Feel Good Favorites: PART TWO

Good morning, beautiful reader! I hope you’re having a fabulous week or, if you’re not, that your week gets better each and every day. I now have an adorable baby nephew! Now I have six nieces and nephews, each as awesome as the next. It seems like both parents and kids are totally enamored with the little dude. My parents and I took some time to visit the bro’s cute family and helped them out with everything- hell, that many kids are a lot to handle! After hanging out with the youngin’s and fawning over the new kid, I feel a bit more refreshed. There’s just something so crazy and wonderful about holding a tiny human in your arms. And then the bonus of teeny cute hands holding onto your finger! *tries not to squeal*

Anyhoo, I’m back to finish up my list of what brings me joy, gives me life, and makes me feel damn good. Once again, these aren’t groundbreaking or revolutionary ideas, they’re just what have personally helped me. I hope they help you out in some way!

Keeping a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. Of course staying hydrated is hella good for the body and skin, but it also happens to do wonders on one’s mood. Sometimes when we feel grumpy for no real reason, the culprit is dehydration. I try to drink eight glasses of water a day, but it’s easy for me to forget and then I end up with a headache or just a lower mood. So far the most effective reminder to stay hydrated is to bring around a reusable water bottle- you’re being environmentally responsible (not picking up a new water bottle every time you go out) and being kinder to your mind and body.

Have a go-to playlist for lifting your spirits. I promise, it doesn’t matter if it’s Norwegian heavy metal or old-school folk music. Whatever music brings you the most joy- the swaying your hips and dancing around the house kind of joy- is what you should listen to. Music is an incredible and beautiful way to feed your soul, and of course singing and dancing can benefit your physical health. My current favorite songs are the entire Cry Baby album by Melanie Martinez. I’m a huge fan of hers and I freaking adore how each song in the album contributes to a specific story-line. Whatever sounds your heart desires, turn up you speakers and dance your (cute) ass off!

Lastly, learn about something new every day. I started doing this activity to help my brain stay sharp while I’m not in school and because I genuinely find great joy in learning. Watch a documentary on a topic you’re not well-versed on, read an in-depth article or book on a subject you find intriguing, or look up a tutorial on how to do something you’ve never done before. Even if your projects don’t turn out well or you end up not enjoying the video, it feels good to gain knowledge/a new skill; or just to know that you can cross one area of study off your list if you’re like me and still looking for your passion.

That’s all for today, internet buds. I hope this list inspired you to try some of these tips or find what works for you. I’m wishing you all luck in figuring out what best makes you feel good.

Tons of love and good vibes,

Violet XO

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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

How To: Fueling Your Passion

Good morning, darlings. I’m sending you guys hugs over the Internets and tons of happy vibes. Is the summer treating you well? Or, for those in the southern hemisphere, is it chilly where you’re at? No matter what the weather, I hope y’all are safe, comfortable, and at peace. Now- down to business.

It’s no secret that a book a day keeps the boredom away. Books keep magic alive and well in our hearts. When Nature is having a dramatic mood swing, nothing feels better than to stay inside and cozy up with a good book. It’s one of the most luxurious feelings to have, in all honesty.

If you’re feeling a bit dull- like I was- even reading a book that you might normally enjoy can seem tedious and chore-like. And since a lack of enthusiasm usually indicates a less-than-fulfilling life/lifestyle, we obviously need to fix that icky monotony. A good way to do that, I’ve recently realized, is to read a book specifically about something you feel the most passionate about. Be it about environmental issues, the conservation of the honey bees, financing or psychology, pick up a book on it! At times I felt so lack-luster that I couldn’t bear to pick up an interesting fiction novel, I gravitated towards a book on mythology and the history of religions/spiritualities. Because it’s a subject I’m so enthralled by, I was able to read and become absolutely enchanted and inspired. It feels great to learn new things about a topic you love.

And though this tip may not work for everyone, getting your mojo back is an incredibly important task to do for yourself and of a high priority. Hopefully, it will help you with fueling your fire just as much as it has done for me; you’ll never know until you try.

Best of luck and loads of love,

Violet XO

Ps: “A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”~ Carl Sagan

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

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

How To Help: Easy Ways To Help Others

A big part of discovering oneself and the path to self-love is loving others. Once you begin to see the good in yourself, it becomes even easier to see the good in others. Being comfortable with yourself assists you in being comfortable around others and looking at them through a wider perspective. And after all, we have more than enough love and compassion within us- it’s time to spread some of that joy and adoration around!

The world is a huge place, with thousands of issues that need to be solved and millions of people that need to be helped. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking overwhelming. A lot of us hesitate to help others because we simply don’t know how and where to start. What can I do? Where can I lend my personal abilities? How can I make any bit of difference?

Because the world needs us all to pitch in (and because I know from experience just how intimidated and lost one can feel when trying to help out) here are ten easy ways to help others. I hope this list helps you begin the process and get y’all in the habit of doing what you can! I know I’ll be doing the same.

1. Host a food drive and donate the bounty to your local food pantry or self-help pantry. Or, buy some non-perishable foods yourself and donate them.

2. Donate blood. If you’ve never done this before and can physically do it, do it at least once. I’m horrible with blood and needles- and the experience was pretty terrifying- but I pushed myself to do it just once. It’s okay if you don’t become a frequent donor; just one donation can help save up to three people.

3. Go on a Litter Walk. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one before. Grab a friend or a relative and take a nice, long walk outside. Pick up as much litter as you can find and dispose of it accordingly. Recycle what you can, too!

4. Purchase gently-worn clothing from thrift stores (i.e. pants, jeans, shirts, sweaters, coats, etc.) and new socks from a nearby store. Donate them (along with any gently-used clothing you want to give from your own closet) to your local homeless shelter. Another thing they are always in need of are basic hygienic items, such as travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, plain chapstick, deodorant, etc.

5. Make blankets and distribute them to those who need them, be it at a homeless shelter, a local church’s charity, or the elderly couple down the street that have come down with a cold. An easy and efficient way to make blankets can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fleece-Tie-Blanket.

6. During the winter season and when it snows heavily, volunteer to shovel your parents’, grandparents’, or neighbors’ driveways. This can be a rough time of year, especially for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

7. Visit an animal shelter (or even your closest Petsmart or Petco) and find out if they need anyone to volunteer their time, effort, and love. Even if all of the custodial duties are fulfilled, they may want someone to take the animals on walks or just spend an hour or two playing with them. If all else fails, you can always donate cat/dog food, toys, litter, treats, etc.

8. Sign up on DoSomething.org. This is a reputable and incredible website and organization that is specifically meant for helping people find ways to help others. I highly recommend it! They have a large variety of causes and campaigns, from animal rights to helping Syrian refugees. If you do only one thing on this list, do this one. And make sure to find a cause that suits your needs and talents. (:

9. Spread kindness around your school or workplace. After learning about operationbeautiful.com, I spent most of my high school days writing positive and inspiring notes and posting them all around when no one was looking. I still do it to this day because I’ve had friends (who didn’t know it was me, at the time) who found a note or two and kept them in their room or something because it made them feel so good and happy about life and themselves.

10. Lastly, help out around home. Do your normal set of chores quick and early in the day so your guardians aren’t stressed about it. Help them when they go grocery shopping and put away the produce for them. Pick up things that are too heavy for them to safely pick up. Do the chore they like the least so that they have one less item on their To Do list.

I hope this helped you get in the mood of helping others and spending your free-time wisely. Let me know in the comments section what you do to help others. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Much love,

Violet XO