Monday Mindfulness

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.

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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 🙂

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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).

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

These past few months have been eventful (to say the least) both in my life and those of my friends. I don’t know if it’s the age we’re at, but it seems like we’re all going through pivotal moments in our lives. Most of my friends are on different wavelengths – some married with children (or expecting), others single and ready to meet new people. As I fall somewhere in-between, I’m starting to appreciate the variety of challenges & experiences we’re all going through. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how our lives have evolved the last 5-7 years, and what the future holds.

All of the sorrow & heartbreak in the news lately further escalates these emotions. Life can be overwhelming and scary, and sometimes the only thing you can do to get through change and hardship is take things day by day. Appreciate the present, be grateful for what you have and the loved ones around you. Nothing is permanent, and you have to accept that that applies to both the positive and negative. Live in the moment, and as they say…enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will look back and realize they were the big things.

  1. I will admit that I struggle to just do nothing. I’m not a regular TV watcher (though I do love certain shows), couch potato, napper. However, there exists a power behind doing nothing. It can open up your mind, gives you a chance to process your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to listen to you (tinybuddha.com).
  2. Our instinct is to run away from pain. Pretend like we don’t feel it, distract ourselves. But, as we’ve seen, this method of managing pain creates larger problems (think anxiety, depression, disease). Spoiler alert – the best way to work through pain is to face it (mindbodygreen.com).
  3. Love this post about “listening to the quiet” – when was the last time you did? (ploud.org)
  4. Even in hard times, it’s better to make the wrong decisions vs. none at all. We always want to resist change, but you have to keep moving forward (positivelypositive.com).
  5. There’s a word for obsessive thinking: rumination. We all suffer from this at times – long nights spent wide-awake with our racing minds. Put a stop to it with these handy tips, and be a happier version of yourself (theeverygirl.com).
Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I’ve been doing Bikram yoga more regularly the last couple of weeks, and I truly feel it has made an impact on my state of mind (in addition to the obvious benefits of stretching – which, truth be told, I need desperate help with). My mind is more relaxed, and it’s made it much easier to think through the things that have been stressing me out lately. It’s fascinating how much more you can accomplish when you have a clear, focused mind. My goal is to do one yoga class a week – let’s see how this goes…

  1. I LOVED this article on Man Repeller – one because Leandra is hilarious per usual…but also because it is brutally honest & true. My favorite quote from the post: “We’re taught to seize the day and embrace the moment because life is short but thing of it is, if you’re actually doing any seizing and embracing the moment — the now — what you’ll find is that life can feel pretty long. And also, of course, that it’s awesome.” (manrepeller.com)
  2. Because we love apps, and there’s an app for everything…here are the best apps for learning mediation (theeverygirl.com).
  3. In order to change our habits, there is a set amount of energy required to make the change. Sounds oddly similar to the “activation energy” required in chemical reactions, doesn’t it? Wait – you don’t remember that lesson from Freshman year Chem class? Ha…it’s all a blur to me too, but I found this article on the “chemistry of building better habits” quite fascinating. Good read. (jamesclear.com)
  4. So many women (yes – even women in their 20s!), have low sex drive or lack of interest in sex. Much of this stems from lack of mindfulness. If we were more mindful of our senses and what gives us pleasure – whether that be a delicious meal, a glass of great wine, a hot bath – we’d be more in tune with our bodies and more open to feeling, in general. “The more tension and stress are present, the more numb and unfeeling we get. And the more tension that is held in the body, the less we are able to feel any sensation—especially pleasure.” More on how to bring pleasure into your life. (goop.com)
  5. Maybe finding happiness isn’t as complicated as we thought. As humans, we’re wired to seek more, self-improve, self-discover. But, what if it’s the actual pursuit of happiness that ultimately makes us happy? Crazy thought, huh? (inc.com)

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

I’ve been craving an outdoors-y trip as of late – this photo was taken on my trip to Zion National Park a few years back (pretty amazing, right?). There’s something to being out in the wild…you feel this peace and serenity you don’t get anywhere else. For those of us who can’t make a trip out to the wilderness anytime soon, there are ways to practice mindfulness amidst our busy lives. Here’s this month’s installment of Monday Mindfulness.

  1. Last week I posted about a workshop I attend all about women & leadership – I loved this post on CupofJo on being a “Girl Boss”. She chats with women she admires on staying positive, maintaining balance, taking risks, & more (cupofjo.com).
  2. It is possible to make your cruel inner voices work for you vs. against you – find out how (tinybuddha.com).
  3. Jeff Huber, a former Google exec and now CEO of a startup focused on identifying cancer in its early stages, made the commencement speech this year at my alma mater, University of Illinois. His speech was incredibly touching & meaningful,  all about finding a better way. A better way to feed the hungry, save energy, give everyone access to education – read the speech here (medium.com).
  4. We all know cortisol, the hormone our body releases when under stress, is no bueno. How can we manage it? 7 ways to reduce cortisol levels in your body (powerofpositivity.com).
  5. A beautiful article on accepting other people, whether or not they meet your expectations (headspace.com).

Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

With the start of a new season, I think now is a great opportunity to take a step back and soak things in. Think about what you want to achieve in the next few months, reflect on the challenges you’re currently facing and the goals you’ve accomplished recently. Take some time to work on you – it’s the best investment you can make.

  1. You’d be surprised at what could happen if you just stopped complaining (tinybuddha.com).
  2. 7 times to say thank you – trust me, this is more insightful than it sounds (jamesclear.com).
  3. 6 quotes to inspire you to be the best version of yourself (becauseimaddicted.net).
  4. Sustained positivity comes from meaning-making: our ability to find purpose and value within and across our daily activities (forbes.com).
  5. How you can be more present in your friendships (theeverygirl.com) – also, here are a few of my own tips on maintaining lasting friendships.

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Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

  1. We’ve all seen women who have aged gracefully and still have that youthful glow – here are 6 habits of women who look better longer (blog.bloglovin.com)
  2. Anxiety is something many of us suffer from, and experimenting with anxiety meds can be scary…10 natural ways to reduce anxiety (helloglow.co)
  3. Who knew that sleeping naked could be good for you? (happinesspro.in)
  4. Connecting with love in a mindful way (mindful.org)
  5. With all that’s going on in the world today, it’s easy to lose hope  – but don’t allow yourself to! Here are a couple of ways to cultivate hope when the world feels dark and scary (tinybuddha.com)

Monday Mindfulness

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Hope you all had a great Super Bowl weekend. We celebrated ours with friends and tacos. Lots of food was consumed, per usual. Having people over yesterday made me realize that it’s nice to make something of a Sunday night, as opposed to just stressing over the start of a new week. Sunday counts as the weekend too…I need to start treating it that way. Anyway, after all the boozing and eating this weekend, let’s start off the week on the right track. Here’s this month’s installment of Monday Mindfulness.

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Monday Mindfulness

Monday Mindfulness

Greetings from San Francisco! I was lucky enough to escape the brutal Chicago weather this week due to a work trip. No complaints here – happy as can be 🙂

It’s been awhile since the last Monday Mindfulness post…I figured with the beginning of a New Year & all, now is a good time to get started on these again. Hope you all have a fabulous week (& are still sticking through your New Year’s Resolutions!).

  1. We’re all feeling a bit of the post-vacation blues after the holidays…here’s how to deal (manrepeller.com).
  2. Is reading more on your list of resolutions? How you can find more time to read more books (theeverygirl.com).
  3. Hard to believe, but a little stress can actually be good for you (tinybuddha.com).
  4. Creating moments of meaning can be the key to successful relationships (mindful.org).
  5. 30 habits that can lead to a more peaceful life – we can at least shoot for 5-10 of these! (lifehack.org)

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