you’ve been through years of emotional torture, and you feel like you’ve tried everything, perhaps it’s time to cut ties. Here are some things that should raise red flags:

  • They insist on intruding on your privacy even after you’ve tried all the tips above.
  • They are verbally abusive (body-shaming, name-calling, rudeness, or slurs).
  • They are manipulative and won’t hesitate to lie to you to get what they want.
  • Every contact with them causes emotional distress.

You can see how things go and how you feel if you distance yourself from them temporarily, or you can decide on permanent isolation. If you can, don’t cut all ties suddenly. Try to explain to them what’s going on (you can write a letter, make a phone call, or talk to them personally). Prepare for their reaction, but expect that you will feel some guilt and confusion as well. Be sure to have a close friend or a counselor to help you through the rough times.

Toxic families can make us feel unworthy, sad, and small. But the fact they make you feel like that doesn’t mean you truly are. Look within, learn to appreciate who you are, and love yourself. Everything else will follow.

Meet The Author

Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.

45+ Quarantine Tips for A Healthy Mind & Body

The world is different these days. Quarantine can be difficult for some, so I have created a list of tips to remain healthy and happy with this Quarantine.

As you probably know, a lot is going on in the world and most people are being sent home. Some of you might still be able to work, some of you might not be able to. Regardless of your situation, it is important you maintain the guidelines set by the governing body where you are. This can be difficult for some, so I have created a list of tips to remain healthy and happy with this Quarantine. This article is brief, but hopefully helpful for you at this time.

If you are looking for more information regarding the Coronavirus, check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

quarantine mind health holding tea

Healthy Mind Tips

Keeping a healthy mind can be difficult right now. Here are some tips to keep your mind healthy during Covid19 Quarantine.

  1. Limit exposure to the news
  2. Call or video chat your loved ones
  3. Keep a journal
  4. Allow yourself to feel
  5. Cry if you need to
  6. Create a self-care plan
  7. Write letters to your loved ones
  8. Connect with your friends and family on social media
  9. Do something you love
  10. Spend time with your pets
  11. Pick up a new hobby
  12. Maintain open communication with those in your home
  13. Take some space for yourself
  14. Go for a walk (if permitted according to local recommendations)
  15. Take a hot bath or shower
  16. Watch your favorite show or movie
  17. Keep a gratitude list
  18. Create a self-care menu
  19. Try something new
quarantine body fitness equipment on couch

Healthy Body Tips

It can be easy to neglect our physical well-being when stuck at home. Here are some ways you can continue to remain healthy this Quarantine.

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Do yoga
  3. Continue healthy eating habits
  4. Drink plenty of water
  5. Do home exercises
  6. Stretch every morning and night
  7. Continue your regular morning and night routines
  8. Keep your normal routines as closely as you can
  9. Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently
  10. Shower at least 4 times a week
  11. Moisturize, your hands are probably not used to being washed so much
  12. Avoid excessive substance use, such as alcohol
  13. Maintain proper hygiene
quarantine productive laptop on couch

Productivity Tips

Many of us are working from home right now. If you are not used to this or if you are trying something new, working from home can be very difficult. Here are just a few ways you can maintain your productivity from home this Quarantine.

  1. Keep a regular schedule
  2. Create a work-specific space for you to focus
  3. Remove as many distractions as possible
  4. Eat healthily
  5. Drink water
  6. Create realistic goals
  7. Create a to-do list the night before
  8. Maintain a “normal” schedule
  9. Get enough sleep
  10. Maintain a clean space
  11. Get ready every day like you are going into work
  12. Make your bed each morning
  13. Take Breaks

No matter your life circumstances, please continue to remain safe and healthy. Practice healthy living while stuck at home. What are you doing to keep healthy and busy? Let’s share ideas in the comments!

If you are looking for more information regarding the Coronavirus, check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

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Ultimate Guide to Self-Care for Students (A Must Read)

With the demands of coursework and modern life, students need self-care more than ever. To learn more, read the ultimate guide to self-care for students.

Students face many demands, including coursework, deadlines, and other school responsibilities – all on top of their social lives and even part-time jobs. We get it – school is overwhelming; you’re stressed out, and all you really want is to lie down and watch your favorite show. All this stress is normal, but you have to learn how to manage it and take care of yourself in the process. Step one is developing a self-care routine. Below is the ultimate guide to self-care for students – it’ll help you start putting you first.

Take Care of Your Body First

The first step to taking better care of yourself is starting a consistent exercise routine, even if it’s just walking to campus instead of taking public transportation or doing ten jumping jacks in between homework. Staying active is great for obvious reasons, but you also have to get your diet in check. You’re probably familiar with the freshmen fifteen, but if you aren’t careful, that can quickly turn into the senior thirty. Try your best to maintain a good diet throughout college. It’ll help you focus and feel better during school, and you’ll develop a habit that should last beyond graduation.

Of course, you need to get enough sleep as well. Don’t be that student who pulls all-nighters to finish a paper due the next morning. Your paper probably won’t be your best work because you’re exhausted, and pulling all-nighters is an awful habit to start. Instead, allow yourself time to complete your projects, and get to bed on time.

Students Can Say “No” Too

Signing up for every interesting opportunity in college is really easy, especially if you’re a freshman. However, all the fun activities you’ve signed up for will become a hassle when coursework begins piling up and your roommates want to go out. If you become comfortable with saying “no” more, you’ll be able to say “yes” to the things you actually want to do.

Start a New Hobby

Another great way to take care of you is to pick up a new hobby. You’ll stimulate your brain to learn something new and exciting, and you may even find the hobby meditative. However, before you run to a new hobby, do a little research so that you know what you’re getting into. Don’t take on a hobby that’s going to require crazy amounts of money or work – school still needs to come first. For example, if you’re thinking of picking up photography, do some research to find the right camera and to decide which type of photography you want to get into.

When you develop a self-care routine, the stresses of life will become a lot more manageable. Plus, you’ll be able to develop some great habits that will help you through life. Just remember that no one can do it for you – after all, you can’t have self-care without focusing on taking care of yourself first. What are thoughts on self-care for students discussed here, let us know in the comments?

How To Enhance Your Mental Health

Mental Health is your overall well being, and isn’t something that should be ignored. Here are a few tips to enhance your mental health.

Mental Health is your overall well being and isn’t something that should be ignored. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world would be affected by neurological or mental disorders at some point in their life. Currently, around half a billion people suffer from conditions of mental health. It affects your social life, career, academics, and a lot more. Here are a few tips to enhance your mental health:

Positivity

Research suggests that your perception of yourself may affect how you feel. When you perceive your life and yourself in a negative light, your brain helps to confirm that bias through daily experiences. So, always promote positive feelings of personal power and self-worth. Tell yourself, “I guess I’ll have to work harder on the next interview” instead of “I’m such a loser, this was the third interview I tanked.”

journal houseplant

Gratitude

Your psychological mental health, well-being, and happiness have close links to gratitude or how grateful you feel. To become more grateful and find happiness in little things, you can adopt the practice of maintaining a gratitude journal. It encourages you to be grateful in general and make a gratitude list that you can refer to whenever you are feeling down. It fills up your heart with satisfaction and gives you that intangible warm feeling that has nothing to do with temperature.

Be Mindful Of The Moment

Living in the moment and being more mindful helps you to shed off negative emotions and move on from a difficult past. Being mindful means, you are more aware of your surroundings and sensations in everyday mundane routine like having breakfast, showering, biking to work or back home. Pay more attention to the sounds, smells, touch, and taste of your daily experiences.

Workout

A workout is great for your muscles, bones, and especially useful for a healthy and functional brain. During a workout, your brain releases plenty of hormones called endorphins. These chemicals improve your mood and relieve stress. It’s one of the reasons why people have an unexplainable smile after an intense session of sweaty exercise. These hormones work well to fight against depression, stress, and other conditions that may affect your mental health adversely.

link arms

Change Your Diet

A diet filled with nutrients goes a long way to nourish your physical self and your brain. Try to stay away from trans fats and fast foods. Instead, plan out a diet with a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates, proteins, good fats, and of course, veggies and fruits. These food items increase serotonin, dopamine, and more chemicals that have a calming effect on your mind and keeps you alert. A healthy diet also keeps you away from obesity that has been linked time and again with negative mental health.

Don’t wait for a resolution or the “right time.” Start with these tips today to take care of your mental health. A healthy and active brain keeps you productive and happy and it ripples into your social and professional life as well.

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How Indoor Plants are the Answer this Winter

Over 10 million Americans have seasonal depression and adding plants in your home can help. Here are my favorite indoor plants for winter self-care!

The lack of green outside is something that we typically cannot control. When it’s rainy, dark and cold, our mental state tends to plummet. It is estimated that over 10 million Americans have been through Seasonal Affective Disorder, or as some call it, seasonal depression. When adding plants in your apartment or house, the touch of nature can help create a more positive and relaxing environment. So, while the lack of green outside is something that we can’t control, the life we create in our homes is.

Your psychological health should be taken just as seriously as your physical health. Plants freshen up the air in your home and release oxygen and absorb the toxic carbon dioxide. By having the visually appealing plants in your home, you can help relieve your stress while taking care and nurturing your new off-spring, even in the winter. 

From Gray to Green  

Since plants are picky about the environments that they can grow in, we have included a list of plants that can survive the lack of sunlight and warmth that the cold season brings. By choosing a few of your favorite plants and delegating time to help them grow, you’ll be adding a light to your winter. And if you don’t have a knack for growing plants, don’t worry! There’s a plant on this list for every gardening skill, from so-called “black” thumbs to experience plant parents.

1. Snake Plant 

Also known as Sansevieria, this plant is notorious for being a low-maintenance addition to your space. If you water it every two weeks and make sure to not let your temperature get lower than 55 degrees, this dark green, sleek plant will thrive. 

2. Peppermint Plant

A combination of water mint and spearmint, the Peppermint plant can help with your digestion and bloating issues. You can keep the plant in extremely cold temperatures as long as it’s receiving sunlight. Also, it smells great which is a plus! 

3. Aloe Vera 

Aloe vera helps with just about anything; from psoriasis to sunburn. Keeping this in your home is extremely beneficial with not much up-keep. Just make sure it’s receiving enough sunlight! 

4. Bromeliads 

The pop of color that bromeliads add to your home makes the fact that they only bloom once in their lifespan worth it. The colors will hopefully make you forget that you probably aren’t in a tropical environment. Bring in the feeling you get on vacation right into your home. 

 5. Staghorn Fern 

If you want to add a hanging basket to your decor, the Staghorn Fern is for you. They get their name from the leaves resembling horns and antlers. Since they grow on trees, they can thrive in a vertical environment. The plant only needs water once every two weeks and is a fun addition to your plant family. 

6. Rosary Vine 

Also called the string of hearts, the Rosary Vines grow like beads on a rosary. Just make sure you water them once a week and they are receiving enough sunlight! If you put this plant in a pot, the vines will beautifully hang off and work as abstract decor. 

7. Eucalyptus  

Eucalyptus plants are not only visually appealing but can serve as air fresheners and are healing when putting in teas since they’re high in antioxidants. The uses for Eucalyptus are numerous, whether in their oil or dried form. 

8. Alocasia Polly 

These dark green plants are beautiful and add a sleek touch to your home. With medium light and regular watering to keep the soil moist, having an Alocasia Polly can help you stick to your plant care routine. 

9. Zebra Plant 

This Brazilian plant has the potential to grow yellow flowers on top, with the name coming from the leaves having stripes. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight and water 2-3 times a week. 

10. Succulents 

Succulents store water in their leaves, meaning they only need watering once a week. These trendy plants are easy to take care of, so are a good option you want to start off simple. They also look beautiful potted — with the diverse variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. 

Home is where you should feel safe and free. It’s where you unwind from work or school, and spend time with yourself and your loved ones. That being said, it can be easy to feel trapped in your home with stuffy and dry surroundings. Don’t let the cold season make you feel limited on creating an indoor garden for yourself. By putting in an effort to bring in liveliness around you, you’re putting in an effort to improve your mental wellbeing. Not all plants thrive in the sunny summer, and with a bit of research and time management, your winter plants will make your home life more enjoyable and filled with ease.

Take a look at the visual guide below for a summary of these perfect winter indoor plants along with basic care instructions to ensure they thrive all winter long!

Meet The Author

Heidi is a writer and content creator based in New York City. When she’s not covering health and wellness topics, you can usually find her at a coffee shop or hanging out with her bearded dragon. You can take a look at her extended winter plant care guide here.

Give The Gift Of Mental Health This Christmas

Mental health is incredibly important, so, you should give yourself the best gift and focus on your mental health. Here are four options for this Christmas.

Christmas is billed as a wonderful time of year where you think about others and practicing gift-giving. However, the festive season isn’t always family dinners around a massive portion of food and tinsel on the tree. Often, people find Christmas to be a stressful time, especially when the stigma is that you’re miserable when you don’t get in the spirit. No, you’re not a Grinch – you need to boost your mental health.

With that in mind, you should give yourself the best gift of all and focus on your mental health. Here are four of the greatest options this Christmastime.

Don’t Indulge

It’s tempting to eat and drink what you want until the New Year, but junk food and alcohol only impair your thinking. The latter is linked with mental health concerns, and that’s why a top mental health treatment therapy center will focus on the impact of substances. Sure, a couple of glasses of wine here and there aren’t going to send you into a spiral; however, you should be aware of how easily negative thoughts can spiral. Where possible, try and replace alcohol and junk food for water and exercise. You’ll find that working out over Christmas is a fantastic way to relieve stress and reduce tension.

gifts

Buy Yourself A Present

Do you know that your mental health suffers around this time of year? Do you dread Christmas for this reason? There’s no reason to continue doing the same things over and over again and hoping for a different result. After all, it’s the definition of insanity. Instead, you must prepare for the inevitable knock to your mental health by treating yourself to a gift. A spa and massage day is a great way to tackle the Christmastime blues as it eliminates tension and helps you to relax. Giving to other people is fine and dandy, but you must be self-aware, too.

Avoid People

You shouldn’t avoid everyone because being alone at Christmas will only intensify the feelings. Still, there’s no good reason to surround yourself with people, friends or family, that negatively affect your mental health. So, if your successful cousin likes to brag and rub it in your face, then don’t give him or her the opportunity. You can always start a tradition of your own and keep the gathering to a select few people who you know are good for your health. If they are unavoidable, sit as far away as possible at the dinner table and zone them out with chit-chat.

mug and gifts on table

Involve Yourself In The Community

Of course, the other side of the coin is that you don’t have many people around you and feel lonely. In this case, you can throw yourself into the community and forget about your situation. There are thousands of people who are ill or homeless and have nowhere to go that need feeding and taking care of, and volunteers are welcome to help. Serving at a soup kitchen, for example, is cathartic for them and your mental health.

If you suffer from mental health issues at Christmas, how do you maintain a positive mental attitude?

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

Five-Minute Meditation | Easy Ways to Add Meditation To Your Day

No one has time to sit and meditate for hours. All you need to do is the following easy five-minute meditation methods to make this work. Read More!

Who has time to sit on a mat and meditate for hours? All you need to do is implement the following easy five-minute meditation methods to make this work.

Time is always of the essence of modern life. Our days are a blur of commutes and work. Most of us even bring work home with us, meaning that embarking on anything meaningful during our evenings is out of the question.

This is terrible news for our social lives, and for out of work activities like meditation. Honestly, who has time to sit on a mat when they don’t even finish work until the early hours? The trouble is that by scratching meditation and other mindful practices, we leave our wellbeing and mental health at risk.

Something has to give, and it often comes in the form of the time we dedicate to these tasks. For example, it’s entirely possible to fit meditation into even busy days by merely considering five-minute sessions instead of hour-long marathons. All you need to do is implement the following easy five-minute methods to make this work.

lady meditation

Keep Things Simple

You won’t have time to embark on an intense guided mediation in five-minute chunks, so don’t try. Instead, keep things simple to make sure you can enjoy the benefits of meditation in short timeframes. Focus on straightforward breathing exercises that can lead you into a whole new world despite the running time. This will stop you from feeling a sense of failure when you have to cut things short. It also guarantees some level of mindfulness despite your limited practice. 

Invest In Techniques To Help You Focus Fast

Many of us take between ten and twenty minutes just to settle into meditation, but that’s not a luxury you can enjoy. Instead, invest in sure-fire ways to focus attention fast for efficient meditation. Apps like Calm are invaluable as they provide plenty of five-minute sessions. Equally, mala beads can get you into the zone in seconds. Simply take the time to learn how to cleanse mala beads so you can get straight down to business when it matters. With these tools, you should be able to focus in seconds and get down to serious meditation for the remainder of your sessions.

lady doing yoga

Let Go Of Your Need For A Set Meditation Space

Set meditation spaces are fantastic, but letting go of your attachment to a ‘meditation room’ is vital to make fast meditations work. There’s just no point wasting time getting to your meditation space in the first place. Instead, quick-fire success rests solely on your ability to meditate wherever you happen to be at the time. You could be in your kitchen or riding public transport, and you should still be able to switch into meditation mode to fit that five minutes into your daily life. 

Making time for anything every day can be a challenge, especially something like meditation that’s often pushed to the side. Luckily, five-minute sessions could be the key you need to unlock this habit at last. Simply make sure to keep these points in mind and stick to your schedule to enjoy the benefits you always assumed were out of reach. 

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

3 Ways To Practice Self-Care During A House Move

It's important to practice self-care when you're moving to have the energy and sanity to cope. Here are a few self-care ideas for moving house.

Moving is stressful. If you have ever moved home yourself, you don’t need us to tell you that. Still, there are ways to minimize the stress you might feel. This article will give you a brief run-down on three ways to practice self-care while you are moving!

Another thing you can do is practice self-care in the run-up to your house move; in this way, you will have the energy and the sanity levels to cope with everything you need to do. Here are a few ideas that we think will be useful to you.

#1 Start Your Day Off Right

In the weeks and days before your move, you will have daily to-do lists of things you need to accomplish. You might be tempted to jump out of bed and straight into the jobs you need to do; in this way, you will be able to get through everything faster. Well, that’s the theory anyway. In truth, you probably won’t be as productive as you want to be, especially if you haven’t given yourself time to destress and re-energize yourself.

So, give yourself time at the start of each day to refresh yourself and enjoy your morning. Have a cup of tea, read the newspaper, take a relaxing shower or bath, and eat something healthy for breakfast. This healthy start to your day will do much for your stress levels, and you will be able to work productively on your to-do list with a focussed rather than frazzled mind.

It's important to practice self-care when you're moving to have the energy and sanity to cope. Here are a few self-care ideas for moving house.

#2 Carve Down Time Into Your Schedule

The nearer you get to your house move, the busier you will be getting everything ready for moving day. This is understandable, but your days shouldn’t be filled with your moving tasks, as you still need to factor in some downtime for yourself. This is especially true when your day is taken up with family or work activities too, as your stress levels are going to rise when your schedule is overloaded with things you need to get on with. 

So, take a walk during the day to clear your head. Relax your body and mind with an Epson salt bath, perfect for when your body is sore from moving boxes and furniture. Spend time with your friends. And take the occasional moment to sit down, close your eyes, and calm your frazzled mind.

#3 Practice Positive Thinking

Your emotions will be running high during the moving process. Further, you will likely be worried about moving day itself, among other things. You might be feeling heightened emotions at the prospect of saying goodbye to certain friends and neighbors. You might start to panic, especially when you begin to wonder if moving was the right thing for you to do. And as a result of the emotional rollercoaster that you will be on, you might start to feel low, depressed, and overly anxious.

So, practice positive thinking. One way to practice positive thinking is with journaling or meditation. I encourage you to list all of the things you are grateful for and each of the positives that will happen because of the house move. And think about these things whenever stress threatens to defeat you, as with happier thoughts, you will have the ability to conquer those negative thoughts and feelings that could overwhelm you.

Take care, thanks for reading, and good luck with your house move!

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

Simple Steps To Help You Keep Calm & Control Stress

If you want to know more about encouraging a happier outlook, you're in the right place. Read on for some tips to keep calm and control stress.

There are so many aspects of life in the modern world that can increase stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, this makes it very easy to get trapped in a cycle of poor mental health. Opting a positive mindset can be tricky. It would seem impossible to gain a handle on every different issue you face on a day to day basis. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are several simple steps that you can follow, which should help you in gaining control and reaching a much more beneficial state of calm. You might even see changes in your mood in just a few days. So, if you want to know more about what you can do to keep calm and control stress, you’re in the right place. Read on to uncover some of the best self-care top tips that you can begin implementing today.

Don’t Keep It To Yourself 

One of the worst things that you can do, which can have a really negative effect on your mental health is to bottle up all of your worries and keep your problems to yourself. Trying to deal with everything that life throws on you all alone isn’t possible for even the strongest of people. Plus, there really are no reasons for you to feel as though you cannot open up to those around you. Staying in regular contact with friends and family can be a real help. Additionally, just allowing yourself to discuss any issues that may come up can be the first step in changing your ways. Sometimes those close to you are not quite qualified to aid you in resolving every issue. So, scheduling a session with a professional, such as therapy for panic attacks, may be more suitable. Do not allow yourself to feel any guilt if you decide to seek out counseling. There is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, you should ultimately be very proud of yourself for taking significant steps towards getting better.

Engage In Beneficial Practices

There are so many practices that have been formulated to provide calm and help to balance the mind. Taking part in any of these can cause you to see some real changes. Possibly the best concept to try first is meditation. The benefits of meditation are widely recognized, and many people swear by the activity. They report being able to gain a more positive outlook and eventual ‘inner peace.’ It can be tricky to start off with, but even this is part of the process, as it teaches you how to become more patient and also increase your stamina.

Additionally, you may like to head to a local yoga group. Further, yoga is as good for your body as it is for your mind. Stretching and balancing exercises are paired with soft music and the wise words of your instructor to create the perfect environment for releasing tension and stress, and the rush of endorphins you will feel after a workout can improve your mood even more. 

There are countless ways to become stress-free and calm. These tips are just a small snippet into what you can do to control your stress! What are your favorite de-stress tips? Let us know if the comments!

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

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How to Address Mental Health Without Shame

Mental health is an important aspect of overall health. So, we’ll show you that you should have zero shame when addressing your mental health!

Mental health is an important aspect of overall health. So, we’ll show you that you should have zero shame when addressing your mental health!

Many seem to suggest that the world is getting worse and worse due to the current political climate and the potential toxicity of social media. However, to think that everything is terrible means neglecting to take in all of the information to the contrary. In fact, there is much to be optimistic about. One of these sets of optimism includes the shifting attitudes and public awareness surrounding mental health.

For many years, those with mental health issues were disregarded as being silly, or willfully irrational. It was easy to dismiss those with vulnerabilities. This is a great shame to put it extremely lightly, and will never stop being so. However, these days, many understand that mental health is just as important as physical health, perhaps even more critical.

This means that you should have zero shame when addressing the issues you may be facing. In fact, taking the time to finally accept you need help can allow you to start your journey of becoming better. It can also help you to start finding the light at the end of the tunnel. This is essential for positive living, but it first requires you to admit you are not an oddity, you are just in need of some help. After all, we wouldn’t look like someone with a sprained or broken arm as deficient. Further, only in the presence of unfortunate circumstances, and that’s precisely how we should view those with mental health issues, provided we know those circumstances can be improved or managed.

With the following advice, we’ll show you that you should have zero shame when addressing your mental health:

Everyone Must Maintain Their Mental Health

The main reason that you should feel zero shame when addressing your mental health is that everyone, no matter who they are, must maintain it. Sure, some are more predisposed to mental health conditions than others. Genetic and environmental issues can be a real factor. However, that’s not to say there are those out there ‘immune’ to mental health issues. Depression can come for anyone, as can trauma, as can intense stress, as can panic attacks. For that reason, taking care of yourself is something admirable, something that should be considered courageous and strong. The more we can spread this idea, the more it will grow. Thus, more people will feel empowered to talk about this.

There Is Hope

There is always hope. Even those suffering from PTSD or severe mental conditions can be helped through therapy, medication, or by separating themselves from a difficult situation. To feel there’s no light at the end of the tunnel is not only damaging, but it’s unfortunately false. Additionally, amazing professionals such as Psychotherapist Haley Neidich serve as a bastion of impartial help. In seeking professional help, you are allowing for the strength of support, which we can receive to be just around the corner.

You Can Become An Ambassador

What happens when you talk to someone whom you do not understand? Often, you learn that they are a person just like you. For example, you may have never met someone with dwarfism, thinking this to be a sad affliction that you are glad you do not possess. Then, in speaking to someone, you realize that they are as much a lovely and radiant person as you are. You are a person who is living their life to the full, and this completely resolves your ignorance. The same can be said for those dealing with mental health struggles.

If you have gone through trauma, or perhaps something equally as hard, and that still has an effect on the way you live your life, speaking about it can help. By speaking up or talking with someone else, others can learn how to best help themselves and seek the help they need. It can also help those without these challenges to understand your journey. Whatever opinion they come to, they will at least be able to do that with the facts in front of them, not their impressions or ignorance to lead them. Unfortunately, awareness is just like light, an absence of it will inevitably lead to darkness. However, you can serve as that light, provided you take that courageous step after first prioritizing your treatment and daily care.

To Conclude…

You mustn’t feel ashamed of your mental health. No matter how it demonstrates itself, there is always a silver lining. There will always be a potential recourse of treatment, and now that awareness is spreading, you are likely to find a loving community to surround you. The best thing you can ever do is care for yourself, and having a mental health struggle will never, ever disqualify you from that.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

The Power of Gratitude & The Law Of Attraction

The practice of gratitude and law of attraction are powerful. I see gratitude as a way of shifting into a future version of ourselves - one we dream about.

Happy National Gratitude Month! The practice of gratitude is incredibly powerful. It’s something that I teach my patients about on their very first visit and continues to remind them of in the future. Further, I see gratitude as a way of shifting into a future version of ourselves – a version we often dream about.

You know, the one that doesn’t have the intense reactions when things aren’t going our way. 

The one that has no self doubt when wanting to launch the business we’ve been crafting in our minds. 

The one that has no fear of judgement and can completely be herself. 

You know, the one that is actually happy living life because she knows she’ll be provided for. 

YES, it really is that powerful!

Gratitude & the Law of Attraction

You see, the more we harness the feeling of gratitude (that loving feeling in our hearts), then, we are actually sending out vibrations to the universe. These vibrations are saying that we want more of those circumstances in our lives !!

This is how the energy behind gratitude works, it’s called the Law of Attraction. Quick digression before I continue explaining how to create a life you want to live, it’s important, I promise. 

Do you remember the film, The Secret

If you have not, it’s all about the Law of Attraction. I personally don’t think it articulates it in a practical way. After I watched that film I became obsessed with my thoughts. I thought that any sort of negative thought I had would manifest. It was actually quite exhausting and anxiety-producing. This is not the way the Law of Attraction works. Just because you have a thought does not mean that that thought is going to come true. 

The Power of Gratitude & The Law Of Attraction

The “secret” aspect of the law of attraction, is that you have to continue to place out the vibration of what you want while believing that you already have it. 

Yup, you read that right. You have to believe you already have the thing that you’re wanting to call in. 

*** This is because you have to become an energetic vibrational match for that version of yourself in order for it to land.

Say you want to be a famous musician, but you are terrified in front of crowds. Well, in order to manifest that dream, you have to step into the person that can rock it in front of crowds. Beyonce Knowles actually had an “alter ego” named Sasha Fierce to help her do this!

Law of Attraction & Health

Dr. Joe Dispenza spends his time teaching people these principals while helping them heal from physical ailments by believing that they do not have the disease they are trying to get rid of. Dr. Joe has them see themselves in life without the disease, and feel into what that feels like. In doing this, his patients are actually aligning with a healthy version of themselves. For some people, it’s a spontaneous instant healing. For others, it takes them weeks, months, years. It all depends on how powerful you truly (at a bodily level) believe yourself to be. 

What this means is that we can create the life we always wanted to live – we just have to believe it to be true. We can’t just mentally believe it to be true, that mental knowing MUST be translated into the BODY. 

The Power of Gratitude & The Law Of Attraction

Embody as in feeling into that belief, knowing that it is already yours. 

Embodiment is the missing piece when I talk with patients who already have gratitude and affirmation practice. They spend time changing mentally, re-writing the tapes their minds like to play or at least recognizing that they can shift their minds. The issue here is that it is not translated down into the body. 

Concluding

Over time, I think embodiment can come if they begin receiving positive feedback from their environment. Yet other times, it seems as if they’re saying these affirmation mantras over and over in their minds but they’re not seeing any changes in their day to day lives. 

Sometimes this happens due to conditioning that has to be uncovered first, the body must deal with the wounds that created the belief around control, self-doubt, judgment, unworthiness, you name it.

Stay tuned for my next post on how to shift out of these conditioning patterns. For now, I invite you to work on the future self visualization process that I give to all of my patients on their first visit. It’s a simple yet powerful process that can be implemented daily. I’d love to know how it goes for you!

Download Dr. Sarah’s Future Self Visualization PDF here

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Meet the Author

Hi, my name is Sarah. I am a naturopathic doctor, reiki master, and intuitive empowerment coach. 

Through my naturopathic medicine internship, I began to realize that the body has a lot more to say than what I was conventionally trained to look for. I’ve found that the body stores many emotions, memories, and unhealed past events which all contribute to physical disease. 

During this time I was also on my own healing journey. It was on this journey that I began to realize how powerful awareness is.  I concluded that in gaining awareness, our perspective will shift, and in perspective shifts, our entire lives will shift and we will begin to live life authentically, with meaning. I hold space for people to explore these unknown aspects within themselves, spaces they otherwise wouldn’t explore. Through this exploration, we come to the awareness that will ultimately set them free and allow them to heal. The way I see it is that I’m just a human, supporting another human with an open heart and a nonjudgmental mind. 

I received my Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University in December of 2013, my Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National University of Health Sciences in April of 2018. Additionally, I received my Reiki Master Certification in January of 2019, and I am currently in a Masters of Acupuncture program at the National University of Health Sciences, will graduate in December of 2020. 

I live in the suburbs of Chicago with one of my best friends and my dog, Reece. I love exploring the nearby forest preserves and occasionally venturing down to Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks. Being outside, specifically in a forest, is where I find myself happiest. I also enjoy reading, writing, and talking about universal concepts with my friends. They always joke that no conversation with Sarah can happen without it turning existential. Good way to be if you ask me!

Feel free to email me at sarahghekierend@gmail.com or DM me on IG @sarahghekiere.nd! Check out more posts by Sarah HERE.

How To Take Your Mental Well-Being Into Your Hands

Improving your mental health can feel harder than improving your physical health. Let’s talk about how to take your mental well-being into your own hands.

Improving your mental health can often feel more difficult than improving your physical health. Problems with your body are often easily noticed and explained by doctors or other medical professionals. However, this isn’t always the case when it comes to the mind. Let’s talk about how you could take your mental well-being into your own hands.

Anxiety and depression are categories often used to explain mental health problems, but these categories are very broad. Two people with anxiety might have very different problems which require very different solutions. Still, whatever the issues with your emotional well-being, there are ways to heal. Seeing as the problems start in the mind, your mind is also the thing that can solve those problems.

Exercise On A Daily Basis

Let’s start by focusing on physical health. The well-being of your mind is linked to the well-being of your body. So, if you want to improve one aspect of your health, then you should improve the other, too. Getting your body moving is a great way to take your mental well-being into your own hands. Exercise improves your mood, so it can be a great way to adopt a positive mindset. You just need to find a physical activity that you enjoy. Perhaps you could join a local yoga class, for example. The social element of this activity would be good for your mental health, too. Stay physically active if you want to keep yourself mentally active.

Talk To People

You also need to talk to people if you want to take your mental well-being into your own hands. Opening up about your emotional well-being is a great way to come to terms with your thoughts. Sharing your feelings with others will help you to feel less isolated, as well. It’ll remind you that your loved ones care about your health. Of course, you might want to talk to mental health specialists, too. It’s important to get the treatment you need to start taking positive steps in the right direction. You could check out these counseling and mental health services. You could get the help necessary to start moving forward and improving your emotional well-being.

TAKE MENTAL WELL-BEING INTO YOUR OWN HANDS_TEA_FLOWERS-CHAIR-RELAX

Be Your Own Support

As important as it is to have friends and family members who support you, you also need to be your own source of support. Knowing that your loved ones are there for you can be immensely helpful as you start to heal, but you also need to know that you’re going to be there for yourself. When your mental health starts to suffer, it’s easy to berate yourself, but you have to be kind and patient. Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, you have to try to separate yourself as a person from your mental illness. It doesn’t define you, just as a physical illness doesn’t define someone.

Don’t be your own worst critic. Learning to understand and accept your brain will help you to process your emotions. Letting anger or stress take over can exacerbate your feelings, but a calm and friendly attitude towards yourself can make it much easier to allow those feelings to pass. It takes practice, and you’ll still need the support of loved ones, but you can take great strides forwards if you adopt an understanding mindset. Include yourself in your support network. You’ll learn that your mind is much stronger than you imagine, and that’s a good thing; it means you can work through any problems you might be facing.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

How Cooking is a Form of Self-Care

With the right mindset and approach, cooking can offer therapeutic benefits. Inspired by Kitchen Cabinet Kings’ visual on 8 ways cooking is self-care...

One of life’s daily responsibilities is cooking and for some is even considered a chore. Between balancing your job and keeping up with relationships, cooking at home often falls to the wayside for a quick to-go box.  

However, food is fuel to keep you moving through your day and too often the convenient solutions like throwing down a microwave meal can make you feel worse. Plus, to-go meals and frozen food usually don’t benefit your health. 

With the right mindset and approach, cooking can offer therapeutic benefits. Inspired by Kitchen Cabinet Kings’ visual on 8 ways cooking is like self-care, cooking can foster not only your physical well-being but also your mental health. In some ways, it can be a form of therapy in itself. 

Creates Mindfulness

Mindfulness is focusing on the present moment. It’s when you calmly accept and recognize your thoughts, feelings, and sensations at that moment, then choose to let them go. 

The benefits of mindfulness offer benefits like stress reduction, improved focus, enhanced cognitive flexibility and boosts to the immune system. Mindfulness is common with things like meditation and yoga, however, many activities can be performed in a mindful state. Cooking is no exception!  

If you already love to dive into the cooking process, it shouldn’t be difficult to approach it with mindfulness. If cooking is more of a challenge for you or something you don’t enjoy, it just takes practice.  

Find an old favorite (or family) recipe that can help you practice mindfulness. Whether that’s starting with simple and familiar ingredients or basic techniques, you can more easily focus. 

Or, for the experienced chef, try a new challenging recipe that allows you to concentrate on the current moment of peeling that veggie or sauteing that meat. It provides a distraction from negative thought processes. You may find that different types of recipes work better on different days.

Engage Your Basic Senses

While cooking, you can truly focus on the moment and let your worries melt away. Prep your ingredients with care and precision. Engage as many of your senses as possible, like sight, smell and touch. This will create complex sensory inputs.

Try to avoid as many stressors as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to prep and prepare so you don’t feel rushed. Practice letting go of any problems, negative thoughts or emotions that force their way into your mind. Use the first tip, mindfulness, to engage your senses and immerse yourself in the process.  

Use Cooking as a Creative Outlet 

Instead of seeing the cooking process as a responsibility or chore, view it as a way to express yourself. Creative outlets are rewarding. Spending time and effort on something that you can later say “I did that” can make you feel proud and accomplished.  

With cooking, you eat what you make. You don’t have to worry about what you’ll do with it when you’re done, because it’s fuel for you to move through your day. It’s a fun activity to invite friends and family over, spend time together and improve your relationships. Try a do-it-yourself taco bar or pizza bar where people can get creative with toppings and sauces. 

Stimulates Your Brain  

We often find ourselves falling into a drag of work and daily life. Even when it’s something we truly enjoy, routines can get repetitive. If this sounds like you, having to make another decision at the end of the day (what to cook) sounds draining.  

The cooking process is a perfect way to bring some mental stimulation and change to your daily routine. Experiment with new ingredients and recipes that you’ve never eaten before. Learn and practice new cooking techniques. Research your favorite food blogger, a new cookbook and find variations of a dish you usually make or combine different elements to create something totally new.  

Find Joy in the Simple Things

Daily life is full of commitments and responsibilities. If you’re lucky, you can find ways to turn what you love into a profession, but even then burn out can happen. Instead, choose to find joy in the simple mundane things, like creating a new soup or not deflating that pie, can help make life so much sweeter. 

The act of eating is often seen as rejuvenating. We stress eat or treat ourselves to a special meal after a particularly good (or bad) day. We grab a cup of coffee to get us through the morning or a pint of ice cream to console us if we’re sad. Instead, shift this mindset to enjoy the process rather than the reward. By approaching cooking with a different mindset, we can find as much joy in the creation process as when we consume food.

Meet the Author

As a senior content marketing specialist, Megan is most passionate about creating and promoting unique content that drives client growth. Outside of the office, you can find her seeking out the next camping spot or consuming way too much coffee. Read more on cooking as therapy here.

How Yoga Can Raise Your Motivation and Productivity

FEATURED-yoga-productivity

On average, we spend 8 hours at work, sometimes doing overtime. Then, we come home and continue with our routine, cooking dinner, doing homework with kids, and continue being in the loop. 

With so much going on, we have less and less time to take care of ourselves. In fact, the work-home loop starts looking like a downward spiral with time, resulting in more stress, loss of motivation and productivity. 

What Does the Research Say?

Yoga is among the methods to tackle this problem. Different sources of research claim that yoga:

Reduces stress. Loss of motivation and productivity is often caused by stress that becomes chronic over time. According to recent research posted by the International Journal of Preventing Medicine, 52 surveyed women experienced less stress and anxiety after just 12 sessions of yoga. 

Improves physical activity and self-efficacy. According to research from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 41 surveyed participants with PTSD reported feeling more motivated after several regular sessions of yoga, with reduced stress and anxiety symptoms as well. 

Boosts memory and concentration. To help you become more productive, yoga has a positive effect on our cognitive abilities, according to a study published in the Biological Psychology journal. Reportedly, 108 participants reported that breathing exercises that Hatha yoga includes, helped them feel more focused. 

Over the years, more and more people have started practicing yoga, either as a main physical activity or in addition to other activities like going to the gym or doing Pilates. 

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) shares some stats on why Americans try yoga. Among those reasons, the most popular are:

  • Less stress and improved concentration (86% of surveyed)
  • Better physical and mental health (82% of surveyed)
  • Better emotional state and more motivation (67% of surveyed)

NCCIH also recommends yoga as one of the additional treatment methods for patients with different mental health conditions. 

Yoga Poses to Boost Motivation and Productivity

As someone who spent 10 years in the downward spiral of losing productivity and motivation, I was looking for a way to get out of this vicious circle. It motivated me to participate in a  ‘30 Days of Yoga for Self-Care Challenge’. Inspired by my results, I prepared a routine that I now do every day to feel motivated focused.

Here’s my everyday yoga routine, proven to help you raise motivation and productivity. 

Tadasana and Ushtrasana for Morning Energy Boost

Tadasana is what I begin my day with. This is a perfect pose to do a morning stretch and wake up your body and mind. Also called the Mountain Pose, it is also good for helping you cope with a headache and improves posture. 

Here are some tips to make the most out of this pose:

  • Challenge yourself by doing this pose with eyes closed. This way you’ll be able to find balance without paying attention to the outer environment, helping you concentrate better. 
  • For beginners: you can improve your balance by standing with your feet slightly apart. 
  • You can position your arms as you see fit. A common way is to lift them upward to stretch your whole body. 

Ustrasana is another post to help you find balance and feel more focused. Besides allowing you to stretch your body and feel the balance, it is also good for your digestive system, helping you work on the stomach muscles. 

There are different variations of this pose. I’ve found that the following approaches help worked best for my body:

  • Slowly leaning backward helps gradually stretch your body and not hurt your muscles. 
  • Correct breathing technique is crucial when pushing your body above the waist outward and upward. 
  • It’s best to do this pose in two approaches, holding the position for no more than 30 seconds. 

While Ustrasana is recommended as the ultimate pose to wake up your body, Tadasana also works well before sleep, helping your body to de-stress. 

Seated Crescent Moon and Chair Pigeon Pose While Working

While at work, you can often find yourself unproductive and unmotivated, especially after sitting behind your desk for several hours. I found that some yoga poses can be very helpful to change your focus and bring back the motivation. 

I usually start my yoga routine at work from a seated crescent moon pose. This is a stretching pose for your spine and neck muscles. How does it help motivation and productivity?

  • You have to pay attention to every step of this pose, as you can strain your neck muscles. Thus, you bring back the focus by paying close attention to your body. 
  • This pose requires you to follow a breathing technique. Exhaling and inhaling correctly will help you feel more energized, as you slowly help your body de-stress. 

To finish my brief yoga session at work, I usually do a chair pigeon pose. Although it’s often recommended for seniors to prevent them from hurting their muscles, this pose is perfect to do at your desk (also, you don’t want to attract unnecessary attention). 

Tip! When doing this pose, try not to do it on a rolling chair. For this pose, it’s better to choose one that stands steadily. 

Balasana and Savasana for Better Sleep

 The quality of your sleep greatly impacts your motivation and productivity. After all, sleep-deprivation is the first reason that kills motivation and impairs our ability to focus. However, a little bit of yoga before sleep can help you sleep like a baby. 

For my simple evening yoga routine, I start with Balasana or a child’s pose. This is an effective pose for:

  • Gently stretching hips and thighs
  • Relieving back and neck pain after a long day of sitting behind the desk
  • Calms the brain and relieves fatigue

To finish my yoga stretch before going to sleep, I relax my body with a Savasana or a corpse pose. This is a perfect pose for complete relaxation of your body and mind, as you lie down on a surface and simply allow yourself to rest. 

Tip! While doing Savasana, you can turn on some music and meditate to achieve the complete relaxation of your body and mind. 

Wrapping Up

Doing yoga is proven to be a good method to raise your motivation and productivity if you do it persistently. I found that regular yoga sessions are effective for those, who want to feel more focused and motivated, whilst helping you take care of your body as well. 

Meet the Author

Kate is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works at Flatfy. She likes everything related to self-improvement, traveling, and new countries.

How to Reduce Stress | 4 Natural Stress Relief Options

How to Reduce Stress: 4 Natural Stress Relief Options

Everyone experiences stress. Taking steps to manage it is the key to a happier and healthier life. After all, research has shown that stress can manifest as physical and/or mental health conditions, as well as changes in your mood and behavioral patterns.

While it’s impossible to eliminate stressful feelings entirely, there are ways to keep them at bay so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Try these simple, natural techniques next time you’re going through mental battles. You may be surprised by how effective they can be!

Meditation

Meditation is a wonderful short and long-term solution to stress. Sometimes, all it takes to calm down is a quick meditation session. You don’t need to do anything fancy. Simply find a quiet place, close your eyes, and try to free your mind of whatever intrusive thoughts are stressing you out. Even just a quick 5-minute break can work wonders in soothing the mind.

The beauty of meditation is that it becomes more and more powerful the more you do it. Over time, you’ll learn to recognize and observe your thought processes. You can focus on what’s causing stress and then stop those intrusive thoughts before they become too intense. Regular meditation helps you to understand yourself better, empowering you to change.

How to Meditate

While a quick meditation session on your lunch break can help to reduce stress, you’re going to experience more relief if you do it right on a consistent schedule. There are many ways to meditate as a beginner. Here’s the simplest method to get you started:

  • First, find a comfortable position that allows you to relax without getting tired. Sitting cross-legged is the most common position, but some people prefer sitting upright in a comfortable chair. Either way, make sure you keep your posture upright. This helps to keep you feeling awake throughout the session while also preventing soreness during longer meditations.
  • Next, you want to relax your body and facial muscles. Allow your eyelids and jaw to droop. Gently close your eyes, but don’t squeeze them shut. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, allowing your entire body to relax.
  • Now, your goal is to find inner silence. This is the part that takes some practice. When your inner monologue starts, gently shush it. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize an incoming thought and stop it intuitively. This can be quite difficult, so try not to get discouraged.

That’s it — you’re meditating! Start with a quick 5-10 minute session, and then try to go longer next time. You may want to set a timer to keep you on track. Eventually, you should start to notice that there’s more and more ‘silent’ space between thoughts. Eventually, you may want to look into other forms of meditation as you improve your technique.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Bullet Journaling

Stress is often caused by too many thoughts that lead to overwhelming feelings. Your mind is rushing with thoughts about a work project you need to finish, what’s for dinner, house repairs you need to make, and everything else under the sun. Journaling helps you to make sense of that jumble of thoughts, bringing clarity and introspection to your life.

Simply writing a to-do list can be quite effective, but many people are falling in love with bullet journaling. The system was started by Ryder Carroll, a designer from New York. According to him, the goal of bullet journaling is “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” In other words, it’s kind of like a to-do list, a planner, and a diary all-in-one.

How to Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling isn’t just effective — it’s also a whole lot of fun! The basic idea is that you use specific symbols that keep you on track, rather than just traditional bullet points. Here they are:

· A dot represents a to-do task

x An x means the task has been completed

< A less than sign signifies a task that has been scheduled

> A greater sign means that the task has been rescheduled and migrated to a new list

A dash is used for quick notes and minor tasks

O An open circle is for major events

The system may seem complicated on paper, but in practice, it’s quite easy. Once you get the right tools and learn how to bullet journal, it will become a fluid process that just makes sense. There are plenty of bullet journal themes that you can use to personalize your process, too.

For example, there are not-so-artsy layouts or minimal layouts for those who prefer simplicity. If your main goal is to reduce stress, you may find that using a layout to manage your mental health is the perfect solution. If you don’t have the time or resources to create your own bullet journal, you can always hire someone to make a bullet journal for you.

You can check out the listing below to view the various bullet journal options I offer!

Exercising

Exercise stops stress. Even a quick jog around the block can work wonders for your mental health. Have you ever heard of a “runner’s high?” When you’re active, your body produces endorphins that naturally boost your mood and stop stress in its tracks. Exercising also takes your mind off your worries as you focus on the single activity at hand.

Exercise is, of course, great for your physical health, which naturally manifests as a positive mindset. Working out helps you to feel more confident in your skin, which boosts your overall mood and demeanor. While you can use exercise as a tool as needed when you’re feeling stressed out, a better approach is to develop a consistent exercise routine.

Exercise Considerations

If it’s been a long time since you’ve been active, you may want to talk to your doctor before you dive in. In general, the best way to start is just to start. You don’t need to immediately start with an intense 10-mile run or anything crazy like that. Just getting your heart beating a little faster is the first step. Eventually, you can work your way into a more intense routine.

Exercise can be (and should be) fun. If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to be active, you’re just not doing the right exercises. Try to find a hobby that forces you to exercise. You could join a sports league, go to a rock climbing facility, or explore your local hiking paths. 

Once you start incorporating exercise into your hobbies, it becomes part of your overall lifestyle, rather than a one-off activity you force yourself to do from time to time. If possible, ask a friend to become your workout buddy. You can hold each other accountable, motivate each other, and just have a blast with it.

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

Cleaning

It may sound counterintuitive but cleaning is good for you. Your surroundings often dictate your mood. If you’ve ever gone on a major cleaning spree, you know that feeling of bliss when you get to sit down and relax in your newly revitalized environment. Too much clutter around you can be a major cause of stress, especially if it’s a big mess that feels so daunting to tackle.

Just like exercise, the key to maintaining a tidy house is to start small and turn cleaning into a habit. You can use your bullet journal to set small, attainable goals. Once your surroundings are clean, maintaining them is a breeze. Eventually, you’ll wonder how you ever lived in a messy space! The trick is to take it bit-by-bit, rather than overwhelming yourself with a massive project.

If you’re struggling to get started, you may want to look into Marie Kondo’s approach. Her Netflix series does a great job explaining how to get rid of clutter that doesn’t inspire joy. Her approach is fun and inspirational, and it may help you to improve your environment in a way that doesn’t add more stress to your life.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Take Care of Yourself

Everyone is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to stress. These four natural methods will get you started, but it’s up to you to determine what works best. Sometimes all it takes is just taking a few moments out of your day to sip a cup of tea or read a chapter of a book. 

If you’re suffering from stress, little changes can lead to big results. When you embrace new, stress-relieving habits, your life is naturally transformed for the better. The goal is to be kind to yourself. Recognize that you deserve to feel good

Finally, try to understand that stress is going to happen. Stress is a necessity. It’s your mind telling you that there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. The trick is to acknowledge and accept that necessary stress without letting it take over. It’s not always easy, but facing your struggles head-on is the key to reducing their impact on your life.

Meet the Author

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry, collaborating with industry insiders and designers, getting insight on the latest trends.

7 Ways To Practice Self-Care This Summer

summer-self-care

It’s important to practice self-care year-round. But we all know life happens, and keeping up on our well-being can become less of a priority.  

With fewer distractions, warmer weather, and more sunny days, summer is the best time to take a step back, break from your routine, and focus on yourself.

Here are seven ways you can relax, rejuvenate, and prioritize self-care this summer.

1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Exposure to sunlight can have a positive impact on your mood and even help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is why spending time outside is a valuable form of self-care. With warm and sunny days, the summer provides an opportunity to spend your time outdoors. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, spending as little as ten minutes in the sun can have a huge impact on your mental and emotional well-being.

Make time to catch some rays with these outdoor activities:

  • Explore your local farmer’s market
  • Start a garden
  • Host a BBQ
  • Spend time near water
  • Visit the zoo or an amusement park
  • Check out festivals and events in your area

2. Nourish Your Body

Despite being a season of cookouts and pool parties, summer can also bring out your body insecurities. However, it’s important to remember that beauty is a state of mind and not a physical state of being. When you accept and embrace your body, you develop a better sense of confidence and openness.

By catering to your body’s needs, you can mitigate anxiety related to body image and feel more comfortable in your own skin.

Consider adding these practices to your daily routine to show your body some extra love and attention:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear proper sun protection
  • Exfoliate your skin
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Eat healthy, fresh foods

Need more inspiration? The company hers frequently shares health and wellness advice for women through their social media accounts. For more tips on ways you can embrace your body, sexuality, and health, check out the hers Instagram page.

3. Get Physically Active

Many people overlook the importance of engaging in physical activity. However, regular exercise can have long-term benefits on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Self-care is all about improving yourself and feeling your best. Summer is a great time to hold yourself accountable and take advantage of the nice weather by engaging in physical activity. Even if you dread working out, research shows that even a little exercise is better than none. Plus, there are ways you can make exercising more fun. For instance, you can work out with a friend, try a new class, download a fitness app to track your progress, or participate in a charity run or walk.

Create a motivational playlist, and try any of the following activities that will help you start introducing healthy habits to your daily routine:

  • Embark on a hike or bike ride
  • Walk around your neighborhood
  • Join a summer sports league
  • Go for a swim
  • Sign up for a fitness class

4. Practice Mindfulness

Your mental well-being plays an important role in the way you feel each day, which is why it’s important to practice mindfulness. Setting aside time each day to clear your mind can have positive impacts on your energy level, self-esteem, and your mental and spiritual health.

Fortunately, mindfulness is a universal quality that everyone possesses, and it can be practiced in a variety of ways. By practicing mindfulness on a regular basis, you can reduce anxiety, increase body satisfaction, and improve cognition.

If you’re not sure where to get started, try one of these mindfulness-cultivating practices to give your spiritual and mental health a boost:

  • Meditate and do yoga
  • Power down your devices
  • Read a self-help book
  • Commit to a stretching routine
  • Start a bullet journal

5. Get Out of Town

Exercising, meditating, and eating healthfully are all effective ways to practice self-care, but sometimes even these aren’t enough.

Don’t let your daily grind bog you down. Instead, plan the much-needed getaway you’ve been wanting to take. Whether you travel abroad, embark on a road trip, or simply take a personal day to relax, there are so many reasons why taking a vacation is important. It will help you break your daily-routine and provides opportunities for you to disconnect, reset, and recharge.

Traveling is an effective form of self-care because it provides an opportunity for you to physically uproot yourself and step away from all the chaos in your life. No matter where you venture, make yourself intentionally unavailable and dedicate this time to yourself. This means shutting your computer and turning off any work notifications such as emails or chats you may receive on your phone.

Whether you’re away for a week or only a few days, focus your energy on completing the following tasks:

  • Welcoming new perspectives
  • Reflecting on your emotions
  • Letting go of your stress and worries

6. Try Something New

During the warmer months, people often have more time to make plans and break away from their day-to-day routines, making the summer a perfect time for firsts.

While change and uncertainty can be unsettling, breaking out of your comfort zone can lead to new discoveries and opportunities for personal growth. Take advantage of the warm weather and make a list of activities you’ve always wanted to try. Then, make it your mission to push your boundaries and work your way through your list.

Think outside the box, and consider adding the following activities to your summer bucket list:

  • Visit a new city
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Learn a new skill

7. Treat Yourself

While a luxurious vacation may be your ideal form of practicing self-love, there are more realistic ways to treat yourself. In fact, keeping things simple (and cheaper) can actually be better. It’s the little things that make us happier, more confident, and motivated and to get through our day-to-day.

Make it a habit to indulge in activities that fit both your lifestyle and budget, such as any of the following:

  • Get a massage
  • Try aromatherapy
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go on a shopping spree
  • Dine at a fancy restaurant
  • Buy yourself flowers

It’s important to remember that practicing self-care is not selfish, but rather something we all need to prioritize. With these tips, you can ensure you keep your physical, mental, and spiritual health in check all summer long.

So, take advantage of everything this season has to offer, practice intentional self-care, and let your inner self shine through.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

How Going Offline for 10 Days Healed My Anxiety

How Going Offline for 10 Days Healed My Anxiety

The first thought before going to bed is to check social media networks and news websites. This is the very first thought in the morning. Does it sound familiar? Hectic life in combination with toxic feelings (sadness, anger, fear) that we consume from the online world leads to the feelings of total confusion, stress, and anxiety.

I have immersed myself deeply into what was happening in the world, and one day I’ve realized that the mix of conflicting emotions prevented me from enjoying life, developing, and implementing my plans. I suspect I’m not alone. Thus, I’ve decided to leave this emotional burden behind for ten days just to find myself and get distracted. Here is what I have learned.

How to Get Rid of Anxiety

Anxiety for me is the feeling of inner turmoil, nervousness, and tension. Some people can experience FOBO. FOBO, the fear of being offline, refers to the anxiety related to missing something important if you’re not plugged in at. all. times.

It is expressed in panic in case of the absence of WI-FI or in the urgent necessity to check social media every five minutes. I was very close to suffering from FOBO. When I’ve decided to deal with anxiety, I tried many methods. Here are the most effective ones.

Pet therapy

This therapy gives not only amazing results but also cuteness overload! I am a huge fan of dogs, and I know how beneficial communication with pets is. Dogs can express their emotions through sounds, facial expressions, and certain actions.

Dogs have helped me find my inspiration and motivation, increase enthusiasm, boost activity levels, reduce the level of stress, calm down, relax, and forget about all the gadgets. Thus, the best way to interact with animals is joint games, tactile interaction, and communication.

Aromatherapy

It has long been proven that essential oils (the extract from plants) have healing properties. Further, they help get rid of stress, depression, and anxiety, improve mood, and strengthen the immune system.

Mint and lemon help get rid of excessive nervousness, lavender, chamomile, sage elevate mood and contribute to the overall relaxation, mimosa and cedar relieve depression.

You can choose any oil, the main criterion is that it should make you smile and evoke positive emotions. So, instead of spending much time on the web, close your eyes and enjoy aromatherapy.

How Going Offline for 10 Days Healed My Anxiety

Meditation

Meditation contributes to the detached perception of the problems of the surrounding world, prevents excessive compassion, empathy, fear. It gives peace and helps people discover their own inner-self.

Each time I am beset by panic or nervousness due to the impossibility of being online, I meditate. I’ve tried many techniques, and this method turned out to be the most effective for me.

  • Sit in a quiet, calm, cool place.
  • Close your eyes and scan yourself to check the current condition of your body and mind.
  • Start breathing deeply, practice deep breathing. Take a deep breath, feel how the stomach fills with air, and then slowly exhale.
  • Gradually clear your mind of all thoughts. Do not analyze, do not think about anything.
  • Feel the silence in the body and mind.
  • Visualize the state of absolute harmony and peace. You feel only relaxation and peace. You have no anxiety, you are confident and relaxed.
  • Stay in this state for a few minutes.
  • Focus on breathing again.
  • Open your eyes slowly and complete the meditation.

Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

There are methods that can reduce anxiety and promote self-care, inner peace, and harmony. So, whenever technology-related stuff makes you feel anxious and stressed out, try some of these anxiety management techniques.

Acknowledge and accept your anxiety

Anxiety leads to imbalance, a lack of harmony, self-love, and self-confidence. The very first step you should take is to acknowledge and accept your anxiety.

Avoiding, resisting, or pushing away negative thoughts and feelings won’t be helpful. You should practice full acceptance and mindfulness because it anchors you to the present moment.

Notice what you think, feel, and allow these things to be there. Do it without judgment. You bring kindness and gentle attention to these feelings and thoughts by allowing them to exist. Once you’ve done it, you stop recycling negative thoughts and start creating new feelings, emotions, and memories.

Talk to yourself

Self-talk is one of the effective ways to reduce anxiety and gain inner peace. Usually, negative thoughts are greatly exaggerated. So, you should change what you think, and it will change the actions you take.

Immerse yourself in the inner world, think about the situation in a more positive way, tell yourself positive statements (affirmations) to feel better. Here are my favorite ones:

  • This anxiety feels bad, but I can get over it.
  • Anxiety won’t spoil my life and won’t control me.
  • I don’t need the phone to see amazing things around me.
  • My life is beautiful, I feel great.

Distract yourself

This is an effective way of focusing on something positive and optimistic that can channel your energy in the right direction. You don’t live in the digital world, instead of it, you live in the present.

Use a proactive approach and focus on something unrelated. Here are my tips.

Get creative

Art is a therapeutic way to express yourself and get distracted. There are different types of art you can try to unleash your inner artist. They are creative writing, artistic design, graffiti, mosaic, painting, photography, performance.

Do sports

Sport is stress-relieving as it lowers the level of the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) and promotes the release of hormones of happiness. Besides, it improves sleep quality, promotes mental well-being, and boosts confidence. Therefore, anxiety is reduced.

You can try different activities that bring you both physical and mental benefits, for instance, Zumba, yoga, walking, rock climbing.

man reading a book.vintage colour effected photo.

Read a book

This is a great way to plunge into the world of fantasy and be filled with positive emotions. Choose your favorite genre that makes you smile.

Practice relaxation

It’s important to combat anxiety by activating the body’s natural relaxation response. It can be triggered by different techniques that provide relief, boost the mood, and give a feeling of hope. Here are some tips.

Listen to the soothing music

Slow-paced instrumental tune or songs can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.

Besides, nature sounds can be calming. Also, even your favorite energetic music can relax you.

Visualize being safe and comfortable

This type of meditation has a great calming effect on your mind and body. The technique is quite simple.

Sit in a quiet place and take a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in a beautiful garden, on the beach, or on a river bank. It can be any place that looks peaceful and harmonious to you. Watch how the waves come and go or the clouds pass by. Assign your bad thoughts and emotions to these waves, clouds, etc. and watch them float by.

Laugh

Laughing relieves stress, relaxes muscles, and improves the immune system. Truly, this is the best medicine!

How to Get Offline

Any activity should be used within reasonable limits. Though technologies make our life easier, if life is saturated with them, then this can lead to serious problems.

After I’ve been offline 10 days, I realized that sometimes a person needs a digital detox.

After this pause, I’ve become more productive, I’ve realized how many distractions I had, I’ve become much more relaxed, energized, and creative ideas have landed on me.

There are my tips on how to have a complete break from the web.

Put your phone out of sight

If there is no physical contact, then you don’t see any notifications and don’t use the phone. It’s simple! Instead of it, leave your phone at home as soon as possible, stroll the city, visit places that you have never visited. You will see how much interesting things happen in the real world.

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Use the airplane mode

This mode means that you don’t have an Internet connection. However, you still can use the camera to take photos, other Apps to read books or make notes.

Minimize daily distractions

If your work requires your control and attention, then try to minimize daily distractions. For this, switch off all push notifications, shut down the apps that are not important to you, check the email twice a day, postpone the implementation of non-urgent tasks, and plan your online activities.

Bottom Line

Being attached to your gadgets, virtual communication, and technologies leads to anxiety and addiction.

To combat this anxiety and become less dependent on technologies, practice relaxation, approach the described means in the right way to feel less stressed and more relaxed. Focus on real life, not the digital one, and always live the present.

Author Bio

Andrew Guerra is an editor of Memes Bams. He likes to share his thoughts with the people around. His writing on motivation, love has appeared to make our life better. Andrew believes in fairness and human wisdom. 

Why You Should Develop Happiness In These 5 Key Areas & How To Do It

Why You Should Develop Happiness In These 5 Key Areas & How To Do It

We all search for happiness. Everything we do, everything we feel, every word we speak is aimed at bringing us closer to a state of bliss. Many of us believe that happiness is something that happens by chance. It’s easy to become jealous when we see people living a happy life. We can easily assume that they’ve always had it easy and that somehow they’ve escaped the less desirable elements of life.

But the chances are that they’ve recognized something difficult to grasp: you must fight for true happiness. Here are a few things to think about to get closer to happiness.

Memory

If you’ve ever hit a rough spot in your life, you’ve probably since heard the phrase ‘Don’t dwell on the past.’ But our power to recall is one of the greatest assets we have in altering our mind frame. An inability to engage with our memory can hold us back and have very damaging results.

Memories are often changeable, and we attach different meanings to them at different times. So do recall memories, even painful ones, but allow yourself to see them in a new light.

Present

Having said that, it is also important to live in the now. If you spend your time dwelling things that are beyond control you lead yourself towards stress. Being present means that you can help yourself be okay with what may lay ahead. You can’t completely destroy the fear of what may come, but with enough willpower, that which we fear can be made to seem small. Whatever challenge you may face, visualize the moment as a thrilling waterslide that you must hurl yourself towards in order to get the best out of it.

Others

You cannot escape the fact that life would be very dull indeed were it not for other people. Our mood and well-being are completely linked with those that we associate with. You cannot please all the people all the time and conflicts are inevitable. But seeking to find de-escalation with these people is the best you can do. If you listen attentively, adopt a nonjudgmental attitude and forgive without condition, you’ll find your relationships improve. Loving environments take work and vulnerability from everyone involved, and sometimes it takes someone like you to make the first step.

Time

Time is a resource that seems to elude most people. It is a slippery thing that somehow always gets away. But once you learn how to control your time, you’ll find it much easier to do the things that make you happy.

Take a blank calendar and before you do anything else with fill in the dates which you know will make you happy, like birthdays, holidays and other anniversaries that will make smile. Make time for your passions.

Lifestyle

Our lifestyle choices changer as we get older. What made you happy when you were a teenager may not make you happy now. There is always room for change. If you’ve led a life that has meant you’ve only ever eaten junk food, drunk beer and watched TV – it may have worked for you at one point but ask yourself – does it now? You may find losing that weight, giving up that bad habit will be just the achievement you need to feel the happiness you seek.

Conversely, if you’ve worked since you left school, exercised every day and rushed about trying to hold your life together through stress, maybe its time to slow down and enjoy your life. There is nothing wrong with daydreaming.

Once you let go of the destructive habits that have limited your growth and create habits that create happiness, it will become easier to find joy in everything you do.

Author

Nora Mork is a lifestyle journalist at UK Writings and Essay Roo. She enjoys doing yoga, reading American literature, and writing columns for magazines and blogs, such as Boom Essays.

A Self-Care Necessity | My Morning Routine + Smile Brilliant Giveaway

A Self-Care Necessity | My Morning Routine + Smile Brilliant Giveaway

I do not know about you, but my morning routine is essential to get my day started. I am a type A person, so I like to have a routine which I keep the same. Because I love, even need, to be so organized, I would consider my morning routine a self-care necessity.

When I skip out on a major step in my routine, I feel far more sluggish and lazy. Additionally, I almost always have a slower start to my day and am far less productive. Getting my days started out right is a must. My morning routine laid out simply includes brushing my teeth, skin care, sometimes makeup, getting dressed, taking care of my bearded dragon, and finally, getting breakfast and caffeine. Let’s look deeper into my morning routine and all the amazing products I use

Stay tuned to the end of this post to enter an amazing giveaway!

Disclaimer: Elizabeth received products mentioned in this article for free in exchange for writing this post and social posts. Regardless, the opinions of Elizabeth expressed in this post are honest. See our Policies and Terms for more information.

A Self-Care Necessity | My Morning Routine + Smile Brilliant Giveaway

Step One: Brush Teeth

You could say that I am very adamant. I am adamant that I brush my teeth first thing every single morning. I can’t really get anything else done if I don’t. This is because I HATE the feeling that my mouth is dirty and my breath stinks. I don’t drink coffee, so, I don’t have to worry about staining at all.

My Tooth Story

According to my dentist, I have thick saliva (sounds gross right??). Having thick saliva means that my teeth require more effort while brushing to get clean. He recommends that I use a nice electric toothbrush.

So, I went to the grocery store and picked up a cheap store brand electric toothbrush. It wasn’t amazing but it did the job. Until my sister knocked it off the counter and it broke. I used a regular toothbrush for a while then I discovered Quip. I actually really enjoyed quip and its convenience. It’s a nice cheap option.

However, Smile Brilliant contacted me to see if I was interested in working with them again (I worked with them on teeth whitening before, read here). I enjoyed the teeth whitening. But, at my last dentist visit, my dentist recommended that I don’t use any more whiteners explaining that I have very white teeth and he doesn’t want my teeth’s strength compromised.

I was sad to tell Smile Brilliant that I could not work with them again. However, this time they wanted to know if I’d be interested in trying out their electric toothbrush. I was ecstatic, and I still am.

A Self-Care Necessity | My Morning Routine + Smile Brilliant Giveaway

My Toothbrush

When I received my cariPRO Ultrasonic toothbrush I was pumped to finally have a high-end electric toothbrush. The cariPRO has five settings, clean, white, massage, gum care, and sensitive. My favorite setting is white, but massage is probably a close second. I have strong teeth so the more gentle gum care and sensitive settings don’t work for me. They would be amazing if I had sensitive teeth or gums! The clean setting is slightly slower than clean, so I also enjoyed that setting.

In addition to the really cool settings, the toothbrush lasts forever! I literally charged it when I first got it about two weeks ago, I haven’t needed to charge it yet! The charging stand makes charging easy, but the battery life makes charging such a rare task.  

Since I already have pretty white teeth, the before and after comparison is nothing noticable. However, for my teeth, this is good! The cariPRO has kept up with my dental hiegyne swimmingly and leaves my mouth feeling phenomenal every time I brush!


If you are interested in the toothebrush use code: jihielephanttb20 for 20% off cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrushes!

Additionally, I am offering a giveaway! Enter the giveaway right here!


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Flossing

I am really bad about flossing, but I know it’s important. So, I try to remember to floss every morning. I do this by making my floss very visible and palcing it right by my tooth brush. I’d say I’m succeessful 50% of the time. However, 50% is always better than none at all!

Step Two: Wash My Face & Make-Up

The next step in my morning routine is to wash my face and (sometimes) put makeup on. Every single morning I use a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer on my face. My skin care routine immensely helps me to feel fresh and clean to get my morning started. I do not have any skin problems to note, so skin care has never been about cleanliness for me. However, I do love to feel fresh and washing my face helps me to feel like I am getting a fresh start.

Then, when I finish washing my face, I sometimes put on make-up. Since I work from home most of the time, I won’t put on make-up. My only problems are short blonde lashes and dark circles under my eyes. So, most of the time my make-up routine consists of mascara and a mineral powder foundation. If my circles are particularly dark, I’ll use concealer.

Products I Use & How You Can Get Them

If you are not aware, I am a Younique presenter, so naturally, all the products I use and love are Younique. If you are interested in any of these products contact me directly via Facebook or browse the website using my shopping link!

The products I use, are all part of Younique’s new YOU-OLOGY personalized skin-care line. These products are personalized to your skincare needs. You can manually personalize them or you can take the quiz to allow Younique to personalize them for you. I allow the quiz to create my products.

Cleanse

First, I cleanse my face. My cleanser is boosted using Replenishment, Oil control, and Exfoliating. My first round had pore diminishing instead of exfoliating, but they were sold out when I went to re-order. I love exfoliating cleansers so I just swapped. After I lather my face and rinse, I pat my face dry with a clean towel. I keep a white towel in the bathroom that is meant for ONLY my face.

Serum

Next, I use the serum. My serum is boosted using Firming, Brightening, and Glow. I always make sure that I use the serum and moisturizers on my neck as well for aging.

Moisturize

Last, I use my moisturizer. YOU-OLOGY comes with two moisturizers. One for daytime and one for nighttime. While we are talking about my morning routine, I will detail both moisturizers here for you just in case you were curious. My daytime moisturizer is boosted with Pore diminishing, Tinting, and Environmental shield. While my night cream is boosted with Hydrating, Puffiness reducing, and Time correcting.

When I finish with skincare, I might put my contact in. Though sometimes I prefer to wear my glasses instead.

Make-Up (Sometimes)

Next, I might put on my make-up. My make-up routine is fairly simple. If I decide I need makeup, I will always use two products. I use Epic Mascara and A Mineral Power Foundation. Occasionally, I might use concealer under my eyes. Again, I recommend browsing Younique or talking to me directly if you are interested.

I have the Epic mascara subscription, so I receive fresh mascara every three months. If I am feeling bold, I will use the whole 3D Fiber Lash Enhancing kit. I absolutely love how these products give my nothing eyelashes some oomph!

Because I am messy with my mascara, I will ALWAYS have to clean up my mess afterward.

Then, If I feel like it, Ill add concealer. I am the lightest shade, naturally. But there are quite a few shades to choose from! If I don’t add concealer (and if I do), I will use a Mineral Powder Foundation all over my face and under my eyes.

Vuala! I am done!

Step Three: Getting Dressed

This next step is the hardest most complex step. Just kidding, next I just get dressed. Getting dressed is important for all of the obvious reasons. But I find that once I have finished the first two steps I am generally pretty cold, so my main objective is to warm up and be prepared for the day. I work for home, so this step is pretty basic.

Step Four: Say ‘Good Morning’ to Fella & Feed Him

Next, I have a Bearded Dragon named Fella. His lights automatically turn on at 8 AM; however, he is not a morning fella so when I come around to say good morning he is usually still trying to sleep. I won’t let him sleep in though, so I drop him a couple of crickets so that he can get his morning exercise in. While he is wiping the crusties from is eyes to find his tasty crickets, I will grab him some fresh greens, which he won’t eat until lunchtime at least. He usually opts for his dish of dried bugs for breakfast.

This step in my morning routine is actually really important for my self-care. I am a caretaker, so I love taking care of things. I have countless houseplants to take care of and a crested gecko too. However, Fella required the most care and attention. I thoroughly enjoy talking to him and taking care of him every day, starting in the morning. Additionally, he is on my way to the kitchen for the next step in my morning!

Step Five: Get Breakfast & Caffeine

This final step is to get breakfast and caffiene. This step gets neglected ALL the time; however, it’s essential. I often skip breakfast or don’t have caffeine like coffee so I don’t worry about making any. I either drink Coconut coffee or an energy drink (which was probably store-brand and on sale). For breakfast, I try to make bacon and eggs or something, but I often end up with a pastry or some yogurt.

Regardless of how good I am at this step, I do notice a difference from when I eat breakfast and when I don’t. If I eat breakfast I am easily more productive in the morning and less hungry around lunchtime. But, I am lazy. Additionally, I generally try to stay away from caffeine unless my to-do list is ungodly and overwhelming for that day.

Conclusion

A mornig routine is essential to start a day off right and take care of yourself. My day often feels unproductive and incomplete if I am not able to finish my routine. My routine includes dental hygiene, skin care, getting dressed, feeding my pet, and eating breakfast. However, my favorite parts are my dental care, skin care, and pet care. What does your routine look like? Let me know in the comments below!


If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to enter my Smile Brilliant cariPRO Ultrasonic Electronic Toothbrush giveaway!


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Simple Ways to Wake Up Happier | Do This Before Bed

Sleep, among other things, is so incredibly important. Here are some really simple habits you can use to sleep great and wake up happier.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to bed, and there’s nothing that makes me happier than snuggling up under my duvet, flipping the pillow and drifting off at the end of a long day. However, this doesn’t help you throughout the stressful and commonly overwhelming daytime hours. This post will help you to wake up happier.

By putting yourself in the right frame of mind when you go to sleep, you can then rest easily. Th,en you can wake up in the best mindset, ready to face everything life has to throw at you the next day. With this in mind, here are some really simple habits to help you sleep great and wake up happier.

Avoid Stimulants and Depressants the Night Before

In the evenings, we get home after a long day, and all we want to do is put our feet up, and relax. Many of us will have our own different ways that we like to relax. You might want to sit and have a cup of coffee, nibble on your favourite candy, or have single glass of wine.

However, this may not always be best for you if you’re trying to get the best night’s sleep possible. In fact, these three elements have been known to disrupt your sleeping pattern. Additionally, they activate your intestinal functions that can keep you up at night.

Avoid Food

Hand in hand with the consideration above, it’s best to avoid food altogether. When it comes to bedtime and eating, your body will need to digest this food. Late night digestion can lead to stomach rumbles and digestive processes that can keep you up at night. Try and leave at least four hours between eating and going to bed.

Settling Arguments with Your Partner

If you’re going to bed next to your partner, but you’ve argued, it’s going to play on your mind. Further, it’s going to disrupt your sleep and therefore how effectively you rest, according to stydy by UC Berkely.

Margot Harper, a psychologist at Writinity and Lastminutewriting, explains, “If you’re sleeping in the same bed as your partner, it’s only natural that forcing yourself to sleep next to each other is only going to make things worse, so try settling the agreement and sorting it out, or sleeping elsewhere for a much more refreshing and less stressful sleep”.

Be Grateful

It’s surprising when you start becoming mindful of what kind of mood you’re in before you go to sleep. A lot of us find that we focus on the negative aspects of life, such as someone who annoyed us or a worry about paying our a bill.

Instead, try to sit on your bed as the last thing you do. You can close your eyes and think of three things you’re grateful for in that day. It could be the way that someone spoke to you, the way the birds were singing or anything else. No matter how big or small it may be, focusing on gratitude can make a huge difference.

According to study, gratitude helps you to sleep better and longer. This will help you to fall asleep with a positive attitude, a level of positivity that will reflect into your dreams and the next morning.

Cut Down on Digital Devices

All digital devices with a screen, such as our computers or smartphones, have a blue light that emits from the screen. This wavelength of blue light has been proven to stimulate our minds. Thus, making us believe that it’s daytime and therefore tricking our brains into making us not want to go to sleep.

Instead, try reducing the amount of time you spend on these devices. Try reducing technology use especially in the two hours before you try and sleep. This helps your eyes to get tired and want to sleep. Try doing something other than screens before bed. For example, reading or spending time with your loved ones.

Try Your Hand at Writing

Writing is renowned for its therapeutic properties, especially when it’s handwritten in the form of a journal or diary. While most people go to sleep with all the stresses and worries of their day in their heads, it’s far better to ‘vent’ and get it all down on paper, so you can clear your mind and your soul.

According to Robert McElveen, a Lifestyle blog editor at Draft Beyond and Researchpapersuk, “writing as the last thing you do at night, especially in a book, rather than a computer screen, is a great way to rewind, switch off and clear your mind of sleep-disrupting thoughts and feelings”.

Keep Your Window Open

According to study, even if your window is only open a little bit, this is far more beneficial than keeping it closed. When you breathe out, you’re expelling carbon dioxide into the air. While a breath of carbon dioxide, a gas known to be poisonous to human beings in large doses, doesn’t seem like a lot, if you’re sleeping for 8-hours a night, your room can fill up, and it can leave you feeling light-headed and achy, not the best start to your day.

Summary

As you can see, there are many things you can do when it comes to making sure your bedtime is actually bedtime, enabling you to enjoy some of the best night’s sleep you’ll have had in a long time, leading to a happier, healthier, most energetic you!

Cornelius J. Johnson is a regular contributor to Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays. As a specialist in Marketing, he loves to write about entrepreneurship and aspects of finance and marketing.

6 Ways to Manage Your Stress Easily

We all get stressed, that is an inevitable part of life. However, many people let their stress go unchecked and take control of their lives. And this does not have to be the case. There are hundreds of ways to manage stress and self-care is a common way to handle all that life throws at you. You can check out 101 ways to practice self-care, in this article we will draw from this list and tackle 6 ways to manage your stress easily.

What are the Symptoms of Stress?

There are a plethora of symptoms of stress, some of which you may not be familiar with. Here is a list of some of the symptoms of stress which you might be experiencing.

  • Headaches
  • Grinding teeth
  • Stuttering / stammering
  • Neck ache or back pain
  • Lightheadedness / faintness / dizziness
  • Frequent blushing
  • Frequent sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent colds
  • Rashes, itching, or hives
  • Excess belching or flatulence
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excess anxiety
  • Increased anger or frustration
  • frequent or wild mood swings
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble learning new information
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Nervous habits such as fidgeting or feet tapping
  • Increased irritability
  • Overreaction to petty annoyances
  • Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  • Social withdrawal
  • Constant tiredness or fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss (without diet)

Keep in mind that this already lengthy and simplified list of symptoms are only a small portion of the possible symptoms of stress. If you are feeling stress or any of these symptoms, try some of these methods to manage your stress and possible reduce these symptoms.

Get Enough Sleep

One of the first and easiest ways to manage your stress is to get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need about  8-10 hours, younger adults and adults need 7-9 hours, and older adults require 7-8 hours. If you are not getting enough sleep, it is likely that the sleep deprivation is aggravating your stress, especially your symptoms. SO, get the amount of sleep your body requires to keep itself regulated!

Eat Right

You’ve heard it over and over again, eating right does wonders. Now, this one isn’t necessarily easy; however, there are easy ways to eat right. Try snacking on your favorite vegetables, or saying no to sugary treats. Drink carbonated water instead of soda or coffee instead of an energy drink. Doing one of these easy tasks each day is a simple start to eating healthy and managing your stress.

Go For A Walk or Run

It is well documented that exercise is great for mental and physical well-being, so it goes without saying that going for a quick 5 or 10 minute walk or run can help to relieve stress among other physical and mental ailments. If you live somewhere where the weather allows you to, I highly recommend walking or running outdoors! The fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for you mood! Just be sure to drink enough water!

Meditate

What is meditation? Meditation is a practice of mindfulness. What is great about meditation is that you can do it while doing other activities like cleaning or taking a walk. When you are driving you can turn off the radio and mindfully focus on your driving. While walking keep your headphones out and pay attention to the nature and noise around you, or focus on your breathing. Practicing mindful meditation allows you to get out of your head and therefore helps you to manage your stress. This one is an easy no-brainer.

Be Creative

Having some kind of creative outlet can do wonders to your stress. I know that when I get super stressed, stopping for a moment and doing some painting or drawing can turn my mood around quickly. If you aren’t super creative or you are out of ideas try some of these fun art activities for stress

  • Finger paint
  • Doodle
  • Coloring book
  • Draw your mood
  • Playdough or clay
  • Image Collage

Clean Up Your Space

Chaos and mess can exacerbate stress. This often stems from a lack of control. Doing a simple clean up or declutter of your space can change your mood and help you to relieve your stress. It relieves you from clutter, can save you money, can be a form of exercise, and can be a form of meditation.

It’s obvious why cleaning up relieves you from stress. It can save you money in many ways. First, you can sell stuff you don’t use, but is still usable. Someone else may enjoy what you do not. Second, you save money from coming to terms with what you don’t need and you avoid buying it again. If you find that you’ve never used some of your kitchen appliances, sell them or gift them. Now you know you’ll never use something like that and you can avoid buying it in the future.

Cleaning is a form of exercise, of course this is once again, obvious. You are moving around lifting items, moving items, etc. You are getting a nice little workout in. Cleaning is also a form of meditation. Practicing mindfulness and meditating while you clean is one of the easiest ways to manage your stress. You are likely to get the cleaning done anyways, might as well enhance its positive effects!

Whenever you are feeling stressed, be sure to try some of these easy stress management techniques. Try to get enough sleep, eat right, go for a walk or run, meditate, be creative, or clean up your space.

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