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

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Letting Go Of Your “Perfect Self”

Happy Monday, gorgeous! I hope your week is off to a joyous start and you’re feelin’ all sorts of good vibes. Before I head to my shift at work I figured I would share a tiny insight that I’ve realized during my “Soul-Search-Because-I-Can’t-Come-Up-With-Anything-Cooler”: ideal does not equate to perfect, and trying to have the perfect day/be the perfect self is goddamn exhausting. Seems like common sense, right? I guess it just took me a bit longer to realize some of my disappointment in life was because I was trying to live up to an ideal that went beyond responsible expectations. Trying to achieve these goals (zero junk food, 8 glasses of water and no less, working out every day, etc.) just made me feel guilty and shameful for not doing things 110% perfectly. Sometimes we’re all too hard on ourselves for not completing our marathons, when we should feel proud for running 3/4 of the way and then gearing up to try again! As Dave Willis wisely said, Be an encourager- the world has enough critics already.”

Instead of sulking around feeling defeated, I’ve recognized I need to approach myself with love and gratitude before anything else. If I had a cookie at lunch, I don’t need to give up and hate myself for “ruining” my healthy lifestyle. I can get back on the proverbial horse and make a fresh, nutritious dinner. Listen, y’all: There is no need for self-shame. There is a huge need for self-love and self-acceptance. At least for myself, living in this world makes me feel like every day needs to be a competition – and in some sense it should be- but not at the expense of my relationship with myself. Just as we should approach others with understanding and encouragement, so we should ourselves. You can live up to your ideals, but you’ll never live up to your ideas of perfection.

It’s nothing revolutionary, but I figured if it took me so long to figure that out, someone else might appreciate the realization. I’m sending you all warm hugs and tons of positive vibes.

So much love from me to you,

Violet XO

A little inspiration for those learning to love your inner & outer self. ♥

Hey there, beautiful! I was enjoying having the house to myself- *ahem* karaoke time *cough* – and I came across the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat. It gave me absolute goosebumps, or as my poetry professor says, “chillbumps”. Suddenly I felt  a yearning inside- damn, I wish that songs like this had been around when I was a preteen, and I hope that my two nieces grow up to love themselves. I try my best to raise them as strong and confident girls but as an aunt who isn’t with them 24/7, I can only do so much. On the bright side, I can always work on raising myself. I’m still in the process. Maybe I always will be, but I’m kind of okay with that. As long as you’re learning, a day is never wasted.

And what better way to show myself love than to indulge in some inspiration and share with my Interweb fellows? Here are some passionate and incredibly positive videos for y’all on this Sunday morning:

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnDgSsWnwwE

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODnMaf0rB4c

I’m also going to challenge you to do something~ Take out a piece of paper and your favorite writing utensil. Write down 5 things about your physical appearance that you love, and ten things about your inner self that you love. I know you can do it.

Much love and tons of good vibes,
Violet XO

Some things to brighten your day or teach you something new!

Hello, all! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it- I hope your holiday is filled to the brim with joy and good memories. Today I wanted to share some of the cool things on the Interwebs I’ve found recently. I hope you enjoy this list- I even included a few of my favorite things this Spring.

✿ http://galadarling.com/article/feeling-burned-out-ask-yourself-this-one-simple-question/

✿ http://mysticmedusa.com/2013/05/fenging-up/

✿ http://dangerdame.com/2015/03/30/how-to-be-magnetic-4-ways-to-rev-up-your-magnetism/

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18169/how-to-stay-motivated-when-youre-not-in-the-mood-to-do-anything.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18030/are-you-sabotaging-your-authentic-self-heres-how-to-stop.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17999/walking-boosts-brainpower-4-other-reasons-to-exercise-every-day.html

✿ http://everydayroots.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bad-breath

✿ Pretty much any Dog Whisperer or My Cat From Hell episode, ever.

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/a29642/ways-to-be-instantly-happier/

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/advice/a21913/boost-body-confidence/

✿ Light or Pastel colors.

✿ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnT7ZDubj94

✿ Raising some gorgeous indoor plants.

That’s it babes- I hope you enjoyed the links and learned something interesting.

Much love from my house to yours,

Violet XO

A reminder for ~YOU~!

Hey there, darlings. This message is made special just for you- all of you. If you’ve been waiting for a sign, or some sort of comfort from the Universe, this is it. You are unbreakable. You may bend underneath the pressures of life, but you will never be broken. Your scars are proof that you can overcome anything. You have immeasurable strength, courage, bravery, and beauty. Beautiful isn’t the most important thing for a human to be, but know that you are gorgeous- a stunner inside and out- and it is totally okay to feel that way about yourself. It’s okay to feel beautiful, and it is not selfish or vain to do so.

You deserve to love yourself. How can you help others if you’re not well yourself? “Once we acknowledge and accept the good in us we can spread the good in the world” (if someone knows who first said this quote, please let me know in the comments below). Once you light a spark of love and compassion in your own heart, it will be much stronger and brighter; it will truly help you spread that love to others.

Treat yourself kindly, whether you’re celebrating a raise or feeling disappointed in yourself over a recent failure. You deserve your love and care 100% of the time. If you had a child, would you only love them when they behaved their very best? No, even though they may be difficult or challenging for us, we still love and care for them. Why is it so easy for us to love other people, in all their imperfect glory, but so hard for us to do ourselves the same favor?

Love yourself. Love others. Give yourself a break and rest when you know you need to. If you just took a few steps back, reflect on what went wrong and see what you can learn from it. Let it catapult you towards your dreams and desires. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” (Confucius). Celebrate all your victories, no matter how small. Take a couple risks and learn to listen to yourself, so you can better listen to others. Go after what you really want.

Your strength is unfathomable, your courage untouchable, and your beauty undeniable.

I hope this small letter gives you a little more hope and peace to hold on to. I hope you accomplish every single one of your dreams.

Wishing you the best & lots 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

A few cool things for you.

Hello, darlings. I’ve caught a bad cold so I don’t feel up to doing much or writing much of anything. But fear not, I’ve gathered a few interesting interwebs pieces and quotes to keep y’all entertained until I can write actual posts. Hope you enjoy these!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/easy-peasy

http://galadarling.com/article/count-your-blessings-3-ways-to-create-a-regular-gratitude-practice-and-how-to-elevate-it-to-the-next-level/

http://galadarling.com/article/ty-ty-lena-yonce-and-jenna-no-bullshit-business-advice-from-babes-youd-like-to-be-bffs-with/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17287/4-ways-to-become-the-leader-of-your-own-life.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17282/5-ways-to-be-a-body-positive-role-model.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17190/are-you-taking-good-enough-care-of-yourself-6-essential-questions-to-ask.html

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”~ Tina Fey

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”~ Aberjhani

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”~ Victoria Moran

“We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful.”~ Eric Micha’el Leventhal

Much love and happy vibes,

Violet XXOO