The Importance of Self-Care: Putting Yourself First

The Importance of Self-Care: Putting Yourself First

Self-Care is essential to mental health and everyday life. There are many aspects of self-care to consider.

I am stubborn, independent, and headstrong.

Those qualities are good in some ways, like how determined I am to achieve something or standing up for myself and others when necessary.  However, when you throw in stress, depression, and anxiety; those qualities aren’t so great.

I struggle with depression and anxiety as well as coping with high amounts of stress.

And because I am stubborn, independent, and headstrong; I think I am capable of handling it all on my own.  By the time I do reach out for help, it’s usually not good.

No matter how much of an external support system I may have, ultimately it’s up to me to take care of myself and motivate myself. 

You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

I will be implementing the following methods of self-care:

Exercise

  • Going for a walk outside, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.
  • Actually using my Planet Fitness membership!
  • Parking farther away at stores.
  • Taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
  • Doing squats, sit-ups, and planks during commercial breaks.

Sleep

  • Shutting off all electronics an hour before bed.
  • Going to bed at the same time every night.
  • Waking up at the same time every morning.
  • Creating a relaxing nighttime routine and environment.

Nutrition

  • DRINKING MORE WATER
  • Eliminating sugary foods and junk foods.
  • Cooking at home most days.
  • Eating a filling breakfast, like oatmeal, instead of a bowl of cereal.
  • Snacking on healthy foods like carrots with ranch dressing instead of potato chips or candy.

Entertainment

  • Watching less TV.
  • Reading more.
  • Spending more time outside.
  • Starting a new hobby.
  • Using technology less often.

 

What are some ways that you practice self-care in your life?

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Looking Back: The Things I Wish I Knew At 18

Looking Back: The Things I Wish I Knew At 18

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I graduated high school and turned eighteen. It sure doesn’t feel like five years have passed!

There are some days that I wish I could hit rewind and start over. Or just rewind all the way back to when I was a kid and worry-free.

I think that’s just a normal part of life; occasionally wishing for the simpler times in life. However, with age, comes wisdom.

The past five years have been full of change and growth. More than I would have ever imagined. If I had known then what I know now, maybe I would be a different person today. Or maybe not.

If somebody had told me when I was 18 that I would flunk out of college after only a semester, I would have laughed in their face. I thought I was so smart and so invincible.

If I had known that I would work in retail for four years before I finally decided to go back to school, maybe I would have done better and not flunked out.

If I had listened to my mother about the horrors of credit card debt, maybe I wouldn’t be struggling to pay off $6,000 worth of it now.

If I never moved to Birmingham for a year, maybe my life wouldn’t have been changed for the better.

Life is full of ifs and maybes.

The most important lesson I could have learned at eighteen is that it’s okay to make mistakes.  As long as you learn from them and don’t regret them. Decades from now, I don’t want to be looking back on my life and think of the things I regret, I want to think of the things I did.

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Inspiration: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Inspiration: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Inspiration can come in many forms. It is often found in a person, a goal, art, music, and even from within yourself. Inspiration can strike like lightning at any moment.

One of the many things that I like about blogging is the power to inspire others. If I can do one thing with my blog, it would be to inspire. I want to help make the world a better place and create an impact, foster growth, and make a change. Sure, it may not happen with one blog post. However, if I can inspire at least one person, it will hopefully create a positive chain reaction.

There have been many people and events in my life that have been a source of inspiration for me in some way.

Some intentionally by being a good role model in my life, some unintentionally by showing me what not to do but inspiring me to do better.

One of the most important people in my life is my sister, Lauren. She has always been a constant source of inspiration. She isn’t anything but herself, she stands up for what she believes in, she is kind and generous; all great things that inspire me to become a better person.

My parent’s divorce was a life-altering event. While it may not necessarily be a positive event, it was inspiring for me. It inspired me to follow my heart, trust in God, and never settle for anything (or anyone) that doesn’t have my best intentions in mind. It’s easy to let yourself hide in the shadows to let others shine, but it is important that you make yourself a priority as well. Why should you be miserable when everybody else is happy?

Certain moments can change your life forever. Will you let it inspire you positively or negatively?

Several years ago, my grandfather became very depressed and shot himself in the heart. Miraculously, the bullet missed his heart by a very small fraction of an inch. I have struggled with depression at different times in my life. I know that it’s hard, really hard. There are days when you don’t want to even get out of bed or brush your hair. However, I also know that things will get better. My grandfather surviving that inspires me to remember to always have hope that things can get better and to live the best possible life.

 

What are some things that inspire you? How do you want to inspire others? Let me know in the comments below.

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Birthday Bucket List: Facing Fears and Chasing Dreams

Birthday Bucket List: Facing Fears and Chasing Dreams

IT’S ALMOST MY BIRTHDAY!!!

I repeat, it is almost my birthday! As in I will be turning twenty-three in a few days from now! What?!?! Seriously insane how fast time flies as you get older. I barely feel like I’m 21 and now I’m turning 23?!

Rawrrr! That was me channeling my inner Leo. Do you ever read those descriptions of the different zodiac signs and think to yourself, “That is so me!”? I definitely have several of the traits that Leos are said to have. Stubborn, check. Likes being the center of attention, yep. Loyal to a fault, you got it. Dramatic, … maybe, does being hangry count?

Chocolate Cake For Days

I’ve already celebrated my birthday with all of my mom’s side of the family in Florida a couple of weeks ago. We had a triple birthday party for me, my uncle, and my aunt. We’re the trio of August babies in the family. It was a lot of fun. Sam’s Club makes a seriously good chocolate cake. Like the fat kid in Matilda would approve of it good!

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

I never really want anything for my birthday, and I definitely don’t really need anything either. I’ve got more clothes and shoes than I know what to do with. I still got a few gifts. My birthday present to myself this year was a new ice cream maker. The kind made for the I-want-ice-cream-and-I-want-it-NOW people aka me! There’s nothing wrong with the one I already have except for the fact that you have to freeze the bowl for a full 24-48 hours before you use it. And you can only make one batch at a time. And did I mention that you have to wait for two days to use it??? Well, this new one is one of those snazzy ones that can, wait for it, FREEZE ITSELF! At last, I can make as much homemade ice cream as I want. I better join a gym y’all!

Anyways, excuse my ice cream melt-down… since I don’t need or want anything for my birthday, I decided to make myself a birthday bucket list. There have been things I have always wanted to do and I am determined to get them done before my 24th birthday!

Birthday Bucket List
  1. Swim with dolphins. I go to visit family in Florida every summer and I somehow have never swum with the dolphins.
  2. Renew my passion for writing fiction. I used to always write short stories… and then never finish any of them. I will write a short novel by the time I turn 24 next year. It doesn’t have to be any good, but dang it, I will write it!
  3. Start reading more. I want to have read at least 20 books a year from now.
  4. Go to a haunted house in October. The only way to stop being such a chicken is to face my fear.

 

Is there anything that you’ve always wanted to do but for some reason or another never did? What’s on your birthday bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Goals For Fall Semester: Straight A Student

Goals For Fall Semester: Straight A Student

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Summer is ending and students are heading back to school. This semester is my last semester of prerequisites for the nursing program! It is very important that I do well this semester so I can start clinicals in the spring. I’m really big on planning and making lists. At the start of every year, I make a “goals for the year” list. I’m going to take that even further and share with all of you, my “goals for the month list” every month and “goals for the semester list” each semester.

To hold myself more accountable, every month into the semester, I will have a “semester check in” post so we can all see if I’m achieving my goals or not.

My goals for the fall semester are:

End the semester with all A’s.
Be more social in classes. While school is important, making new friends is never a bad thing.
Ace the nursing school entrance exam! I want to score really high on it so I definitely will get into clinicals.
Have everything for my application for the nursing program ready to go at least a week before the due date (October 2nd).
Join a club.
Form a study group.

What are some things that you want to accomplish? How do you hold yourself accountable? If you have any tips and tricks, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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Back to School: Tips For a More Productive Semester

Back to School: Tips For a More Productive Semester

Back to school shopping has always been my favorite part of the year. There’s just something about the smell of new school supplies when you go down the back to school section. Even now at almost 23, the memories of picking out a backpack and a cute pencil-case still stand out.

The start of a new semester is the time that I always try to get a jump-start.  I don’t like having things come up later that I’ve forgotten to do!

So without further ado, here is my list of tips and tricks that help make the semester go by much smoother. Let’s get back to school with a bang!

1. Being organized is key. Whether you keep all of your notes and assignments on your computer or in a binder if you don’t keep it organized it will come back to bite you in the butt later.  Digging through papers or frantically searching your files on your computer for an assignment from the beginning of the semester is never fun.

    • I prefer to have files on my computer AND printed copies of everything I need for my classes.
    • You can make it fun by assigning each class a color or customizing the cover of your binder/folder/notebook for each class.

2. The syllabus is your best friend. I repeat THE SYLLABUS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. I always pay attention the professor and take notes on the syllabus as they’re explaining it on the first day back to school. Keep a copy in your folder, on your phone, on your laptop, wherever you can easily access it. It just might save your grade one day.

    • I took finite math over the summer and would have had a C instead of a B but according to the syllabus, my professor would drop your lowest test grade if you showed up for class and made it to every test. I totally forgot everything I had learned when it came time to take the last test before the final.

3. I highly recommend purchasing a laser printer.  My anatomy & physiology 1 class required printed out power point slides to bring to class for notes.  While my school gives you a certain amount of printing free per semester, it’s time-consuming and pretty busy to print in the library.  I still have toner left from the introductory pack that came with the printer and that’s after two semesters and regular non-school related printing.

Doing assignments early is better than doing them late!

4. If assignments are available at the start of the semester, do as many as you can now.  That way you have a bunch knocked out ahead of time.

    • My English class had a lot of online discussions so I knocked those out-of-the-way asap.
    • My psychology class had a group of assignments using the textbook but the professor didn’t use the textbook in her lectures. Luckily the textbook company had a complimentary two-week access, so I did all of the assignments in the first two days and didn’t have to pay for the book!

5. Wait until the first day of class to buy the textbooks. My first semester, I went according to the books listed in the bookstore for each course and I only needed two of the four!

6. Speaking of textbooks, getting an Amazon Prime Student membership will help with renting your textbooks and more.  Free two-day shipping, Prime video, and a seemingly limitless offering of products are just a few of the benefits of a Prime membership.

Studying is important!

7. Set aside a designated study space and time.

8. Take quick breaks every so often so you don’t end up just reading the same sentence over and over.

9. Invest in a good alarm clock or get on a good sleep schedule if you’re a heavy sleeper like I am. A lot of professors won’t let you in even if you’re only two minutes late to class.

10. Don’t forget to have fun now and then. While school is important, so is taking the time to enjoy yourself.

 

What are some of your best tricks to have a productive semester? Let me know in the comments below!

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This Feisty Life participates in several affiliate programs and advertising networks, such as Amazon, ShareASale, Google AdSense, etc. If you click on a link to a product or click on an ad, I will get paid a percentage of the sale. I will only recommend products and services that I personally have tried and loved here on This Feisty Life.

Happiness: Five Little Things That Make Me Smile

Happiness: Five Little Things That Make Me Smile

Happiness; a universal desire.

There are only dozens upon dozens of self-help books claiming to have found the miraculous answer to achieving life-long happiness. Although it seems more complicated than necessary due to the fact that there are so many tips and tricks out there on how to be happy.

I’m a big fan of simplicity so I think happiness is something that should be easy to find. And for the most part, it is, since everybody has different definitions and expectations of happiness.

My definition of happiness is simple: appreciate the little things and all that life has to offer. There are many “little” things that always make me smile, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top five.
      1. Nature. If I’m having a bad day, I just walk outside and smile as I appreciate the way the sunlight shines through the trees and feel happy to be able to see such a beautiful sight.
      2. A good book.  Curling up with a blanket and getting lost in a good book is the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon.  Amazon has a wonderful Kindle Unlimited membership for only $10 a month.  Sign up for a free trial and start reading today.
      3. A catchy song. Kind of like the “A Pocketful of Sunshine” scene in Easy A, there’s nothing like the power of a fun, catchy song to get you pumped up and ready to have a great day!
      4. Ice cream. What problems can ice cream not solve??? It’s so delicious and comforting! A few Christmases ago, my sister gave me an ice cream maker. Let me tell you something, homemade ice cream is seriously delicious! It’s so easy to make too! I recently upgraded to an ice cream maker with a built-in compressor. Although my old one still makes amazing ice cream, I didn’t want to have to wait 24 hours for the bowl to freeze. Now, I can make batch after batch at a time! The ice cream maker for the impatient ice cream aficionados, like myself. And the ice cream maker for beginners and those who don’t mind waiting for ice cream.
      5. Having a very productive day. The sense of accomplishment that a productive day provides makes me happy and wanting to keep the productivity and happiness flowing.

How do you define happiness? Please, send me a comment. I’d love to hear all about the little things that make you smile.

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This Feisty Life participates in several affiliate programs and advertising networks, such as Amazon, ShareASale, Google AdSense, etc. If you click on a link to a product or click on an ad, I will get paid a percentage of the sale. I will only recommend products and services that I personally have tried and loved here on This Feisty Life.