Healing from the Holidays

If you’re still feeling a little lost and raw after a hard holiday season, I’m right there with you. Here are a couple ways I’ve been coping.

Hello everyone,

It’s been about a week since we rang in 2019 and closed the door on 2018 for good. In doing so, we also said goodbye to the holiday season once again. While the internet really does love to hype up the holidays, we all know that it can be a rough time for a lot of people. Whether it be family issues and conflicts, personal hardship, or in my case, the recent loss of a loved one, sometimes the holidays just leave us feeling drained and sad rather than joyous.

I’ve mentioned Katie Dalebout’s podcast Let It Out many times before on this blog. In the early part of December, Katie released a solo podcast about how to take care of yourself in the face of all of these hardships during the holidays. I found this podcast really inspiring and used a couple of the ideas she mentioned. However, no matter how hard I tried, I still found the holidays to be extremely difficult after the passing of my grandmother on Thanksgiving. No matter how many extra self-care tactics I employed, I still couldn’t shake the dark cloud of loss that hung over my family during Christmas dinner and donkey kicked me with emotion when I realized I would ring in 2019 without her. So, I’m gonna be brutally honest. This holiday season kinda sucked, not because of anything my family did wrong, but just because I missed my grandmother. And because of this, I’m still feeling a little raw, even eight days into 2019.

If I’m feeling this way, I have no doubt that there are a couple of you out there who are still struggling. So, I thought I might tell you how I’ve been coping, and maybe they’ll help you, too.

Find an ally.

An ally can be anyone. A friend, your partner, your mom or grandmother, they just have to be someone who understands what you’re going through and has either been there or can empathize without judgment. Go out to grab a coffee or even have a knitting session—anything— with said person and just talk. Give and take. Listen to what they might be going through, and they’ll listen, too. It’s both a dose of normal life in the midst of chaos, as well as a small distraction.

Take some time to yourself.

After the frenzied holiday season, sometimes one of the best ways to heal is to just give yourself some much needed. While this is coming from an introverted perspective, I really do believe that it is important to give yourself time to breathe and process whatever you may be feeling alone. Writing, cooking, meditating, exercising, or doing something else you enjoy by yourself can really give you both peace of mind and space to figure yourself out.

If you’re really feeling low, get yourself to some counseling or therapy.

I will always be a big believer in the power of therapy. I’m one of those people that view mental health in the same light as physical health. If something is off or wrong with your body, you get yourself to the doctor. The same applies to your mental state. If things are really off, a professional opinion can only help. I go to the counseling services at my school, so I haven’t been able to follow this advice. However, I have been taking notes on things to discuss with my counselor so that when I make my first appointment, I’ll know exactly what to talk about. Much like exercising, I never regret going to counseling, and I always find that it gives me peace.

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As we are all moving forward into healing in this new year, I hope you are all doing well and are helped in some way by this post. If you have anything you would like to share or can think of another helpful tip, please feel free (as always) to leave it down in the comments! Or, head on over to my Instagram and start the conversation there. If you do, leave the evergreen emoji on my last post so we can all see who read this post! (I’ve seen other bloggers and influencers do this, and I thought it would be a cute idea to do as well!)

XOXO
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2019 Mood Board

Hello all!

The time has come, yet again, to close the book on one year and begin a new journey in the next. That also means that right about now, we’re all being bombarded with media and messages about our New Year’s resolutions. I, for one, have never been a huge fan of making resolutions. I tried to do it as a kid, and I would make a long list of goals I would end up forgetting about by the third of January. Then, as we all do when we have failed on a resolution so early, I would feel pretty bad about myself and quit all of my original resolutions and return to being the same old me. After a few years of disappointment, I gave up on the idea of New Year’s resolutions altogether. I mean, I love the idea of a fresh start at the beginning of the year, but let’s face it. Thinking logically, I’m still the same old me when the countdown ends one year and ushers in the next. My life doesn’t magically become something that it is not by the stroke of midnight. I’m no Cinderella, believe me.

However, this year is a little bit different. In 2019, I really will be ushering in a new chapter in my life. I will graduate from college, (hopefully) find a job, and maybe even find an apartment for myself. All of these goals are things I hope to accomplish before 2020, but there are so many more that go along with them. By the time 2020 rolls around, I want to find more growth and success in being myself. I want to try my hand at part-time blogging, and maybe even freelancing. I want to start making YouTube videos consistently, for real this time. I want to write every day, even if it is only 500 words. If there was ever a time to make resolutions, it’s now, at the advent of a new life for myself.

However, being that I am still not crazy about the idea of “resolutions,” I came across the solution to my problem by watching a video made by one of my favorite YouTubers, Shayna Klee of The Purple Palace. She made this video about how she makes vision boards for every year, so that she can constantly be inspired by her goals and dreams. Manifest them, so to speak. I loved this idea so much, instead of just resolving to do things, I would visualize them, and make something to remind myself of what I want all throughout 2019. So, I made my own. However, since I’m on break and I don’t have access to a reliable color printer (the printer here at home has been possessed by a demon that’s out to get me since 2012), I did the next best thing. I turned to Pinterest and Canva, collectively my two favorite places to visualize/create on the internet. I got so excited, I made two…

Let me explain.

2019_1

Let’s start clockwise from the top left corner.

  • “Never be afraid to change,” because I struggle with change so much. Being this year is going to be filled with nothing but changes in my life, I figured this might be a good little reminder.
  • The same kind of goes for the next, “Things will work out,” because even though I may fail and think I’m not doing well enough at this whole “adulthood” thing, I know eventually it will all work out.
  • Next, I have a picture of a little kitchen, to signify the apartment I want to save up money for. This picture serves the purpose of two reminders: being more fiscally responsible, and by doing so becoming financially independent enough to live on my own. Also, this kitchen is just adorable and is exactly how I picture my first little apartment being. Albeit, it will probably be much smaller, but still.
  • “The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.” This is to remind me to keep a happy and grateful heart no matter what. I am very privileged to have a good support system, and a good life in general. Even if things don’t go exactly how I want them in the coming year(s), I need to keep grounded in this fact. Also, it reminds me of the old Veggie Tales song from Madame Blueberry, and I always love a good Veggie Tales song to break up the whole adulting of it all.
  • “The best is yet to come,” on a graduation cap, for obvious reasons. I may even decorate my grad cap this way, because it’s so pretty! This, or one of my favorite quotes from the books I’ve read in my time at college. Gotta put that Literature degree to use, right?
  • “Take care of yourself,” because it is way too easy for me to forget to take care of myself. I have made a lot of improvements with my mental health this year especially. I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety in a more constructive way, and my body dysmorphic disorder hasn’t reared it’s ugly head in a while now. In order to keep all of these good changes going, I need to remember that even in light of change, I still need to nourish my mental and physical health.
  • This one is a more physical goal I want to manifest. I want to get this tattoo in this spot on my wrist, in remembrance of my grandmother. She passed away on Thanksgiving, and I have missed her sorely this holiday season. I may write more about how I have learned to deal with grief, but I know I want to remember all of the things I loved about her and all the happy memories I have with her in the new year.
  • This last one is related to the “Take care of yourself” picture from before. I love the mental picture of nourishing my mind and body as if it were a garden of flowers. I want to carry this visualization through 2019, and remember that I can only accomplish the goals I hold so dear by taking care of myself.

2019_2

  • Another reminder for a grateful heart. Kind of going along with the aforementioned reminder, I liked this quote as well.
  • I think Shayna talked about this in the video that inspired me to undertake this project. Carrie Bradshaw with her laptop, writing away. Carrie is my favorite character on Sex and the City, mostly because she is a writer, and is even more neurotic than I am. I have always loved her style of writing, which they feature on each episode. She is so raw and relatable, and she’s in tune to the world around her. Also, she has such good habits when it comes to writing. Since she is basically a freelance writer, a career path I wish to pursue, I really appreciate her work ethic. This picture is to remind me of how I want to write in 2019: often, and with intention.
  • “Do your thing.” Enough said. I want to be fully and unapologetically myself as I advance into the beginning of my adult life in 2019.
  • Ah, yes. Friends on Friends, one of my all-time favorite shows. This is one of my favorite scenes from the show with Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe. They are just the ultimate picture of “friend goals” to me, and I want this picture to remind me to nourish my relationships. After I graduate, keeping in touch with my friends from school will not be as easy as when we were all living right on campus together. So, this just means I need to be more intentional with my relationships, as well. This will also remind me to take a Netflix break once and a while.
  • “Plant your own garden…” This goes along with the previously mentioned idea of how I want to visualize my life in the coming year(s), but I liked this addition as well. This takes the visualization to the next level. In order to achieve my goals, I have to make it happen. I can’t depend on anyone else to make my dreams come true.
  • Lastly, I hope to travel in 2019. More specifically, I want to go to England. My school is taking a group of students abroad on a two week trip to England, and I am hoping to gather enough money in order to be able to go. I have so many places in the world I want to visit, and England has always been first on my bucket list. Hopefully, if this particular dream comes true, it will mean that I will be able to write about it here on the blog.

So, after all of these goals, “resolutions” if you will, I wish to manifest in my life, here are the big takeaways. I want to write more consistently, maybe even on this blog! I want to nourish my mental and physical health, and take care of myself. I want to keep up with my friends after we graduate. I hope grow more with my fiance as we take on yet another year together. I want to speak to the small audience I have grown here, on the blog and on my Instagram. I hope to inspire those who read my work, and I will grow my body of work more than ever before in 2019. In looking at these vision boards, which I will eventually print (when I’m at school and I know it won’t be just a streaky mess…) and hang up. When I do, I’ll post a picture of where they end up as they move from place to place this coming year!

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Just a bit of housekeeping before I sign off… At this time every year, I like to take a moment to wish my blog a very happy birthday! I started my first blog, then “Lizzie’s Garden,” on December 29th, 2011. I must have lost track of the years, because the fact I have been blogging in some capacity for SEVEN YEARS (yes that was an all-caps, bolded, and italicized statement… don’t @ me) is just amazing to me! If you want to read my first ever blog post on the oft-renamed blog that eventually became the very first iteration of TGI as we know it today, click here!

2018 treated me well, and it’ll be bittersweet to say goodbye to this past year as we ring in 2019. But you know what? I think I’m ready to take 2019 on. It will likely be my most challenging year yet, but I’ll be okay. And I know you, reading this, will be, too.

XOXO

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10 Tips to Eat Healthier

Changing your daily eating habits can be difficult. That’s why I’ve shared some of my tips to kickstart a more healthy lifestyle!

Hello everyone!

I struggle with my nutrition and eating right so much. I have no problem motivating myself to get up and exercise most days, but for some reason, food has always sorta stumped me. I’ve wrestled with healthy eating choices for years, so I’ve developed some tricks along the way to make sure that I eat what I should… And not what I shouldn’t.

1.

Everybody always says that the ratio is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, and I know through experience they’re right. If you don’t keep an eye of what you put into your body, the exercise may as well be futile. Keeping a food journal is a good way to start tracking what you eat. I’m not necessarily saying to count calories, but journaling helps you be more mindful of what you put into your body.

2.

Drink. Water. And lots of it. If anything, try to cut sugared drinks out completely. When I was in high school, I drank one to two Cokes a day after school. When I stopped and just drank water, I swear it made a huuuuge difference. Try to only have two or three sugary drinks a week. This goes for iced teas, sodas, and alcoholic drinks. Still want a refreshing drink for those last days of summer? Find a seltzer water you like, or infuse your water with fruit!

3.

Try not to have too many salty snacks as well, such as chips and things like that. Cut down on snacking on chips and cookies and other things like that, and choose things like fruit or hummus. A few handfuls of chips or crackers can easily turn into polishing the entire bag or box. Again, I know from experience, haha!

4.

Not all granola bars are made equal. Avoid bars that have less than 3% protein, because that’s the stuff that will make you feel full! If there’s even less than 4%, you will probably still feel hungry after you’ve eaten the thing.

5.

If you get a sugar craving or feel unnecessarily hungry soon after you’ve eaten, take a drink of water. Sometimes when our bodies are thirst or need water, the signal gets confused and translated into a craving.

6.

Find some superfoods you know your body and your tastebuds like. I’ve gotten into eating overnight oats and greek yogurt with fruit lately. I eat them at both breakfast and lunch most days because I like how they taste, they travel well, and they keep me feeling full so I don’t snack. Find a couple things like this you can switch throughout the week, so you won’t get tired of them.

7.

Figure out what your body runs best on. For me, I need lots of protein in order to feel fuller longer. For some others, I know carbohydrates are the thing their body needs to run right. Feel out what makes your body feel the best after you’ve eaten it! If that turns out to be pasta in small doses, so be it.

8.

Keep it balanced when you’re eating. Keep general portions in mind when you eat. I like trying to adhere to the old plate-pie chart: 50% proteins, 25% fruits/veggies, and 25% starch (mashed potatoes, chips, etc.).

9.

If you’re craving something, just have it. Have that cake, pie, chocolate, or whatever it may be. Just don’t let it turn into more than one portion. Set a goal for yourself that you’ll only have three or four sweet treats a week, and stick to it. That way, you look forward to those indulgences, but you also learn to set limits for yourself.

10.

I rely on Pinterest for healthy recipe ideas, as cliché as that sounds! But it truly is such an amazing resource. When I’m just not feeling my go-to meals, I just search “healthy recipes” and thousands of options pop up. There’s something for everybody, and I find the Pinterest algorithm less intimidating than the deluge of information that comes with a Google search.

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I’m not a nutritionist. I am just a girl who tries her best to eat as healthily as possible, and I stumble and make mistakes frequently. And I mean it when I say frequently. Everybody is different! Do your research, and do what’s best for your body. And as always, know that when you slip up, that it’s not the end of the world. Just keep on going, and doing your best!

What are some of your favorite tricks to keep yourself on track and eating healthy? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO

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No technology before bed?

Has the phone been controlling your bedtime lately? Join me in a challenge to avoid using technology before bed, and do one of these calming activities instead to help wind down!

Hello everyone!

I struggle so much with unplugging before I got to bed. But I know when I do pry my eyes away from a screen beforehand, I definitely sleep better. It is so incredibly hard for me to do this, it’s almost like an addiction. I know I’m not the only one. Scrolling through Insta right before I fall asleep does not help me sleep. In fact, it is so easy to waste an hour or two of prime sleepy time on social media.

I find it gives other people too much power over the beginnings and endings of my day. When I take the wheel and fill that time with things that I enjoy and aren’t pixelized, I feel more positive. And in this case, more well rested. So here are some of the tech-less alternatives I’ve come up with to help me wind down and get ready for sleep.

First thing’s first.

Set your morning alarms and plug the phone into the charger across the room. That way, you’re not even tempted to scroll. I’m the laziest person ever, so if the phone is far away, I won’t get up out of bed to go get it unless I seriously need it.

Stretch out.

I’ve recently enjoyed doing a little bit of yoga before bed to shake out the day’s frustrations. While I admit, I do sometimes use my phone to listen to instructional YouTube videos to guide me through a flow, I have been trying to do the moves on my own. Concentrating on breathing and clearing my mind puts me in the perfect mindset for sleep.

Read a book or a magazine.

I feel like this one’s a given, but reading is the best way for me to forget about the events from my day and put my thoughts onto something else. Read a set number of chapters/pages/articles, and then put yourself to bed after you’re finished. Or until you feel tired enough to sleep.

Do something to nourish your soul.

For me, it is doing a devotional and reading my Bible. For others, it might be meditating or journaling. Or even completing a page in a coloring book. Whatever it is, as long as its relaxing and enjoyable for you.

Write out your goals for the day to follow.

When I write out my goals and read them in the morning, I find that I go throughout my day more mindfully and intentionally. Also, crushing that to-do list and rereading my completed goals and intentions makes me feel super accomplished and relaxed before I head to bed.

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I’ve found that when I do any number of these things before I sleep instead of using technology, I’ll feel so much better and sleep so much easier. However, a habit isn’t built overnight. I would like to challenge any of my readers who would like to join me in a 21-day bedtime technology detox. Starting tonight, put the phone aside with me. Let me know if you’re joining me in the comments!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Routine

I share what exercises I’ve been doing daily in order to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.

Hello everyone!

So far this summer I’ve succeeded in keeping up a healthy lifestyle. However, I’ve tried multiple different exercise regimens, such as BBG and the Rebecca-Louise Burn app, but I haven’t really enjoyed either enough to stick to them consistently. Mostly, I like doing my own thing and making up routines for myself. I just do what feels best for my body. If I feel like a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I’ll do it. If I only have time for a 20-minute yoga routine, I’ll do that. I’ve found that I stick to a healthy lifestyle much better when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, rather than forcing myself through something that I hate every second of.

Normally, I’ll start with some cardio.

I’ll do 30-40 minutes of cardio to start my workout off every day. Due to the beautiful summer weather (when it’s not ghastly hot and humid outside), I enjoy going outside to go running around in the sunshine. I’ll go around the neighborhood or to the track near my house, or even do sprints up and down the bleachers at the football stadium at my old high school. If the weather is too ugly for this, I have an elliptical I can use in my garage. Sometimes, I just feel in the mood to do that and watch YouTube videos until my 30-40 minutes is over. It all depends on my mood.

Next, I try to do something “toning.”

I usually do a Tone It Up video, but sometimes I like switching it up. I’ll do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even an old-school aerobics video. I also try to incorporate an ab routine into my workout as well. I’ve been exercising so long, I usually just stick to the ab moves that I know and love. Here is a routine that I put together for you guys I’ve been loving, too!

 

Short ab exercise routine graphic. 60 second plank, 25 bicycles, 15 single leg raises per side, 20 butterflies, 20 v-sits, 15 hip raises, 25 side crunches, 60 second forearm plank, and ten burpees to finish. Then repeat.

Before ending the workout…

It’s sooo important to stretch. To prevent feeling too sore (because we all know it happens anyway) I’ll stretch and use a foam roller on my leg and back muscles.

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All in all, I try to keep my workout time to an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s not even that much. As long as I fit in even 30 minutes, I’m happy. A shorter workout is better than nothing, and as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I know I’m doing what I can.

What have you guys been doing so far this summer? Leave your adventures and workout routines in the comments, I would love to see them!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Playlist!

Hello everyone!

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know how much I love making playlists. I mean, who doesn’t love a good playlist, though? I’ve made playlists for the last few summers, just because I love having them for when I run. They’re usually made up of the songs that I’m obsessed with at the moment, and this year is no different! But ya girl loves a good throwback, too 🙂

 

13 cup fresh lime juice3 tbsps agave nectar1 cup pineapple juice2 cups pineapple14 cup triple sec

I have the playlist all put together on Spotify, so come follow me on there! My username is writerchic 🙂 CLICK HERE for the link! I’ll keep adding my favorite songs of the summer to the playlist as the summer progresses, so make sure you’re following!

I’m going to the beach next week with my family (yay!), as I do every year! So, I will be posting my usual OOTDs and stories from the week! However, I will be posting even more on TGI’s Instagram, so make sure you’re following @thegingerintrovert on Instagram as well!

XOXO

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How I stay healthy in college

I share all of my collected tips and tricks to stay healthy while in college!

Hello everyone!

Staying healthy while in college can be such a challenge. I try my best to keep a balanced diet and a regular workout routine. However, with the work we all have it can be hard to stay healthy and stay afloat at the same time. In my three years at college, I’ve learned a couple tricks to keep myself on track, while keeping up with my schoolwork.

Schedule manageable workouts.

To do this, I use fitness apps to your advantage. I like to use Tone It Up’s app, but lately I’ve been using Kayla Itsine’s Sweat app. Both of these apps send me reminders on my phone, telling me to work out. These little pop-ups can be big motivators, and sometimes that’s all I need. A little nudge.

Also, these apps have workouts that aren’t too time-consuming. Usually they take thirty, maybe forty minutes of my time. Honestly, that’s probably the same amount of time I waste on Instagram a day. Probably even more! There are lots of great workouts on YouTube that are less than forty minutes, click here to see some of my recommendations!

Research your college’s meal options.

My college, and hopefully, most universities, list the nutrition facts of all of the food they make in a word document they have online. They also list the weekly menu in advance, so I can plan ahead. I look at both documents frequently to figure out what I plan on eating. This may seem a little extra, but as a vegetarian, I find it difficult to eat well on any given day without some planning.

I go to a small school so the offerings in the cafeteria aren’t too varied. So, if I don’t particularly like what I see on the menu, I try to bring some things with me to lunch as a supplement. For example, I’ll bring along a yogurt or wrap in my bag to eat and pair with the veggies they have on the menu. There’s also always the option to ask for a veggie burger to be thrown on the grill.

Stock up on healthy (dorm friendly) snacks.

I’m a fan or carrots and hummus. Nutritious, filling, and not much of a mini-fridge hog. Another favorite in my room is chips with guacamole. However, for a quick grab in the morning, I try to keep Kind and Nature Valley bars on hand.

Surround yourself with supportive (and like-minded) friends.

If your friends are health conscious and work out, it’ll be easy to keep a healthier lifestyle in college. It’s just that simple. If you’re the only one who goes to the gym in your friend group, it’s a lot harder to motivate yourself. However, if you have a few gym buddies, they can keep you accountable and make your workout fun!

Know your college’s fitness program.

Does your college have a gym? A track? A dance studio? Are there special fitness classes made available to you? Take advantage of any and all amenities you’re entitled to as a student enrolled at your college. Whether that means a Yoga class on campus or a discount at a local gym (if you don’t have one on campus, as well). Honestly, I try to take as many opportunities for free fitness offerings on campus I can. And thankfully, my college’s fitness programs have lots to offer. Do your research, ask around campus, and see what your options are!

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I hope this was helpful in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle on campus. If you have any tips or tricks you live by to be healthier, leave them in the comments below!

XOXO

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Photo cred: Cyril Saulnier on Unsplash