The Importance of Self-Care

September is Self-Care Awareness Month! I had “Self-Care” on my list of blog topics that I wanted to talk about. When I saw that September was Self-Care Awareness month, I figured this would be the perfect time to have this chat about the importance of self-care. 

We all know that self-care is important, but how many people really take the time to focus on themselves? Self-care looks different for everybody because we are all different and need different things. 

Self-care doesn’t always have to be face masks and bubble baths if that’s not for you!

I truly have a passion for living a healthy balanced lifestyle and getting the most out of life. We all get caught up in day-to-day tasks and activities that sometimes we forget one important thing: self-care & making ourselves a priority. 

We all have non-negotiables that need to be present in our daily routine because when they aren’t present, things seem to get out of control. By “non-negotiable”, I mean, that one thing that you need present for your sanity. For me, my non-negotiable is working out, especially first thing in the morning. Once I figured this out and got myself on a consistent routine, this has been the ultimate game-changer for me.


A couple years ago, I was experiencing various stressors in my life. Things seemed all out of control and I couldn’t figure out how to get myself back on track. I was stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, unsure and pretty unhappy with just about everything. I had started seeing my healthy habits disappearing. I was unmotivated to go to the gym, got lazy when it came to washing my face at night, I mean I did not want to do any of my healthy habits throughout the day. Which was weird because I’ve always been one to always have healthy habits in place. 

It wasn’t until I started going to the gym first thing in the morning that things started falling into place. Things started making more sense to me. The days that I don’t go to the gym or get some kind of exercise in, I feel all anxious and flustered all day. That’s when I realized that working out was my non-negotiable self-care ritual. 

Over the last year that I’ve been regularly on a workout schedule, I have slowly been able to implement other self-care habits into my day and see which ones work best for me. Since I’ve been experiencing many changes in my life recently, I’ve had a hard time with getting myself on a solid self-care routine. But, I am learning first-hand the importance of incorporating some self-care into your day and figuring out which ones are necessary for you. 

Along this journey so far, I’ve learned how hard it can be to let go of stressors in our daily life. Not be focusing on all the things that we don’t have and that we wish we had. For me, I noticed myself neglecting self-care when I was overwhelmed by stress and how unhappy I was. Which in turn lead me to feeling even more stressed and unhappy because I wasn’t taking care of myself. 

Sound familiar to anyone?

What I also had to learn is that I needed to choose myself and start making myself and my self-care a priority if I wanted all the stress to go away and to feel happy, I had to come first. It’s extremely hard to do when you are so far deep in the mental funk. What I learned is that making even the smallest changes goes a long way. 

What I also learned is that I would tell myself that I’m going to do all of the self-care things right away, all at once. Well, probably not surprising at all, it didn’t work. Which was very frustrating because its SELF-CARE, it should be making me happy, right?!

Meh… not really.

When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, it can be frustrating and overwhelming because it’s not likely to be possible to achieve those things. Then, we get hard on ourselves when we don’t do the things we told ourselves that we would do. The things that we told ourselves to do became less of a self-care item and more of a chore. The last thing self-care should be is a chore.

Side note: why does self-care have to be so dang complicated?!

Instead of telling yourself,“I’m going to get to the gym 5 days this week, do face masks every day and meditate for 30 minutes twice a day” maybe make the goal to get outside for a 10-15 minute walk a couple days a week, do a face mask once a week and journal a couple times a week. If that. 

But, it’s important to do things that you love and make you feel good. 

Some ideas for self-care:

Take a bubble bath 

This is one of my favorite things and used to be something I did every Sunday night. Dimming the lights or just letting candles provide the light and putting on relaxing music. The apartment I just recently moved into doesn’t have a bath tub, which I’m really sad about but I try to take a long hot shower with lavendar essential oils. Not the same, but you have to work with what ya got!

Face scrubs & face masks. 

This is one thing that I have been really bad about but I love doing. I was getting lazy with even washing my face. But, there’s something relaxing and refreshing about giving your face (& body!) some extra TLC, especially right before bed!

Journaling.

Journaling can be one of the most therapeutic activities! I have recently re-incorporated journaling back into my morning and night routine and I have seen tremendous results. Journaling allows you to get all of your stressors and anything bothering you out of your subconscious mind so it’s not stuck there. Our natural tendency is to suppress hard or stressful things, but the subconscious doesn’t forget that it’s there. So, journaling is a great technique to use to talk about what’s going on in your life. Some questions to answer: What’s going well? What’s stressing you out? What’s holding you back? What are you feeling? What would make the day great? How did the day go? What went well? What could be improved?

I personally don’t like journal prompts, but I know some people find them very helpful. I find that just free writing and letting my mind guide the writing helps me a lot more. I try to write a full page in the morning and just brain dump everything that’s on my mind.

Meditation.

I have a love/hate relationship with meditation, but there are SO many benefits from it! Meditation is difficult at first, at least it is for me. It’s difficult to turn off your thoughts for some time. But, if that’s an issue for you, then maybe this is something that you need to help you quiet your mind. I’ve found adding in mediation into my morning and night routine has been very helpful in decreasing my stress and anxiety.

Tip: Start with 2-3 minutes once a day. If you try to start longer and more often, you might find that you get frustrated and end up not seeing mediation to be helpful for you. 

Affirmations. 

Have you noticed that you have very negative self-talk? Like “I’m so stupid”, “I’m a failure.”, “Why can’t I do anything right?” I noticed that too for a while. How we talk about ourselves and how we think about ourselves correlates with how we feel and how we show up for ourselves. If you keep telling yourself “I’m a failure” all the time, you can’t expect yourself to feel all that great about yourself. If you go into a situation thinking “I’m a failure”, you’re going to treat yourself and the situation like you’re a failure. 

It’s all about perception. Instead of constantly telling yourself “I’m a failure”,try saying “I am strong & capable of success”, “I am powerful”, “I will be successful”. Repeat affirmations everyday, write them on sticky notes, give yourself reminders. Trust me, it works wonders! Positive self-talk is incredibly important!

Take a break.

It is very easy to get caught up in daily tasks and being busy that we forget to slow down throughout the day. I find it helpful to take small breaks throughout the day to give my mind a rest. Take this time to do something that you enjoy and find refreshing and helpful. Maybe you take a break to read, journal, watch tv, get outside, etc. Especially if it’s a nice day, I’ve been trying to take 10 minutes to walk around outside to get some fresh air. 

Exercise.

As we all know, there are SO many positive benefits to exercise. There are of course physical benefits to working out, but more importantly, mental benefits as well. Try to make it a priority to get out and go on a walk/run, get to the gym a couple times a week, go on a bike ride, take a class, anything! Get your body moving!

Read.

Reading is a great way to calm your mind and relax. I’m not much of a reader, but when I do, I like to right before I go to bed. It makes me tired and calms my mind. Maybe reading can be a perfect addition to your night time routine!

Do something you love.

This seems like an obvious, but sometimes when we are too stressed, we neglect the things we love. Life gets in the way and you just forget about that hobby that makes you so happy. This can be anything. Maybe it drawing, painting, coloring, ceramics, building things, etc. 

Get outside.

Sometimes simply just being outside and getting fresh air can be incredibly refreshing. If you are someone that tends to stay inside in your office all day, maybe getting outside for even just a 10-15 minute break might be helpful and refreshing!

Get a Massage .

Massages can be a bit pricey, so this might be a every-once-in-a-while splurge on your self-care. But, if it’s in your budget, don’t be afraid to take it the extra mile and treat yo self- you deserve it!

Treat Yourself to a Mani/pedi

Similar to getting a massage, don’t be afraid to treat yo self! I very rarely go to a salon to get my nails done. But, sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little bit and get a little pampered!

Go to Therapy.

As someone with a psychology background, I whole-heartedly believe in the benefits of talk therapy. Of course, this is something that not everyone has access to. Even just talking about what’s going on to family/friends if you are feeling stressed out. I find talk therapy to be helpful because it gets everything off of your chest so you’re not keeping everything bottled up inside. This can bring up lots of emotions, which can be hard and uncomfortable to deal with in the moment. But, the end result makes you feel so much more relieved to have all of the extra weight off of your shoulders! 

Make plans with a friend.

Again, being overly busy can make it hard to make friendships a priority. But, it always feels good to catch up with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while. I encourage you to contact a couple friends you haven’t seen in a while and make plans throughout the month or in the near future! 

Go Shopping.

OK retail therapy is not for me. Shopping tends to stress me out more than it makes me feel refreshed. Although, there is something to say about buying yourself a new outfit to wear that you feel real good in! 

Take yourself to see a movie.

Again, movies aren’t really my thing. While I enjoy them, I don’t ever think to do this. But, if you are someone that really enjoys movies, then this is a great one for you! Take yourself to see that movie that you’ve been wanting to see! Or spend a Friday/Saturday night in for a movie night (this is what I would be more likely to do!). Make yourself a bowl of popcorn, grab a glass of wine and a comfy blanket and you are good to go! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! 


The list is endless! It’s important to do what makes you feel happy and refreshed. Whatever you need! I encourage you and challenge you to pick a couple things to do every day this month for self-care. They say it takes three weeks  to form a habit! So, by the end of the month you might have developed a self-care routine habit that you will carry with you even after September ends!

So, what self-care activities are you committing to trying this month?!

What I learned from unplugging

Sometimes when we put too much pressure on ourselves, it can be overwhelming. This can also lead to exhaustion, stress, lack of motivation and decreased creativity. It’s frustrating because all you want to do is be productive. But, sometimes all you need is to take break from everything. Over the last couple months, I’ve been experiencing quite a few changes- although good changes, they’ve been a little overwhelming. While these changes were happening, I also felt like it was time to make some changes to my business plan. While it was an exciting thought, it made me even more overwhelmed. I felt like I always had to be “on” and I didn’t know exactly how to approach these changes that I wanted to make.

I spent some time completely away from posting on social media, revisiting my plan and trying new things. But, everything that I tried, I didn’t see the results I was hoping to see. This ultimately lead me to feeling even more overwhelmed and pretty discouraged. This feeling of being discouraged ultimately lead me to feel lack of motivation.

Sound familiar?

So, over the past couple months, I’ve been taking a step back from my own social media accounts- a little unplugging, if you will. I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as it ended up being, but I felt like it was the best thing for me and my business. I didn’t want to just post something on social media, acting like everything was completely fine and I was feeling like everything was “together”. These moments are definitely necessary because it always, always  means that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. It’s very uncomfortable in the moment, but knowing there was something incredible on the other side is what kept me going.

Rather than stressing myself out about needing to constantly be making posts, I took a step back and began observing. Most people feel like they need to “unplug” from scrolling and seeing others posts, but that’s what I felt like I needed. I needed inspiration and I needed to see how others were handling themselves. Seems a bit odd, I know. Building your own business is absolutely incredible because you get to use all of your talents and expertise to build something amazing. But, it’s also challenging because how exactly are you supposed to do that? There were SO MANY things that I wanted to do with my business. I knew that my abilities and capabilities were much more than I knew what to do with at the moment. I was on the brink of something amazing, but I didn’t know how to get there!

I also had to understand that this is just a part of the journey.

By the time July came around, I was experiencing mixed emotions from being super proud of where I’ve come over the past year (which you can read about here) to feeling extreme overwhelm. So, I spent A LOT of time on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and really paying attention to those email subscriptions I have. I observed how other online entrepreneurs handle themselves and their schedules. I absolutely admire those who are able to handle so many things on their plate and do so many amazing things with their business. I wanted to be that person so bad.

We put so much pressure on ourselves, which can actually be a good thing. But, without necessary precautions, it can lead to burnout. Which I started experiencing quite a bit in the first six months of business. There’s so much that I wanted to do and I wanted to be successful so badly I was willing to do anything to get there.

Unplugging from my own accounts for a few months helped me tremendously. I was able to completely focus on my client’s profiles and use the extra time to rest. Watching YouTube videos and reading other blog posts helped slowly make my vision more clear. I took notes and started thinking about how I could possibly make changes and incorporate the various tips into my own business. Doing this also made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this journey.

During this time, I also realized that I wanted and needed to make some (bigger) investments in my business to keep moving forward. I spent  A LOT of money on various services that would help me more efficiently show up and run my business.

Then, I started to come up with a game plan to implement those things that I wanted to accomplish in my business. Slowly, I started gaining that clarity that I was longing for. That sense of passion for what I was doing slowly started coming back. In just a couple weeks, I went from feeling completely overwhelmed and unsure if I had what it takes to run this business to gaining the most clarity I’ve experienced yet.

The main turning point?

After weeks of seeking inspiration, I decided to pick up my camera to gather content.

I started gathering more content for my business, as well as my clients. I felt the sense of passion rush right back to me. In gathering content, I started getting all kinds of ideas for my business, blog posts, videos, etc. I kept gathering content and kept a running list of these ideas.

The passion is back and I am working on even more incredible content than I was before. Slowly, I’m building this business that I never even thought to dream of.

All of this happened just because I decided to unplug for a while. Unplugging will look different for everyone. But, it’s necessary for everyone. For me, it took taking a step back and observing others around me. Letting myself feel the emotions as the came to the surface, especially the ones that were extremely overwhelming, and slowly starting to get myself back into the game.

During this time, I also noticed that a lot of other entrepreneurs talk about doing the same thing. Often we feel like we are the only ones going through specific hard times because it looks like everyone has it completely together. But, we all need it. Our brains need it. Our body needs it. Our business needs it.

I have a new approach to running this business now. I have a content calendar for blogs, videos and posts and I am ready to crush this journey!

Unplugging can be hard. It can be hard to get yourself to just stop for some time while you gain some clarity. With it can come with confusion, frustration in yourself for not being able to keep going. We’re all learning, we’re all growing. It doesn’t stop. But, unplugging when you need it just might be exactly what you need to keep moving forward.


I actually wrote this post a month prior and had it scheduled to be posted a month prior. It was a week before I was going on vacation and I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce some things and start my blogging schedule. The day before I planned to launch everything, I realized that I needed to take my unplugging even further. So, I decided to hold off until I got back from vacation. I needed the week to completely turn everything off before I got overwhelmed.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I decided to give myself an extra couple weeks to unplug [even more] and get everything planned out so I didn’t get overwhelmed. During my time away on vacation, I learned a lot about the importance of completely taking a break, which I will write a post about very soon!


Make sure you take the time off and unplug when you need to! Do you let yourself unplug and give yourself time away when you need to?

My Fitness Journey | Choosing Yourself First

“You haven’t been yourself in about 2-3 years” is what my mom said to me a year ago. We were having a conversation about possible depression and seeing my doctor to get on an antidepressant. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so we were trying to figure out how I was going to pay for the doctor visit, as well as the medication. I was a mess, my mental health was a mess.

I had just started a job that I thought was my “big break” I was looking for to get my career off the ground. I was trying to convince myself that I enjoyed this job, but I really didn’t. I hated it and wasn’t good at it, at all. I would pack a gym bag to go to the gym right after work, but would talk myself out of actually going because I was “too tired”. I really felt like I wasn’t in control of anything. Although, I tried. I would go home after work and try to figure out how to be better at this job. When I was with my boyfriend, I was thinking of this job, I would get to the office early to try to prepare better for the day. I really wanted to make this work and was willing to do anything to make it happen. The stress of my career was literally taking control of everything.

On Friday July 6, 2018, I walked into work and was immediately brought into an office and was fired at 6:45am. I was half relieved because the job was horrible, but half confused because I had no idea what I was going to do next. How was I supposed to expect an employer to hire me when I had 3 jobs in 6 months & fired from the last one after 5 weeks?

That same day just happened to be the Annual Memorial Golf Scramble I volunteer at yearly. I looked at the pictures we took and immediately realized that I needed to start taking care of myself better. I really didn’t “look” that bad, but I could tell how unhappy I was and crumbling under my own pressure to pull myself together & failing at every attempt. I was exhausted and putting on a smile to try to convince myself & others that I was completely fine. I wasn’t taking care of myself AT. ALL. I was lost & didn’t know what to do, or which way to go.


On Monday, July 9, 2018, I woke up without a job to go to for the first time in YEARS. It was a feeling that I was unsure to do with because I was exhausted, tired of trying to prove myself & my abilities to Corporate America. I knew I had a lot of potential, but was running out of ideas and options. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next, but I knew I had to keep going in the only way I knew how- start taking care of myself and my mental health.

So, I went to the gym.

In making the decision to take actionable steps to take care of myself first, I have:
– learned how to love myself again
– worked out on a consistent schedule
– gained a healthy relationship with food
– started my own business
– started waking up with purpose every day
– moved out of my parents house (finally!)
– connected with amazing people
– become, really really happy
*I also no longer felt like I needed to be on an antidepressant.

NOW WHAT?

So, I woke up that day, exactly one year ago, and drug myself to the gym, with a commitment to myself. A commitment to turn this negative thing into a life changing experience, and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have a plan for my career, or anything for that matter. But, I knew that if I wanted anything to come together, I had to take control of the one thing I had complete control over: myself.

This moment was the first time since college that the chaos in my mind completely stopped. After everything, I had no desire to look for a job. It sounds weird, I had lost my trust in corporate jobs. I was frustrated at the fact that I had to prove myself to a company, leave a paycheck & benefits, for them to let me go whenever it was convenient for them.

I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents, so I had the security and stability to be able to take the time to figure things out. My dad had an (unpaid) opportunity for me at his startup business. I decided to give it a try, there was nothing I had to lose really. This was the time where I really had to understand that I had to take on every single opportunity that came my way. I really didn’t care what it was, I just had to take advantage of everything.

The crazy thing is, the moment I stopped actively looking for opportunities, is the exact time when opportunities started coming to me. I had gotten myself on a exercise routine, making better food choices, taking care of myself and that’s when things started falling into place. I would not change a single part of my journey because every experience had lead me to where I am today. Those experiences will still continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

We are taught to work hard and keep working towards your goals, right? That’s exactly what I tried to do and I ended up running myself into the ground. It’s not my fault- I was just doing what I thought I needed to do. I was working hard towards a goal that wasn’t meant for me. I’m not the only one who has done this, right?

But, these moments are meant to happen and are necessary for success and growth. The best thing I did in my time of confusion, was to start taking care of myself. If you have chaos in your mind like I did, things will start coming together when you calm your mind. It sounds cliché, but it’s so true!

Take every situation, good or bad, as an opportunity to keep growing and getting better. I had always heard that those “bad” moments are a sign that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. I wish there was a magic piece of advice that I could give. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I promise something amazing is about to happen! I had absolutely no idea that getting fired would lead me to starting my own business and working from home. But, I’m so happy that it did.

The best thing you can do in a time of chaos and confusion is start taking actionable steps towards taking care of yourself. I had no idea that stepping into the gym one year ago would be the start of the most amazing journey. I had no idea all of these amazing possibilities that are waiting for me and I know there’s so much more to come. 💗🙏🏼 I’m truly living my life- not just going through the motions of the day and hating everything & everybody.

Six Month Business Recap : What I’ve Learned

It’s been SIX months since I launched my business! I feel like so much has happened and I’ve already learned so much along this journey so far. Starting your own business is hard work & comes with different struggles that you would never think of. So, I wanted to take the time to recap what I’ve learned so far and provide some advice to those who are beginning their journey, or thinking about starting their own business.

There are so many things that you encounter when you are starting your own business, things that nobody teaches you and you have to figure out on your own. I definitely ran into some unexpected obstacles on this journey so far. I am well aware that I’m not done learning (never will be). It’s a process and you learn something new every single day.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE CONNECTIONS

There is great importance in making connections with those who are in your industry/making connections with like-minded people. For me, I don’t know anyone else who does what I do. So, the connections I’ve made in the online space has been extremely helpful and important for my continued success.

When I first started my business, I joined several Facebook Groups & started making connections with other female entrepreneurs through Instagram. Being able to connect with other, like-minded people who have been in your shoes before has been super helpful. It’s always reassuring to know that you’re not the only one experiencing great anxiety and frustration in your business, especially starting out.

I highly recommend looking up joining any Facebook groups and start making connections!

BEING OKAY WITH TAKING CHANCES

You can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes, right? Starting out, I had a world full of amazing opportunities waiting for me. I wanted to test the waters in every way possible and see where it would take me. Maybe I tried to take on too many things at the start, but I’m honestly very grateful that I did. I started blogging and a video series on my Facebook business page. I knew that I wanted to try something different and take chances and I knew I just had to do it in order to learn.

The series didn’t turn into what I expected it to be, but I think that the experience has opened the door and given me many more ideas of where I want to go next. You can’t expect the very first idea to be a game changer, but it can at least be a learning experience and guide you in the right direction. If anything, it’s given me even more confidence to continue trying new things and do it even better than before.

As an introvert that over-thinks and over-analyzes everything, this was a hard thing for me to do. But, I had to do it in order to continue moving forward in my business and give me more ideas.

ORGANIZATION & COMING UP WITH A SYSTEM

This seems like a very known thing, but I had no idea what I needed to do and what was the best system to put into place to make my day run smoothly. It was hard figuring out exactly what I needed to be doing. When you work in the corporate world, there’s already a system in place and you make changes when needed. Having to start from scratch, figuring out the best system for me, how to organize my time has been a challenging experience. It’s been an amazing experience to being fully in charge of my time, but that also comes with it’s own set of roadblocks that I was unprepared for.

What has helped me is taking on less clients to let me figure out a schedule and experiment with different things. There was so much I wanted to do and figure out that I needed some extra time to get it all figured out. I needed the opportunity to try things out, make mistakes and learn from them.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve been able to experiment with my system and my schedule, do some research and adjust where I thought was necessary. It’s been quite the journey so far, but I’m so happy and proud of the chances I’ve been able to take to continue learning and moving forward with my plan.

TRYING TO FORCE MYSELF TO BE CREATIVE RATHER THAN DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY

As a Social Media Manager, I know the importance of planning content ahead of time. I’m good at planning content for my clients, but I’ve found this to be different for myself. I would try to plan out what blog posts I would write, what I wanted to post on Instagram, videos I wanted to make etc., all at the beginning of the month. It sounded like a great plan. I would write down what everything that I wanted to do at the beginning of the month, but I wouldn’t have anything to say about the topic when the time came and it didn’t come off as natural. There always seems to be another topic that came to mind that I ended up talking/writing about.

Having the set plan in place stalled my creativity and made the task more of a chore and frustration. What I’m learning to do now is carry around my planner and writing down topics that come to mind and jotting down notes in a word document, adding to it as ideas come. Doing this has let me exercise my creativity and speak from my heart, rather than forcing myself to be creative.

Planning ahead of time is always great, but I’ve learned that I need to make sure that I’m doing it right and not forcing myself to be creative about a topic when I’m not at the time.  

RECAP

Overall, these 6 months in my business has been the most incredible experience that I could ask for. I never saw myself starting my own business, so this has been quite the journey. But, sometimes you just have to follow the path and the signs as they come. I’ve learned so much, I’ve been challenged in many ways and I’ve put myself out there in ways that I didn’t even know were possible.

It’s been an amazing start to 2019 and I am so very excited to see what else is in store for the rest of the year! Just remember- take as many chances and go through all the open doors that come your way. They can be the most life changing and amazing experience. 💗

Getting through a quarter life crisis

IMG_4870Do you celebrate yourself & your accomplishments on your birthday? I love birthdays for many reasons because I think it is a GREAT excuse to celebrate yourself! Today is my 26th birthday & I have SO much to celebrate! The very first thing that I want to celebrate is officially being out of my early twenties. I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I pretty much describe the disfunction of my early twenties as a quarter life crisis. The feeling of being on the other side and finally  moving in a positive direction is an amazing feeling! So, today I want to take the time to not only celebrate myself & my accomplishments, but I also want to explain how I worked through this time in my life to get to the other side. If you are going through this time in your life- this post is for you! ❤

Blog- Quarter Life Crisis

Ah, the quarter life crisis.

It was something that I never really thought was a “real” thing. I just thought it was a phrase that people my age threw around & joked about. But, here’s the thing, I now whole-heartedly believe that it’s a real thing now. Your twenties can be a confusing time as you are figuring things out, adjusting to the “real world”, learning about yourself & where you are supposed to be in this world. I think time is a blessing in disguise, a necessary time meant to happen so you can experience some form of hardship, learn & keep moving forward.

I think it’s also important to understand that this looks different for everyone. What might be hard for me, or anyone one else, doesn’t mean it will necessarily be for the next person. I remember feeling bad for feeling down about where I was in life, guilty about having these harsh feelings towards where I was in life. I now know that this is completely normal.

I also think this can come at different times in life for different people & can also look different for everyone. It’s important to not compare one’s experiences to your own & try to base normalcy off of others. For me, my “Quarter Life Crisis” appeared from 22-25. The thing is, on paper, on social media, I “looked” happy & life “looked” like I had everything together. I had a job right out of college in my field with good benefits, I moved out of my parent’s house 5 months after graduating from college & was mostly financially independent, I got into a relationship—seems ideal, right? But, I was miserable. I was unmotivated. I was confused. I was frustrated.

Why am I not happy? I have everything I should ever need/want at this point?

This is what I believe now to have been an a quarter life crisis. Things didn’t make sense, I was confused, I didn’t know what to do, I was unhappy. So, I HAD to embark on a journey of self-discovery to get to where I am today. A quarter-life crisis doesn’t sound all that positive, but trust me, there’s a silver lining- more importantly, there’s a purpose for it.

This time in my life pushed me out of my comfort zone, forced me to figure out more about myself, become stronger & more empowered, start living the life I’ve always wanted to live. It literally needed to happen, because I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the experience. If you are going through a hard time in your life, a quarter life crisis, where you don’t know what’s going on & you just feel lost & confused- it’s OK- great things are about to happen. Trust me.

Now, after 2.5 years living back at home  with my parents, getting myself back on my own two feet, I’m moved into a beautiful apartment, in a wonderful relationship with my amazing boyfriend, started my own business working from home & truly enjoying every single day. If it wasn’t for this experience, I would not be in this position. I would not be where I am today, I would not be this happy.

I truly want you to get through any obstacles, road blocks, hard times like I did. It is possible & I am going to tell you my main tips for getting through this time. Like I’ve mentioned before, these times look different for everyone, what might’ve worked for me might not work for you. But, I do think some of these tips could be implemented in some way, shape or form for everyone.

What I did to overcome the quarter life crisis


 Focused on myself

This might seem cliché, but taking care of ourselves is often the first thing we forget to focus on during stressful times. I remember the time where I felt like everything had fallen apart and nothing about my life I was satisfied about. I felt like I had worked so hard and wasn’t getting anywhere.

I knew that if I wanted things to be different, then I had to take actionable steps to actually making that change. I wanted to embark on a mind, body, soul journey and really start taking care of myself. I started journaling, going on morning walks, eating better, getting on a workout schedule, signing up for yoga classes, making plans with friends. You know what truly makes you happy. Even if in the moment, you don’t necessarily desire those things at the moment, but making small goals each day to reincorporate those things could be super helpful.

I let myself feel emotions as they occurred 

Do you ever go through a rollercoaster of emotions, where you feel angry, upset, frustrated? Do you beat yourself up for having those feelings? The thing is, you can’t help what emotions come up. If they come up, they are there for a reason. It’s OK to feel angry or upset. Let yourself deal with the emotions as they arise. For me, I noticed that I would feel better after I just let myself feel. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we often want to avoid those negative emotions because they are uncomfortable in the moment. Just remember not to beat yourself up about it.

Talked to people

We often try to bottle up our emotions and not talk about what’s really going on. You can journal all you want, but sometimes you really need to talk to another human. Multiple humans. The best place to go is your family and friends who truly care about you and are there with active listening ears. You can even go to counseling if you need it & it fits into your schedule & budget.

Talking it out also helps you release your emotions & even get advice from others. When you talk to an outside source, they might be able to provide you with ideas that you never even thought of. In talking to people, you might even get a connection from them for you to reach out to and help you along your journey. The more people you talk to and connect with, the better.

BUT, it’s also important to not go into information overload. Know when you are getting too much conflicting information, but take on as many opportunities that come your way from this piece of advice.

Stopped putting so much pressure on myself

I had put so much pressure on myself to get things together, that I could not even focus on the task at hand. The more pressure I put on myself, the further in the hole I seemed to get. Then, I would get even more stressed & frustrated that I couldn’t even focus on anything else or take care of myself.

When I got fired from my job, that’s when I just stopped putting pressure on myself. I was emotionally exhausted and I was done feeling that way. Seriously, the moment I stopped putting that pressure on myself & started focusing on myself, things started falling into place. Some people work better under pressure & that’s completely fine. You have to adjust to what works best for you. Sometimes you have to go through these situations to really learn about yourself.

I never gave up

When times get hard & it seems like nothing you do is working, it’s can be super easy to just give up. What’s the point? When the track record isn’t very good, it’s very hard to continue to stay motivated. You can work as hard as you want, but I believe the most important thing to remember is not to give up on yourself! You can take all the advice & when it seems like nothing is working, it is very easy to get discouraged. This time usually means an incredible breakthrough is coming. It’s unknown when it will happen, but this time is necessary for all of the amazing things that are coming your way.


Like I’ve mentioned, our experiences are all different. My experience might be different from yours & vice versa, & what you need to get through it might be different from mine. I think the main thing to remember is not to give up on yourself & take it one day at a time. Let yourself feel all the feelings as the come, knowing they are there for a reason. If you keep going, keep learning & keep giving yourself permission to go through this experience your will get through it!- Blissfully Jess2

 

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Life After College

Before I dive into life after college, I want to extend my congratulations to those recent graduates!

College is such a wonderful, formative time for most people- it definitely was for me! It’s typically the first time we are away from home, exploring what else there is in the world. When I got to college, I immediately fell in love with the whole experience- from living in the dorm, my psychology major, cheerleading, etc. It was all a great experience & I learned so much about myself. Even though I only went to college about 20 minutes away from home, it was fun being away from home, doing my own thing and meeting new people. I loved my college experience so much, I was honestly not looking forward to graduating. I was excited for a new adventure, but I was sad to leave.

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Walking across the stage to get your degree is such a surreal moment. It’s a moment of pride and excitement. Whatever your story is, it’s always a moment of pride and excitement for the future, full of eagerness to get the career going. I had a job lined up right out of college & I was ready to embrace the excitement of the next chapter of my life. College was great & I was sad to leave, but I knew so many great things were waiting for me. I was so excited to embark on the new journey & see exactly what was in store for me. So, what’s life after college really like?

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On May 3, 2015, I walked across the stage to received my BA in Psychology from THE Otterbein University here in Columbus, Ohio. 

From my own observations, it seems like people get into their career, either confirming that the chosen career path is the right one, or that it’s not a good fit. My plan was to get an entry-level position in clinical work & eventually go back to graduate school to get a higher clinical psychology degree. My envisioned passion was receiving my doctoral degree as a psychologist, being of service to others & helping others. I ended up getting a job here in Columbus at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as an assistant to Psychologists. I administered psychometric assessments to children with developmental disabilities. I won’t go into much detail, but it wasn’t for me. It was a very rewarding job and I learned SO much, but it didn’t end up being fulfilling & I didn’t feel the passion I was expecting. It was a confusing time because I had ALWAYS seen myself in the clinical field, being of service to others as a psychologist. Learning that this path was not for me was hard to comprehend & even more confusing trying to figure out what to do next. I still had a passion for psychology & helping others, I just wan’t sure what I was meant to be doing.

At the time, I thought I was the only person my age going through this, confused about where I was supposed to be. I knew that I had to go in a different direction, but I didn’t know where I was supposed to go. The unknown can be so stressful & confusing. It’s important to understand that everyone’s experience is different, because I also know a lot of people who truly enjoy their chosen career path right after college.

If you are going through a similar experience, here’s my advice for you:

Don’t Be Stubborn


This experience made me realize how stubborn & close-minded I really am. When you don’t allow various options & make excuses, you are shutting yourself off from a world of amazing possibilities. I didn’t realize it, but I would make excuses for every possibility that was brought my way & constantly stressed about the fact that I did not like where I was. I was concentrating on the fact that my chosen career path was not for me. The saying “When one door closes, another one opens” is very true because I really had no idea about the amazing opportunities that were waiting for me. Waiting for me to stop being stubborn & close-minded so I can start down the right path I’m supposed to be on.

Take advice from others


OK so this goes along with my first tip. My mom would always give me options & send me job opportunities & I would come up with an excuse for not considering them. I, for some reason was not open to getting help or advice, even though I needed it. When you open your mind to the information that others have to offer you, you can be opening your mind to things you never even thought of. Sometimes an outside source might be able to look at the situation differently and provide you with exactly what you need.

My mom ended up finding a Business Psychology Master’s program that closely fit what I was looking for in terms of a psychology route. I joined the program & ended up earning my Master’s degree in Business Psychology in January 2018.

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If I didn’t take my mom’s advice & guidance, I definitely would not have been able to continue on the path to where I am today. So, take all the advice & guidance you can get, because they might just have the answers you need!

Don’t Over-Stress


So, this one is extremely hard- I first-hand know this! It’s hard not to over-stress about a situation that you have no control over, especially when it comes to your life & career. But, stressing out about it will not do anything but make things worse for you. Trust me, it’s exactly what happened to me. Typically, stress makes your brain all foggy & you won’t be able to focus very well. The moment that I just let myself stop worrying about everything is the moment everything seemed to fall into place. You can read more about this on a previous post on: Getting Fired Was The Best Thing to Happen to Me.

The transition from college to the real world can be hard, but it’s also such a great experience. You learn & grow in college, but growth happens even more so when you’re in the “real” world. You literally have your whole life ahead of you. You’re in control of your own life & your own experiences. Even though life after college the last 4 years has been pretty stressful for me, I’m actually very grateful for it. If you’re going through the stress, the thought of knowing things are going to get so much better should be incredibly empowering! It might not seem like it in the moment, but if you take my advice, it will be worth it!

Other than figuring out your career path & where you’re supposed to be in the “adult” world, you end up learning even more about yourself. I went through a pretty formative experience in college, but more so in the years that I’ve been out. Even when things kind of felt dysfunctional & overwhelming, it needed to happen. Sometimes those things need to happen to get to where you are truly meant to be.

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Welcome to “Adulting”! 


In college you are just getting a small glimpse of what it means to be an adult. The government says you are legally an adult, but you do not understand until you are out of college. You’ll start to experience things like:

-Extra responsibilities, like bills & taxes (boring)

-Making friends is hard & awkward… how does one even make friends?

-You use your planner to help you remember to spend time with your friends or even just to text your friends

-You prefer to be home from a night out by 11pm (maybe even 10pm)

-Hangovers are 10x worse in your mid-twenties

I think the most interesting part is everyone around you starts getting married & having children. Your Facebook newsfeed will go from parties & other college-related things to being full of babies, engagement announcements & wedding pictures… & you will actually love it.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW


Whatever you do, wherever your journey takes you, do not get discouraged. Don’t read into what other people are posting about on social media. If it seems like everyone else is landing their dream jobs, living the perfect lives, while you are struggling, that’s not what’s happening. I did this exact thing and after talking to others about their experiences, that’s just not the case. You cannot compare your success to others because it truly looks different for everyone. Don’t beat yourself up if you think things seem to be harder for you than others. Like I’ve already mentioned, this journey looks different for everyone. If it seems hard & overwhelming for you, it just means that you are on your way to bigger & better things. Sometimes things need to get harder before they get better & that’s OK- it’s just a part of the journey!

It has taken 4 years to get myself settled- it doesn’t mean that’s what will happen for you- but I am very happy I went through the experiences that I did. Without those experiences, I would not be where I am without them. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed college, I can tell that I am going into the better part of my life as I am about to turn 26. Trust me, the same thing will happen for you!

Life is just a wonderful journey! Enjoy it!

- Blissfully Jess2

Turning Pain into Power: Healing From Broken Love

This is a topic that I debated on writing about. Frankly, I wish I could delete the memory of this relationship & person from my mind forever and never speak of it again. I also didn’t want to be disrespectful to my current relationship in any way, so I kept putting off this blog topic. Then I came across this picture last week while scrolling on Instagram:

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This reminded me of what my ex-boyfriend used to tell me. Now I see this  picture and think “yeah, duh!” At this point, it doesn’t hurt anymore. But, I do know there are some women (& men) who are currently in an emotionally abusive relationship like I was. Maybe currently hearing these things from the person they love. Maybe someone is trying to muster up the courage to leave the relationship, or maybe they are trying to heal the open wounds of a breakup. I’m hoping that by me writing this & telling my story about how I moved forward might help someone that is going through a similar situation.

I’m here to tell you I know how painful it is & yes, you can find love again. The love that you deserve. It is possible to turn that pain into power.

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Here are some things this individual said to me:

“You’re too emotional.”

“I’m too busy.”

“My goals are bigger than your goals.”

I felt like I had to be better & do better. I constantly felt like I wasn’t enough & I had to do everything I could to make him happy. I was in this relationship when I was at the lowest, most depressed time in my life. I did not love myself and found “love” through him, I was pretty much dependent on the relationship. I was in denial about how toxic it truly was, kept blaming myself, thinking I was doing something wrong every single day.

Until he said something along the lines of this to me:

“We’re only together because you’re too emotional & I’m too busy to deal with it if we break up.”

That was the moment that it hit me that I did not want to be with this person. I wanted to respect myself more than to be with someone who treated me like trash. So, I initiated the break up, blocked his number & blocked him on all social media. I went from one day relying on him completely for my “happiness” to having to figure out how to love myself again. Let me tell you what, it was really freaking hard, but 2 years of healing & I am so happy I did it.

Everyone handles break ups differently, so it will look different for everyone. But, for me, I focused on myself & my friendships. This breakup was also when I realized that I had neglected my friendships for a year and a half for the most part. After feeling so lost and unhappy for so long, I really just wanted to find myself again & be truly happy.

I journaled.. A LOT. I went to counseling. I cried. A LOT.

What I had to learn was to let myself feel the emotion that came to surface at every moment. The rollercoaster of emotions every day, throughout the day was crazy. I would be doing homework & randomly felt like I had to cry. So I did. I think often we feel guilty for feeling this way. “You should be happy that you’re not in that situation anymore!” Well, yes. But the emotional damage is real & it doesn’t heal overnight.

My mom also told me “You don’t have to have everything figured out right now.” I didn’t feel ready to delete all of the pictures off my phone or give away the jewelry he got me. So, I approached those things when I was ready to deal with them. About 2-3 months after the breakup I deleted all the pictures off of my phone & completely cleared him off of my social media accounts. Now I’m selling the jewelry he got me! I think that piece of advice my mom gave me was very important. It is important to make sure you are dealing with certain things when you are ready to do so. That definitely helped me not feel completely overwhelmed.

If I could go back time, I would have never got in that relationship, knowing what I know now. It was an empowering thing to experience because now I finally understand my worth & I’m not afraid to stand up for myself anymore. Not to mention I finally found the love I deserve with such an amazing guy! There’s always a silver lining, even though it might not be obvious right away, or still hurts years later.

Finding Love Again


You will know when you are ready to jump back into the dating game again. But, what I wasn’t ready for was all of the emotions from my past to come back once I started again. I hadn’t felt those emotions in a LONG time, from when I was in the bad relationship. I could feel myself pulling back & naturally just wanting to retract, protect myself & not fall for the same mistake again. It was really hard, harder than I expected. It took a lot of time & patience for me to get to the point where I’m at now. I kept fighting for the relationship & have now been with my current boyfriend for a year and a half!

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Finding love again is possible. But, you have to fight for yourself first. You have to let yourself feel the pain, so you can grow and eventually turn that pain in power. Power over your own life & your own happiness. It’s hard & at times you might feel like giving up. It’s OK! You’re not alone & you are not “crazy” for feeling how you feel. You do what you need to do to get to where you need to be. It takes time & it takes patience. Most importantly, it takes choosing yourself over anything else first.

The most important thing that I got from this experience is my strength and power over my life. It taught me a lot of lessons and I can’t even begin to explain how much I’ve grown from the experience. Would I still go back in time and not get involved with that person? Yes, absolutely. That would’ve saved me a lot of pain & heartache. But, you have to move forward with your experiences. You must turn that pain into power. Pain isn’t fun. But it’s what we do with that pain that can make all of the difference.

I hope you found this to be helpful if you are going through a similar experience! If you are going through this kind of emotional pain, don’t give up on yourself & know that you are not alone. Feel free to reach out to be personally if you need any additional advice or guidance!

- Blissfully Jess2