Mental Health/Wellbeing

Goal Setting As Motivation

When planning ahead for a trip, you may make a list or print out directions in order to ensure a good time. Not only does this get you more excited for the trip, but it helps you to get there in the smoothest way possible. This same process can be used for goal setting.

Goals can be desired end points for a plethora of things from fitness levels, to grades, to finishing a to-do list, to getting a future career. They can be big or small, hold a ton or very little importance. No matter what kind of goal you want to set, having a plan to reach that goal is vital.

Lists, charts, vision boards, Pinterest boards, art, etc. can all be ways to prepare for and pursue your specific goal(s). Some may think making goals out of small things is a waste of time, but I actually find it makes it more likely that I’ll reach that goal. Even if all I wanted to do was get a few loads of laundry done, when I actually do it I feel so successful and confident. This then of course affects other areas of my life in a positive way.

Especially with having anxiety, having goals allows me to properly manage my time and get things done with less stress. I know what I need to do, by when, and then the ‘why’ becomes so much more clear. This is true especially for things I have to get done for school or potential jobs that induce more anxiety. By letting myself see why I need to get it done, I’m actually encouraging myself.

Encouragement is one key to self success in goal setting, but so is the concept of reality. When setting a goal for yourself, you need to remember that you’ll only be let down if your desired turn out is actually impossible. Setting reasonable boundaries will allow you to create realistic and obtainable goals. As you continue to reach your different goals, your confidence will continue to grow.

Being someone who has been insecure many times, building up that initial confidence was hard. Once I got there though, it was like nobody could stop me. Achieving academic and health goals to me is like a high in itself. Knowing I put a healthy amount of pressure on myself and flourished because of it is so rewarding. The human body and brain are capable of so much there’s no sense in ignoring that. Goal setting, planning, and achieving allows you to see your strength in its entirety.

I’m a strong believer in pushing yourself while also staying in tune with your mind and body. We’re all unique individuals and finding tactics that help you get in the groove of life will aid in a more content life.

By laying everything you want to see happen out in front of you, it makes it easier for you to put together the puzzle that eventually gives you the whole picture. Dreaming, while fun, is not a way to make things happen. It’s the first step in progress, but also the most dangerous as you could easily live your whole life there if you don’t start to take charge of your own timeline bit by bitba1dc8d1235f073a71d116324d4c97e9.

P.S. I am also linking a TEDX Talk I really liked. Please take a look if you are interested in goal setting!

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Mental Health/Wellbeing

Genuine Connection Is Essential

I’m sure we’ve all had friendships where the sole basis is because we had a class with, or worked with, or lived next door to and nothing truly person. While these relations do provide benefits, you also deny yourself of establishing a true human connection.

Sure, it’s alright to have a few acquaintances from whom you benefit and vice versa, but it’s crucial to also create strong bonds with people.

Everyone knows that personalities are different and have a major role in successful relationships. It’s healthy to try to be friends with people you normally wouldn’t hangout with, but it’s even healthier when you know where to end the friendship if it’s not what you want.

There’s no point in continuing on with someone whom you don’t relate to, enjoy being around, or trust. This goes for both romantic relationships and platonic friendship.

Old friends as well as newer friends have of course taken me a while to get comfortable with, but I did it. I slowly worked on building up my own trust as well as there’s and I can honestly say I trust all of them with my whole heart.

It’s the same way with my boyfriend. I fully trust him, confide in him, and express myself to him. I’m thankful everyday I get to spend my time with him and grow with him.

As for those that are no longer in my life, I found that my personality or goals for myself no longer matched up with their’s. It’s okay to let people go in order for yourself to grow. Find people who are your sunshine.

Especially when you battle with mental health issues, finding people who can make you feel safe, relaxed, and loves is a must. You don’t have to go through whatever it is alone. There are people out there that will care about you, help you, and give you their time.

Once you have found the beautiful humans that you click with, do everything you can to maintain a healthy relationship.

Mental Health/Wellbeing

Organization Can Change Your Life

Have you ever been looking for some object you needed in that moment and thought to yourself “I wish I was more organized, then this wouldn’t be happening!”? It can be very frustrating.

Over the years, my anxiety has almost trained me, in a way, to be prepared for anything and everything to happen. Now, I am insanely organized and would never go back. Mainly, having some type of order can aid in providing a sense of security. One less thing to stress about in that moment. Who doesn’t need less stress?

This comes in handy everyday, but especially on busy or otherwise nerve-wracking days. These tips I am going to list below are not the only ways to get organized. I always fall back on Pinterest to get new, fresh ideas and 100% recommend that if you don’t find something you like here or want to add a few more ideas to this list. It’s all personal preference!

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Above is my desk. I try to keep it as clean as I can, and set up so that I know where basically everything is. You can do this by:

  • The use of containers of some sort for pencils/pens, paperclips/push pins, etc.
  • Getting a smaller lamp as it will take up less space
  • Purchase or make a file/paper holder ( I have 2: the purple stacked one, and the one holding my notebooks/folders)
  • Get rid of ANYTHING you don’t need including papers; if there is something you need to keep but it has no reason to be out currently, I suggest you make a space either in a closet or large drawer for school/work/other that is separate from your regular desk/office area to lessen overwhelm

I also try to make it a key point to make my working area visibly pleasing and relaxing. That way, when I am bombarded with school work, or my anxiety is creeping in, I can take a small break and regain focus. I did this by:

  • Adding the ‘Happiness’ quote canvas (I got it at a yard sale!)
  • Putting up photographs of my boyfriend and I because he is my rock and so inspiring (and handsome!)
  • A wall calendar with only major plans/appts/due dates (not as scary when everything you HAVE to do isn’t always right in front of you)
  • Photographs of me and my ASU buds
  • University memorabilia/awards for encouragement
  • A white board (I like putting up weekly inspiring quotes on mine)
  • Daily to-do lists (small lists of things to get done are more likely to make you do it rather than a super long list that seems impossible)

Overall, I don’t treat my desk as a dreadful place like some might do. The workload that I associate with my work space is not daunting, it’s empowering. If you can alter your mindset into seeing the positive twist on things especially like homework or work endeavors, you will feel better and thus work better. Your work should encourage you; you’re only advancing because of it, even if you don’t always see it right away.

Of course there are other ways to bring organization into your life. I won’t be getting in to detail about every way I stay organized as that would take too long, but I am going to provide a brief list in hopes to get your creative juices flowing:

  • My closet (organize by type of clothing/color/season)
  • My purse (always have important things you might need)
  • My backpack (same as purse, but w/ some school things too)
  • My routine (I set aside a few minutes each morning and night right before/after bed to clean up our room, wash my face, etc.; self care!)
  • My plans (I have 3 calendars: Google linked both on computer and phone, wall calendar big events, and school planner for everything including weekly homework schedules)(Planning ahead can help with effective time management)
  • My goals (when setting goals it’s important to have them be realistic and prepare a solid path to reaching them; this can be done in so many ways!)

If you weren’t very organized before, I do hope I encouraged you just a little bit. If you already are organized, I hope you related to this post and ask you to share your ideas. I wanted to share these hacks because I know how greatly they’ve impacted my life in a good way. Stress is a b*tch so I wanted to share a way in witch I take ‘her’ down.

Mental Health/Wellbeing

Focus On What You CAN Control

Within the past few months, I have been able to directly pin point one of the main feelings that induces my anxiety: the need to be in control. This could sound odd to some, but for many others dealing with anxiety disorders, control is a very important concept.

Wanting everything to go exactly as planned for fear of what could happen if it doesn’t, or maybe attempting to control the reactions and actions of everyone around you again out of fear of the potential outcomes. These instances are of great familiarity to me. Recently, after coming to this realization, I have confronted this issue directly by turning the focus solely on things that I actually can control.

This means that instead of trying to plan every second of everyday based on tasks I need to complete, I just make a simple list ahead of time so I know what I need to get done, without the use of time restrictions; I find they only further stress rather than help to reduce it. It also means that when I have an argument or tense words with someone in my life, I don’t get upset at them feeling whatever it is they feel even when it doesn’t agree with my own emotions.

The main idea here is that there are a lot of big things we have no say in. Other people will always do whatever they want to do or say whatever they want to say regardless of whether we like it or not. We have no say in the majority of things, except our own actions and reactions. Taking on this responsibility is something I recommend for anyone feeling like they just can’t get a handle on anything anymore.

By throwing the false sense of control out the window, I provided myself with the opportunity to channel my need for control to things that would benefit my life.

I began to work on my physical fitness by incorporating healthier eating habits and exercising habits into my life. I placed more importance on my school work. After evaluating the status of all of the relationships I value, I adjusted the effort I put in accordingly. I began making more decisions on my own, unless I really felt I needed further help. Overall, in every area of my life that has an immediate impact on my happiness and stress levels, I did only what I can to better those areas.

It’s hard in a world where human connection and time are such valuable things to not put everything on yourself when things don’t go right. It’s even harder to change over from a pessimistic outlook to an optimistic one. It is, however, the best way to release the need to be in control.

It may sound cliche to say that everything happens for a reason, or that you need to just go with the flow, but from my experience, it’s true. This process I just described helped me to better understand my anxiety. And the better you understand yourself, the better you can become at enjoying your personal journey.

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Fitness, Mental Health/Wellbeing

Easy To Follow Tips To Make Your Lifestyle A Little Healthier

Fitness isn’t for everybody, I get that. It requires a lot of commitment, patience, and drive. But it doesn’t have to be so hard! There are little things you can do to help ease you into your fitness journey and that’s what I am going to talk about today. These are just some tips I’ve noticed really helped me implement health into my busy life and as always there are a TON of more hacks you can find on Pinterest or other fitness blogs/websites so feel free to explore and only pick things that work for YOU!

1. Carry a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. This will make it easier to remember to drink water. The recommended amount for water is 2 liters per day, but you don’t have to start out with that if you don’t drink water regularly. Ease yourself into this practice and up your water intake as needed. The more water you drink, you’ll start to feel yourself maintain good energy levels and your skin, organs, and entire body will thank you!

2. Limit, but don’t eliminate junk food. You never want to suddenly change your entire diet. This will just make it easier to quit as you’ll be miserable without some of the foods you love. Of course, don’t just eat whatever you want whenever, but instead PORTION. Moderation is key here and if you’re like me and get overpowered by junk food cravings, portioning out your guilty pleasures ahead of time will help to ensure you’re not overindulging. Your diet doesn’t need to be strictly healthy things and make you miserable, you just need to find a healthy balance. You can still eat what you want, just pay more attention to how much you eat. Moderation, moderation, moderation!

3. Substitute fruit for a healthy, sweet snack. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s easy to curb those cravings with fruit. If you really need an extra kick of sweetness, add some sugar (I always do when I eat strawberries).

4. Start yourself on an easy and doable workout system. There’s no need to jump in and start working out everyday. You’ll end up wearing yourself out way too much and will be more likely to quit. Scheduling a simple program that works with your schedule is very important. All you need to start is a dedicated 3-4 days a week for cardio and 2-3 days of strength/weight training. You can even mash some of these days together and knockout both workouts if you really want to, but remember to also give yourself rest days as your muscles will need time to heal.

5. Don’t stress if you slip up. Even if you consume a large amount of unhealthy food or miss a workout or two, don’t beat yourself up over it. You will face road blocks and failures on your fitness journey, but it shouldn’t discourage you. Of course, you can’t let these slip-ups happen all the time, but every once in a while is reasonable. Instead of punishing yourself for it, push yourself harder. Use your failures as motivations and your journey will continue on the right path.

6. Get cute workout clothes and lay them out ahead of time. If you like your outfit and feel confident in it, you’re more likely to workout and look forward to it. You don’t need to have a set for everyday of the week of course, but having 2-3 outfits of your liking can really help. Then, if you lay out your clothes ahead of time, it’s one less thing to worry about before going to the gym and you may be more likely to go and to feel a little guilty if you don’t since you already had it all planned out and ready.

7. Share your goals and plans with friends. By inviting friends to join you on your fitness journey you are not only bettering yourself, but helping them to do the same while also improving your relationship with them. It’s encouraging to have someone with the same goals and to have someone to lean on when you are faced with setbacks. It’s a win-win for both of you!

8. Take the stairs every time you can. This may sound silly, and I know everyone hates stairs, but choosing to take them rather than the escalator or elevator can add just a little bit of a physical challenge to your everyday life. You’ll feel better knowing you chose the healthier option too!

9. Walk everyday. Even if you only have time for a brisk 10 minute walk, this can hep to get your blood pumping. It’s also easy to incorporate into almost every lifestyle! You can even grab a friend or your pet to accompany you to make it that much more fun. It may not seem like a lot, but over time, walking everyday can really improve your health.

10. Positive affirmations. Now this tip is more for your mental health, but definitely has an impact on your physical health as well. By telling yourself, writing out, or even just reading daily positive affirmations, you can help to improve your confidence and to motivate yourself. Both of these things can help you in your fitness journey as they will make you look forward to your workouts and to focus more on your accomplishments and goals rather than failures. As I’ve said before, it is vital to work on improving both your mental and physical health simultaneously as they go hand in hand.

I hope these tip help or encourage you to start your fitness journey. It doesn’t have to be hard or scary, it just needs to be for you. Everyone is different, so of course your journey and the steps you take will be different and unique as well. Have some other daily practices that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Feel free to share!

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Mental Health/Wellbeing

Songs For When You Want To Have A Good Cry

Every now and then you may feel like you just need to cry. This is completely normal and you should give in to this feeling. Crying is a form of stress relief and can work wonders when you’re feeling like you just can’t get past the initial hump of sadness.

Sometimes, when I get this urge, I put on a sad movie, read a sad book, or listen to music. Today, I am going to give you a list of songs that get my tears flowing. As I stated in my other music-related post, my music taste is all over the place and the songs that are in this list will be too. I hope you enjoy!

1. Hello by Adele

2. Lonely by Akon

3. It Ends Tonight by The All-American Rejects

4. Breezeblocks by alt-J

5. Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys

6. Let It Be by The Beatles

7. If I Were A Boy by Beyonce

8. Where Is The Love? by The Black Eyed Peas

9. Go To Hell, for Heaven’s Sake by Bring Me The Horizon

10. Sober by Childish Gambino

11. Lead Me Out Of The Dark by Crown the Empire

12. Skyscraper by Demi Lovato

13. Hold On, We’re Going Home by Drake featuring Majid Jordan

14. The A Team by Ed Sheeran

15. Ghost by Ella Henderson

16. Stan by Eminem

17. Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergie

18. Shake It Out by Florence + The Machine

19. You Found Me by The Fray

20. Breakeven (Falling To Pieces) by The Script

Like I said, these may not fit your style. But luckily there are TONS of songs out there that could work for you. Music is meant to be personal, so always find what works best for you.

Remember, it’s okay to cry! It’s not a sign of weakness, but more of a symbol of strength. By releasing those tears, you are showing the world that you are in touch with your emotions, which takes a lot of bravery as well as strength. Humans were given brains built with the ability to feel things deeply, so don’t deny yourself that part of your nature. Release your emotions as necessary for you. It’s important to know yourself and allow yourself to be open. 6585e6486f3ac361ef4c5bc03d9b142a

Mental Health/Wellbeing

Eliminating Toxic People

Have you ever had a friendship or relationship where it felt like you were putting in more sincere effort than the other person? Or that this person was simply using you for their own benefit and thus sucking you dry of all the love you gave to them? I know I have, and the day I decided I would no longer engage in any relations with these characteristics ultimately changed my life.

Sure, it’s not an easy process. To just walk away from someone you love and care for takes a lot of courage and strength, which can take a while to build up. But when it does, and you find yourself closing the door on your connection with that person, you allow yourself to heal. It’s not wrong or even selfish, in any way, to leave behind someone who takes from you and doesn’t give back. It’s an act of self care.

Relationships, whether romantic or strictly platonic, are meant to be a team effort. Sometimes you may have to give a little more or take a little more, but that shouldn’t be the norm. To lean on one another during tough times is one thing, but to make every part of communication a therapy session is not okay. It’s both draining and a strain on the bond and overall unfair to both parties.

Personally, I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I have allowed myself to take and take and take from someone without giving them the same opportunity. I have also given people everything I had and received nothing in return. Neither spot is a good place to be in.

There needs to be enough respect to understand boundaries of give and take in order for any relationship to be fair. Without these set boundaries, someone will get hurt. That is why it’s so important to pay attention and reflect on the way you feel in regards to how your friends and everyone in your life treats you. Odds are, if you feel like you’re putting more effort in than the other person, you probably are.

From here, you have two choices. Voice your feelings to the other person in hopes of being met with understanding and a solution or to simply decide what is best for you and walk away.

In the end, you probably will miss that person even if they weren’t the best friend or significant other. But it’s easier to miss someone when they’re actually gone than it is to miss them when they’re sitting right next to you. Life is too short to have half-assed relationships and bonds with people. Especially when there are plenty of other people out there that would be more than willing to equally return your love and affection you give.

Like I said, it won’t be easy. You’re going to hurt. But you will heal. Toxic people only make for a toxic life, and no one deserves to feel stuck in such negativity when there are ways out. Stop jeopardizing your happiness and sanity caring for people who don’t do the same. You owe that to yourself.

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