Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

The worst part of going on vacation is always the aftermath…coming back to reality. I tend to reflect on all of the beautiful places I visited, and am saddened that I don’t have the flexibility to spend more time seeing other parts of the world. To my surprise, coming home from this last trip I found the transition to be slightly less difficult.

I thought about why my vacation blues didn’t linger as long as usual. It could just be that I’m getting older and am becoming more of a homebody, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that I’m finally in a place where I’m able to recreate the things I love about vacation at home (outside of exploring the world, of course). It’s more about that excitement and ability to decompress. I’m excited about our new home and spending time enjoying it. I’m excited about summer in Chicago and exploring new restaurants, bars, and summer events. I’m excited about hosting friends and sharing our home & city with them. I’ve learned to plan better (aka learning to say “no”) so I’m not overcommitting – definitely a source of stress for me in the past. Bottom line is, I don’t feel like I’m only happy on vacation, which is a good thing!

I realized I didn’t do a mindfulness post in June, so it was hard to pick just five articles this month! So many good reads out there! Below are a few links across the web that have inspired and motivated me the last couple of months –

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Life has been a whirlwind lately (when is it not?!). The last week Leo was out of town, so I had plenty of alone time to reconnect with myself and get my life in order. That means lots of gym time, attempting to cook (as I’m trying to eat better – I’ll share more on that later this week!) – hanging with friends and curling up in bed at 9pm on a Friday to watch Harry Potter…yes, that actually happened. I will say there were many cocktails had the night before that resulted in this Harry Potter marathon. It was just what I needed.

Outside of the usual craziness, I’ve been experiencing something lately that I think comes with the late twenties…re-evaluating friendships. I’ve recently talked about how many of my friends are in different life stages, which is to be expected at age 29. However, one thing I did not expect was for some friendships to fizzle out. It’s a weird phenomenon – I realized that there were select people in my life that simply weren’t being good friends. I’m still not sure if these people recently changed, or if I’m just realizing something that’s been there all along. Either way, it’s been a challenging but enlightening experience. As I closed doors, new ones opened. The moment I made it a priority to branch out & meet new people, I did, and in the most hilarious ways (i.e. Lyft line- ha!). It’s been a long time since I’ve opened myself up to someone new. I struggled with it at first, but I found I’m learning more about myself throughout this process in addition to learning more about what I value & expect out of a friendship. It’s funny how life works sometimes.

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I can’t believe it’s already April! I’ve been in good spirits the last few days because we had a weekend of beautiful weather here, after two weeks of nonstop rain. It’s amazing how much weather can impact your mood and outlook. The gloomy days were really getting to me, and I found myself being negative and just not motivated. I knew it was happening, and I felt like I couldn’t get myself out of that funk. I’m glad I got a taste of warmer weather…I’m starting to feel like myself again!

The last month or two, I’ve tried to become more mindful of my emotions, and what triggers both negative & positive emotions for me. I know for a fact that the weather was one thing that was bringing me down. Knowing this was happening, I tried to do more of what makes me happy. Working out, cooking, spending time friends & family. I realized that something as small as hearing an old song that brought me back to a happy place could change my day. I know it sounds trivial, but it’s so true!

I’m also trying to focus on giving off positive vibes and surrounding myself with those who do the same. I realized how important it is be around people that make me happy. Now that I’m older & wiser, it’s much easier for me to identify unhealthy relationships in my life. I’m consciously spending more time around those who make me a better person, and also (for the first time in a long time) letting new people in. Here are a few articles around the web that inspired me the last month –

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I came across this photo this weekend and smiled. It’s from Leo and I’s first trip to Greece together back in 2013 (I can’t believe that was three and a half years ago!). Here we are being goofy after finding a miner’s cart in one of the mineral mines in Milos. One of my favorite past times is too look over old photos –  they always bring back happy memories & beautiful experiences. They remind me of the people & places I love.

I know I’m not alone when I say that some of my most memorable experiences occur when I’m on vacation or out of my every day routine. This is probably because I’m disconnected from the stresses of every day life. Vacation amounts to ~10% of my overall time – and it saddens me to think that the rest of the time I’m not doing what I can to make the most of every moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anxious mess on a daily basis, but I could be doing a better job of practicing gratitude & not taking time for granted. I’ve decided I’m going to try to do a better job at this…thinking about now and not wasting all of my time worrying about the future or what I could’ve done differently in the past.

The articles below inspired me to be grateful, present and not take happiness for granted. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

February is flying by! Not only because it’s a short month – between house projects, travel for work and everything else going on…I literally can’t keep up. I’ve been sick basically the last 2-3 weeks. I rarely get sick, and I managed to get the flu followed by another virus a couple of weeks later. It’s kind of brutal, and it put into perspective how important my health is. I need to find time to unwind and focus on getting better. Health should always come first.

In other news, my travel bug is kicking in. I found myself reminiscing about my trip to Peru a couple of years ago, and how disconnecting from the world for 7 days hiking the Inca trail was the best thing I ever experienced. When it’s just you and nature, you have nothing to do but to listen to your own thoughts and connect with yourself. The picture above is one of many from that amazing trip.

Since I don’t have the luxury of flying off to Peru anytime soon (though I do have a short trip to San Diego coming up this week!), I look to the internet for inspiration, motivation, ways to be better manage stress & be more mindful. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I know, I know, it’s not Monday…but since most of us had the day off yesterday, it kind of counts as a Monday, right? Regardless, I could use some mindfulness tips any day of the week. I spent the weekend taking care of things around the house (including taking down the Xmas tree – which was long overdue). Despite having to take care of the usual chores & errands, we squeezed in some much needed time with friends this weekend. It was such a relief to not talk about all the stressors in our lives and just unwind (Scofflaw on Saturday night was exactly the ambiance we needed).

I started the new year off with a handful of challenging resolutions, all of which I’m slowly trying to work through. I will admit, I need all the motivation I can get. Please tell me I’m not the only one on the struggle bus! Below are a few posts around the web that have kept me motivated & inspired me on the rough, bitterly cold, days (is the feature photo making more sense now? Warm weather, please come back).

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Annnd surprise, it’s December. Did it sneak up on you too? We just had our first snow yesterday in Chicago, and it was a nice little reminder that winter is officially here. Time to revisit my “get through the winter” strategy, because I’m already struggling over here.

It’s been a hectic month for us – I’m relieved the move is all over & done with. If you follow me on Insta, I’m sure you’ve seen some of my recent furniture purchases! I’m not going to lie, it’s been a very stressful few weeks as we’ve been slammed with chores & errands on top of the usual holiday craziness. Both Leo and I are missing the days where we slept in and watched TV all day. I forgot what it’s like to have nothing to do! Hopefully, we’ll be able to enjoy one of the days soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to take things one day at a time and stay sane.

Here are some articles from around the web that have helped me get through the stressful days this month. I hope they help you too!

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Lately, I feel like I’m just going through the motions. Between preparing the new house for the move (UGH, nope…still hasn’t happened yet), packing up final things, and ramping up the busiest time of year at work, I nearly forgot about my birthday.

I turned 29 on Saturday. For some reason, this is the first year it’s hit me that 30 is RIGHT around the corner. I find myself looking back on my early twenties and thinking about how much things have changed. It’s funny how we automatically associate change with negative. I’ve caught myself romanticizing the past, remembering only the highs & not the lows. After doing some reflecting this weekend, I realized how much I’ve grown the last few years. That’s a positive, isn’t it?! I need to embrace what comes with stage of life. It’s amazing in so many ways, particularly the self awareness & confidence element that was non-existent at age 22. I’ve also learned to appreciate that there is a time and a place for everything…the people I’ve crossed paths with, decisions I’ve made, things I prioritized at different points in my life. They all happened for a reason. I know that sounds SUPER cheesy, but I truly believe it. Bottom line is, I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin, and that is definitely a perk that comes with getting older & wiser :).

Here are a few nuggets from across the web that have recently inspired & motivated me to be more present in this beautiful thing we call life.

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

It’s been quite the month for both Leo and I. We’ve had to make serious decisions at the new house, which included the stain of our hardwood floors, the tile we’re putting in our bathrooms, paint colors, kitchen backsplash..the list goes on! You don’t know this until you experience it, but making remodeling decisions is an energy suck. It’s overwhelming and can be exhausting at times. I’ve found that my willpower is at an all time low, and I’ve been skipping out on workouts and eating unhealthy. Everything will come together once we move in to the new place, but up until then, I need to get it together. My focus this month is to get back to my healthy habits, and re-energize. I need to take a step back and soak my surroundings…and just enjoy fall. Below are a few great reads that helped keep me grounded the last few weeks. Happy October 🙂

Continue reading…    

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

It has been a stressful month for me. Life always has it’s stresses, but this past month has topped most. We hosted visitors, closed on a house, had a significant amount of work travel, and now I’m packing for a move, preparing for my Greece trip, making major decisions at the new house – i.e. floor stain, paint colors, light fixtures…ahhh!

I’ve had more difficulty keeping my anxiety in check, but what’s helped me stay grounded is taking things one step at at time and trying to focus on the little things that I look forward to everyday…like my morning blueberries & yogurt (I know it sounds silly, but it’s the truth). It’s important to take time-outs, especially when the world around you is moving at lightening speed. I’ll be squeezing more yoga into my workout routine the next couple of weeks, while counting down the days to long hours on the beach #countdowntoGreece. Here are some good reads that have kept me going the past few weeks:

  1. I swear I’m not crazy for looking forward to my morning blueberries! In fact, expressing gratitude in different ways can improve your life and make you happier (tinybuddha.com). Also, another interesting perspective on gratitude (nytimes.com).
  2. I’m a pretty distracted person, and once I’m distracted I completely get out of my zone and lose focus on the task at hand. I end up wasting so much time going in and out of focus, and it can be frustrating. I recently read about the Pomodoro Technique and it’s sounds enticing! I may just give it a try (becauseimaddicted.net).
  3. A quick & easy trick to manage anxiety – it’s so simple, ANYONE can do it (cupofjo.com).
  4. When you feel your life is spiraling out of control, the best thing you can do is realign and find your center. This may seem daunting, but you can do it in 3 easy steps (deepakchopra.com).
  5. Positive thinking is a great, but it’s even better when you tie it with actionable, strategic goals. I found this article’s perspective on positive thinking unique & realistic (bigthink.com).