Tag Archives: self love

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

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Lil Red For The Little Mermaid!

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Lil Red For The Little Mermaid!

Helloooo! I swear, my newsfeed on THE BOOK has been filled with bullshit on the casting for the Little Mermaid and it is the most annoying thing on planet Earth. So, when I busted out my new Little Mermaid themed bikini for the first time this summer, I knew that I had to create a joke post about me being cast as Ariel. I mean, come on, I have the red hair which should compensate for my singing voice that sounds like a dying cat! 🤣

And Ariel did have a buttload of tattoos and piercings right… or am I thinking of a different movie?

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^^^ The resemblance is uncanny! 😀

But, in all seriousness, this post isn’t about my cheeky sense of humor or a casting decision that I am 150% for. This is about bikini body positivity because, let me tell you, I have not felt confident in a bikini in a very long time. I took a client to one of our local Metro Park lakes this past Monday and saying that I was nervous to be in public in my Little Mermaid number is the understatement of the century.

I have a very love/hate relationship with my body, especially considering that I struggled with an eating disorder for a long time. And, I still have a hard time grasping that my body at twenty-five is going to be different than what my body was at sixteen. Do I love that I have bigger breasts than what I would like? No. How about the fact that I can’t seem to get rid of my little tummy no matter how healthy I eat or how often I figure skate? Absolutely not.

But, then, I remember that I love my legs and badonk that are super toned and muscular from over a decade of dedication to a sport. I love my piercings and tattoos that make me happy whenever I look at them. And, it could always be worse lol!

Even with those friendly reminders, though, I was still anxious for the grand reveal of my towel coming off. But, my client wanted to swim and that’s what was going to happen that day. So, I took a deep breath, dropped the towel, and began to walk towards the water. That’s when something amazing happened…

The first person who saw me told me that I looked awesome and little did she know, that changed my attitude for the entire lake outing. What felt like a literal blanket of insecurities for my first time in a bikini in years was lifted instantly by a stranger’s kind words and I felt good… better yet, I felt confident.

And, because I felt so happy and okay with myself in my own skin, I wanted to share the gift that the guardian angel stranger shared with me. If I saw a bikini that I thought was darling or if one of my fellow ladies was working it, trust and believe I let them know. And, watching their faces light up instantly was the best thing.

No matter what their body type is, I don’t know many girls who are thrilled about being in bathing suits. That’s why it was important to me to offer the same kindness to others that my stranger did for me. Part of being a Disney princess is having confidence and, in my Ariel inspired suit, I finally felt that way. The least I could do was help other people feel that, too.

What makes you feel confident? How do you help others to feel that way? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Digital Era’s Effect On Our Insecurities

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The Digital Era’s Effect On Our Insecurities

It’s hard to exist in a world with access to social media ‘round the clock. Instead of seeing real people, you see idealized versions of beauty and celebrities with unattainable airbrushed looks. Try as we might, natural beauty is not natural enough when they need to be on the cover of magazines. In this digital era, it seems like everyone’s insecurities are magnified. If all of the constant focus on beauty is making you feel insecure, here are some tips that you can do to start loving yourself a little more:

Hair Care:

Your hair is your crowning glory, they say. It makes sense that people want to care for their locks because of how much it affects their appearance. However, no matter how shiny you think your hair already is, when you see hair product advertisements, suddenly your hair is not smooth enough, colored evenly enough, or straightened sufficiently. Ads and commercials get some editing help, of course, but the message is already evident. You need to change your hair products, perhaps consider switching to herbal hair care, and love your curls rather than killing them with heat from styling every day. All of these changes you’re considering will be helpful because they are overall good for your hair and will show positive results over time.

Body Image:

Hair is just one part of the body, and it can already give you so much insecurity. What more if you don’t have the “perfect” body? Lots of people have uncertainties stemming from a negative body image, and this is brought on by the lack of love for different body types in the beauty industry. Even now that there is room for plus size models, we still see them conforming to the hour-glass shape that the industry has deemed ideal. Thankfully, some big names in the industry are choosing to release their unedited photos to show their fans that, though it might look like it in magazines, they do not have a perfect body. Everyone’s body is different and beautiful, and the more that this is normalized, the better for body positivity movements.

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Talent:

When you look at celebrities, they always seem to be oozing with talent. They have a good singing voice and can dance, too. They also look good in everything they do. Some are good enough to be chefs and others can speak several languages. When you compare your skills with them, you think you fall short. The thing is, you should not be comparing yourself with another person, be they a celebrity or not. Each person has different skills, and instead of telling yourself you’re not good enough, you should focus on self-improvement. Celebrities train rigorously to learn what they need for their craft; you should also try to improve your skills and not knock yourself if others do it better. They all started as beginners, too.

The digital age has given us some of the most advanced features and gadgets we could have asked for. However, it also highlights some of our biggest insecurities. It’s up to you to take that power away from them by loving yourself!

“Bouncing Back” After A Personal Difficulty

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“Bouncing Back” After A Personal Difficulty

Suffering any setback in life can result in an influx of negative emotion. While it’s easy to say that you need a positive mindset in which to cope with these issues, it’s never that straightforward in practice. Regardless of what’s happened in life, be it a personal tragedy or a string of bad luck, there appear to be a few constants that can help us keep on:

Resilience (A Skill You Can Improve On):

Throughout personal difficulties, it can feel far easier for you to bury your head in the sand. People will tell you that you need to keep going on, as life does inevitably go on. The one thing we can learn through these difficult aspects in life is some form of coping strategy. But, when resilience is brought up, it can feel like it’s a thing that either we have or we don’t. And, depending on our reaction to the problem, it can highlight what level our resilience is really at. But resilience is one of those great skills in life that we can fine tune. The way we do it is by going through difficult circumstances and, gradually, as our comfort zone increases, we develop tolerance to these situations.

Self-Care Is Important:

When we suffer a setback, a personal problem, or we’re going through a really horrible time, we can neglect self-care. But, in even the most basic of ways, self-care can do wonders for ourselves. Fueling ourselves with the right foods and staying away from toxic friendships are two things that help to nurture our body and our mind. You know what is good for you because you will either feel good or you will feel bad. But what we struggle with these days is actually tuning into this and using the knowledge to help turn the situation around.

…So Is Getting Help When Necessary:

Help is one of those things that we can either feel too proud to ask for or we think it’s a sign that we are weak. Getting help comes in many different forms. Sometimes it’s professional ones, which makes life easier after a common problem like a house fire, where services like SERVPRO help with the cleanup of a property. Help is something that can make life easier. If you’ve done all of the hard work and you need a bit of help getting back on your feet, either through professional help or by just leaning on someone a little bit more than usual, why shouldn’t you?

Regardless of the difficulty, there’s an abundance of services to help people in their hour of need. And when it becomes too much, it’s these people that we will turn to. You only have to look at organizations like The Samaritans to see that there are people out there that can’t turn to their loved ones for help, but need an impartial listener, either to vent or for someone to actually help before things get out of hand.

Tragedy Can Bring Joy:

What’s interesting to note during tragic circumstances, especially when it comes to the death of a family member, is that there is a diverse range of emotions on display. Sometimes you see the grieving partner that’s completely catatonic, but you’ll also see the other side, where there’s so much humor on display, that from an outsider looking in, it can be very perplexing! Gallows humor is one of those interesting things because it’s a wonderful coping mechanism for those people who have had pent up emotions relating to negativity for so long. When you see family members get together for a funeral, and they haven’t seen each other for a long time, it can almost seem like a reunion. And the difficult circumstances we go through in life have little glimmers of joy that we may feel on occasion are the things that will carry us through the tough times.

You always hear about someone who listened to an album ad nauseam because it helps them. And in terms of therapy, laughter is one of the greatest. And this is underselling it somewhat. Laughter is a fantastic reliever of stress. But when you get a bunch of people together in the same room that is going through a terrible time, it’s amazing how much joy and laughter can come out. And, it doesn’t detract from the situation but, rather, it adds to the emotions experienced. So turn on your favorite comedy or chat with your funniest friend and enjoy the laughter.

Difficult situations in life make us realize who we really are and what is really important. While it’s never a good thing to endure at the time, through the darkness, light can come through.

Featured Image By: PxHere

Honing & Perfecting Your Own Style

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Honing & Perfecting Your Own Style

Everyone has their own style, but you could easily argue that not everyone is fully aware of their own style. That is a real shame, because it is important to be able to feel truly comfortable with yourself and in your own skin – and if you’re not, then you will probably find that life is considerably less enjoyable on the whole. If you are keen to try and discover what your own style is, then you might want to think about some of the following:

Trial & Error:

Probably the most important thing to bear in mind, is that it usually takes a lot of trial and error before you can come across your own style. What that essentially means, is that you need to be prepared to perhaps not look your best, or even look quite silly, before you can discover what you look really good in. This sense of using trial and error to determine your style is likely to take some time, but you will find that it is the most effective means of ensuring that you actually manage to find it at all.

To begin with, you need to try out a number of different clothes styles, and you need to do so in different settings, so that you can really get a feel for how you look in what kind of environment. That is something which you will need to try out a lot and, again, you will have to be prepared to maybe feel a little silly along the way. But, as long as you are happy to do that, you will soon find that you can get to grips with what kind of clothing style tends to suit you best. Of course, it’s not just about your clothes, either. You will also want to think about what kind of general attitude and approach feels natural to you, but that is more to do with simply being true to your actual way of being than anything else, and that is what we are going to look at next.

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Cool sneaks are always a good look!

Be True To Yourself:

Along the way, it is important to make sure that you are being true to yourself, as hard as that can often be to do. In doing so, you should find that you can much more easily get to your own sense of style. The best way to do this is to make sure that you try not to pay too much attention to what other people think. That is much easier said than done, and most people will find that it takes a considerable amount of practice to get there, but as long as you are keen to do that you should find that you can eventually get to the point where you are being true to yourself, and not living for others.

Once you start along that path, you will gradually develop a groove, and you will find it easier to live your own way without worrying about others. The next natural step will be to have your own style. You will start to follow the path of least resistance, and you will be able to enjoy being you as truly as you like. Being true to yourself might sound like a cliche, but it’s the only way to really live your life.

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So cool!

Have A Signature:

While trying to perfect your own style, developing a signature is important. This can be a stand-out thing which is quite obvious or, if you prefer, it can be more subtle and you can simply wait for people to notice this particular thing about you. If you want to try and do this, either way, you will want to make sure that this signature is something which is actually true to yourself, and not merely something that you are trying to show off with. This is not about impressing people, but about having some clear signature which you can point to and is indicative of your style in some way.

This is not to say that it needs to be absolutely original in order to be effective, either. It might just so happen that you are going to be able to have a signature which is fairly common, and yet is still true to you, and that is something which you should admit is going to be fairly likely. For instance, a lot of people have tattoos, and these generally constitute their signatures, and you might have your own eye on a particular tattoo which is going to do that for you, too. If so, you will want to make sure that you are truly happy with it, as the last thing you want is to regret a tattoo. Of course, you should bear in mind that it is always possible to use tattoo laser removal, so it is never the end of the world, anyways. But, regardless, it is best to really be happy with it before you get it!

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Pexels Image

Take Care Of Yourself:

If you are taking proper care of yourself, you will find it considerably easier to be able to be true to your own sense of style, and that will mean that you are much more likely to enjoy being you, in turn. Taking care of yourself means a lot of things and you should try to do as much of it as possible. Mostly, it is about ensuring that you are actually going to keep looking after your body through exercise and a proper diet, and that you are taking care of yourself psychologically, as well. As long as you are doing these things, you will find that it is easier to be true to yourself, and in turn to develop your style as you wish.

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Give yoga a try!

Having your own style is all about being yourself and, once you perfect this, nothing can stop you!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Learning To Love Your Appearance Every Single Day

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Learning To Love Your Appearance Every Single Day

You might have laughed at the title of this post because it’s not possible to love your appearance every single day, right? We all have the occasional “good hair day”, but that’s it. However, there’s no need to be so cynical. There are always going to be days on which you’re not a fan of your hair or you look a little sleepier than usual, but you can learn to love your appearance even when it’s not 100%. It all comes down to improving your mindset. And your mental health is linked to your physical health, so this will help to give your appearance a glow too. Reducing stress can reduce acne, for example, so there’s a clear correlation. Here’s how you can improve your mindset and learn to love your appearance every day:

Facial Beauty:

Let’s start off with your face, because that’s often the main point of focus when it comes to appearance. Many of us are critical of our facial appearance, but this is an aspect of beauty that’s easy to alter. You could start off by trying out microblading if you want to improve your brow game. Eyebrows have become a very important part of facial beauty over recent years, and you might find that changing the shape of your brows changes the appearance of your entire face. You could also try cutting back on foundation; makeup doesn’t always have to be the answer. Giving your skin a break from excessive use of foundation might help to clear up any blemishes, and it’ll make you naturally glow.

Fashion:

Fashion is another integral part of loving your appearance every single day. The way you dress has a massive impact on your overall look. If you dress well every day, then you’ll look good every day. It’s as simple as that. But avoid fast fashion; opt for clothes that are timelessly stylish so that they can stay in your wardrobe for years. That being said, if you give away some of your old clothes to charity because they no longer fit or suit you, then there might be an opening in your wardrobe for some new additions. If you want to get inspired, then you should look into some fashionable boutiques which offer modern yet varied options. It’s important that you’re not too restrictive with your choice of style. Fashion should reflect your personality, so have fun with it.

Sleep:

One of the best ways to improve your appearance is to improve your health. The way we look on the outside is a reflection of how well we take care of ourselves. Cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking can help to improve your skin quality, for instance. You also need to prioritize a healthy sleeping pattern. The term “beauty sleep” is probably nothing new to you, and there’s a lot of substance to this idea. A cup of coffee might make you feel more awake, but does it get rid of the bags under your eyes? No. And that’s because your body is trying to tell you it needs rest. You can’t cut corners when it comes to sleeping well. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, slow your metabolism, and even reduce muscle repair. In other words, your healthy workouts won’t have the impact you want. Start sleeping better if you want your body to improve in appearance. You’ll look and feel good. It’s about more than vanity; it’s about your physical and emotional wellbeing.

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Catch some Z’s!

A strong sense of self confidence can help you get through the toughest of times, so start building up yours little by little with the above tips!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

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Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

A study found that 63% of female participants identified their weight as the key factor in how they felt about themselves. Despite the rise of positive body awareness, such as Ashley Graham’s #BeautyBeyondSize, thousands of women feel the anxiety to keep up with celebrities and social media. The good news, is that there is never a ‘better time’ to start loving and taking care of yourself than right now. Here’s how you can learn to overcome insecurities and love yourself:

Make Healthy Changes:

What better way to boost self-confidence than to achieve long-term goals. Rather than setting impossible goals such as ‘losing 20 pounds in a week” or “achieving a tiny waist in three months”, aim to start a new fitness routine and incorporate organic foods into your diet. When you eat right and exercise on a regular basis, your hormones will slowly fall into balance and help you to feel your best.

Consider A Makeover:

While a proper diet and fitness routine can help you lose the unwanted weight, thousands of women still struggle with extra baggage. Despite the “taboo” of plastic surgery, 17.5 million procedures were performed in 2017 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re tempted to get liposuction or a tummy tuck to reduce loose skin, you’re not the only one. In fact, nearly 2 million individuals opted for immense services like boob jobs, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. So, whether it is a total “Mommy Makeover” or a simple lip injection, your plastic surgeon will guide you and address the most common body issues.

Dealing with the Root of the Problem:

We all have our moments of highs and lows, but what’s important is that we see beauty in many shapes and sizes. So, to help you focus on dealing with what makes you feel insecure, you must first look at what triggers those emotions. Here are some ways to discover more about your interests, insecurities, desires, and most of all, yourself:

  • Writing a blog or your own personal journal about what you love about your body.
  • Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself in a positive way. Like really look at yourself and voice out your favorite attributes.
  • Seek support from counselors, family, and friends to help you battle the insecurities and solve the underlying issue.

The reality is that no amount of diet, weight loss, or even plastic surgery can fix poor body image and low self-esteem. Those who struggle with negative body image must discover the underlying issues and learn how it is influencing the way that they feel about themselves.

Changing the way you look may seem like a tangible way to alter what you disliked about your body. But, the only way to heal from low self-confidence is to address the issues and face them head-on. Only then can you truly learn how to overcome your insecurities and love yourself.

Featured Image By: Unsplash