Grateful Sundays

For some reason it feels like I haven’t typed up a blog post in a while. That could be the fact that I will often write these posts on my phone, but there is something more satisfying about typing it on my laptop, listening to Anderson .Paak Radio, while sipping on some iced coffee. This year when it starts to get warmer, I want to make time to go to different coffee shops or bookstores so I can have new places to write and maybe spark some more creativity. I absolutely love being home, but I want to make sure I don’t become a total homebody because I also love being outside and exploring new environments.

Yesterday I was thinking about what goals I am currently working on. I had listened to an episode from the Mel Robbins Podcast a few weeks back that talked about narrowing down your goals. She even has a free worksheet available on her site to use (I need to invest in a printer so I can start printing these resources out); although I haven’t even looked at this sheet yet, I did remember that she said to only have one to three goals at a time. The less goals, the more time and effort you have to actually spend on working toward that goal. Overall I have been on a healing journey and been focusing on that, but I wanted to actually list out three goals that I am currently working towards so that I can come back to them and re-focus when I inevitably fall out of it.

My first goal I am working on is being more present. I know I have mentioned this in previous posts, but within the last year it really hit me that I have spent most of my life on autopilot and in a hypervigilant state. According to WebMD, Hypervigilance is defined as: “the elevated state of constantly assessing potential threats around you,” and states that it is often the result of a trauma. Growing up in an unpredictable environment (for me, having alcoholic parents, one of which was an angry drunk), has left my nervous system in a continuous state of dysregulation. Since I spent most of my life planning ahead, coming up with worst-case scenarios so I could be prepared for whatever happened (which btw, is just a lie my anxiety told me), I never was actually in the present moment. I may have been physically there, but mentally I was always elsewhere. I can look back at photos and not even remember that day, which honestly broke my heart when I started realizing how few memories I had. Now I am making a more conscious effort to check in with myself throughout the day so that it becomes more second nature for me to do so. I also decided to start a 2023 memory jar, and whenever I have a fun experience or something brings me joy, I write it on a little piece of paper and fold it up and throw it in the jar! That way at the end of the year, I can remind myself how amazing the year was, and hopefully continue this tradition.

Another important goal of mine is to always find the joy in things, and actively do things that bring me happiness. Now this doesn’t need to be extravagant things like traveling to Caribbean or going on shopping sprees-although those things definitely do bring me joy, but I want to focus on the simple things in life. As I’ve stated multiple times throughout this blog, I absolutely love nature walks and being outside. In the winter I unfortunately let my hatred of the cold win most battles, but I am finding other things that bring me joy within my own home. I love writing, even though I may not always feel like writing, once I start I realize how much I needed it and how great I feel afterwards. I also enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and of course singing and dancing along to some good jams. I also go in and out of phases of enjoying crafting, which I honestly haven’t done in a while, but I did think about starting to make some crafts again that have to do with mental health and healing! I also still want to start a podcast or at least start streaming again on Twitch, because I honestly love talking and can literally talk to myself for hours, so maybe others will want to listen. I have had multiple friends say we should start a podcast together, so I have thought of just starting one and bringing everyone one as guests. That will require more thought and planning, but either way I will be sure to find the joy in all of it!

The last, but certainly not least, goal of mine that I am focusing on my health, which includes my mental health. I want to consistently work on regulating my nervous system with exercise, meditation and journaling. I also want to be more mindful about my food choices and work on eating/drinking less sugar. I am not a person who does well with diets, as I get very obsessive with calorie/carb counting and it becomes unhealthy, so I am just focusing on being mindful in my day to day choices. I also feel that part of focusing on my health includes not holding onto anger or bitterness, so I am actively working on speaking up when things bother me, and also sharing my opinions even if they differ from others. Constantly muting myself in conversations is only depleting my self-worth and building up resentment; I know that everyone has differing opinions and sometimes I may come off offensive, but as long as my intentions are pure and all with love, then I will continue to be okay with myself and with the outcome. As I said before, I love talking…so I am done silencing myself.

As January comes to a slow close, I am looking forward to working towards my goals this year and continuing to check in with myself. I know that life with bring challenges and hiccups as it always does, but as I continue to regulate my nervous system and focus on my mental health, I will become more emotionally mature and more confident in myself along the way. I have made it through all of my worst days, and I am stronger because of it. I am excited to finally see myself in a different, more accepting light; I appreciate my resilience and the empathy I have for myself along the way. In my opinion, love is always going to be the answer; I am choosing to give my inner child the love she deserves, therefore giving my present self that same love.

Wednesday Affirmations

Lunch break means it’s time for some affirmations! Some I have in my phone as reminders, some just will come as I write. Feel free to write some in the comments or let me know if any resonate with you!

All is well.

Everything always works out in my favor.

I am loved, I am safe, I am at peace.

I release all fear and allow the universe to work her magic.

I trust that all will work out how it should.

I am capable of more than I realize, as I am divinely supported.

I am a confident in myself and my abilities.

I trust myself to navigate what life brings me.

I am strong and resilient; I have survived all of my worst days.

I allow the light within me to shine through.

Looking Forward

As I write this, I am winding down with my boyfriend after a nice weekend spent with my family. We celebrated our Christmas, and I love that we always do this in January after the holidays are over, because it just feels a lot less stressful. We always do a white elephant exchange and this time we had a fun twist on the game which made it more interesting; my boyfriend and I somehow ended up taking several gifts home, so if there was supposed to be a winner, I feel like it was definitely us LOL.

It was nice to spend time with family, and I know we will all spend more time with each other this year! I definitely want to go visit again when it gets warmer out, and every year we also have our annual girls’ trip, but I want to make an effort to see family more this year, as well as my friends. I also want to make sure I am getting outside as much as I can, as I always feel happy after a walk through nature or a few hours at the beach.

I am happy to say that I already have a mini girls’ trip planned in March. I am going to meet up with a couple friends in Minneapolis so we can shop and go to a concert! I have never been to the Mall of America, and I also have never been to a concert in MN so I am looking forward to that! Then sometime late summer another friend and I are planning a trip to celebrate our birthdays! I love traveling, I love new experiences, and I am making sure to prioritize that where I can, while still being mindful with money and our future goals.

Life is all about balance, and I definitely feel like I have spent most of my life falling off of the balance beam. But as I am learning about myself and how my brain functions, I am able to understand myself more and I am slowly unlearning unhealthy patterns and coping mechanisms. Part of healing includes seeking joy and doing things that bring life back to you, and I am going to do that this year without feeling guilty about it. I deserve joy and I deserve grace and non-judgment from myself as I continue to heal and improve my mental health.

I truly believe that 2023 is the year where I bloom. I will breakthrough my self-doubt and self-defeating patterns, and I will do it all with love. I will do it with small acts of kindness, both for myself and others. I will do this by keeping the promises I make to myself. I will do this by forgiving those who have hurt me, and forgiving myself for the judgment I hold towards myself. I will give myself that same grace and empathy that I give to those I love, because I deserve it.

“This Too Shall Pass”

I survived Monday! And if you’re reading this, that means you did too! Congratulations! I hope you did something for yourself today, because you deserve it! I am happy to report that I woke up today in less pain than I’ve been in all week, and it really wasn’t a bad Monday! Work was productive, getting adjusted and chatting with the chiropractor’s assistant was pleasant, and doing some stretches in the comfort of my living room while listening to Mel Robbins is honestly quite therapeutic.

I just wanted to write for a second, because I was reflecting on my generally good mood today, and it truly is insane how different my mood was when I was in pain. I mean it makes total sense! Not only was I irritable because of the pain I felt and how slowly I had to move when doing literally anything, but I felt myself getting anxious about the house chores piling up, and of course starting the worst case scenarios: “what if I am in this horrific pain forever?” But when I found myself sobbing softly in the kitchen (because a hard sob would hurt too much) my brain did something different. Instead of letting myself go down that dark rabbit hole of guilt and negative self-talk, during the very worst of the pain I found myself saying, out loud too myself: “This is temporary, I am okay.”

I knew the back pain was temporary, because I had this same pain a month prior. I knew that I’d continue to see the chiropractor and actually start wearing the back brace (so maybe I didn’t wear the brace and maybe I skipped out on my therapies…I wonder why the pain started. LOL) and that I could get help myself out of this pain. I knew the pain wasn’t going to be there forever, and that I would feel myself again… so why not apply this to all of life’s hard times?

If I wanted to relive my past, which quite frankly I am actively trying to live in the present so that doesn’t sound very appealing, I would wish that I could have thought this way in so many moments. To be able to remind yourself that heavy emotions are temporary, the physical pain is temporary, the need for more rest is temporary, that stressful job is temporary…that can ease so much of the weight in those hard times. It’s easy for me to spiral into negative thought patterns and turn on the self-loathing soundboard, so to be able to stop the downward spiral with the simple reminder that “this too shall pass” is honestly a game-changer. I know, I know… I’ve heard that phrase a million times over in my twenty-seven years of life, but this is when it clicked for me.

As I move through the week and face challenges as they come (including hormonal ones, because sometimes I think mother nature f*cking hates me), I will continue to remind myself that everything is temporary. I get to choose what I focus on, and I am choosing to focus on my happiness. And no matter how heavy things may feel, I’ll just remind myself that this too shall pass.

Low

I believe my last post had to do with my back pain, and I am happy to say that I have had much improvement over the week, but I do still have some pain. I went to my chiropractor and got some new x-rays done, and basically I am making progress which is kind of causing the pain. My hips are off-center because of the 10-degree curve in my spine, and as we are making progress on the curve, my hips are realigning. The way he explained it is that the joint in my hip doesn’t want to continue making progress and it is fighting back, but as we continue with adjustments and my therapies that it will continue to get better.

I am excited to get back in the gym and get back to being active, as I’ve been laying pretty low since having this pain. I have been stretching and still running errands and what not as I want to stay moving, but I can’t wait to be back to 100%! I have a feeling I’ll be feeling that way by the end of this week, considering I’ll be seeing my chiropractor Mon-Wed!

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a little rough for me not to start getting down on myself or anxious. I hate “falling behind” on house chores and I was also super motivated for this new year and to feel like I’ve been spending most of it in pain makes me upset. I have to make sure I take time to remember all of the beautiful things that have already happened this year.

For example, I got to make vision boards with my best friend! We are going to make this a yearly tradition to make vision boards for the new year, and I am so happy with how mine turned out! I also got to hang out with my childhood bff, and just laughing and chilling with her felt healing in and of itself. We’re excited to hang out more this year, and overall I am very excited for this year ahead.

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Portillo’s, which was such a yummy treat. I literally was craving their cheese fries for three days leading up to that lunch date, so to say I was excited was an understatement. After that we traveled out to the Dick’s Warehouse Sale, and after sifting through some very interesting products, we each found a pair of shoes we liked! Once we were home I went to hang out with a friend of mine, and just enjoyed a pretty chill night.

This year hasn’t been bad, I am just learning to live slower and more mindfully. I also feel that this pain has taught me that I need to keep moving and take care of myself, which is something I’ve been saying for a long time, but haven’t been doing. I deserve to be healthy and enjoy life, and I am the only one who can give myself that. As I continue to heal, I will remember to keep tuning into gratitude and being present. Happy Sunday!

2023 vision board

Gratitude Check

On a quick break and that calls for some gratitude! Feel free to list what you’re grateful for today in the comments 🙂 Let’s make the rest of the day a good one!

1- I am grateful for my health. It is a blessing to be able to walk, eat, talk, use the restroom, and complete daily tasks without the need of assistance.

2- I am grateful for my boyfriend/our relationship. I’m blessed to have a life partner who is hard-working, respectful, caring, and overall an incredible person to be around. I feel so safe and loved, and I’m happy we have great communication skills and have continued to grow together throughout the years.

3- I am grateful for our home. I am blessed to have a roof over my head and have everything I could ever need within the walls. Clean running water, heat/AC, appliances, a bed… truly we are so lucky to have all of these things and they’re easy to take for granted.

4- I am grateful for my job. I am lucky to have a job that allows me to pay my bills and live life as I’d like. I am happy to have insurance and PTO, and I am also so grateful to not work weekends!

5- I am grateful for books and podcasts! It’s so amazing to me when people can take their ideas and thoughts and organize them in such a way that leaves an incredible impact. I love when I read something or hear something that just blows my mind and changes my whole perspective on things. Also the fact that people write/podcast to help others is truly beautiful!

I have to get back to work, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to check in and remind myself how great life is! Hope everyone has a great day!

2022 Progress Report: Proud and Grateful

As the year slowly comes to a close, I am looking forward to continue my healing into 2023. I have learned so much about myself over this year, and I am honestly very proud of my growth. I think back to when my mother had her stroke in February, and how instead of sitting and worrying about if or when she would have another one, I instead turned to gratitude. I was grateful that she is still here, and she can function normally and on her own; she is truly blessed, and I feel the same way. If this were to have happened a few years ago, I would have spiraled for probably months, just riddled with anxiety. I am proud of the fact that I find it easier to turn to gratitude during tough times.

I also am grateful that I am getting better at communicating when I am bothered by something. A few months ago, I was able to have a conversation with a close friend about something that I felt like could have been confrontational or maybe even hurtful. Although I was anxious about it, I was able to clearly communicate my intentions and thoughts, and because she is a good friend, I felt heard and understood during that conversation! I am proud that instead of just being quiet about it and building up resentment, I decided to speak up for myself and discuss my feelings. As someone who has avoided conflict and kept quiet her whole life, that one single act felt like it broke a huge barrier for me, and for that I am proud of myself.

Throughout the year I’ve struggled with judgment; truly it’s been me judging myself for judging others, and then realizing that those judgments I had towards others were actually the judgments I had towards myself. I had read about that in a book, and I’ve also heard it on podcasts before, but it really clicked this year. Although there have been a lot of hard truths to swallow, it has also been calming in a way to release that urge to control or “rescue” others. In reality, I only have the power to control or “rescue” myself, and that is what I will continue to focus on.

I am so grateful to have access to therapy and to have found such amazing podcasts that I enjoy listening to. I also am happy that I started reading more books again this year, and I plan to read even more in 2023. I plan to dedicate time to myself each day, even if only for one minute on some days, because I deserve that love and attention from myself. I plan to be authentic and honest and speak up for myself whenever needed, and I plan to be unapologetic about setting healthy boundaries. I am planning to be less busy and live calmer and slower; after living with a dysregulated nervous system for most of my life, I want to do my absolute best to try to regulate it.

2023: More connecting with nature, less connecting with technology. More reading books, less scrolling through Instagram. More time doing what I love, less wasting time doing things that don’t align with me. More pausing and slowing down, less rushing and stressing. More focusing on my values and goals, less judging and doubting myself. I am doing only what I feel is best for me, and I won’t feel guilty about it.

Bed

I’m writing this from bed as yesterday I woke up with some pretty severe lower back pain. We did have a get-together Friday evening and I know I was running around like a crazy person prior to guests arriving, and I am wondering if I lifted something wrong. I feel like it may be a combination of that as well as some PMS, but it’s pretty bad.

I tried to stretch a lot yesterday and I took some ibuprofen and acetaminophen on and off, but nothing seems to help. If I wake up to turn in my sleep, it is always an uncomfortable transition. Luckily I am supposed to see my chiropractor tomorrow, but depending on how today goes, I may need to see someone sooner.

I am honestly pretty opposed to going to the urgent care / hospital for pain because I always just assume they will give me an pain killer and not identify any real issue. I feel like every time I have to go to the ER for something, no one ever has any answers and just prescribes some pill to take, and I hate it! I am trying to find the root cause, not just put a bandaid on it and hope it sticks!

As the patient, I have the right to advocate for myself as well, so I know I would be asking questions and asking about certain tests, and I’d straight up tell them I want to avoid any pain medication. The only time I ever took a pain killer was after my wisdom teeth surgery and it made me feel super weird and then I just passed out for hours. I ended up switching to ibuprofen after that one pill, and I honestly don’t even take ibuprofen regularly, only when I am in a decent amount of pain.

I am just planning to take it easy today. I’m hoping it just gets better throughout the day and I don’t feel the need to seek medical attention. Sending love and light to all those struggling with any health (mental, physical, emotional, etc.) concerns! We will get through it!

A Love Letter to Myself:

It’s the way you giggle with glee when passing by farm animals when driving down country roads, waving and screaming “hello!” to them out of the passenger window. It’s the way you admire the sky at all times of the day and night, and how different your moods are when grey clouds block the view. It’s the way you say “good morning” to each of the cats and how you ask them how their days were when you come home. It’s the effort you put into yourself; going to therapy, reading self-help books, listening to mindfulness podcasts… you’re truly doing the work and you are finally doing it for you. It’s the way you are so comfortable being your weird, goofy self when around those who love you, and even around those who don’t even know you. It’s the way you want everyone to feel comfortable and loved for who they are, and not feel ashamed of their perceived “flaws.” It’s the way you love a day inside; whether you’re making crafts, writing, or watching some dramatic real estate show, you always find joy in the environment you’re in. No matter what you go through, you have this strength and resilience that always comes to the surface, and although at times you don’t give yourself the credit you deserve, just know that you deserve all of the wonders the world has to offer. Shine brightly and unapologetically; don’t let anyone dim the light that the world so desperately needs.

I love you. I love me.