Feel Good Favorites ★☽ PART ONE

Good morning, loves. Sorry that I haven’t posted here in a while, my anxiety has been having a bit of fun with me lately and I just didn’t feel like writing. I nearly had a panic attack earlier this week for the first time in several months. On the upside, though, it was a powerful reminder to take care of myself to the best of my ability and show compassion towards others (because what’s the fun in loving yourself if you aren’t loving other people, too?). I’ve been doing my best to heal myself (medication of course included, I take it daily) and have found some things that seem to be working for me quite well. I hope my list gives you some inspiration on how to be good to yourself or simply serves as a reminder that you’re not alone on your journeys to self-love and personal growth. And for those of us recovering, I’d like to mention that no recovery is perfect; there will be relapses and mistakes and fuck-ups. That does not mean we failed. You can only fail if you don’t try again the next day!

1. The Nutribullet. I was blessed and lucky enough that my parents were able to get me a Nutribullet for my 20th birthday (!! Squeee!!). Not only is it super satisfying to see all the solid stuff turn into a smooth blend, but it’s added a bit of motivation for me to eat healthier and try new fruit/greens combinations. My personal favorite concoction so far is a banana, some frozen strawberries/blueberries, some fresh spring mix salad, lemon-flavored greek yogurt, and a touch of water. If any of y’all have this device or something similar I recommend that blend (and psst- tell me down below what your favorite is!).

2. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. While I don’t agree 100% with all that she writes, I think her “Desire Map” is a simple but brilliant concept! I first snatched up this book at the library when I was browsing self-help books (yes, I’m THAT person) and I really enjoyed it. The only problem was that the second half of the book was a workbook and it felt imperative to complete that section in order to reap all of its benefits. So I was able to get my own personal copy and having been writing in it ever since. It’s a very good practice for anyone that’s trying to understand themselves better and, as the author Danielle puts it, create goals with soul. It’s certainly an interesting read.

3. A daily yoga practice. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before how much I dig yoga. It feels energizing, restorative, and all around lovely. My goal everyday is to allow myself 30 minutes (at the least) to do some yoga. The ideal goal would be 60 minutes per day, but I’m having trouble committing to just half an hour so I’m still in the process. It’s awesome if you join some sort of class, but for me I enjoy it most when I’m by myself and I don’t have the time/money to attend one. I find the best thing that works for me is setting up my laptop near my mat and putting on some Youtube videos. I recommend a channel like DoYouYoga for everyone, especially if they’re beginners because the yogis are excellent at explaining how the positions should look/work. My go-to teacher on their is Erin Motz. I like to either watch a few of her videos from the 30 Day Yoga Challenge or just her 30 minute routine video. Wherever you go to practice, just do it! I promise it will help you with your mindset and health so much.

That’s it for today- within the next few days I’ll finish up the list with my other feel good favorites. For now, I wish you all the best of luck and am giving you all big internet hugs.

Loads of love,

Violet XO

Tips on psyching yourself up for a shift or work day!

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope your weekend is as fabulous as you (which is, like, super fab) and you accomplish any and all of your goals. I only work one day this weekend so I’m pretty excited to have time to complete my homework for the upcoming week and clean house. My niece is staying with us this weekend and I have tons of fun things for the two of us to do. I try to spend as much time with her as possible, since I work during the weekends and that’s the only time she visits us.

Speaking of work, I mentioned last week that I would post up a list of the ways I get myself in a positive and more relaxed state of mind before heading out to my job, so here it is: eight tips I’ve learned to use when I’m working and can guarantee some stress.

Have filling, nutritious meals. I love me some snacks and junk food, but I do my best to avoid them when I know it’s going to be a long day. So I make sure to have decent-sized meals (pretty much whatever I know I’ll be home for) that are packed with the fuel my body needs. For example, having some nuts, whole grain toast or tortilla, almond milk, a side of fruit, etc. You can get really creative with how you’re going to treat your body kindly; there is a plethora of healthy meal ideas on the internet. On days where I stick with this goal, I not only feel more energized (and therefore better equipped to work my shift) but also happier and less grumpy.

Power Poses. I already wrote a post about Power Poses so I’ll keep this short. Do them for at least 2 minutes a day, every day. Especially when you have work. It really does help to keep you as stress-free as possible. Bonus: it makes you feel confident!

Sweat out the nervousness. When we’re busy, we tend to forgo the 30 minutes of exercise that we should be doing every day. I get it, I’m still working on finding a routine that works with me and my schedule. But I’ve noticed I perform best when I’ve had a long session of Yoga or even just a 15 minute cardio routine beforehand. It helps you release some of your tension and will also make you more awake and ready to do your best.

Stay hydrated. Yes, just because you work doesn’t mean you get to skip out on hydrating yourself! 😉 Drinking eight glasses of good ol’ H2O will keep you healthy ~and~ put you in a better mood. Studies have shown that sometimes we’re bitter grumps simply because we’re dehydrated. It’s hard to stay cheerful when you’re thirsty. Read more about it here: http://healthymonday.syr.edu/blog/student-voice/drinking-water-will-improve-your-life.html

Make room for Me Time. Whatever Me Time means to you, just do it. You need to make the time for yourself to relax and be at peace- otherwise you’ll go crazy and become too stressed to function properly. For me, that means popping a lemon pound cake-scented wax melt into my melt warmer, playing music that speaks to my soul, drinking a big cup of warm tea, and dicking around on the internet. Everybody requires some R & R. You deserve this time, okay?

Keep track of non-work-related chores you need to do. There’s something strangely comforting about writing up a daily To Do list. Of course, it’s also incredibly satisfying to cross those duties off! Keeping a small To Do list with important non-work things you have to complete will make sure you don’t fall behind- which will just mean more stress for you- and give you that lovely feeling of knowing you kicked the day’s ass.

Stay inspired. Joel Osteen said, “When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.” This quote is 110% truth. It is not other people’s jobs to keep you motivated, it is yours. Do whatever you need to do; find that inspiration, look for more, and work at it every damn day. Your happiness and inspiration is purely yours to worry about. Keep an inspiration Pinterest board, tape up motivational words on your walls, etc. Always be seeking and soaking in that inspiration.

Lastly, remember why you started. Why are you in this position- are you getting your foot in the door of the career world of your dreams? Testing the waters? Are you doing this for some much-needed income? Do you usually enjoy your work but hate the stress it comes with? Reminding yourself of your reasons for doing this job will add fuel to your inner-fire and keep you going strong. You can do this.

I hope these little tricks help you as much as they’ve been helping me. Let me know in the comments down below what your personal tips are for psyching yourself up for a workday.

Much love and positive vibes,

Violet XO

I love winter, but I want my Vitamin D!

Hi, lovelies.

It’s been one of those days.. It seems that in winter (without much sun or my favorite weather, rain) I always find myself in a deep slump. I’m either totally bored, grumpy, or not feeling satisfied with my productivity level. It’s during this season that I need to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my well-being. If you feel the same as myself and many others,- and even if you don’t, it’s still important- take some time today to figure out the ways you can take care of yourself wholly. After all, it’s hard to help out and be kind to others when you’re not feeling well!

How do you practice self-care during these harsher months?

As for myself, I tend to:

❀ Get out of my own head, be it through reading books, watching documentaries, or creating something that requires my focus and attention.

❀ Take multivitamins once a day. I am by no means a doctor (and you should always ask yours first before taking any sort of supplement, but my psychiatrist recommends I take them because we don’t always get enough sunlight/nutrients. I suggest bringing it up with your physician; especially if you take certain types of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds like I do.

❀ Try my best to quell feelings of boredom. This means that whenever I’m feeling particularly lethargic and bored, I force myself to get up and do something. When I feel the laziness and dissatisfaction arising, I shall try out a new makeup look (the crazier the better!), make something for someone, bake a sweet treat, look for new music, try out a new meditation or exercise, annoy my merm with random questions, art to my RSL (Radical Self Love) Bible, etc. The possibilities to fill up your boring time are pretty much endless.

❀ Carve out a block of time to work out and pump up those endorphins, and also to meditate. My personal favorite meditations can all be found on Youtube and include Gabrielle Bernstein, The Five Minute Miracle, and Positive Change by The Mind Guide.

❀ Go outside! It’s always incredible to me how much we need nature to be healthy and feel whole. It’s so easy to become hermits and blanket burritos this time of year, but I promise some time outside will do you good. Just remember to dress warmly! Bonus points if you walk your furry friend(s).

❀ Get the chores I hate out of the way. Yeah, I’m looking at you, pile of dirty laundry and un-swept bedroom floor. It’s hard to not feel productive when you’ve already tackled the big things.

Let me know if these tips help you out, or if you have any to add to my list! 🙂

Much love and warm wishes, from me to you. Stay cozy!

New Chapters + Goals

Hello, darlings.

I’m happy to say that the semester is officially over (!!) and I’ll now be able to get back on track with this blog. The past few months of schoolwork and such are done and it’s time for me to process what has happened; i.e. not talking with or hanging out with friends as much, tons of stress over grades, not meeting my own expectations in finals, and the ending of a wonderful, enlightening class about Counseling/Interviewing. Right now, I’m in the process of accepting that this semester wasn’t perfect or incredible and that it is all over.

But all things end.

Tonight is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Yes, I totally just used a shitty cliche. But damn if it doesn’t apply to the situation perfectly! So while I’m accepting these things I’m also going to be setting up some good goals for myself for the glorious rest time that I have between semesters. I’m going to illustrate those goals, put them up in my room so I can see them every day, and work hard towards them every day. I’m still going to rest a lot (I need the rejuvenation, I worked my butt off this semester!) but I also want to be productive and proud of myself, too.

I feel like even though every day is a fresh start and a blank canvas, this time is going to be more of a new day than ever. I’m excited for what the future holds for me. I’m slightly terrified of what it holds, too. I mean, what if I fail? What if I disappoint myself again?

All I can say to this fear and doubt is: *shrug*

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Seriously- I can’t chance being fearful and not getting anywhere. I need to keep on walking forward, even if it means taking tiny steps some days and a couple steps back some others.

What does this time of year feel like for you? Are you making new goals? What would you like for the rest of 2014?

So my spontaneous (AKA: from this morning) resolution for the Witch’s New Year is going to drive me insane.

Hello, beautiful people! I haven’t written on here in what seems like forever. School is past midterm so I’ve been really focusing on homework, while attempting to stay sociable, healthy, get sleep, and take care of my precious bb loaches.

Not my actual Loaches in this pic. But they are totes this adorable.

Not my actual Loaches in this pic. But they are totes this adorable.

Since yesterday was the wonderful Samhain, it is the time if year for me to start drafting out some new, positive resolutions and kick some booty. Usually I just stick to completing my bucket list, but this year (and this morning, cough) I’ve decided to participate in the dreaded…

Nanowrimo!!

*GASP*

Yep, I’m basically determined to drive myself batshit crazy this month. Let’s hope I don’t die, K?

So on this exciting adventure, I’ll post probably once a week or so and update y’all on my progress. And reassure you guys that I haven’t passed on yet, haha. Hopefully this act of madness will inspire you wonderful interwebs lovelies to challenge yourself and try something new and wild.

Much love & Caffeine,

Violet P.

PS: If you want to learn more about Nanowrimo, you can visit the official website http://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works. It might also help to check out this article on how to survive this ridiculous shit: http://www.xojane.com/fun/national-novel-writing-month.

Good luck, babes!

Nuuuu, not Mercury Retrograde!

Good morning and happy Friday, beautifuls! How was your week? Have you been participating in #Lovetober? I have- it’s actually been very nice and relatively simple. It’s a little something I get to look forward to each day. 🙂 Let me know if you guys want me to share mine.

So Gala Darling (Glitter Goddess) has reminded us all that- once again 😦 – Mercury is in fucking retrograde. I actually found the best thing on the Interwebs recently:

heheheh.

heheheh.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Mercury Retrograde is a time when the planet Mercury appears to be orbiting backwards; rising in the west and setting in the east. According to my Astronomy class, it looks like that because Mercury has a longer orbital path than Earth- meaning the circle it makes around the sun is larger than that of Earth. Because of this, the Earth sometimes “catches up” to Mercury and passes it, making Mercury seem as though it is moving backwards in the sky. In more spiritual terms, Mercury Retrograde is a time when the attributions of Mercury (travel, transportation, messages, communication, etc.) are in their messed up, weakest forms. Gala Darling describes it here:

“It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either. Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs!”

Cue the universal ughhhhhhhghghghghgh.

Not the best time of the year for those of us who depend on creativity, communication, and getting shit done. So what the hell can one do to make the best of this frustrating event?

Should we panic??! Let's panic!!

Should we panic??! Let’s panic!!

Luckily, there are several guides on how to survive Mercury Retrograde and even make it into a beautiful situation. I’ve listed several links to guides I’ve found most helpful. Even though it technically doesn’t even start until tomorrow, it’s best to have our shit together as best as we can and prepare!

http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-survive-mercury-retrograde/

http://astrology.about.com/od/advancedastrology/p/MercuryRetro.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-schwimmer/top-10-things-not-to-do-d_b_4133136.html

http://www.beyondsunsigns.com/mercretfaq.html

http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/707

Belated Dares & Tears Tuesday

Good morning, fellow rays of sunshine! I feel like the stereotypical portrayal of a Hippie, but I have zero- none, zip, zilch!- shits to give. I will be positive today, so I am positive today; even if it sickens the cynic in me, haha. Negative-Me has been thrown out of the door where she can vacation and watch OITNB or something. Are we going to talk about Orange is The New Black?? Have any of ya’ll seen it? What season are you on? I am constantly surrounded by buddies who rave about it at least once a day. I tried it out (It’s a new thing, ‘kay? It counts as an adventure!) and am two episodes into the first season, but I have to say it’s a slow start. I’m going to at least ten. I’m really hoping it’ll redeem itself, I love ridiculous T.V. shows.

Anywaaay, ahem, yay for you guys surviving the second D & T challenge! Woooo! Get on your party hat and treat yourself, girlie. Here is a recap of how I managed the dare~

What I did: Wrote a little tune describing all that is the glorious Me, haha. I decided to make an ode to myself.

How it felt doing it: Let me assure you, it was definitely awkward to do at first (and a little throughout the whole thing). Yet despite the uncomfortable feelings of self-obsession and unworthiness, I encouraged the tiny Narcissist in me to come out and breathe some fresh air for a little. And you know what? It felt good. It felt great to feel worthy enough to have a song written about me, even if i wrote it myself. It felt incredible to recognize my beauty and amazing to remember my accomplishments.

Am I inspired to do something similar again? Hell to the yaasss (shout-out to Bunny Meyers ❤ !). I decided to redecorate my bedroom to fit a more positive attitude. I had a lot of artwork up that I had done in dark times of my life and it was sort of bumming me out. I don’t care for the dramatics, but literally no one wants the reminder of a broken relationship or an abusive ex hanging out above their bed. Nothankyou. So I took all of the twisted (although very badass and cool) stuff down and out of sight and finished up those paper hearts I made. I wrote awesome, positive sayings on them and of course doused them with a proper amount of glitter. I have them on my wall and continue to add drawings and paintings that inspire me. It’s fun!

Overall, I’d say that this challenge was enjoyable and the benefits were immediately reap-able. It put me in a positive, loving mindset, for sure! I might even hang up my ode in my room, too. How did yours go, darling? I hope you liked this dare as much as I did. 

This week’s D & T challenge is to do something you’re afraid of. Ughh, I know. I’m getting stressed out just from writing that sentence. But you know what? At least once this week, I’m going to say “Screw stress! I don’t care, I’m going to do this, even though it scares the bejeebus out of me and I might just pee myself”. I encourage you to do the same, although it would be ideal that neither of us pee ourselves. :p I quadruple dog dare you!

Humans are programmed to be afraid; it’s in our DNA. But part of the beauty in being human is being able to conquer our fears and discover something wonderful and previously-unfathomable. It’s okay to be afraid. Everybody is/gets scared. The best of us are able to push through those panicky thoughts and accomplish the unknown anyway. I truly believe in you guys.

For me, this challenge will have a lot to do with my social anxiety. It’s going to be particularly difficult. I’m not really looking forward to it, but I swell up with determination when i think of all the happy possibilities that could happen. Like when I got on three roller-coasters, even though I had spent sixteen years of my life utterly terrified of them even existing, and discovered I actually was thrilled to go on a particular one. Yeah, I’ll never step foot on the other two; but I found one that makes me happy and excites me.

Try to think of all the great things you might discover. You never know what treasures may await you.