Self-care: What counts towards it and why it often looks like hard work

IMG_20181118_142711_413.jpg

I have briefly talking about this topic before when I talked about five important parts of self-care that are often over looked. I said that self-care doesn’t always mean face masks and a glass of wine, in fact, it often doesn’t mean that. Self-care also doesn’t always mean wasting time watching TV. Of course you deserve down-time, but rest is only one thing our body needs, and as a society, it’s the only part of self-care people seem worth mentioning. Which is fine if you’re the type of person who schedules to much on their to do list and are always running around, but if you’re someone who likes to spend most of your time off work relaxing, than that void is filled.

I’m not going to repeat what I posted on my last post, but I am going to really go into the things you need to do to take care of yourself, in the truest meaning of the word.

  • Take care of your finances. Self-care can mean spending for some people. They get into the Parks and Rec. “treat yourself” mindset. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, everyone should do it from time to time, but when your idea of self-care is shopping you need to take a long look at if that’s actually taking care of anything. Sure it gives you a brief rush of endorphins, that’s why people have shopping problems to begin with, but saving can bring similar emotions. You see there is nothing quite like the giddy pride of seeing your savings account grow, and there is nothing like the moment when you get to take the money out when you need it to care for yourself later on. You don’t need a new purse to care about your mind, but you might need a savings account to care for your broken wrist later on.
  • Take care of your body. You only have one, it needs as much help as everything else in your life. Maybe you need to feed it healthier food. Maybe you need to learn how to cook healthier food. Maybe you need to get up and go for a long walk that will both get your heart rate up and clear your mind. Maybe you need to start going to the gym. Maybe you should sweat it out in the sauna. The thing is your body needs some love, and often when we think of self-care, we’re treating our mind. After all, working out seems like a chore, but clearly it doesn’t have to be. For me, riding my horse counts as working out. My body and my mind both love it. As for salads, I stack mine with fruit, but maybe you just need to do a few days of eating right to set your body back on track, that’s alright too. Learning what your body needs and giving it to it is ultimate self care.
  • Take care of your life. Life can seem like an endless to-do list and sometimes stepping away from it can feel like the ultimate self care, and sometimes, it really is. But sometimes getting up and taking care of business is the ultimate act of self care because you’ll reap the rewards from it later on. That to-do list has the things on it that you need to complete to advance or live in a clean environment. Life comes with a lot of burdens, you have to get through them to  have them lifted, nothing proves that more than the feeling you get when you finish a to-do list.

Continue reading

Creating goals for 2019 and reflecting on those from 2018:

20181209_105711.jpg

Looking back on my goals for 2018, I can say that I didn’t knock them all off my list, but that’s how it always goes, isn’t it? Maybe not, maybe you’re much better at this than I am. But I’m still proud of my half finished list, because a lot happened this year that wasn’t on my list, so I still feel like I came out ahead.

  • More time on hobbies, less time online: Check! But could use to do even better at this. I still spend too much time online.
  • Read the entire bible: Opps. I started strong and then faded out.
  • Be more aware of what I’m eating: Check! My diet has been so great this last year, really unrecognizable from 2017.
  • Being a better friend: Half check? I did better some months than others.
  • Read more than 30 books: I read about ten, but to be fair they were all over 600 pages. That counts, right??
  • Finish writing two novels: I finished one! Still not bad!
  • Wean myself off sleeping pills: Check, haven’t taken one in months!

Now for my upcoming goals for 2019:

Continue reading

You are capable of evil, acknowledge that so you can foster goodness:

IMG_20181101_232652_500.jpg

When I was in college I took a basic physiology class, there was one girl in the class that objected to everything. If there was decades of studies proven that humans tend to do this terrible thing in this circumstance she would scream about how she would never do that. At first you could excuse her outburst, it’s hard to process that we are all capable of doing terrible things. It’s hard to process that if you were in a different situation with a different upbringing you could be a killer, or a rapist, or whatever else. Nobody likes to think about it, but it’s true for everyone. Humans are capable of terrible things, and therefore you are, no exceptions.

Her outbursts weren’t just at the beginning, they weren’t even rare, they were present after every topic, a few times a class. They got more and more defensive. It was frustrating, but it’s not unusual. Scrolling through peoples responses to level headed articles about how everyone contributes to evil you’ll see that she was not an outlier.

People honestly don’t believe they are capable of bad. They don’t think their group is capable of the bad things a different group did. They don’t acknowledge that we can all be manipulated to others gain or demise if someone took the time to learn how we tick. People don’t want to think about the fact that the media they are taking in influences them, and that if they slipped into reading more extreme outlets they they too could become the extremists. They don’t want to talk about the terrible things they might be willing to do if they supported the outcome of them.

I mean, who would?

Continue reading

Life update: I’m engaged!!

Yesterday the love of my life asked me to be his wife. I’ve been in a daze all day, and I mean that in the best way. I’m so overjoyed that my body is having problems processing it. I’ve wanted this since I was little, and Chris, somehow managed to be everything I didn’t know I needed. He’s my match, he’s so good to me, and I’ve never felt more at home with a person. To say I said yes would be a giant understatement, though I’m pretty sure that was the only word out of my mouth. I was caught off guard. It wasn’t how I saw my Thursday night going. I actually didn’t cry till later that night because it hadn’t fully hit me. It’s still hitting me in phases if I being honest. I’m just now wrapping my head around the fact that we have to plan a wedding now. I’m going to be Mrs. Smith!! I’m so beyond excited.

I’ll let you know how it happened:

Chris proposed right after my horseback lesson, which was perfect because the farm has always been one of my favorite places on earth. I saw my parents and I was confused then it hit me and I went “is what I think is happening happening?” I stumbled off the horse, my foot getting stuck in the stirrup. He asked me I said yes, we hug, everyone cheers. It was magical in more ways than one, and I’ve been watching the video all day smiling.

The ring was custom made with my moms help. It is from the same jeweler that my dad bought my mom’s ring from. It’s absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It’s stunning. Chris was planning to propose this weekend, but once he got the ring in his hand yesterday he decided that he couldn’t wait. I’m glad he didn’t, I wouldn’t change a thing, though some natural light would have made for better pictures.

I’m so overjoyed, I’m so beside myself. Congratulations keep pouring in and I keep pinching myself to prove that this is all real and happening.

The date is to come, but let me tell you, it can’t come soon enough.

A different kind of holiday gift guide:

daria-shevtsova-426320-unsplash

There is a lot to think about when it comes to gifts this time of year. Some of it is logistical, figuring out what to give people, figuring out who is exchanging gifts and who isn’t, figuring out what you can afford to do financially. But I want us to put the logistical questions aside for a second and really think about gift giving as a whole.

As we get older we begin to see Christmas for what it is really worth. We start to see it as a celebration of our Saviors birth, a celebration that we get to enjoy with our loved ones. We see it as a time of merriment that is about more than just gifts, but that doesn’t mean the gifts stop being an important part of the season. We know that, because in America holiday spending alone is used to determine the state of our economy. People spend more money during the holiday season than any other time of year. We sink billions and billions into this time of year. Clearly the gifts have become important, whether they were meant to be or not.

If we’re spending that kind of money on gifts for this short holiday season I think it makes sense to take a really good look at what gift giving means to us. So I’m going to pose a few question:

  • If you were to give gifts and not receive any in return would you be okay with that?
  • If someone went out of their way to make you feel special, would that be enough of a gift for you?
  • Do you have a set number of gifts you want to give your children or loved ones? Why did you set it?
  • If someone were to give to a charity in your name would you be happier than if you received a gift yourself?
  • Would you opt to give a gift instead of a charitable donation because your afraid it wouldn’t be received well?

Continue reading

A giving of thanks:

img_5027

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I know everyone and their mother makes a post about what they are thankful for, but I love it, whether it is repetitive or not, because I love reading peoples posts and finding other things that I fail to be grateful for on a daily bases. It’s so important to give thanks and I’m glad we’ve created a holiday around it, after all I believe gratitude and perspective are two big keys to happiness.

So without farther ado here is what I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving:

2018. I’m thankful to be alive in this year. No matter what bad we have going on, (there is always a lot of it) I’m thankful to be alive at a time where the global poverty rate is dropping faster than it ever has. I’m thankful to have transportation, technology, grocery stores, medication, vaccines, running water, organizations that help the needy, and organized systems of living that improve our quality of life.

My family. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’m thankful that no matter what happens I know I can lean on them when I’m weak. It’s wonderful to have this much support and this much love pouring in from the very people who know me best.

Love. This year has blessed me with romantic love, something I’ve been praying for for a while. I’m beyond thankful that Chris has walked into my life and that I have a partner to take on the world with. I’m thankful he is the kind of man I’ve always needed, not to mention wanted. I’m thankful God didn’t listen to me when I tried to take control of his timing during my dating years.

Growth. I’m thankful that we aren’t stuck in our lives or our opinions. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to grow my opinions, change my stances. I’m glad I can move on from things not meant for me. I’m thankful that I’m not stagnant, that I’m not who I was a year ago, or ten years ago. I’m glad I get to keep getting better, and if I get worse, that I’m able to correct it later on.

Work. I’m thankful to be able to work (I wasn’t able to for a long time) and I’m thankful to be working a job I love. I’m thankful for good co-workers and good bosses. I’m thankful to be able to make my own living and not have to rely on a system that often fails. I’m thankful that I can see the benefits of my labor.

Continue reading

Actually it does matter: Not dismissing your emotions.

IMG_20181101_232245_188.jpg

When I get upset I tend to tell myself “it doesn’t matter”. When people get angry they tend to tell themselves that the people they’re angry at “don’t matter”. When big things go wrong in our lives we tend to say “it doesn’t matter”. As if saying this over and over again will make it true, like it will take these things that obviously do matter and make them cease to.

It might seem harmless, but pretending things don’t bother you doesn’t make them stop bothering you, it just suppresses them so they can come back and bite you later. It’s why people bring up long past arguments in fights. Those things were never resolved, and yes, they’re still angry about them, even though the person they are fighting with has long since forgotten them. It’s a surprise to them, which normally makes the fight deteriorate at a rapid speed.

So yes, it does matter, it all matters. If you’re trying to dismiss something because you don’t think it should matter, that’s still something you need to dissect. If it shouldn’t be a big deal you need to figure out why it still feels like a big deal to you. Maybe you don’t need to get the other person involved, maybe it has nothing to do with them. If it is you, you should adjust, but if it’s them, or even a little bit of you both (which it normally is) you need to talk about it. Notice that I said talk, not scream, it’s normally best to calmly discuss things so you don’t end up attacking instead of resolving.

Continue reading