Today, I decide to be happy.

Today, I made a decision to be happy.

Today is a great day to be happy.

Any day is a great day to be happy.

Ahhh, happiness! I can tell you I’ve been chasing it my whole life, always working on it, and I still haven’t got it entirely figured out.

I can tell you what happiness isn’t:

-A person

-A place

-A thing

-A bodyweight

-A number in a bank account

-A circumstance

What I’m coming to realize, that above all else, it’s a choice.

It’s a decision to see the good in a situation, rather than the bad.

It’s a decision to count your blessings.

It’s a decision to not get brought down by negativity.

It’s a decision to push through when you want to give up.

It’s a decision to take things for what they are, rather than what you expect them to be.

I will be 100% honest and vulnerable, I haven’t been myself lately. Moving was stressful. I miss my family and friends. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to make it out here.

I’m a survivor. I know I can push through almost anything. I’m stubborn as hell and I always believe I can tough things out.

But am I happy?

I’m working on it.

Hawaii is beautiful, and amazing. It’s everything I imagined and more. I have made so many friendships in such a short period of time and I am so grateful for that. I’ve gotten to see some amazing things so far.

Still you see, happiness is an inside job. My problem is that I’m very self-aware. I call myself on my own shit. I know when I’m unhappy. I know when I’m just going through the motions. I know when I need to give myself a wake-up call.

I haven’t been journaling.

I haven’t been meditating.

I haven’t been taking care of myself.

Fortunately, all of that is in my control.

Funks are normal. We all have them!

Your power lies in the belief that at any time, you have a choice.

You get to decide what kind of day you’re going to have.

You get to decide your outlook.

YOU GET TO DECIDE.

Today, I decide to be happy.

The Environment: it’s cool to give a shit

It’s been a while, fam 🙂 I’ve been busy doing lots of traveling and living it up! I’m so thankful to have had so many opportunities this far in life to be able to go to some amazing places and see some amazing things. Traveling has opened my eyes up to how truly wonderful this world is and how lucky we are to live on it.

Maybe it’s the traveler and wanderer in me that has gotten to see so many things, but because of that I don’t want to take any of it for granted. We as humans are so blessed that we have such a home that can sustain so much life. But unfortunately, a lot of us do take it for granted.

So, I wanna talk about some things. Climate change seems to be the hot topic these days- literally. If you are a climate change denier (first off, you probably wouldn’t even be here, you’d probably never click a link to a blog post with this kind of title), I would love to sit down and have a conversation with you. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in the environment when it comes to climate change. Maybe you don’t know the extent of it. Or maybe you never paid any real attention to it until now. I don’t wanna make this too long, so I’m just going to give a basic rundown of what’s going on.

So our home, planet Earth, regulates our temperature so we can survive. When energy from the sun reaches Earth, some is sent back out and some is let in and absorbed in the land and the oceans to keep the Earth warm. Then, heat radiates back out into space, but some is trapped in the atmosphere in the form of greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, etc.). Without this “greenhouse effect”, Earth would not be warm enough to be habitable.

Where the problem lies, is the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels and land are releasing excess greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus making the temperature rise, globally.

Why does this matter? Humans have increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 35%. But why is that significant? Here are some effects that we’ve seen from climate change, already, that are only going to get worse.

  • Increased rainfall (in certain areas)
  • Increased droughts (in certain areas)
  • Coral reef damage/destruction
  • Increasing wildfire and longer wildfire seasons
  • More intense and increasing hurricanes
  • Rising sea levels
  • Melting ice
  • Intense heat waves
  • Forest deaths
  • Increased air pollution
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Food scarcity

These effects, they matter. But how is this happening? The two major greenhouse gases we need to be worried about are carbon dioxide and methane.

Carbon dioxide is responsible for about 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from humans. CO2 naturally circulates between the atmosphere, plants, animals and soil, but human activity is producing too much of it. Burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) through certain processes are the cause of this. Think of things like electricity, cars/planes/transportation, and other industrial processes. Fortunately, plants and forests act as “natural sink” for CO2, because they take the CO2 in, store it and use it.

Methane is only responsible for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, but its impact is much greater. Methane from human activity comes from natural gas leaks, livestock, and waste decomposition. Livestock (cows, buffalo, sheep, goat) produce large amounts of methane via their digestion and manure. Livestock farming is the largest contributor to methane production.

SO… Where do we go from here? It’s already been scientifically proven that human activity has caused a huge rise in greenhouse gas emissions. And if we continue on the path that we’re on, it’s not gonna be pretty. Countries all over the globe have already taken huge initiatives to play their part in combating climate change.

But on a global scale, it can seem so overwhelming. As just one person inhabiting this planet, it can be difficult to grasp how you can help change the world. But let me tell you, it all starts with one person. If every single person realized that they matter, their decisions matter, and they did something about it, it would be unbelievably dramatic!

So, what can you do to help change the world? Implementing these daily changes can not only help your peace of mind, but they are helping this unbelievably beautiful and precious place we call home.

  • BE LESS WASTEFUL — this comes down to food, trash, electricity, water. USE LESS. Take shorter showers. Adjust settings on your appliances. Research energy-efficient appliances (Energy Star). Unplug unused electronics. Use less hot water. RECYCLE! For the love of god, stop using plastic water bottles!! Stop using paper plates and cups and coffee mugs.  And no, you don’t need a straw!!! Wash your dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher.
  • CLIMATE-FRIENDLY DIET — the most climate-friendly diet would be vegan/plant-based. But for some people, that’s not going to work. Cutting out red meat ONLY is still going to be huge. If you can’t do that, spend the extra $$ on grass-fed, organic, minimally-processed, high-quality food. It is worth it, not only for the planet, but for you. Food companies that make highly-processed foods do nothing but cause more carbon emissions via their factory processing.
  • TRANSPORTATION — drive less! Save gas whenever possible by driving efficiently- aka don’t drive 80mph every time you’re on the highway. Share rides whenever possible. Get a damn bike if that’s possible for you. Look into an energy-efficient vehicle if that’s possible for you. Fly as little as possible.
  • BECOME ONE WITH NATURE — Plant a tree 🙂 like I said, plants act as carbon sinks, they take in CO2 and store it. But with factory farming becoming so huge, we now have the issue of deforestation– forests are literally being burnt to the ground so there is more room for farming. Less forests = less plants/trees = less CO2 being taken in by the trees = more CO2 being released in the atmosphere. Make sense?

A good rule of thumb is REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. You’d be surprised at how much you can help just by being mindful of your choices.

There are ENDLESS resources about climate change!!! Check out NASA’s website, the Climate Reality Project, What’s Your Impact, The EPA

If you have any questions, please ask. And remember– YOU MATTER!!

 

Abundance mindset vs. Scarcity mindset

In today’s day and age, being gripped by depression and anxiety is a somewhat normal thing. Society seems to be built on what is called a “scarcity mentality.”

This is the idea that in any way, your life is lacking. Why do you think the advertising and marketing companies thrive? Why there is always a newer, better, more improved product coming out? We have literally been raised to believe that our life is missing something: “I need this.” “I need that.” Companies can get you to buy virtually anything, because you think you need it; because you think your life is lacking without it.

The scarcity mentality is constantly reinforced and carries over into all aspects of our lives. Suddenly, everything is about YOU and what you are MISSING. There’s this notion that if someone else has something, that there’s nothing left for you. Your best friend gets engaged. It turns into, “when am I gonna find a good guy???” Your brother buys a brand new car. You say, “Am I ever gonna have enough money to get a car like that?”

I’m here to break the news to you… even though it may be hard to swallow….

THERE. IS. ENOUGH. SUCCESS. TO. GO. AROUND.

Success is INFINITE! Meaning, there is plenty of it for everyone! SOMEONE ELSE’S SUCCESS IS NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, TAKES AWAY FROM YOUR SUCCESS/FUTURE SUCCESS.

If this is true, then why do we become so envious of others’ success? It’s because we are living in a scarcity mindset.

Don’t worry, this is a natural way of thinking. But it can be reversed. But first, you have to realize that you are in complete control of your perception of things around you. I’m not saying you are in complete control of your emotions, because we all know that isn’t true. But, you can drastically change the way you react to things, and the way view the world around you- it all begins in your mind.

This is where, viola, I present to you… the abundance mindset. It just sounds better, right?

When you cultivate an abundance mindset, the way you see things begins to take a turn for the better. So, what does an abundance mindset look like?

Failure and the way you view failure, changes. Failure is no longer the end of the world. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. You realize that failures are a necessary part of your path to success. EVERYONE fails. But you know you have to pick yourself back up, and ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” “What can I do better next time?”

Gratitude pours out into your daily life. Instead of focusing on things you’re lacking, you take the time to be grateful for everything you do have. Everyday you make a list of things you’re grateful for– your friends, family, food in your fridge, a roof over your head, hot water, a running car. This list goes on and on of things that can be taken for granted every single day.

The negative, “scarcity” energy is cut out. Stay away from people who are always complaining, who never have anything positive to say. Cut out advertising, commercials, gimmicks, ways of companies trying to convince you you’re missing something. Do this by watching less TV. Read more books. Geek out on personal development writings and blogs. Realize that you can create your own environment of abundance; it’s your choice.

Others’ success = happiness, not resentment. You realize that everyone is on their own path, has their own purpose, and has their own timeline. Your purpose and timeline can be very different from someone else’s. It does NOT mean that they are successful, and you are not. You do not have to be fearful or jealous of your peers or competitors. You CAN be genuinely happy from them, and learn from them.

The focus turns to all the endless possibilities. We all know that things can change in the blink of an eye. Your world can be turned upside down at any minute. But, change is not the end of the world! What can sometimes be seen as a step back can be seen to others as a new beginning. Life is literally limitless and once you realize that, it’s life changing.

 

I hope this finds you and really speaks to you. And you decide for yourself you want to make a change. We are all capable. ❤

 

Life lessons that Crossfit has taught me

As anyone reading this probably already knows, but I’ve been drinking the Crossfit koolaid pretty heavy. As a coach and an athlete for the last almost 4 years, CF has changed my life in ways I’ll be stuck with forever. I can’t say enough good things about what it’s done for me, mentally and physically. Here’s why. 🙂

1. Support system is everything

What keeps most of us coming back to Crossfit, is the community. There’s nothing like the bond that you build with people at your gym. Whether it’s before work, during a lunch break, or after work, that hour at the gym you get with your buddies is most likely the highlight of your day. We get to let off some steam, chat it up, laugh, get some competition going, and do some fitness. There’s a sacred sort of bond formed between all the athletes doing a workout together. In the middle of it, when your heart rate is jacked, your lungs are burning and you feel like you can’t keep going, it’s all of your buddies around you that motivate you to keep going. To pick up the bar. To not stop. Everyone’s rooting for eachother to keep going, there’s nothing like it!

2. There will always be an excuse

There will always, always, always, be a reason why you can’t. I’m tired- I have homework to do- My favorite show is on tonight- I have such a long day today- My head hurts.

The list can go on and on. Same goes for performance during a Crossfit workout: My legs are sore- My nose is running- I didn’t sleep much last night- I didn’t get a big enough breakfast.

The point is, to hell with the excuses. You either show up and do the work, to the best of your ability…or you don’t. It’s pretty simple. There doesn’t need to be an excuse for everything. The people who excel in the Crossfit world (and in life) are those who realize that excuses mean absolutely nothing and will get you nowhere, fast.

3. Success isn’t linear

There seems to be this misconception that success is a linear process- that someone keeps excelling over and over again until they reach their definition of “success.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The road to success is always UNDER CONSTRUCTION- it’s bumpy, frustrating, exhausting, and paved with failures.

It’s how you deal with the obstacles that hit you on your road to success that will determine when/if you get there! CF couldn’t be more of a testament to this. Even the top athletes’s lives have not been lacking of setbacks, obstacles, failures, injuries. Struggles are inevitable. Bad things will happen to you. Sometimes you’ll find a skill or task that seems so daunting, it’s almost impossible. Sometimes life and emotions will get in the way. And that’s OKAY. It’s part of the process. It’s part of the magic. It’s part of your path to success.

4. Ego won’t get you far

Ego… it is the NUMBER ONE reason why Crossfit gets a bad reputation in the fitness community. Crossfit, when prescribed correctly, is an amazing tool to create functional fitness accessible to everyone. And yes, I mean everyone. It is scalable and modifiable. When it is modified correctly based on the person, ALL levels should get the same stimulus from any given workout. Loads and volumes are chosen based on the person, so ALL can get the same intensity from the workout.

The problem arises when people don’t scale correctly. Everyone wants to do the workout Rx (as prescribed), even if they may not be ready to do so. This is how people either 1. get hurt or 2. are not progressing in the way that they should be. While the ultimate goal for most people is to be able to do workouts as prescribed, they often forget how important all the stuff in between is. Learning new skills, doing them the right way, becoming efficient at them, being able to do them under fatigue- these are things for the Crossfitter to be worried about… not doing the workout as prescribed.

If you want to be a successful Crossfitter, your ego needs to be left at the door when you walk into the gym. If you come in eager to learn, to listen to the coaches, to do things correctly, to scale appropriately… that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you begin to grow as an athlete, and as a person. In life, you will get so much farther if you can admit when you don’t know something and are OK with asking for help. Ego is really the biggest enemy here. As Albert Einstein said, “More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.”

 

5. Stay in your lane

Going right along with the ego- another big issue in Crossfit gyms is people becoming obsessive with comparison. People get too worried about what others are doing and how they’re performing. To feel better about themselves, they need to beat this person. It’s just more of feeding the ego. Instead, athletes should be focused on themselves, and their weaknesses. Instead of worrying about who to beat, what can they do everyday to get ahead of the pack? What skill needs some extra attention? How can they move faster in a certain kind of workout? These are questions to be asking, not “Oh, well what did he get?”

In every day life, your own path is the only one that needs to be focused on. Everyone’s is different, and everyone’s timing is different. Be so honed in on what’s going on in your life that you don’t even have time to worry about another’s. Be so busy working on your own grass that you haven’t even noticed if theirs is greener.

 

6. What’s going on in between your ears is most important

Positive self-talk. Inner coaching. Mental toughness. These are CRUCIAL, day in and day out, in a Crossfit athlete’s life. There are so many things that can go wrong in a workout. How you overcome, adapt, keep moving, and keep talking to yourself, are key to getting through it. Getting mad at yourself for having to drop the bar, getting visibly upset or frustrating for breaking your jump ropes, or silently cursing and freaking out in your brain when you miss a weight, are all ways that a workout can go downhill for you.

Learning how to control your thoughts- changing them from negative to positive, can be a game changer. If you can learn to talk to yourself in a positive manner, you will adapt and overcome almost anything that happens to you. Keep in mind, this doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years to develop a mentality that will give you the edge over other athletes, and other people.

7. There is no substitute for hard work

Basically, you get what you give. If you half-ass anything, it will show. If you’ve been neglecting a skill all year, it will show. If you choose to skip things you suck at, it will eventually show.

Nothing in this world beats hard work, consistency, patience. They are necessary for a successful Crossfit career and for a fulfilling life. If you’re going to do something, whether it be for work, your family, your athletic career- why not do it fully? Why not seek to be the best you can possibly be? Why not take all the steps necessary to ensure success?

There’s never a quick fix, a magic pill, a #1 program that will get you all the results you’re looking for. How you’re going to achieve it (whatever it is), is solely up to you. If you want to work hard, that’s your choice. If you don’t want to work hard, that’s your choice as well.

Intention, Implementation, Effort: Holding Yourself Accountable.

Before I begin, I just wanna say, I truly believe that most people want the best for themselves. Most of us have some sort of plan or idea of building a successful life, whatever that entails for each of us specifically.  We want to do well in all aspects of life… our career, the gym, our love lives, etc. But, the same time, lots of people are OK with just coasting by and doing the bare minimum. My writing today is for both of these kinds of people.

You might be saying to yourself, “I’m not one of those people.” And you could be right. You say things, you set goals, you talk about plans. But unfortunately, what we plan for does not always happen. What we say does not always mean what we do. We sometimes fall short, and we don’t always follow up.

To find and keep success in life, you need to be able to hold yourself accountable. Basically, you need to be able to call yourself on your own shit. This is way easier said, than done. Most people are completely and utterly incapable of admitting they’re wrong, admitting they’re not doing enough, or admitting they’re just straight up lazy.

Being accountable is literally as simple as this: say what you’re going to do, and then do it.

Keep in mind, I said simple, not easy. 

You should be holding yourself to the highest standard of all.

You should realize that a long-term change or goal requires small, meticulous details that are required every day!!!

Successful people, in my eyes, are those that choose excellence, work hard, and pay attention to detail, in every aspect of life. They want to excel in all areas, not just one. They don’t take the easy way out. They do the work when it needs to be done, they don’t make excuses, and they call themselves on their own shit.

At the end of the day, you are accountable for your own success. You are in control of your actions and decisions, therefore you need to be responsible for them.

First, you need to be clear with yourself of your intentions. Your intentions for yourself should be reasonable, but high! Do you want that promotion at your job? Do you want to buy a house by the end of the year? Do you want to lose 20 pounds?

Then, how are you going to implement it?

At your job, are you going to keep learning new skills? Continue your education? Make your intentions known to your superiors?

For your upcoming home ownership, how much money are you going to save? Are you going to come up with a budget? How are you going to strengthen your credit score? Do you have ideas of areas you would like to live in?

To lose weight, do you have a deadline? Are you going to do weekly weigh-ins? Measurements? Food logs? Workout plans?

Now comes the hardest part, effort. Effort, is in fact, a choice. You make a decision every work day, every meal, every workout, every dollar spent, if you’re working towards that goal, or taking a step back from it. And realizing that can be very difficult.

It’s hard to take a step back and realize how many conscious decisions we make. There are a ton of things in life we cannot control, but it’s in fact quite scary to fully realize how much we do have control over. It’s all about taking ownership of your choices and their  consequences.

Your alarm goes off, and you hit that snooze button twice, rush to get out of bed, get stuck in five extra minutes of traffic, and end up being fifteen minutes late to work. When the alarm went off, you had two choices: get out of bed, or hit the snooze. You consciously chose to hit the snooze. But of course, if this is the situation, most would blame it on the traffic. Right?

Every time you buy something you don’t need, you are making a conscious choice to do so. Dinners out with friends and family, unnecessary snacks at the grocery store, another pair of sweatpants or a sweatshirt… every time you purchase something outside of your intended budget, you are taking money away from what you really need it for. Point blank period.

If there is food in front of you, good or bad, you make a decision whether to put it in your mouth or not. Every bite (or no bite) is either getting you closer to your weight loss goals, or farther away. The choice is YOURS. If you take that bite of cake, you’re basically saying to yourself, “This temporary satisfaction is more important than my long-term goals.”

Just let all that sink in for a sec.

I don’t try to be a hard-ass, I just want everyone reading this to realize how truly simple it is. It’s so easy to put the blame on others. It’s really hard to come to terms with the fact that the only person responsible, is yourself.

That’s what accountability is. And this is where your effort matters.

Once you make your intentions clear, and execute a plan, it needs to be followed through. This is the part where you actually do what you say you’re going to do. This is where it comes down to the daily, small changes in your habits.

I’ll just go ahead and keep using the examples I’ve been using: a job promotion, home ownership, and weight loss.

At work, know that you are going to have to bring a positive attitude. Every day. Get there early. Stay late. Willingly look for more responsibilities. Ask for what you want. Every day do something that makes you stand out from the rest of the pack.

When it comes to your money, stick to your budget, don’t stray far off from it. Notice things you use are unnecessary , that can be reused or recycled, or that you can temporarily do without. Limit expenses like heat, electric, cell use… anything that can reduce the size of your bills.

To shed those extra pounds, get help from a professional, that you can check in with pretty often. Track your calories and macros. Don’t skip a workout. Don’t have unnecessary snack foods and treats around. Stick to the plan. Opt for the stairs and stay active as much as you can.

Get the jist here? Every thing I just listed, for each situation, are things that need to be done daily. That’s the key. Small changes, every day, over time, leading to huge results. That’s how we get what we want out of life. This can be applied to any situation.

Intention, Implementation, Effort. YOU GOT THIS!

 

 

 

 

Your New Years “resolution”– making it sustainable.

It’s about that time of year again… that weird time in between Christmas & New Years when we don’t really know what’s going on or even what day it is.

Maybe your eating habits went to shit in the past week.

Maybe you’re exhausted from driving all over to visit your family or your significant other’s family.

Maybe you’re stressing about all the money you spent on Christmas gifts.

Maybe you’ve been binge-watching Netflix and become more anxious as it gets closer and closer to the day you have to go back to work.

We spend this time getting out all of our bad habits. Come January 1st, it’s a new year, 2018. New year, new you, right? This magic day comes and all of the sudden we’ve become experts on how to change our lives. Because it happens in one day, right?

Not quite. If you want to make a change in your life– whatever it may be, if you want it, and I mean really want it– you’re not going to wait. You’re going to do it right now. Not tomorrow, not Monday, not January 1st.

Why do you need a new year to be a better person? To change your diet? To start working out? To make more time for your boyfriend/girlfriend? To start meditating? To disconnect from social media? To limit your spending? If you want to do it, quite frankly, just do it.

Often times when we come up with a “goal” for our New Years resolution, it’s going to fail. I put the word goal in quotation marks because it’s actually not a goal. It’s just a person saying they’re going to do something. Unless you sit down and plan out the small, daily changes you are going to take to make this plan happen… it’s not a goal. Point, blank, period. (If you haven’t read my previous blog about goal-setting, you should).

Chances are, last year you had a resolution that didn’t go quite as planned. And the year before. And the year before. See the pattern? It all sounds well and good in our mind… maybe it works for a few weeks, or a few months. But it almost always never lasts. As soon as we lose motivation, it’s over with. Let me tell you- motivation will come, and it will go. Some days you will want to complete that task, some days you won’t. What comes, and stays, always, is discipline.

People who are disciplined don’t wait until a Monday to start a fitness program. People who are disciplined don’t let the holidays throw their diet into the garbage. People who are disciplined get the work done when they feel like it, and they also get the work done when they don’t feel like it. They make time for the things they want to make time for. They don’t do things that aren’t necessary. Every thing that they are in control of, they handle.

What I suggest you should do, instead of coming up with a New Years resolution, is to sit down and reflect on your actions and behaviors this past year.

What kind of person are you?

What kind of person do you want to be?

What bad things happened to you that you could have prevented?

How could you have reacted differently to things that were out of your control?

What do you do when you don’t feel like doing something?

How do you motivate yourself?

What drives you?

What do you wish you made more time for?

Are you willing to do something differently, every single day?

What is it that you want to change?

What bad habits do you want to get rid of?

From here, you probably have a good idea of what you would like to change about yourself. Now, it’s time to come up with a plan.  A real, sustainable plan needs to include DAILY changes (again, please refer to my goal-setting post!). Every single day you will have to do something differently, until the point where it becomes habit. That’s where the discipline kicks in– you’ve been doing it for so long you don’t even have to think about it anymore.

What we fail to understand over and over and over again, is how much power we have over our own lives. Your dream body, your dream job, your mentality, a great relationship, a bigger savings account. What it takes, is real, hard, effort, and discipline. The question is, are you willing?

Nobody can change your life, except for you. If you want something, you have to make it happen, for yourself.

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and New Years 🙂 friendssss, please contact me if you need help with goal-setting, ever!!! I would love to help.

 

❤ Rachel

 

 

Self-care is NOT selfish!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

You can’t keep giving, giving, giving… and never taking anything for yourself.

We have this idea that putting our selves, our needs, our wants, before other things in our lives is selfish. There seems to be a misconception in our world: there’s no way that we can take care of others, while simultaneously taking care of ourselves. Most of us think we have to choose between the two.

You shouldn’t have that voice in your head that stops you every time you get the idea to do something for yourself. You’re not being a hero by being self-less all the time. What you’re actually doing, is burning yourself out.

When I say “self-care”… I don’t necessarily mean taking yourself on a shopping spree, or getting your nails done, or going on a vacation, or rewarding yourself with your favorite food. I’m talking about mental self-care: things that make your soul happy, give you purpose, get you in touch with your feelings.

Have you ever found yourself getting angry or upset and lashing out on someone, and realizing later that it wasn’t them that upset you, that you were actually angry about something else? Have you ever felt so stressed out and started crying about something insignificant, then to realize it’s because you were absolutely exhausted?

When you aren’t in touch with our feelings, you tend to project them on others. This can obviously cause problems in relationships and cause you to lash out at those around you. Self-care, real self-care, begins with opening up to yourself about your feelings, your wants, and your needs. What do you want? What do you need? What calms you down? What keeps you sane?

I want to train 6x a week. I need to cook all my meals. Stretching and drinking wine calms me down. Relaxing on the couch, with my dog, catching up on some TV keeps me sane. These are the things I do to take care of myself.

Answer these questions, honestly. Now… are you making time for the answers to those questions? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that’s what you should be doing.

Yes I get it, it’s easy for me to say. I’m a single 25-year old with no kids or anything like that. But listen to me… “I don’t have time” is not an excuse. There is someone out there, with a busier schedule than you, who is “making time.” If it is important to you, you will make time. And I hope I’m convincing to you right now, that it should be important to you.

I work 2 jobs, 50+ hours a week… nights, some early mornings, and weekends. I’m not complaining about my schedule, but every free second I get, I use. I use any free few hours to get the things done that keep me sane. I prep all my meals on Monday morning, it’s therapeutic and relaxing and makes me happy because I know it’s helping me towards my goals. When I can, I sit down and write because I enjoy getting my thoughts and ramblings on paper. If I have any downtime or a night off, I’m usually curling up on the couch and catching up on a TV show, only if it’s for an hour before I go to bed. After a long, hectic double at work, I love to come home, whip out a yoga mat, stretch and drink wine while watching a TV show.

Self-care also means learning how to say no. You don’t have to pick up that shift for that person. You don’t have to take on that extra project. You don’t have to keep making other people’s wishes and requests priorities over other things in your life.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your priorities. If you are not properly taking care of yourself, it means that you are not considering yourself a priority. How f*cked up is that?

So I challenge you, to prioritize. Make self-care one of your goals going into the new year. Put yourself first… FOR ONCE! Get rid of that nasty voice in your head telling you to stop being selfish. Because you’re not being selfish, you’re being smart. Your mind, your body, your soul… it’s the only one ya got. So take care of it. And you will reap benefits in all other aspects of your life. ❤