Five important parts of self-care that are often overlooked:

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When you think about self-care what do you think about? Staying in with a glass of wine, a book, and a face mask? You can read about self-care on every major blog, site, and publication. Self-care is in! And I’m really happy to see people talk about taking care of themselves. Nothing in your life is going to work if you’re body and mind aren’t.

But one thing I’ve noticed about the most popular self-care posts is that they only seem to focus on the R&R part of self-care, which is important, but it doesn’t cover the scope of what it means to take care of yourself. So, this blog post isn’t going to cover the topics that you normally see covered. I’m going to talk about the parts of self-care that are just as important, even if they don’t sound so relaxing.

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Keeping Ourselves from Overdosing on Politics in our Daily Lives.

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It’s been a crazy year politically, but it’s been a crazy year for my view of politics also.

I went to small private college that was very political. Every class was political, every time someone raised their hands it was political. I was overdosing, so to deal with it I drew a firm line in the sand and stated that I didn’t care about politics. And I didn’t, I kept it up all four years. I only voted my freshman year for president and didn’t talk about politics or read about them. I blocked them out of my life everywhere but the classroom, and then rolled my eyes at how people couldn’t seem to talk about anything without them.

Then I graduated and I was no longer overdosing, because people don’t actually talk about politics all the time in the real world. People talk more about boyfriends, buying houses, sports, music. The topic would come up, I started caring a little more about the issues, because it was something you could debate, then close and move onto something else. It was nice. I felt at peace with it.

Then the 2016 election happened and ever since everyone has gone back to talking about politics 24/7 like I was in a classroom again. The issues come up more in real life, people debate more, and they get much angrier than before. And online? Online has become a toxic graveyard where people only seem to want to talk politics. The “talks” aren’t even that, they’re screaming matches, spattered with insults. Nobody can seem to agree to disagree and no one can seem to scroll or walk by something they dislike without commenting on it.

It’s dangerous surrounding yourself with that kind of content all the time, whether online or off. When people are hostile you get hostile. When faced with extremes our own opinions often become more extreme. We start to get to the point we can’t disconnect anything from politics.

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Your dreams don’t have to be big.

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In college I remember being hit upside the head with a realization.

My dreams are boring.

Everyone around me was talking about big dreams. They were talking about changing the world. They were talking about having the kinds of jobs that only a select number get to enjoy. They wanted to be professional nomads, traveling the world and working digitally. The ones that didn’t care about work had huge adventure bucket lists. They’d talk for hours about their plans, some of which that sounded so big that it’s hard to believe they could happen. Then they would turn to me and say “Anna, what do you want?”

“A house on the outskirts of town. A husband. Some kids. A horse. A job that allows me to afford it.”

“That’s it?”

“It’d be really awesome if I could get some of my novels published too. I’d like to have people read them.”

That’s all I want, those are my biggest dreams. They say shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land among the stars, but maybe I want to land on a three acre lot somewhere in North Carolina.

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Seven Things:

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I’ve always loved internet round ups so I thought I’d start doing them at least once a month. I’ve made a few before, but this time I’m making a format and going to try to stick with it. So here are seven things from around the web!

  • Since I’ve started working again I suddenly need to wear less of my beloved denim and more dress pants. These slacks are going to be the only ones I buy from now on.
  • It’s a dream come true! Joanna Gaines is opening a line at Target. Excuse me as I go buy things for the apartment I have yet to move into.
  • If you’re a bookworm and/or a writer, this twitter feed has been making me laugh recently. It’s been a wonderful addition to my timeline, because I’ve recently done a lot of unfollowing to get rid of politics and bring in things I love.
  • I saw this seven year old being a fashion CEO on my Facebook timeline the other day and started laughing very loudly in my cubical. This is basically how I imagine the fashion world works.
  • This song off of Thomas Rhett’s new album is sublime. I’m obsessed with it.
  • My last blog post on mental health got featured. It’s the first time that’s ever happened, so I was beyond excited to see it. I’m really glad I added that category to my blog this year.
  • I love good satire news, I recently found the Christian version of the Onion.  I didn’t expect it to be so good.

You’re a person, you don’t have to stay on brand all the time.

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In this social media world we live in it’s easy to get caught up in our aesthetic. I don’t think that word was a part of my everyday vocabulary until about two or three years ago. In some ways it’s wonderful to be able to express exactly what you like so easily. It’s nice being able to control what kind of vibes you let off into the world.

But, this shift in how we’re presenting ourselves has lead us to keeping certain parts of ourselves ‘offline’ or just generally ‘out of sight’. I know I’ve faced this myself, having a great memory or picture but not wanting to post it because it doesn’t fit with my Instagram feed. Or even offline, finding a dress I really like and would wear but not buying it because I don’t know if it really meshes with my style.

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When Self-Acceptance Gets in Our Way:

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Self-acceptance is really important. As someone who was bullied very badly as a child I’ll be the first to praise loving yourself even when others don’t. Self-acceptance isn’t very controversial, nor should it be, but it has its down falls when its taken too far. And I’m not talking about narcissism. I’m talking about when self-acceptance gets in your way of progress.

You should never be 100% satisfied with yourself. It’s dangerous, because it means that you don’t try to improve yourself. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be happy with yourself. You can accept yourself as being the beautiful work in progress you are. In fact, that’s what you should do.

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Our electronics are getting smarter. Are we?

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I keep thinking about how I need to be spending less time online, because I’m not only spending my free time sucked into a device, but I’m also doing it at work now. I’ll unplug briefly while on the horse or at dinner with a friend, but I feel like the only time I’m truly 100% unplugged is when I’m asleep and that is terrifying.

I’ve read a lot of posts and articles on smartphone addiction and every time I do I feel great proudly announcing that I’m not addicted to my phone, because in fact, I actually forget my phone and don’t have it on me all that often. But here’s the hitch, and it’s a really big one, I’m addicted to my laptop, so it really doesn’t matter whether I have my phone or not. Obviously with a laptop I’m only drawn to it when I’m at home. When I’m out of the house I don’t think about checking anything or tweeting out, but the moment I step through my front door I feel a gravitational pull towards it.

I’ve fallen into a routine of checking certain sites for updates, and listening to lectures and podcasts while I do it so I feel productive. I’m not being productive. I’m feeding myself the exact same type of information every single day. It’s become completely mindless.

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