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positivity

Change Your Story

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Change Your Story

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You know those times in life when it seems like so many people around you are really struggling with something or multiple life things, including yourself?  This seems to be the theme lately for me. It seems that every time I turn around, I'm hearing a new story about something tough that someone I care about is dealing with, and my life hasn't exactly felt like a piece of cake in many ways recently either. I thought it would be a good time to talk about changing our stories. I've been focusing a lot lately on 'changing my story' which can help any situation that may feel hard to deal with into one that can also feel like a blessing. It can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with uncomfortable circumstances, and leave us feeling grateful for a situation that we previously felt cursed by.

What do I mean by this?

Let me give you an example....

You arrive at work on Friday, and are called into the office to find out that you are getting laid off. You are shocked. Your initial story may sound something like this:

"I can't believe they laid me off with no warning! I didn't see this coming. How am I supposed to support myself? I barely get by living paycheck to paycheck as it is! My rent is due, and I've been saving a little and was really hoping to finally be able to afford to go on a vacation in a couple of months. There is no way I'm going to make it financially. I haven't updated my resume in years, and have no idea where to begin looking for a job. This sucks! Why is this happening to me? What am I going to do? I feel helpless."

It's pretty normal to react to a situation such as this with alarm, fear, and a story that doesn't feel good. The fact that you are getting laid off is not something that you can change. So, in this situation, what DO you have the control of changing? You can change your story. And it could sound something like this:

"Wow, I can hardly believe that they laid me off! This feels shocking, but if I think about it, I guess I saw some signs that this may be coming. Even though this feels scary, I'm going to choose to look at this as a blessing in disguise. I really haven't been very happy in this job recently. It's caused me a lot of stress, and I've been working hard, and still living paycheck to paycheck which has felt uncomfortable, but I've been too fearful to quit. Perhaps they have done me a big favor by pushing me out to find something better. I have a good friend who I know will help me spruce up my resume, and a community of people that I can reach out to in search of a new job. Since I'm getting laid off, I can collect unemployment for the time being to pay my rent, and I had some money tucked away in preparation for a vacation soon. I guess I get some time off now! Maybe I can use some of that money to cover some expenses and choose to visit some friends and stay with them for a cheaper vacation instead. I'm glad I have that option. I've been considering going back to school, or switching professions to something that is more fulfilling for me and provides me with a better income anyway. I guess this is the push I needed! I may not have done it on my own! I'm so excited to figure out what is next for me!"

Isn't that a HUGE difference?

I could continue with example after example, but you all are smart cookies, and I know you get the picture. We can change the story no matter what the experience is.

What's going on for you right now? Is there a negative story you have been telling around something that feels challenging in your life?

How can you change it? If you can change your story, you can change how your whole experience feels and how the situation effects you.

My challenge to you this week is to change your story. Pick one thing that you know you have been telling a negative story about and change it. Write it out. Tell a loved one. When people ask about it, tell your new & improved positive story rather than the doom and gloom one, and see how it feels.

How do you change it? Simply tap into the positives of it. Every situation has things to be grateful for, sometimes we have to look harder, but they are always there. Talk it out. Write it out. Work on it until it's a story that feels better to tell. I know you've got it in you.

Wishing you wellness,

Shelly

 

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Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Summer is busy! This seems to be a topic of conversation with whoever I talk to lately. With the beautiful weather and so much going on, we can try to pack more into the few months of summer than we do all year. Plans every weekend, trips, extra events to attend during the week, and the draw to be more active outside, on top of our regular schedules. Yes, many of the things that keep us busy in summer are fun, but still can have a tendency to lead to some feelings of burn out, drained, tiredness, and generally feeling like we are constantly buzzing around like a busy bee! Whether it's summer time, or anytime we feel caught up in the whirlwind of life, it's such a good thing to remember how important self care is. We all know the basics. Eating healthy and getting adequate sleep & exercise are important to feel good in order to keep up with life. Being a busy bee can be fun, and all the summer fun can nourish us in great ways, but are you doing things to relax? Rejuvenate? Treat yourself & your body? What things are you doing to 'fill your cup'? What kind of things are you doing that allow some down time to feed the energy you need to keep up with the busyness life?

I've been feeling a bit caught up in the whirlwind of life lately myself, and have been hearing from so many people about how they have been as well. With this in mind, I thought I'd share with you today a list of ways that you can step out of the busy whirlwind of summer, stop your buzzing around for periods of time,  and take some rejuvenating time for self care. Making the time for some of these self care practices can make a huge positive difference in how you feel. When you are doing things to keep your cup full, everything else seems much easier to manage, and your can find yourself enjoying the busy summer life more.

If you've been feeling the buzz, and know you could benefit from taking some time for self care, the 10 tips below are for you! Pick one that you feel drawn to and start there! Making a little time to take good care of yourself can help the busy buzzing around of summer feel so much more enjoyable, and less exhausting!

Wishing you wellness!

Shelly

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10 Self Care Tips For The Busy Summer Bee:

  1. Take some time to care for your body. Maybe it's a long bath or spa night at home. Maybe it's going to a spa for a treatment or relaxing afternoon. It could be a massage or acupuncture session. Choose what feels best for you. Whatever it is, create some quiet time to give your body some love, so it feels rejuvenated!
  2. Cloud watching or start gazing! Summer is a great time to throw  blanket on the ground or find a cozy hammock to nestle into and take some time to just stare at the sky. Taking a few minutes to just sit still and soak up some sun rays can be a wonderful break too.
  3. Work on being more present with your normal routines of the day like brushing your teeth, getting ready for your day, and eating your breakfast. Allowing yourself to be fully present with the normal mundane tasks of your day, rather than rushing through them while thinking about everything else you need to do with the rest of your day allows you to own that time as yours. Starting your day by doing the tasks of your morning routine being fully present helps it to feel more relaxing and could turn it into 'you time' rather than time where your brain is consumed with all the other on-goings of your day & your life.
  4. Take some time to meditate, even if only for a short while. Starting your day with even a short meditation can set the tone for your whole day mentally and emotionally. It can also start your day off with a feeling of having some of your own time before you head into a full & busy day. Taking a couple of minutes to meditate in the middle of your busy day can really help to reset you as well, and leave you feeling recharged. In the middle of your busy day, take a minute to just close your eyes, and check in with yourself on your thoughts & feelings on the day. Take a minute to check in with how your body is feeling and know if there is anything that it needs. Then just take a minute to breathe and focus on your breath. Taking these 3 minutes in the middle of the day can work wonders. Try it and see!
  5. Unplug from electronics and social media for periods of time. Depending on your usage and work, maybe this means checking out  from electronics for a certain time of the day, or creating a healthy morning routine that involves not checking in online for the first hour or two of your day. It could mean taking weekends off of social media, or an entire week off. Whatever you can make work for you. Most of us have a tendency to be too attached here, and giving yourself intentional breaks is wonderful and recharging! It's not until you give yourself a break, that you really realize how much of your time & energy these things can consume you.
  6. Take yourself on a date and do something that is very relaxing for you. Maybe it is going to a movie, sitting in the park with a good book and a great lunch, or antique store perusing....whatever you find most relaxing on your own. Make a little time to just relax and treat yourself in this way.
  7. Take some time to journal. Use this time however it will best serve you. Write out things that have been bothering you,  celebrate the things that are going great for you, journal about what you are grateful for, use it as a tool to make a decision you are having a hard time with, or simply just write about whatever comes up. Journaling can be beneficial in so many ways, and is great time to stop and be introspective.
  8. Take some time to just 'be'. Curl up on the couch with a good book. Sit on your porch and listen to the birds sing. Sit on a park bench and people watch. Bring a floating device to a lake and just float.  If you are someone who struggles with constantly moving and being busy, making just a little bit of time here can really help to recharge  and calm you. If you are a really busy bee, be patient with yourself here. It may take a little time to relax about taking time to relax!
  9. Say 'NO' more often. We don't have to say yes to everything. Recognize when you are feeling tired, busy, or overwhelmed, and have the ability to say no to things, events, favors, or whatever is being asked of you. Many of us have a hard time saying 'no'. It  can take practice to have this become an easier thing, so start practicing! Ease up on the pressure you put on yourself in this way, and know that when you say 'no' to things, you are saying 'yes' to yourself by protecting your time, your energy, and taking good care of yourself. We can't be everything for everyone, attend everything, or do everything that is presented to us, or we would end up being depleted. This is an important thing to learn, and a huge gift to yourself.
  10. Especially when you are really busy, make a point to do at least one thing a day just for you. Just one nice thing for yourself. Treat yourself to something nurturing or rejuvenating...Even if it is just a little break in the day. You may not feel like you have the time on busy days, but make the time. We make time for so many things that are important in life. We can make the time for ourselves. It's the most important thing.

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The Habit of Positivity

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The Habit of Positivity

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I invite you to take a moment. Close your eyes, and picture a cup sitting in front of you filled to the halfway mark. How do you see it? Be honest with yourself….Do you have a tendency towards the glass half empty or the glass half full feeling?
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Positivity, like many things in life, is a habit. Negativity is habit as well. Regardless of what kind of influences we had growing up, or what kind of circumstances we've faced in our lives, positivity and negativity are still habits.
Habits are things we have control over. They can sometimes take a lot of effort to change, but they are totally changeable if we have the desire to do so.
There’s a quote by Charles Swindle that I remind myself of often:
“We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
The ability to hold a ‘glass half full’ attitude can change how everything feels in life. It can  take a multitude of shitty situations feel like opportunities for growth, and blessings in disguise. Research has clearly shown that a negative outlook on life can contribute to everything from depression to heart disease to lowered immune system function. It can affect sleep, weight maintenance, the quality of your relationships, your social life, and even your ability to hold a job.
I could write a book about this subject here, but my intention in writing this today is simply 2 things.
First, I’d like you to take a good look at yourself and really ask yourself how you are doing in this area? On a scale of 1-10, how positive would you say you are? Where do you struggle with keeping your attitude positive?
Secondly, I want to offer some practices that you can incorporate into your life, to create a habit of positivity. Even if you  do feel like you are someone who is mostly on the positive side, how can you bring that to a 10? Life is a continual learning process, and I’m all about continual positive personal growth.
So, how can we foster more positivity in our lives? Here are some suggestions, and things to ponder:
  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Every evening list at least 5 things that you were grateful for in your day. Gratitude creates happiness & positivity.
  2. Practice giving compliments! Give them away freely. Purposely look for the good in others. Praise the people you interact with. Give strangers compliments! Be sure these are genuine compliments, but give them away freely! Make a point to do so several times daily.
  3. Share good news. Have something good going on? Tell people about it! Studies show that sharing happy events bring more happiness! On the flip side of that, ask the people in your life what's good with them? We can all have a tendency towards wanting to share the things we are struggling with. Practice focusing more on the positives in your conversations.
  4. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. This includes the conversations and the daydreams you have all day!
  5. Purposefully spend more time around others that have glass half full attitudes, and restrict your time with those that have a glass half empty attitude. Just as you are what you eat, to a certain degree, you are who you spend time with as well!
  6. Practice correcting negative thoughts. Try to commit to this for a day or a week to start, and build on it. Whenever you find yourself thinking a negative thought, try to flip it around. Find the blessing in disguise, or the lesson in the struggle, or something positive surrounding whatever you are feeling negative about. Perhaps something awful happened in your day. Maybe losing your job creates the space for you to explore a career you’ve been to afraid to make the leap towards? There is a positive side to everything. Find it. Flip it.
maintaining a positive attitude takes practice. Like anything else that takes practice, the more you do it, the more easy it becomes. Positivity becoming second nature for you, creates a life that is healthier and happier. So yes, it’s absolutely worth the effort!

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