Monday, February 12, 2018

How to Take Care of Yourself When You Hate Self-Care



Self-Care.

These days, "self-care" has become a bit of a buzzword. Everywhere you look on the Internet, you see posts about self-care. And that's fantastic! We could always use a reminder to take better care of ourselves and to do the important things in life, like de-stressing and actually remembering to breathe once in a while. (what no i'm totally not subtweeting myself in this entire freaking post lol what gave you that idea)

But what about those of us who are really really really bad at self-care? 

We know that taking care of ourselves is important. But when I see self-care articles online, I can never bring myself to actually do them. When you're a very Type A person, it's hard to justify taking a break to go have a movie marathon when you know that there are so many other things that need to be done. 

But even past all of the ice cream/bubble bath/movie marathon self-care, I have to admit that I'm really bad at taking care of myself in general. When life gets busy, and there's a ton of things to do, it seems that the first thing that gets thrown out the window is taking care of myself. As in, casually forgetting that eating and sleeping and, y'know, drinking a cup of water every now and then are important.

So, this post is for those of you out there who are in the same boat as I am. Some self-care tips from a self-care hater, if you will. Hopefully they'll be somewhat helpful in aiding you to ease life's craziness, even just a bit. ♥

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1. Remember why it's important. 

If you're anything like me, the thought of self-care immediately seems like a waste of time. After all, there's so many things to do! There are classes to attend and homework assignments to complete and friends to do things for and books to write and dreams to be fulfilled and what is spare time at this point??? But look at it this way- you aren't going to be able to do any of the things that you want or need to do if you don't take care of yourself. You're going to crash eventually, and then it's going to be super problematic. So, in taking the time to take care of yourself, you're actually allowing yourself to be more productive in the long run. 

2. Prepare ahead of time

It's so easy to get insanely busy and just genuinely forget to take care of yourself. I forget to eat all the time- I feel you. So you have to learn to prepare ahead of time. Make sure that if you're going to be out all day, you have a water bottle with you. Don't think you're going to have time to eat? Throw something together the night before, stick it in your purse, and eat it when you can, even if that's just a trail mix or a pack of crackers. Anything is better than nothing, so figure out ways that you can work it in. 

3. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

I'm pretty sure that this is the most important aspect of taking care of yourself. Please, please, please, make time to sleep. There is literally no way that you're going to be able to function well if you don't sleep. If it's one am and you're still working on something- please, go to sleep. You're not going to be able to do it well when you're exhausted. Force yourself to sleep, and do it tomorrow. I know that it doesn't feel like you'll have enough time, but trust me- you will. Sleep boosts your productivity, will generally make you feel better, and will boost your immune system, helping you to stay healthy through all of the cold and flu season. SLEEP!

4. Set aside a quiet time

When things are crazy, you need a designated time to regroup and just be able to breathe for a few minutes. I like to take half an hour or so at night before I go to bed to organize my planner for the next day, fill out my question a day journal, listen to some chill music, read a few chapters of whatever book I'm currently working through, or maybe jot down a journal entry. Bonus points if you do everything analog. I'm thoroughly convinced that reading or writing in a physical form rather than a digital one is the best form of self-care. 

5. Put a little extra work into your appearance. Or don't. It's up to you. 

If you've been living life in leggings and sweatshirts, take a few minutes to throw on a nicer outfit, and add some eyeliner. On the flip side, if you've been having to get dressed up every day for the past three weeks, give your skin a day to breathe and wear some comfier clothes. It's all up to you. Do whatever is going to make you feel better. 

6. Make a playlist that makes you happy

Take the time to do it once, and it will benefit you for ages to come. Having a playlist of your favorite songs on hand is sure to boost your mood whenever you're having a frustrating day. I have several- an acoustic playlist for when I need to chill out, an energetic playlist for when I need a pump up, and a worship playlist for when I'm not quite sure if I'm going to survive the day. (#keepin'itreal) Sometimes, music is the best medicine.

7. Be intentional with communication

We live in a world where it's easy to do one of two things- be connected to everyone you've ever met 24/7, or to block everyone out completely. Maintain a healthy balance of the two. You need to have people in your life that you can talk to, even when things are crazy. That being said, you don't have to maintain a constant conversation with that girl you met four years ago at summer camp. Be purposeful with who you stay in close contact with, but don't get so busy that you lock people out of your life. Even when things are crazy and you can't hang out with people all the time, make sure that you're still keeping relationships strong and letting people know that you care about them.

8. Move around

Another thing that, if you're anything like me, you're automatically going to say that you don't have time for, but you need to do. Staying active and in shape is important, even when it feels like a massive waste of time. Again, it's one of those things that will ultimately keep you going and make you feel better in the long run, even if it's hard to fit in. You don't have to do some major workout every day of the week, but take a short walk, or do some yoga before you go to bed. Your body will thank you.

9. Find one thing that will make you happy every day

I don't care how tiny this may be. In fact, I personally tend to go for something tiny. My Type A self feels less guilty about it, and I don't have an excuse for not fitting it in. Whether that's adding something that you enjoy to your to-do list, reading a chapter of something you love before bed, or a piece of dark chocolate, add one thing to your day that's going to make you smile, no matter how small it may be.

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So, there you have it. Some practical self-care tips for all of my fellow self-care haters out there. Take care of yourself, okay, love? It's important. You're important. ♥

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

the sun will rise and we will try again

no, i'm not at the beach. just always dreaming of it. 

the sun will rise, and we will try again. 

The first few weeks of 2018 were nothing short of utter chaos. They were messy and full and complicated and frustrating and, quite frankly, exhausting. My mind grew more and more tangled and knotted up, resulting in radio silence here on the blog. It's hard to put out new content when there's such an overload being shoved in your brain that you can't quite organize it all. But at the same time, writing is how I process, so when I can't/don't write, it just seems to make things worse.

There were quite a few moments in the first few weeks of January where I found myself sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor, staring at the ground, not quite knowing what to do next. Usually when I get overwhelmed, I feel like I do an okay job of barreling through, but this time around I thought I was going to go crazy. It just felt like one thing after another, an assault of genuine insanity and stress and chaos that didn't seem to have an end in sight.

but the sun will rise, and we will try again. 

Twenty-One Pilots always seems to know what to say. Over and over again, day after day, that line kept popping into my head. The sun will rise, and we will try again. The thing about life is that anything going on can only last for so long. Good or bad, life is a constant cycle of change, and with every new day, there's a new chance for things to look up a bit.

It doesn't always feel that way in the moment, but it's true. Even in the night, there's always the slightest sparkle of a star. There's that moment of falling asleep in the darkness and waking up to the ground covered in freshly fallen snow.

the sun will rise, and we will try again. 

The beginning of the month may have had a bit of a rough start, but goodness gracious, is the sun rising. Even amidst chaos, there are so many blessings, and I think that's the most encouraging part about it. It's crazy to look and see how messy things were a few weeks ago, and then to be able to look the ridiculously amazing things that have happened just in the past week. Life is such a constant ebb and flow, and when you finally find the streams in the desert, it's the most wonderful feeling.

So, I guess that's the point of all of this rambling. Just to remind you that even if things look pretty crappy where you are currently, you're not going to be stuck in that forever. You might be there longer than you'd like, but it will grow you, and you'll come out of it and find yourself somewhere that you never dreamed of making it to. Tomorrow, the sun will rise, and you will try again. And you'll keep trying, every day after that, until you blink and the bright blue of the sky finally breaks through.

The sun's going to keep rising. And we're going to keep trying.

Let's do this, friends. Let's tackle February head on. God's got us. Let's do it.

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I'm hoping that now that I'm back to the blogger world, I'll be back with a bit more consistency. Hopefully in my next post or so, I'll explain exactly WHY life is so crazy right now, but for now I'll just say that I've missed this corner of the internet dearly. How has the year started off for you?? I miss you all so much. Fill me in, huh? ♥

Sunday, December 24, 2017

peace on earth, goodwill to men


Merry Christmas, friends. ♥

Christmas has always been one of my favorite seasons. I'm the girl who wears jingle bell earrings and dances around to Christmas music all day long. It's so warm, and filled with joy and festivities. It's that magical time of the year that just makes you get a little bit excited.

But at the same time, I know that some years, it isn't so magical.

Even as much as I love the season, it's not always all sugarplums and stockings.

There's a lot of stress that comes along with Christmas. Stress to get all of your shopping done, to make sure that you have the perfect gift for everyone you know. Stress to get the house cleaned and the meals planned and to make sure that you're able to spend time with the various people in your life that you care about. There are gifts to be wrapped and cookies to be baked, and as much fun as the different tasks are, it also can turn into a lot of pressure to make sure that you get everything done.

Then you have the fact that sometimes, life is just hard, plain and simple. Life is hard, and that doesn't magically disappear the moment that the calendar flips to December 1st. That's unfortunately been something super poignant in the lives of many people that I know this holiday season, and I hate that with everything in me. I hate watching all of the hurt and knowing that it can't be fixed until God is ready to fix it. I hate the waiting of it, I hate the fact that things like this exist and that everyone can't just have a picture perfect Christmas season with families sitting around the fireplace together, healthy and whole and happy and laughing as they drink cocoa and wrap presents. I hate that with everything in me.

But, unfortunately, that's not the way that life works, is it?

As much as I think that we'd all love for Christmas to be stress-free and pain-free and perfect, it's never going to be like that, no matter how hard that we try. And the more that we dwell on that, the more that it's going to hurt.

So, to the person reading this- hi. Maybe you're having a year where things are going pretty smoothly for you, and Christmas is going wonderfully for you. I really, truly hope so. I hope that with everything in me, and if you are, I am so happy for you. But maybe you're not. Maybe that's not where things are for you this year, and the whole holiday season has been one long struggle. Maybe it's been big things, or maybe you're just dealing with lots of little problems and stresses, and you're feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

The other day, I was reading through a devotional, and one particular sentence stuck out to me.

Let the Prince of Peace be your peace this holiday season. 

Because, at the end of the day, that's what it's really about, isn't it? It's not about making sure that everything's perfect. It's not about all of the little worries, and if you've got some big stuff going on in your life at the moment, He can still be your peace in that, too.

The point of Christmas was never to be a day to eat a ton of food and open gifts and surround yourself with twinkle lights. (And believe me- I love twinkle lights.) The celebration that Christmas has become is a lot of fun, yes- but that's not the true point.

The true point came over two thousand years ago, with a baby who came to give us all a new hope.

This holiday season, I want to challenge you to take a breath. Take a step back. And let yourself rest. Stop worrying about the little details that aren't quite "perfect" in your mind. Let the ache in your heart ease, just a bit. And let Him be your peace, throughout whatever it is that you're going through this season.

Even if you're hurting this year- do what you can to make the world a little lighter, a little more like that perfect Christmas that we all wish could happen for everyone. Tidings of comfort and joy. 

Take a breath. Let go of your stress. All is calm, all is bright.

Praise that even throughout the mess and pain, there is still truth to cling to. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.

Find joy, no matter how small. May your days be merry and bright. 

Let Him be your peace. Peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Senior Updates III

my heart ♥

Finally being back at my laptop, typing away at a blog post feels so good. I've missed the blogging world a lot. No matter how crazy life gets, this is always my home, and being back here just feels right.

Life since my last senior update has been insane in every way possible, but it's been filled with blessings upon blessings, and I am oh so grateful. Thinking back over everything that has happened is so overwhelming, and I'm just so thankful.

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L A T E L Y

The main thing that went on since my last Senior Update was my theatre group's Christmas show. Oh my goodness. It was crazy and hectic, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it (quite literally), but I could not have asked for a more wonderful experience. I got to see pieces that I'd dreamed of come to fruition before my eyes, and I feel like God was so evident throughout the entire process. I could ramble about it all for hours; my heart aches just thinking about it. But I'll keep it simple. It was perfect.

As you all know, NaNo was a thing. I've already rambled about that in my NaNo recap post, but I'll just say that it definitely was a huge part of the month of November for me. Lots of late nights spent typing away at my laptop, but I'm happy to have written so much, and to have been able to do it with some fantastic humans.

Thanksgiving also took place, obviously. It was a really lovely, quiet day, exactly what I needed amidst all of the chaos of wrapping up the semester.

The semester has come to an end, which is super weird. Finals were last week, so as of now I'm on Christmas break. I still can't entirely wrap my head around the fact that I only have one semester of high school left. I'm not sure that I want to wrap my head around it quite yet, if we're being honest.

And hey- WE GOT SNOW! It was super random and surprising, and the timing was somewhat terrible, but it was magical all the same. We never get snow in early December here, so it was definitely a huge shock, but it was fun to see the world covered in white for a few days.

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G O A L S

-Get myself organized for Christmas! I have barely shopped at all this season; it's terrible. I am so horrifically behind. My mind will be so much more at ease once I have gifts bought and wrapped and under the tree.

-Read again. With all of the craziness of the past few months, I haven't read as much as I would have liked, and I miss it desperately. I can't wait to finally get the chance to curl up with a book.

-Journal journal journal. The more that I do it, the more that I love it.

-Take the new time that I have to organize life and clear my head. I'm so thankful to finally have the chance to get some things done that have been nagging me for ages, to clean up my room, to just be able to focus on things that I want to focus on, not things that are due.

-Enjoy the Christmas season. Most of all, I just want to enjoy the month. December is such a magical time of year, and I don't want to let myself get bogged down with to-do's like I have the tendency to do. I'd love to just enjoy it. 

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R E A D

This is so sad, but I have read almost nothing since my last Senior Update. I read God and Ronald Reagan for school, and I'm working my way through Mere Christianity, but that's about it. Now that my life suddenly has a lot less in it, I'm hoping to pummel through a bunch of books. I won't make my reading challenge for the year, but I want to get closer. My aunt gave me a copy of The Color Project for Christmas, and I am beyond excited to read it. 

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L I S T E N I N G

Hope Is The Anthem- Switchfoot
Overcome- Elevation Worship
I Won't Let You Go- Switchfoot
99 Red Balloons- Sleeping at Last
Venus- Sleeping at Last 

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How is life going for you guys? Are you excited for Christmas? Any fun plans? What have you been loving lately? What's been making you smile? I want to hear all about it. ♥