Tag Archives: mind

How To Bring More Balance Into Your Life

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How To Bring More Balance Into Your Life

There is so much pressure on people nowadays to work hard, earn loads of money, and meet the accepted norms of what success means in today’s society; it is little wonder that many people feel stressed. Feeling stressed is a common state of mind for many people. The pressure to look great, be popular, and have lots of money can weigh heavily on people. This is often amplified by social media and the images that people see on TV and in the press. The good news, is that it is possible to minimize the stress that you experience in your life. Taking control of the situation can help you to bring balance back into your life and make you feel a lot better. Here are some of the ways that you can beat stress and improve your overall well being:

Regain Your Perspective:

If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, then it is time to stop. If scrolling through your social media makes you feel that everyone else’s life is perfect, then you are mistaken. Don’t forget that what you see on social media is simply the edited highlights of someone’s life. People very rarely post the whole truth on social media platforms. Minimizing the amount of time that you spend on social media can help. When you are online, remember to keep your perspective and remind yourself that people only share what they want the world to see.

Beat Stress and Anxiety:

Chronic stress can harm both your physical and mental well being so it is important to find ways to manage it. Many people find practicing mindfulness helpful in reducing their stress. Mindfulness is a tool which enables people to focus their attention on the present moment. This helps to stop the mind from getting caught up in unhelpful thoughts about the past and future.

Being under prolonged stress or pressure can make you feel anxious. Anxiety is a condition that can significantly impact your life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, for example, before taking a test. However, chronic anxiety can leave you feeling anxious on a daily basis making everyday life much harder. Luckily, anxiety treatment is available to help you ease the feelings of anxiousness and provide you with help and support.

Take Care of Yourself:

If you are working hard and always rushing around, then chances are that you aren’t taking the best care of yourself. Stress and anxiety, coupled with long working hours, can take their toll on your well being. This makes it all the more important to practice self-care to regain balance in your life.

Try and get plenty of sleep so that your body has a chance to relax and recover. Getting enough sleep can also have a positive effect on your mood and help you to think more clearly. Make sure that you feed your body with the right fuel. Making healthy food choices will help nourish your body and mind and make you feel infinitely better.

Life is a balancing act and the tips above will help you find the right level to keep you happy and healthy.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

7 Causes Of Stress And What You Can Do About Them

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7 Causes Of Stress And What You Can Do About Them

Stress is frighteningly familiar in modern life. Most of us report to feeling at least a little stressed out some of the time. And it’s easy to see why. We’re trying to take on the world. We’re encouraged to believe that we can do everything, and so we want to do everything. We want to have careers and push ourselves professionally, but we also want to raise our families and be there for the people that we love. Many of us also have side hustles or home businesses to help us make more money or give us an outlet for our creativity.

We’re trying to take care of ourselves, often reading contradictory advice and never quite knowing what to do. Many of us face a long and stressful commute, and while working for yourself can seem like the ideal solution to stress, many people that do report never taking full days off, and not having had vacations for over a year.

While a little stress is quite normal, and something that most of us can manage, it can be much worse. Too much stress can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders, mental health issues, depression, and even physical symptoms. Stress can affect your relationships, your confidence, and your performance at work. It can leave you feeling lost, without any clear idea of how to move forward and it can mean that your mind begins to age prematurely.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you don’t just put up with stress, but that you take the time to understand what is causing you to feel that way so that you can reduce stressful situations, find ways to manage it or avoid it altogether, and learn how to let it go. Here are some of the most common causes of stress and some ideas of what you can do to beat it:

Work Worries:

Work is one of the most common causes of stress. We worry about our projects, getting promotions, pleasing our boss or our colleagues, doing the right thing for our clients, and doing well. We worry about situations that haven’t gone well or things that we don’t understand. We spend late nights awake worrying about the next day, not wanting to go to work, or replaying something that has happened the previous day.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the option to change our jobs whenever we’re feeling stressed out. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it, either. Ask yourself what it is about the job that is causing you to feel stressed out? Could you make changes? Could your manager help? Or, is it worth looking for other careers or positions that could help you to avoid situations that you find stressful.

Anxiety:

We all face anxiety. For some of us, it’s just the normal anxiety that comes with situations that make us feel nervous. It might not stop you from doing things or cause you great upset. You might just feel butterflies before doing something that you are nervous about. But, for other people, anxiety is much more than this.

Their anxiety stops them from doing things. It might mean that they can’t enjoy their lives or that they can’t even leave their house. Anxiety can cause panic attacks, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It can be a severe illness. It should be no surprise that if you suffer from this kind of anxiety, your stress levels could also be high. The two work together. Anxiety causes stress, which makes anxiety worse, and it’s easy to get trapped in a terrible cycle.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy escape from anxiety. You may find coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques helpful, but if your anxiety is severe, you should speak to a professional for help.

Family Politics:

Your family should be a positive force in your life. But, we don’t automatically like, or agree with the people that we are related to. Family politics often causes us to feel stress. You might find yourself desperately avoiding taking sides or trying to avoid family altogether, which can cause upset and tension.

Sometimes, the best way to reduce the stress caused by family issues is to avoid them entirely. If the argument isn’t your own, remove yourself from the situation and let them sort it out. Spend time with your friends and family members that make you feel positive, instead. Remember, you don’t have to spend time with them or even like them. Don’t be afraid to cut contact with family members if they are having a negative influence on your life.

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Money Problems:

Most of us have money worries. We live paycheck to paycheck. We’re always looking for ways to make extra money, unexpected expenses can be crippling, and we’re terrified of having to take time off causing a loss of income. These money worries are made worse by Christmas and other expensive events.

Often, the best way to reduce this kind of stress is talking about your concerns. Speak to friends and family members, share your worries, and ask for advice. Or, speak to a financial advisor. Usually, the situation isn’t as bad as we fear, we’ve got more options than we thought, and our financial worries are eased by merely having a plan to improve our finances.

Health Concerns:

Worrying about your health is exceptionally stressful. Yet many of us would rather worry about our symptoms and concerns than getting them checked out. If you are worried because your lifestyle isn’t particularly healthy, make some positive changes to take care of yourself. If you have a symptom that is worrying you, make an appointment to get it checked out as soon as you can. It’s worth it, even if it just puts your mind at ease.

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Hormonal Changes:

If you are feeling stressed out and there are no apparent reasons, it might be due to a hormonal change or imbalance. Contraception methods, our diets, how much sleep we’re getting, our environment, and stress itself can all affect our hormones, and it’s typical for things to change over time. A serious imbalance can mean that you don’t feel yourself; you are tired and suffering from mood swings. Your appetite might change, along with physical symptoms, and your stress levels can rise, both due to hormone changes and the symptoms that they cause.

Try to eat a balanced diet, look at any artificial hormones you might be putting into your body, and identify any changes which might be causing an imbalance.

Significant Changes or Major Life Events:

We don’t like change. It worries us. We think about everything that could go wrong and all the ways that even a small change will affect our day to day life. You can’t, and shouldn’t, avoid all changes. But, you can prepare for them, take things slowly, and allow yourself a period of adjustment.

Major life events are also stressful. Weddings, birthdays, moving house, big family holidays, Christmas, and any other occasion where you need to plan a lot and spend a lot of money is stressful. The best way to deal with this is to ask for help and learn how to delegate tasks to other people as well as making a plan to spend money responsibly.

Stress can have a major impact on our life but it doesn’t have to. Figure out what is causing you stress in your life and make healthy changes to improve the problem.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Social Media Setbacks

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Social Media Setbacks

Helloooo! I wouldn’t say that I am an avid social media user. All I have is a Facebook and the main reason I am on there is for promoting lifewithlilred and, of course, it’s nice to keep in touch with old friends. But, despite only being on one platform, I think that I am not the only one who can agree that sometimes social media can bum you out. I know that I definitely experience this phenomenon even though I strictly scroll though my newsfeed for entertainment purposes.

Why is that? Well, for starters, everything that people post isn’t always entertaining. Believe you me, I wish that my entire newsfeed was filled with cute puppies and funny memes all of the time. But, rather, it is a mixed bag with some stuff that gives me a laugh and others that make me wish I had never seen it at all.

I understand that the news is an important thing and being aware of what’s going on in your community as well as world wide is something that I, myself, need to be better at. But, I never understand why people feel the need to share articles from news sources that are completely heinous. I get upset really easily when it comes to crimes against humanity, animals, and children – as everyone should. And, the last thing I want is to see a picture of an abused animal when I’m trying to get my “lol” on.

And, there is always the classic “feeling down about yourself because your friends are posting all of the cool stuff in their lives” sensation. Ah yes, the marriages, engagements, promotions, travel, and babies galore. When I am in a crappy place already, this can make me feel even worse, not because I’m not happy for my friends, of course. But, because I feel like I’m behind even though life isn’t a race.

It can be difficult to remember that ninety-nine percent of the time, social media is used to post your exciting news – not to air your dirty laundry and deepest, darkest secrets. And, behind closed doors, we really don’t know what anyone’s life is actually like aside from what they portray on social media. This is something that would be wise to remind myself of every now and again.

Social media is a wonderful tool but it can also effect your mental health if used the wrong way. So, if you struggle with some of the issues I mentioned, take a break from your socials for the day and give yourself some breathing room. And, then, get back to posting all of the funny memes, please and thank you!

What are some negative things about social media? How do you portray yourself on your socials? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self Care & Me

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Self Care & Me

Helloooo everyone! Today, I thought that we would talk a little about my self care journey. And, believe me, it’s not an easy thing to do when you run two businesses and are constantly running around like a mad woman! At first, I used to consider “self care” as going shopping and having a spending spree… and, although that’s nice, it doesn’t get to the root of true self care, which I take to mean as doing something mentally or physically stimulating to help improve your mood.

I think the main thing that has helped me become more conscious of trying to incorporate self care into my life is my weekly skating practices. Being on the ice and riding that high of an invigorating work out and doing something that I’m good at always makes me feel my best. And, since I began weekly instead of biweekly practices, it has made me realize that I really don’t do enough for myself. So, I decided to change that.

When I began my career as a service provider for people with special needs, working evenings were just part of the deal. But, now that I’m more established, I thought that it was high time to treat myself to a normal schedule. And, come October, I will only be working one evening a week!

This is a change that I have been craving for a long time now and I’m looking forward to actually having time for myself when I get home from work. Whether that be practicing my languages, reading a book, binge watching a show, or taking a bath – I finally have that option now! And, maybe *just maybe*, I could start having a regular social life. Because, trust and believe, it’s hard fitting in hang outs, errands, and skating all in one weekend. This caused me to enter my work week feeling even more exhausted and it grew into a vicious cycle.

There are so many things that I plan on doing with my evenings off but, what I’m most looking forward to is finding an American Sign Language class to attend. Weirdly enough, there are no weekend classes at the centers for the deaf in my area but evening classes are available. So, that is definitely going to be on my agenda very soon! It feels good to do for me while still maintaining my caseload at work and lifewithlilred and I am ready for work free evenings to commence!

How do you practice self care? What do you do during your free time to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

“Haunted” Apartment Update

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“Haunted” Apartment Update

Hello!! Way back in May, I posted about some strange paranormal activity happening in my apartment and, since then, I’ve had quite a few people contacting me asking for updates on that spooky situation. And, I am pleased to tell all of you, that since the three occurrences that happened three days in a row, my apartment has been free of any supernatural activity. Thank goodness, because I don’t think I could handle stepping on anymore broken glass!

As an avid fan of all things horror related, I am well aware that pesky poltergeists and spirits like to kick you when you’re feeling down. This hardly seems fair, but I was definitely in a darker place during the first month or so living on my own. I felt lonely, overwhelmed, stressed out, and irritated that I was feeling all of those ways to begin with because moving out was something that I wanted to do.

So, it makes sense to me that I picked something up that wanted to stir up more feelings of unease while I was in such a delicate state of mind. And, strangely enough, the occurrences stopped once I sat down at my laptop and wrote out all of the weirdness that was happening. My mood also improved as I got more used to being in my own place, which lifted the negativity that was bringing me down.

I’m happy to report that things have been nice and normal at chez moi and here’s to hoping that it stays that way as I continue on through this thing called life!

Who else has experienced paranormal activity in their home? What made it stop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Overlooked Tips For Being At Your Best Each Day

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4 Overlooked Tips For Being At Your Best Each Day

Life has a habit of beating us down. The list of responsibilities and chores just seem to stack up and up, and there’s rarely anything that effortlessly comes along to relieve us. However, just because life will naturally move that way if we let it, it’s not like we have to accept it, and we definitely don’t need to let it have a negative impact on our lives. There are things we can do to push us in a positive direction, each and every day. Below, we take a look at four helpful, yet often overlooked, actions that’ll make your day better:

Start the Day Right:

You’ve got to start the day as you mean to go on. If you have a terrible beginning, then it’s much more likely that things will continue to go in the same direction. On the other hand, if you take steps to make sure that your day begins well, in peace and tranquility, then you’ll be ready to step up the moment you walk out of the front door. So what does this look like exactly? It’s about not being in a rush. If you wake up early, go for a short run, take a cold shower, and then have a leisurely breakfast, you’ll find that you’re on Cloud Nine, and all before 9 AM.

Look Your Best:

If we’re going to be at our best, then we need to be confident, and if we’re going to be confident, then we need to look and feel our best. There’s real value in putting together a routine that leads towards looking your best! Take a look at hair and makeup routines, for example, and choose the ones that are suitable for you – and which you can do each morning. On the wardrobe front, it’s all about those stylish and comfortable tops for women. With a new and improved rack of clothing, hairstyle, and makeup routine, you’ll walk out of the front door confident and ready to take on the day.

Make the Commute Fun:

It’s understandable that people grow tired of the boring old routine when they have such a soul-destroying commute to the office. However, who says that the commute needs to be quite as miserable as everyone says it is? This is one of many areas where it’s better to do your own thing, rather than follow the crowd. Make the most of your time by yourself! You can listen to podcasts, sing, talk with friends, or anything else, and why not? If it’s bumper to bumper traffic that’s bringing you down, then look to see if there’s an alternative route. Even if it takes a little longer, you’ll enjoy it much more if it’s a scenic journey and there are far fewer cars.

Get Outside:

Finally, make sure you’re spending some time outdoors. Studies have shown that being in nature gives us a natural happiness boost. It’ll also provide a little breathing room between your state of mind and whatever is trying to push it down.

Every day isn’t going to be perfect, but these simple tips above can certainly make them a little better!

Featured Image By: Pexels