Breaking Free From Society & Creating A Life You Love

As someone who studied psychology in college and has always been fascinated by human behavior, I understand the importance of “fitting in” and being accepted. It’s just a human necessity. 

This can mean social acceptance, which is important for psychological and mental health. But, what about not fitting into generalized education and expectations? 

We are taught in our education system the information that we must be able to master to move onto the next level. But, what if your strengths and potential aren’t highlighted in those generalized areas? Are you just doomed to failure?

This is exactly what happened to me and what I know a lot of people struggle with. You can read more about this experience in My journey from a struggling high school student to starting my own business.

My strengths and potential were not highlighted in generalized education and expectations. I struggled in high school. When I say struggled, I mean STRUGGLED. I failed about 90% of the tests I took. I quite literally passed high school with test corrections and test retakes.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I did everything that I was told I needed to do to master and understand the material. I studied hard. I tried all the techniques. I went into school early to get help and stayed after school. I did all the things and still couldn’t get it figured out.

I remember wanting to be successful so bad. But, there were times when I just thought that I wasn’t smart enough and didn’t have what it took to reach a level of success that I had always envisioned for myself. At that time, I wanted to get my doctorate in psychology. It was always a goal in the back of my mind. But, how could I possibly expect to get my doctorate when I was BARELY passing high school?

There were so many times when I was so frustrated because I just wanted to be smart like everyone else. I didn’t want to feel “dumb” and incapable. 

What I didn’t realize at the time, is that I was completely capable of success, it just looks a little bit different than the majority of people. I have unique talents and expertise that makes me so special and just as capable of success. I just had to work a little harder and go through some extra hoops to figure it out.

Our system teaches us that everything is going to be accomplished in a straight, linear line. There’s no telling what will happen if/when it doesn’t work out that way. So, when your life doesn’t progress like we thought it would, we immediately think that something is wrong.

Something is wrong with me

You go to school, get a degree, get a job, work until retirement. You’ll make enough money to get by, but never enough to be truly satisfied. That’s just life, right? That’s just the way it is.

But, what if there’s something more? I believe there is. You can read more about my opinion on this in my post about Why I’m Proud of Millennials and Proud To Be One.

I envision a fantasy life that I believe is completely attainable. 

I want to create something for myself, a life that I truly love living. I want to wake up every single morning, excited for the day ahead of me. I want my work to energize me, maybe even feel like I’m not really doing “work”. But, I want to make a difference and an impact.

You can sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, working “hard”, but not feeling fulfilled and like you’re truly making a difference in the world.

I believe in a world that isn’t micromanaged. 

A world that allows you to be who you are and make the impact that you are meant to make. Whatever that looks like for each person. Whether that means with a degree or no degree. We were all put on this earth for a reason and I believe that it is possible to live out that dream.

We’re taught that dreams are meant to be just that… Dreams. You must go to work and work until you are told that you can be done. If you’re already done with your work, scroll on your phone and pretend to be working until it’s time to go. 

If you hate what you do and dread Mondays, why not go on a journey to finding something that truly energizes you? 

For me, I’ve always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I knew that was my calling from a young age. It fires me up and makes me feel amazing. But, my career path has not been able to fulfill this for me. Even the business I’ve created at times. Sometimes, you have to be able to understand when and where it’s time to make a change. 

At the end of the day, you are in control of your life. Only you are fully in control of your life. 

It’s h a r d and frustrating to figure out what in the world you are supposed to be doing on earth. You feel like there’s only so many times you can fail and get back up without getting completely discouraged. Fearing that you just might make a complete fool of yourself. 

We’ve all been there and we don’t like it. But, at some point, it’s time to put pen to paper and really dig into who you are as a person. What you are meant to be doing on this earth. Sometimes, your journey doesn’t look like what others look like and that is completely fine!

So… how do you create a life that you truly love? Here are some things to think about.

What are some of your unique talents?

Like, really unique. We all have unique talents that makes us who we are and makes us so special. We all have something special & incredible to offer the world. 

There was one part of You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero that really sticks out to me and I think is incredibly important.

She’s talking about going after your dreams, because someone out there needs what you have to offer. Sometimes our dreams seem so out of reach that we don’t really think about even trying to take action on them. I talk about this more in-depth in my post on A lot can happen in just ONE YEAR!.

What is something really energizes you?

This question seems really simple & easy, but it can be a tricky question. I know that it was for me when I was trying to figure out what it is that I really wanted to do. I just remembered how happy I felt when I was helping others work through any problems going on in their lives. 

I went through a whole process and you can read more about it in BUSINESS PLAN FOR 2020 / CHANGES TO BUSINESS. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, you can always reach out to friends/family & get an idea of what you are really good at!

What are you really passionate about?

This can be anything! Think hard about this because I think it’s really important to be able to incorporate the things that you are truly passionate about in your everyday life. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in terms of your career, but just any hobby or anything that you really love!

What does your dream life look like?

We all have a dream life that we think about, but don’t always think it’s attainable so we don’t even think about trying to act upon them. Think reallll hard about what this life looks like for you!

How attainable is your dream life?

Like I already mentioned, we often think that our “dream life” isn’t really attainable, so we don’t even try to take any action to reach that dream life status. I used to think the exact same way until I started realizing that I am completely in control of the trajectory of my life.

I bet that your dream life isn’t as out of reach as you would think. It’s up to you if you are willing to put in the work, including the mindset work to reach those goals. 

What actionable steps can you take to start living your ideal life?

What can you start doing TODAY to start making those dreams a reality? Are you going to start buying books and educate yourself more? Are you going to make it a goal to start putting yourself out in the world, jump out of your comfort zone so you can start growing & learning? Hire somebody to help you figure out how you can make those dreams a reality?

Trust me, there are probably simple steps that you can be taking TODAY to start living your dream life & start creating a life you love. 

What would you be doing if the generalization of society wasn’t holding you back?

Yes, throw away whatever society says you should be doing! Screw that. This is your life and you are in complete control of the outcomes of your life. 

Take away everything society says you should be doing and really think about what you would be doing with your life if society didn’t tell you what your life should look like!

Forget about society. Forget about generalization. This is all about YOU and what YOU want to get out of life! ❤


At the end of the day, I think that it is really important to really think about what it is that we really love to do and are passionate about. I think that the pressure that comes with the generalization of society can hold us back and make us feel like we can’t live a life that we truly love and makes us happy.

Life doesn’t always progress the way we are taught and doesn’t always look the same as everyone around us. The important thing to remember is to be true to yourself and not let the potential judgements & criticisms hold you back from living your life to the fullest. I believe it is possible, many people have done it before and many people are going to continue doing it.

The time is now to REALLY live your life! ❤

xx

My 8 Step Process to Overcoming Depression

*Before I start, I want to emphasize the fact the depression is very serious. While I have a degree in psychology, I am NOT a trained professional. If you feel like you need professional help, please seek professional help immediately! These tips are what helped me when I was experiencing depression. Just know that you are not alone, we are in this together! ❤ 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255  


Depression is an unexplainable thing. It’s extremely serious and a lot of people experience depression to a certain extent at some time in their lives. It can come at any time and affect people in different ways. While depression can be a very isolating feeling, I want everyone to know that you are very much not alone. It can be very difficult to understand that while you are going through feeling of depression, but I want anyone reading this to know that you don’t have to go through this alone. 

Depression hit me hard and I was confused why I was feeling the way I was feeling because I truly have an amazing life. I was raised by the most amazing parents who gave me everything that I could have ever needed in my life growing up. I was always loved and truly had everything I needed to be happy. I have always been a naturally happy, cheerful, positive person. I have always loved that about myself and always wanted to spread as much happiness as possible. Which is why I wanted to pursue a career in psychology.

So, when I was feeling like I was slipping into depression, I honestly felt guilty and confused. 

On paper, I had everything that I could have ever needed in my life. I had every reason to be happy. I knew there were so many people in the world dealing with much harder situations, so I truly felt guilty. I felt like I didn’t need to feel the way that I did. What I didn’t understand at the time is that anyone can experience depression. It doesn’t matter how blessed you feel like you are. 

Depression isn’t just a “bad day” where you just “get over it” and move on. It’s not an emotion. Depression is serious and needs to be taken seriously. Most of the time, it takes some kind of therapy to dive deep into cognitive processes and treat the source as deemed necessary by a professional. 

It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or you did anything wrong. However, I completely understand and resonate with people who tell themselves this on a daily basis. I know how serious depression is and how damaging it can be. While I experienced mild depression, I didn’t need to be put on an antidepressant, however some people do need to be.

There were some things that helped me & I want to take the time to write out the process I used to climb out of the depression. I hope that anyone reading this finds some hope that they will be able to make it through this and be able to experience at least some relief. ❤


1.I WENT TO THERAPY.

The absolute number one thing I want to mention first is I sought out professional help. I tried to do it on my own, but I eventually realized that it just wasn’t possible. So, I found a counselor in my network and I started going to therapy. To be honest, I never thought I would be someone who went to therapy. I always saw myself as someone being the therapist. I thought that if I went to therapy, that would mean that I didn’t have what it took to be a therapist, because I should be able to help myself if I’m going to help others. If that’s you at all, just know that’s absolutely not true! 

I truly give credit to therapy for really jump starting my healing process. If I didn’t have the therapy, I don’t think I would have been able to get through it, to be honest. It is so incredibly helpful to have a safe space to talk about everything going on, to cry if you need to and to have someone there to help you through it all. Every time I went, I would leave feeling 10 pounds lighter than I did when I walked in. Trust me when I say that the first step is to seek professional help. Trying to get through it on your own is almost impossible. It’s OK to allow yourself to get help if you need it! 

2. I STARTED TAKING SELF-CARE SERIOUSLY.

In addition to counseling, there’s definitely some inner work that needs to happen between sessions. One 1-hr session biweekly isn’t going to deliver results, because there’s work that you need to do on your own to. I remember things like struggling to sleep at night became nightly occurrence. I was sleeping an average of 3-4 hours per night and I was always exhausted.

In my first session with my therapist, she gave me several things to do to start taking care of myself better. Some things she told me to work on were: journaling, meditation, getting outside, exercising. The more I started started really focusing on myself and my self-care, the more I started noticing things falling into place. It was a hard journey, but definitely worth it in the end. Make sure you are really prioritizing your self-care! If you want some self-care ideas, make sure you check out my post on The Importance of Self-Care. ❤

3. I STARTED JOURNALING REGULARLY.

Journaled, and journaled some more! I know I’ve talked about this a lot, but I give a lot of credit to journaling for my progress. There’s just so many benefits that can come from journaling if you do it regularly. It can be a little weird to get started because you might not know what to talk about, but I promise if you keep at it, it will become a habit and you will start uncovering a lot going on in your subconscious! I wrote a blog post all about the transformative experience I’ve had with journaling and you can read all about it in The Power of Journaling.

4. I DOWNLOADED THE SANVELLO APP (PREVIOUSLY PACIFICA).

I’m actually surprised that I’ve never heard anyone other than my therapist talk about this app. I used this app religiously for 1-2 years while I was healing. I love it because there are guided meditations, journal prompts, you can rate how your day is going and so many other things. There is a free version, but you do have to pay to upgrade to use all of its features. I would pay for a month or 2 at a time while I felt like I needed extra help. You can easily downgrade the update the settings in the iTunes app.

I would highly recommend this app if you feel like you need some extra help! 

5. MADE IT A GOAL TO GET OUTSIDE everyday.

When I was feeling depressed, I noticed that all I wanted to do was lay in my dark room and watch TV. That’s literally ALL that I wanted to do. When I got home from work, I would change into the comfiest clothes I owned, turned off the lights and climbed into bed. That’s where I stayed until I had to get up the next morning for work. It could have been the most beautiful day outside & all I wanted to do was lay in bed in my dark room. So, I started making it a goal to get outside for at least 30 minutes a day. At least just sit outside on the patio, or even better, go for a walk. I just knew that I needed to get outside and get some fresh air. 

What started as just sitting outside for a half hour, turned into actually getting some exercise. I started going on walks every morning when I got up. I would go for walks during the sunrise, take deep breaths and really take in the beauty of nature. I also started walking around during my lunch breaks at work. Just to get outside, walk around and debrief. Nature is truly powerful!

6. I STARTED EXERCISING AGAIN.

I have always been into exercising. I grew up an athlete and always enjoyed being in the gym. In a Behavioral Psychology class I took in college, I remember the professor asking us to write down one thing that would be a sign something was wrong if we stopped doing it. Something we are truly passionate about. For me, it was working out. So, when I found that I hadn’t gone to the gym in 2-3 months, I knew that I needed to slowly get back into it. Even if it just meant going on a walk in the evening. Just starting slow. Starting somewhere. 

So, I started making it a goal to get to the gym a couple times a week after work. I slowly started making working out a priority again and started noticing myself feeling better about myself. You can read more about this in My Fitness Journey | Choosing Yourself First.

7. I started eating healthier.

Here’s the thing, I actually lost about 10 pounds while going through this. But, losing weight DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL HAPPINESS. Especially in this example because I was not making healthy choices. I wasn’t eating a lot and when I was, I was eating things like cliff bars for dinner. When I did eat, it wasn’t always the best food choices. Honestly, when you start fueling your body with nutritious foods, you start feeling so much better overall. Like everything, this takes a lot of time and patience.

I actually hired an online health coach that made a plan for me because I knew that I needed some help. While I completely understand that this isn’t always financially reasonable for some people, there are so many resources online to refer to in making some changes to diet. There are so many ways to make small changes throughout the day to keep damaging chemicals out of the body. 

There’s just so much benefit to fueling your body with healthy, nutritious foods. Other than the known benefits to you physically, it can help with your mental health as well. Just simply changing my diet helped me start to feel better!

8. I started hanging out with friends.

I remember during this time, I wasn’t really motivated to go out and hang out with friends. I found myself wanting to just stay home and watch TV all day. While it was lonely, that’s what I preferred.

But, I noticed that when I did spend time outside of the house and interacting with my friends, that I actually started feeling better. So, I made it a goal to start making plans with my friends.

Even though you might feel exhausted and just want to lay around all day by yourself, just getting yourself out can make you start feeling better!


RECAP

At the end of the day, it’s taken about 2-3 years of working on myself to get to where I am today. There is no magic solution to feeling better and loving yourself again, or maybe for the first time. You’re not going to wake up one day feeling amazing. There’s not going to be a magic feeling that you are ready to conquer the world. 

However, starting with small goals will turn into HUGE accomplishments. The process will look different for everyone. But, I know there are a couple universal things that will help most people. Those things being:

  • Getting professional help
  • Journaling
  • Getting outside
  • Exercising
  • Fueling the body with healthy, unprocessed food
  • Getting yourself out of the house and spending time with friends

One other thing I recommend doing is tracking progress. For me, this is done by writing in my journal. I keep all of my journals and sometimes refer back to them. I find myself looking back at the same day a year or two prior, just to see all of the progress I’ve made over the years. Just when you feel like you haven’t made any progress, you will realize how far you have truly come.

You got this! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it! ❤

xx

5 Steps For Getting Back On Track & Shifting Your Mindset

We’ve heard it all before, but I think that it’s something extremely important: progress is never in a straight line. We all want it to be, though. This is true and relevant in just about every aspect of life. We get in a good system, start losing weight, get our social lives together, whatever it may be, then something happens to throw us off track. 

It happens to all of us and it happens in just about every situation in life pretty much. It’s frustrating because you just want to keep moving forward. Things were going so well and you just want to keep going forward. Moving backwards, in any capacity and in any way is frustrating. It feels like you’re taking 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards.

I used to get really hard on myself when this happened. I would be in a good system, a good rhythm, my healthy habits were on point. Then, something would happen to get everything all messed up. I would get frustrated and mad at myself for letting myself get to that point. I would be mad for not being able to handle it and ultimately “letting myself go”. Then, this negative self-talk would spiral into more negative self-talk and I would begin going down a tunnel of neglecting my healthy habits and mental health more and more. 

It seems dramatic, but it’s very true and I know it’s prominent for a lot of people. We continue to let ourselves spiral out of control until we get tired of it and decide we want to make a change, then the cycle repeats. 

I felt inclined to write this post because I recently experienced this and I wanted to take the time to explain how I dealt with the stress. Over the years, I have learned a lot about how to handle these times in our lives and I think that what I have to say is important! It’s going to happen & it’s going to happen a lot, unfortunately. Whether we want to admit it or not, it’s inevitable.

I’ve learned that during these times when it feels like I’m “taking a step back”, it might actually be a good thing. I’ve learned that this might mean that I’m entering an important time for growth and a breakthrough is about to happen. It’s uncomfortable in the moment, but it’s necessary to take the next step forward. 

Life kind of makes you stop, so you can keep moving forward. Now, this might sound counter-intuitive, but stay with me here!

I’ve learned to listen to the universe. To pay attention to these times when I feel like I’m falling off track because, sometimes, it doesn’t really mean that I’m falling “off track”. It’s the universe telling me that I need to slow down. 

To be honest, life would be quite boring if things turned out exactly how we wanted all the time. If things worked out perfectly the first time and things continued in a straight line, there would be no growth, no learning experiences, no breakthroughs to celebrate. Times of reflection wouldn’t result in celebrating all of the hard work that was done and all the growth that happened. It sounds nice on paper, that everything will work out perfectly and all will end exactly how we expect. 

However, these times are frustrating. It’s extremely hard not to just want to throw in the towel and stay frustrated. But, I encourage you to keep an open mind here because shifting your perception can result in a life changing breakthrough.


Here are some important things to remember during these times:

Don’t be hard on yourself

The most important thing to remember is that you must not get hard on yourself during these times. Beating yourself up for “falling off track” will get you nowhere except keep you going even further downhill. 

I’ve noticed this to be especially prevalent in my early to mid-twenties and I think it’s pretty common around this age for most people. It’s the time in our lives when we are set free to really figure out who we are and what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. Every time we think we are getting closer to getting it figured out, something happens to throw us off track a little bit. 

When this started happening to me, I was thinking that I was the only one going through this. I just assumed that everyone else my age was getting things all figured out and they were happily progressing without any problems. When you think you’re the only one going through something, it’s very discouraging. 

Trust me, I know this very well. I spent about 3 years trying to find a job, getting another degree, revising my resume, countless applications & interviews and ended up getting fired from the job I finally got after just 5 weeks. Talk about discouraging! While it was frustrating and discouraging, I’ve come to realize that Getting Fired Was The Best Thing To Happen To Me!

The most important piece of advice that I received in terms of getting through this was to not beat myself up. If you can shift your perception on the situation to the best of your ability, you can see this in a whole new light.

Give yourself some grace here! If you want some extra tips, make sure you check out my blog on The Importance of Self-Care!

TAKE A BREAK

Seriously, take a break. Sometimes these times are meant to tell you that you need to slow down and give your mind & body some TLC. Make sure you listen to your body and rest if/when you need it.

For my most recent experience with falling off track, what helped the most was giving myself 3 full days off, away from work, completely focusing on myself. When I say a break, I mean a REAL break. I was trying to give myself breaks, but I was still constantly thinking about alllll the things I had to be doing or SHOULD be doing, scrolling on Pinterest trying to find some inspiration. I was resting my body, but I wasn’t letting my mind rest, which was making me even more exhausted.

Before you start rolling your eyes and thinking “OK Jessie, not everyone can just take 3 days off!“, hear me out. I know that giving yourself 3 days might seem out of reach or impossible, considering where you are in life. But, we all need to find time in our lives to give ourselves a break. We all need it and it might be just what you need to get on track. Maybe see if anyone can help you out for a day to get some things off your plate so you can rest. Giving yourself just one day completely to yourself could be the best thing you do right now!

journal

I’ve talked about the importance of journaling many times, but I find that it holds so many benefits. Especially if you feel like your progress has stopped, no matter what area, it’s always good practice to get everything out of your head and on to paper.

Sometimes, we have things going on in our subconscious that we don’t even know that’s weighing us down. Which is why I always think that journaling can be super powerful. Just getting all of your thoughts, everything that bothering you out of your head and on to paper might give you some clarity.

If you want to read more information on my transformative experiences with journaling, make sure you check out my recent post on The Power of Journaling!

Come up with an action plan

After you journal and get everything out of your head and on to paper, it can be easier to see what specifically needs to be done to keep moving forward. Think about what’s going on and why this “step back” is happening.

Get specific. Don’t just say “get back on track”. How exactly are you going to do it? Are you going to give yourself a mental health day? Brain dump everything that needs to be done? Drink more water?

Giving yourself realistic actionable goals is important to getting yourself back on track.

find the silver lining

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. We are given certain “bumps” in our paths because we are supposed to go through a certain learning experience to prepare us for what’s to come.

Finding the silver lining in a situation like this, when we feel like we’ve taken a step backwards, is helpful in shifting our mindset. If you can conquer your mindset, you can conquer anything!

If you just rolled your eyes when you read that, try to hear me out because I think this is really important! If we’re constantly beating ourselves up about things and focusing on the negatives all the time, it’s going to be really difficult to get to where we want to be. Just hear me out & try to shift your perspective!

If you are still not convinced, I understand. Shifting your perception is hard and can take some work. But, I do want to share a resource that I’ve mentioned before that helped me shift my mindset.

It’s a book called, Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo!

This book revolves around the phrase, “Everything Is Figureoutable“. Meaning, no matter where you are in life, what situation you are currently in, no matter how sucky or sad, it is figureoutable. Marie Forleo helps you get out of your mental BS to start living your life. To help you get out of that mental funk that you’ve found yourself in and start taking actionable steps to changing your mindset.


I’ve noticed that each time I go through a period where I feel like I taking a step back & I see a regression in progress, I learn more about myself. I’ve been able to learn about what helps & what doesn’t and I’ve been able to make changes to make sure that I continue to keep moving forward.

Taking a step back, in any way, in any situation is frustrating. But, the way you perceive the situation can be a game changer!

xx,
Jess

The Power of Journaling

I’ve always been a writer. It’s been my art and how I’ve always been able to express myself. Writing was always what I excelled at in school. Pretty much the only thing I excelled at, really. While I was good at and enjoyed writing, I was never really one to write in a journal growing up. I just never really knew what I would write about in a journal, so I didn’t.

In 2016, journaling became a really important part of my self-care & taking care of my mental health. I started journaling in May 2016 when life got pretty stressful and I found myself struggling to keep my sanity. I would write about everything going on and trying to make myself think positively going into the day. I wrote on a notepad, nothing special, but I just used whatever I had laying around already. I would try writing every morning, talking myself into trying to be all positive throughout the day. I tried for a couple weeks, but ended up giving up weeks later. I had heard all about the positive things that could come from journaling, but I just wasn’t seeing the benefits myself.

In September 2016, I went to counseling for the first time. During my first session, my counselor told me to get myself a pretty planner and write everyday about what’s on my mind and write 3 things I love about myself everyday. Now, if you are going through a tough time and struggling to love yourself everyday, this is an incredibly tough task. But, I have been trying to keep journaling as a priority for a while now. 

Ever since then, for 3 years now, I have slowly been able to bring myself back together. While it was hard at first to even get the motivation and drive to write and find something that I loved about myself, I always ended up back there writing. I started writing about EVERY THING! It’s amazing all of the things that you can discover when you write it all down. 

Journaling isn’t just something to put on your to-do list and just use it as something to check off when it’s done. You have to take it seriously and be intentional. You may even discover some things lingering in your subconscious that you didn’t even know were there. 

Seriously, journaling is P O W E R F U L !

In the last year or so, I’ve really been trying to make this a daily thing. Before I start my day, I try to write 1-2 pages in my journal. I don’t give myself any limitations, just write. Everything that going on in my mind. I write about what’s frustrating me, how I’m feeling emotionally, the events going on in my life, what I’m excited/nervous about, what I am frustrated with myself about, where I want to be, my goals and ambitions. Anything. If it’s on my mind at the time, it goes in my journal. I had such a hard time at first figuring out what to write about. But, I’ve learned there’s no right or wrong way to journal. 

Sometimes, just getting all of the anger & stress out of your head and onto paper can be incredibly relieving. Keeping those negative words stuck in your head will only lead to releasing them in a way that you might regret later. Not to mention making you feel crappy. The thoughts might end up making you feel worse and you don’t know why. I get it. You get frustrated and can’t figure out how to get yourself to snap out of it. 

It might sound crazy if you aren’t an avid journal writer, but you seriously don’t know the true power of journaling. It can honestly be life changing. 

Over the last 3 years, I have made it to my fourth journal. Each journal carries moments, memories, struggles, breakthroughs. Each one holds a journey in my life. Sometimes, I will look back at these journals and really realize how far I have come. How when I first started journaling, I was an absolute mess. I hated everything and everyone. I was a miserable person, just going through the motions of life, wishing I could figure out what to do to pull myself together. 

To even think that I would end up where I am today, at that point is a dream that I didn’t even know that I had. Journaling can be transformative. It’s not just a task that you do just because people tell you that it’s “good to do”. With intention and purpose, it can truly transform lives. 

I typically don’t do journal prompts, because I feel like it takes away from what is on the surface that I need to talk about that specific day. But, these are some things that I usually end up writing about:

How are you feeling?

What emotions are you feeling?

How’s the week going?

What do you wish was going better?

What is going well?

What are you proud of yourself for?

What are you disappointed about?

Did someone/something make you mad?

If you prefer journal prompts, I definitely understand! There are TONS of prompts out there for any kind of self-discovery/reflection!

EXPRESS GRATITUDE

I also started writing about what I’m grateful for. I started with The Five Minute Journal. Even though I don’t like regular journal prompts, I did like the prompts prompts in this journal and I can honestly say that it helped me make expressing gratitude a habit.

I love The Five Minute Journal because it really gets you thinking about your intentions for the day and also reflecting at the end of the day.

You have prompts to write about at the start of the day and a reflection to do at the end of the day. The page starts off with a quote or a “weekly challenge”, followed by having you list 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great and a daily affirmation.

You might notice that you have a hard time listing 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Especially on days that you don’t feel so great. But, the longer you keep to it, the easier it comes to you. I’ve noticed that throughout some days, I find myself naturally expressing gratitude for things that I would otherwise turn a blind eye to. 

Then, at the end of the day, you reflect on how the day went. Having you write about 3 things that went well and listing what would have made the day better. Even on those days that you feel didn’t go so well, this really helps to be able to find some positives in what you might think there aren’t any.

I’ve been better at journaling in the morning, than at night. I’m still working working on journaling about my day right before I go to bed, but it’s a work in progress! You’ve got to start somewhere, right?!


I usually like to start my day with both free journaling, as well as filling in The Five Minute Journal prompts. It’s taken practice to be able to make journaling a habit and to be able to find positive things to talk about. Even if I’m not feeling so great that day, journaling helps me get everything off my chest and expressing gratitude definitely helps me shift my mindset. Now, everyday isn’t going to be all positive and that’s okay. But, journaling has definitely been a main staple in helping me shift my mindset and perception going into each day.

Sometimes for me, journaling can bring an idea for a blog post or social media post I can write about. It has given me business ideas, realization of dreams & aspirations. I like to let my journaling and what comes to surface dictate the flow of the day and where I want to really place my focus. For example, starting a new journal sparked the idea to write a post about how transformative journaling has been. 

Imagine where your life could be if you started journaling ASAP. Not to be dramatic, but your life could seriously change forever. You just never know. ❤

xx

Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated

Not feeling motivated is REAL and it is FRUSTRATING! Knowing you have a lot to do but just can’t seem to get yourself to get it done can be just incredibly frustrating. But, what I’m learning is there’s no such thing as feeling motivated all.the.time. Even though it’s frustrating, I’m starting to learn what I can do to help myself work through feeling unmotivated. 

Below I have listed a couple of things that I have found to be helpful during the times that I don’t feel motivated to get work done. These are just little things that work for me, and don’t necessarily mean they will be helpful for anyone else. But, they might be worth a try if you are struggling and don’t know what to do, like I feel sometimes.

The main thing to understand is that you have to know yourself and what works best for you. What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. You might work well under pressure, but I tend to crumble under pressure. These items might not work for you based on your personality and what works best for you.


Not force myself to try to get something done.

Especially if I was planning on writing a blog post or create content, I can’t force myself to be creative. Trying to force myself just makes me even more frustrated and feeling burnt out. So, this might mean holding off on that task or taking a step back for a little bit. For some people, they strive on pressure, but for me, I don’t work well AT.ALL. So, I can’t put that kind of pressure on myself and force myself because it just doesn’t work for me.

Journal/write down what’s on my mind.

I think journaling is so important, I actually wrote a whole post on it in The Power of Journaling! Sometimes I can’t get something done because I have a lot on my mind. Journaling about what’s going on in my mind helps me get it out and clear my mind. Doing this sometimes also helps me come up with ideas that maybe I want to blog about or topics that I want to research more. It’s important to listen to your mind and your body and to be able to give it what it needs at that time.

There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to journal to help you get everything out. I notice this to be prevalent if I’m really stressed about something, if I got into an argument, received some bad news, or even if I just need figured out what is going on in my mind. You would be very surprised what kinds of things come to surface when you journal. Things that you would not even expect. But, it might be exactly what you need to give you that motivation that you need to keep going and get work done like you wanted to.  

Going on a walk or just getting outside.

Sometimes just leaving the environment and getting outside helps. Like I mentioned above, just sitting at my desk trying to force myself to be creative and get something done doesn’t help me. So, stepping away and getting some fresh air sometime helps to at least settle my mind down a little bit. 

Giving myself the day off.

Feeling unmotivated can sometimes be a sign that your body is telling you something. That you need to take a break and rest. I’m a very emotional person. So, when I receive unexpected sad news, it can hard to get myself to concentrate. During these times I know I just need to give myself- my mind and body an break. It can also mean that I’ve been overworking myself and my mind a little bit too much and I need to sleep. So, I’ll let myself sleep in or lay down for an afternoon nap. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a personal/mental health day if you need to. I think that sometimes we think that we need to force ourselves to work during difficult times and try to work through these times when we really just need to take some time off. Listen to your mind & body and give yourself permission to take a day off if you need to. You might feel like you are going into the next day feeling more refreshed, relaxed and motivated than if you tried to force yourself to try to work.

Go to Pinterest & YouTube for inspiration.

I feel like I say this in every post, but it has helped me out so much. There’s been times when I spent an hour each day for a week or 2 watching YouTube videos of people who I look up to and get ideas and motivation from them. If I get a “light bulb” to go off in my head, I’ll write it down and what comes from it. Pinterest is also a good place to look because it is filled with people who have all kinds of ideas to try out! It’s helpful to learn from others who have done what you’re doing before and they might have ideas that you might not of thought about before. This doesn’t mean taking their ideas, but you never know what kind of “light bulb” moment you might have!

Brain dumping everything that I want to get done.

There’s been times when I am feeling like I have so much to do but just don’t know where to start. So, I’ll sit down and brain dump everything that I feel like I need to get done. There’s been times when I do this and realize that I’ve been overwhelmed for no reason. From there I’ll try to break down the tasks and come up with a reasonable plan for getting them done. This often mean breaking it down into work, getting a little bit done at a time. When I’m feeling unmotivated, I try to start with the “easy” tasks because that sometimes leads to getting more ideas and leads me to getting even more work done than I originally anticipated. If I try to start with harder, more time consuming tasks, I know that I just won’t get anything done. But, if I start small, I often find myself getting more and more motivated and gaining more and more ideas. 


It’s a process for sure and not feeling motivated is very frustrating to deal with, especially when you feel like you have so much to do and just want to be productive. For me, I’ve learned that I’ll get an idea and have all of this motivation, work myself to exhaustion then feel burnt out for a couple days. Then I have to figure out how to get motivated again. I’ve done this many times because I feel like I need to take advantage of all the motivation that I have. But, that’s just not a feasible way to go about it.

We all need breaks and we need to make sure that we are being cautious of our brain power, our bodies and step away and take breaks!

xx

-Jess

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 (you can read more about this in How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM and 3 Tips for Early Morning Workouts). 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. I also looove putting some essential oils in the bathtub to make it even more relaxing!

The oil that I like to use is Pure Aroma because it comes in a package that contains allll of the oils that I like to use on a daily basis. I usually always have one package in my amazon cart because I know that I’m going to need a refill!

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 lavender 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!

I get a lot of mine from my FabFitFun boxes and I absolutely love them!

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. I actually wrote an entire post on The Power of Journaling! 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 calm your mind. I’ve found adding in mediation into my morning and night routine has been very helpful in decreasing my stress and anxiety. I personally enjoy the mediations in this app called Sanvello.

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. 
Related: Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated, 5 Steps For Getting Back On Track & Shifting Your Mindset, Getting Over Extreme Burnout

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!

Some of my favorite books:

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

xx

-Jess

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.

blog-mindset-movement-graphic-20

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 (read more in my post about Gaining confidence to be my true, authentic self). 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. Even how Getting Fired Was The Best Thing to Happen To Me. 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 (I talk more about this in my posts about The Importance of Self-Care, The Power of Journaling and A lot can happen in just ONE YEAR!).  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!

xx,
-Jess