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How Will You Wrap Up Your Year? {Some Tips To Make It Through The Holidays.}

Christmas Tree

There’s so much hustle + bustle out there, this time of year. Can you feel it?  I know I can.

Worrying about getting the right present or the perfect outfit to wear doesn’t interest me. Inviting in more peace + joy does.  I want to feel the wonder of a year coming to an end, and reflect on how amazing it has been! And this takes some serious intentional action.

The pressure of the holidays is real, friends, so I’m giving you a few tips on how to handle it.  We can all use some encouragement, yes? These are some of my favorite blog posts from the archives, to help you deal with this high-paced season without losing your cool:

I have to say, I’m looking forward to the clean slate a new year brings–the opportunities are endless. (Not to mention, I’m getting married!) But in the meantime, I’m going to focus on having fun + being dazzled by the excitement of the season, I hope you can too.

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How Will You Wrap Up Your Year? {Some Tips To Make It Through The Holidays.}2018-03-29T20:23:13-04:00

How To Move To A New Home And Not Lose Your Cool.

change is the essence of life 2

My recent move to a new home from an apartment was pretty wild. Not only was it very telling about how I handle change, but I realized the jump from living alone to co-habitating was more of a mental shift than a physical one.

Don’t get me wrong–I was beyond psyched to be moving into a house with Chris, it’s truly a dream come true!   But since we recently got engaged and bought a house in the same week, it turned into an exciting whirlwind of changes all at once.  I’m talking total craziness, guys.

Usually people freak out about this much change all at once, but chaos can be really good if you know how to handle it.  It shakes things up and shows you what you’re made of– and to be honest, I’m not sure I was so good at it, but I sure as hell learned a lot about how I handle stress and change.  I laughed, I cried, and with a little help, I made it through.

Here are some nuggets I picked up along the way:

  1. All change takes some getting used to.  Even amazing-knock-your-socks-off-this-is-what-I’ve-always-wanted change.  We humans are creatures of habit and even if your dream life is manifesting before your very eyes, you’re still going to have an adjustment period of freak outs. There’s just no way around it.
  2. Moving your stuff is more than moving your stuff.  As I went through literally everything I own, a flood of emotions and memories came up. It was like strolling down memory lane as I purged stuff I didn’t need anymore and made room for new memories. It was cool to see how I’ve changed and who I’m becoming– even the crappy memories have a place.  So as you sift through your belongings, be gentle with yourself.  Take time to ride the emotional wave and then move on.
  3. You need to rely on others. Moving is not for the faint of heart.  It takes patience and grit to get through to the other side and it’s not always a smooth trip, so don’t do it all yourself.  Not only are movers a great idea, but also an emotional support system can boost you up when you’re wilting.  Pep talks from my dad were a life saver.
  4. Communication is key. Chris and I had some good talks through the whole process: about overwhelm, home improvement + the whole change scenario. It was such a relief to just say what was on our minds and know we were on the same page, even though there were some uncomfortable moments. When one of us blew up, we knew it was the stress of the situation we were in and not to take it personally.
  5. You need some time and space to breathe.  I was so focused on getting things packed and moved, I became a nervous wreck. One night while schlepping some boxes down the stairs from my third floor walk -up, I tripped and twisted my ankle.  Hello bad timing!  And I spent the next day in bed with it elevated, on ice.  I thought I would be a total stressball from losing a day of packing, but that time to relax and regroup was pure awesomeness.  It refilled my tank and gave me the energy I needed to get back at it.  (A little slower, of course.)

It’s easy to look back and see that moving is an endurance test–it tested all of my emotions and tried my patience, but you know what?  Even with a bum ankle, it strengthened me in ways I didn’t expect.

Do you have an exciting moving story?  I’d love to hear about it here.

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How To Move To A New Home And Not Lose Your Cool.2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

Link Love + A Christmas Tree

I’m happy to say I have a LOT of my Christmas shopping done!  I can’t remember being this organized before the holidays in many, many years.  It takes a lot of pressure off of the season and it’s allowing me to enjoy myself more.  Why didn’t I do this sooner?  I’m going to try to make it a new yearly habit.

C and I got our Christmas tree this weekend.  Talk about options!  We figured we’d show up, they’d all look the same and we’d just pick one–we were sorely mistaken on that.  There were all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, feel of needles and smells!  We wanted to go somewhere that our money would benefit the community so we  opted for a local first aid and ended up with a beauty.

tree hunting

The final result:

Oh Christmas Tree

Sunday morning I checked out Toast in Asbury.  The California scramble was delish and the carrot cake pancake?  To die for!  That afternoon I picked up that new chia drink for some hydration and whoa, was it good.

 yummness!

Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

Here’s a different way to be creative–learn an hour of code.

Why was Nelson Mandela so important?  Here is a basic breakdown of the man who changed history.

10 Things extraordinary people say everyday.

The 5×5 trick to make life better by James Altucher

Trembling with anticipation or just trembling?  Here’s how to stay sane this holiday season.

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Link Love + A Christmas Tree2018-03-29T20:23:20-04:00

Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}

How do you handle change? Click through to hear about how a common experience helped me to handle change as an adult and how it may help you, too.

I can remember my first day of kindergarten quite vividly–I wore a navy jumper and was rockin’ a Dorothy Hamill bowl cut.  I had been working myself into a tizzy for months; that summer I got up everyday and practiced packing my bag for school.  (Yes, I actually did this.)  I am the third of four kids, so I’m not sure who was more excited–me or my parents, but their calm and encouraging attitude fueled my glee.

Little me

Little me going to kindegarten.

Fast forward to the Fall of 1991, my parents were sending me out into the big world again, but this time it was college.  When they dropped me off at the residence hall, I was choking back the tears because I wasn’t ready for that change; I was still in high school mode and used to having my childhood friends close at hand.  (I learned years later that my mom wasn’t ready for the change either–she cried the whole way home.)   But at the time, we each put on a brave face and marched toward the next phase of life.

Change can often feel like both of these extremes–exciting and fun or nerve-wracking and dreadful–it depends on how you approach it.

It’s natural for us to dig our heels in and want the comfort and security of what we know; but without these constant revisions, we become stagnant and bored.  Change is a necessary part of our growth.

Transitions create an emotional shift in our otherwise routine life; they challenge us to try new experiences, even when we’re not quite ready for them.  Could it be because we know a door is closing, in order to make room for what is next?

I try to remember these thoughts when those jittery feelings creep up:

  • Change is good.  All progress and movements forward happen because of change.  Without these adjustments, we become lifeless.
  • Everyone gets nervous about change.  It’s a normal reaction to be nervous, even when the change is great and it’s something we’ve been waiting for.  Transitions can bring butterflies to even the steeliest of bellies.
  • Being brave with the small changes will help prepare us for the big ones.  Testing the waters and finding our limits helps us be brave enough to move through the big and small transitions.  The more we know ourselves, the better we can prepare for change (and the smoother it will be).
  • Ride the wave.  Easy transitions are a lot about preparation.  And even when there’s not a lot of time to prepare, we can still mentally walk through the process to figure out where we may need extra support.  Once we’ve done the work, it’s important to embrace our choice and ride the wave into the next phase; half-committing to a decision doesn’t usually turn out very well.
  • Honor yourself.  Change can wreak havoc on the body and mind.  Checking in with ourselves about our needs and asking for help can be the difference between a smooth transition and a train wreck.  A talk with a trusted friend, a massage or a round at the boxing gym can do wonders for managing the stress and emotions that come up with change.  We each need to find our outlet.

The next time you face a change in your life, think about how you want to feel after it’s over.  Focusing on the after of change can often be the push you need to get through it.

When I’m confronted with a new opportunity to change, I try to remember that sweet kindergartner that still lives inside of me and how excited she was for her first day of school.  It reminds me that with an open heart and a willing attitude, transitions can be pretty amazing.

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Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}2018-03-29T20:23:21-04:00

5 Ways to stress less when the universe is messing with your mojo

Stress is such a buzz kill!  Click through to learn a few tips on how to stress less and get more out of life.
It started out as a relaxing morning; I was driving to the gym and wanted to make a quick stop to put some air in a suspiciously low tire.  I jumped out of the driver’s seat and the door clicked shut.  Like a pro, I filled the tire lickety split, grabbed the handle of the door to get back in… and the car was locked.

It wouldn’t have been such a big deal but, the car was still running.  Not to mention my money, ID and phone were hanging out on the seat.  And no, I didn’t accidentally lock the car, it locked on it’s own. (I swear!)  So much for shortcuts.

What was meant to be a happy productive day of exercise!  working on my blog! lunch with a friend! quickly turned into a stressful pain in the ass.  It was a total buzzkill.

It got me thinking–how can we prevent everyday stress from killing our mojo?  Daily stress  will always be there, it’s a part of life.  And sometimes stress is good, because it motivates us and keeps us moving.  But in this case?  It was a total bummer to get locked out! #nothelpful

So what should we do when over the top stress just plain sucks the life out of us? Here are some ideas on how to stress less:

  • Short of death and dismemberment, there are few things that can’t be fixed/undone/changed.  When in a stressful moment, taking a deep breath will help get things in perspective.   OR, do a jumping jack to get out of that crazed feeling in your head and get back to being present in your body.  Afterall, attitude determines altitude.  Using these tricks changed my thought to: “At least this happened when I have a flexible day so I don’t have to stress about screwing up a rigid schedule.”
  • Give in to the moment.  When we stress about things, it’s often a projection of what might happen in the future as a result of one bad occurrence.  Stay in the now so you don’t get all crazy about the future.
  • Ask for help.  God knows we’ve all had our share of stressful moments!  Asking for help always seems to take a little pressure off and it gives others a chance to feel good too.  Given the opportunity, I’ve found most people like to be helpful (and thanked!)
  • Loosen the grip.  Instead of waiting on line and being royally irked by the loud talker in front of me, I try to imagine her having a hearing problem (so she needs to talk louder) or I imagine her as a little girl that was bullied (she just wants to be heard).  A little compassion can go a long way.
  • Give in to the actual moment so it can pass.  Stress isn’t always bad–it can help get things done and keep life moving along.    But stress can make even the most chill of people, flip out.  So when a situation starts to feel like a tight noose around my neck, sometimes I just throw my hands up and say mercy.  It helps me to see the situation for what it is, and move on.

Two hours later, multiple phone calls and failed attempts to locate my spare key, a kind soul finally opened my car door with a jimmy-thing (proving me right about people just wanting to be helpful).  I thanked the gas station attendants and the various people that tried to help along the way and I hopped in my car, grateful to be back in action.  Let’s just say now when I leave my car, so do my keys.

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5 Ways to stress less when the universe is messing with your mojo2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00
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