Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Embrace The Hard Times To Make Room For The Good

I saw this quote today while doing my daily scroll through Pinterest, and couldn't help but stop and realize just how true it is. Even more so, as I laid on the couch, sick for the third day in a row, fighting an awful cold and just having been prescribed a puffer for what they say could be "allergy-induced asthma." My doctor and I laughed as we knew what the main issue was - I had recently gotten a second cat, and she loved to curl up in my bed with me every night. So despite knowing what the root cause of the issue was, we both knew there was no way the issue would be removed from my life. That kitten - and the horrible allergies - were here to stay.

But this quote did more than relate to me in that moment - it related to my entire life, and the lives of everyone else in this world. Life is full of ups and downs, we get that. The problem is, we often forget that. While dealing with a breakup, hitting our spoon to the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry's, we whimper through our sobs, "why me?" while forgetting that somewhere else out there in this harsh world, there is millions of girls and guys both doing the same thing, sobbing over the loss of a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a fiancĂ©, a cheating husband or wife, a fuckboy who left them waiting for a text all night, only to discover they were out with another girl the whole night. The point is: while in our depths of despair, we forget that life isn't fair; that life has ups and downs; mountains and valleys, but one of the most amazing things I've learned through therapy (which, I highly recommend for any twenty-something), it's that the valleys (hard times, cool downs, shitty life - whatever you want to call it) is where we learn our best lessons, regain our strength, before life moves us onto our next high (the mountains) where we can recover before life provides us yet another dip into the valley again. 

It's the same as this quote - "without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms in your life." So, if you lose your job, once the shock settles and you're left picking up the pieces of your life, and mapping out your: what now? Remember that this might have been the best thing to ever happen to you. Maybe you were unhappy in that job and needed a change, and fear stopped you, and so it was your employer who hit the trigger for you instead. Now, with the growth of this setback, you go onto a job that's better suited for you, or even take the plunge into the business you've been thinking of starting for years. Fear feeds on vulnerability, but the best times to seek the change you are seeking are in those rock bottom moments, where you have nothing else to lose, and it's only up from there. It's those moments in the midst of the current storm, that, like the raindrops, let the tears fall, but once that has passed and there's only gray skies left, it leaves you with the option to have this black cloud of depression follow you around OR you can opt for sanity, blue skies and much-needed change and do what it takes to regain control in your life. 

In short, appreciate the hard times. We all go through them, and it's just a part of life to go through the storms, but like the saying goes, "there's always a rainbow at the end," and in this case, it's the mountain view that you will climb, being on top of your life again, where you reboot and recharge, before life throws you through the next storm. Only this time, you will be more prepared and ready to handle it. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Make This Fall Your Coziest Ever With These Tips

With summer gone, you might be feeling all sorts of sad and wistful for the lazy, hot days of summer to come back. For it being dress weather and accessorizing your shorts and t-shirts with a pair of shades. All those things have come to an end, but the thing most of us forget is how amazing fall is for our fashion. Sure, it's colder and snow will soon be coming, but with the chill in the air comes the need to bundle up. Cozy up. Sweaters, chunky scarfs, fashionable boots, fuzzy socks, hot tea or coffee always in hand, you name it, fall has all of it in store.

So if you want to make this your coziest fall yet, then read along for the best tips from myself, who, if I do say so myself, is the master of all things cozy ;) 

Fall fashion

Cozy at-home setups 

Your favourite hot drink

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 Simple Ways To De-Stress Right Now

And when I say right now, I mean it. The pressure of life can build on a moment's notice, escalating from worrying a bit about something into a full-blown attack of anxiety, where our mind races, we feel helpless and we just need some damn peace. Feeling this way at the moment? We'll you've come to the right place as I've been in your spot before and these five simple ways to de-stress are easy, painless and will totally have you feeling Zen in no time. 

Spend time with friends

Part of de-stressing is the ability to distract yourself. And who could do that better than someone who knows you best? They could take you out for a drink, come over to watch Netflix or even be a shoulder to cry on as you talk about your bad day. Friends have shoulders for a reason - lean on them. You'll be glad you did. 

Go for a drive

When we're stressed, one of the best things for our mind is for it to go on auto-pilot - the sort of feeling you get when you've been doing something you like for a while, say knitting for example, where you get lost in the present moment and look back afterwards and say, "Wow, I haven't thought about my anxiety for a while." And it's the feeling you get when you drive and somehow get to point b, only to look back and wonder how you got there - your body and mind was on autopilot. 

So, if you're feeling stressed, go for a drive, blast some tunes, pick up a friend, just allow the freeing feeling of being out on the open road center your mind. 

Drink tea

Calming teas are so essential when you're feeling stressed. The warm liquid will soothe your soul and its properties, especially teas like lavender and lemon balm, will activate the parametric nervous system and this, calm you down. Aim for several cups per day, and always let the tea steep for 15 minutes to maximize its benefits. 

Add to the relaxation by curling up with a good book as you drink it, or apply a face mask. 

Write down your worries and make a plan to manage each

Worrying feeds on a loss of control - you feel like you can't control what goes on at work, what your friends or family are doing, how busy the train will be that day, etc. This creates high levels of anxiety and rumination that can wreak havoc on the mind, disrupting its peace. 

What you need to do if you are worrying excessively is write down a list of your fears - you can even call this your "Worry Period" and then write down a plan to manage each. For example, if you're worried about how busy the train will be on your commute to work, you can plan ahead by making sure to bring a good book to distract you from the large amount of people crowding your space, or even decide to go a little earlier to catch the less busy train. The most important thing to remember, though, is that you do have control, even when it doesn't feel like it. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are We Willing To Make The Hard Decisions For Love?

I was editing an article today, about the most surprising moments on 'The Bachelor' and in the introduction, it writes, 

"Then, there was the time Jason Mesnick proposed to contestant Melissa Rycroft, only to change his mind at the 'After the Rose' ceremony and propose to Molly instead. Fortunately, that little flub worked out for Jason, as he and Molly are still married to this day and even have a child together"

Bam. It was the same thing that I would write in relation to Jason's controversial move. And then, it got me thinkingas much as Jason received heat for what he did and the very public way that he did so (more on that later), Jason is the one laughing now because he got to live his happily ever after. And all because he made the tough choices when it comes to love. 

Love is never easy. Maybe we've been in a situation before where our heart was pulling us in two different directions, like, say, if a girl was with her boyfriend but her heart truly still longed for her ex-boyfriend. She could either stay with the boyfriend that she's maybe not too happy with or, make the hard decision and break up with him, thus breaking his heart, and go on to live her own version of happily ever after with her ex. 

Betty White, everyone's favourite 90-something year-old even went through this. While she was young, she was in love with a man but she didn't leave who she was with at the time for many years. When she and the man she truly loved got back together, she said that she always regretted the years that they didn't get to spend together. This, even more so now, is true as he eventually passed away. 

So, with stories like these being present in our own love stories, why, in this world, where we only have the chance to live once, do we sacrifice our happiness, and all because we're afraid of hurting someone's feelings? Why do we let the fear of walking away and taking a risk keep us from the chance to be the happiest we could be?

Jason could have kept on being with Melissa. Maybe they would stay together and live unhappily or maybe, like most 'Bachelor' couples, they would split up and by the time that Jason got out, maybe Molly would have already found someone else. Then, he would have lost his chance and forever lived with the hard regret of not following his heart. Now that's a tough pill to swallow. 

Instead, he took his life in his own hands by making the tough decision. The only thing he probably feels truly sorry for now is the fact that he did break Melissa's heart on national television (ABC producers must have been applauding behind the scenes). But, people move on from that. Life goes on. Melissa goes on. The true thing that matters is the fact that Jason can look down at his beautiful children and his wife, Molly, and know that he's living the life he truly wanted. With the woman he truly wanted. Now, how many people can say that? 

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