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Why You Need to Take Time for Yourself + 5 Tips to Get Started

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on November 15, 2017

Although I’ve had so many wonderful things happen over the last few months, life is unpredictable still brings some unexpected changes or experiences your way. We’ve all been there before: it a series of one stressful problem after the next, and you’re feeling overwhelmed beyond belief. I’ve been feeling that way recently, and my first instinct was to ignore it and keep showing the optimistic, blissful side I show 99 percent of the time in life. I would beat myself up and feel guilty if something negative happened and tell myself:

“You shouldn’t be upset about that because you OWN A HOUSE. Look at the good in your life.”

“Don’t let that get to you because today is going to be a good day.”

I would default to happiness and ignore the problems so much that they kept piling up one after another. Not long after everything came the inevitable…I would eventually break down.

The issue is that I can’t exactly do much about the problems that have been coming up. And that’s difficult for me to handle as a problem-solving perfectionist. When something is out of my control—I feel my skin crawl, and I can’t bring myself to relax until I know it’s solved. I felt as though I had no choice, BUT to put on a brave face and smile through all the problems hoping I could forget about them. And life simply doesn’t work that way.

A few weeks ago, this took a turn on me, but I didn’t say a word to anyone. I kept it all to myself and kept the brave face strong. Then, I was reminded by a friend that you need to do what’s best for you.

You need to take time for yourself because you can’t help others when you’re not helping yourself first.

It clicked that I wasn’t going to be able to solve the problems that were in front of me. But, I could help myself cope with those problems by dealing with them instead of ignoring them. And above all else, I really needed to take more time for myself.

Taking time for yourself is essential. When stress builds, you need feel-good activities and ways to deal with stress and problems in life. Even when everything is going perfectly fine in your life—you STILL should take time for yourself and do so as often as possible. So, if you’re needing a little extra time for yourself, but aren’t too sure where to begin—continue reading my five tips to get started.

1| Remind yourself you deserve this

Yes, you! You absolutely deserve to take some time for yourself and often as you need it. Weather it’s a day off from work, or two hours focusing on a passion project that calms you instantly. You definitely deserve a little extra time for yourself no matter what situation or state you may be in. Remind yourself that it’s okay to take time to shut off from the world for a little bit.

2| Allow yourself to feel

If things haven’t been going well, and you’ve been dealing with a lot—allow yourself to feel. Take time to feel sad or angry. Take time to feel everything you feel because your emotions ARE VALID. You should never feel like you need to push those emotions away. Accept them temporarily, so that you can eventually heal.

3| Shut off completely

Sometimes, social media and the Internet can be the worst place when you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and several other adjectives all mixed into one. Take time away from your phone so you can focus on dealing with the problems in front of you rather get caught up texting friends about their problems, scrolling through Twitter catching up on the latest world tragedy or something similar.

4| Make a list of things you love

This is what of the best things I’ve done because now I have a go-to list filled with things I love including favorite movies, websites, foods, and everything in between. The goal is to have a quick reference on the feel-good things you can do whenever you decide you need to take time for yourself. Do you have an entire day to yourself? Read your favorite book, watch your favorite movie, and treat yourself to your favorite food from the take-out place down the street. If you only have an hour, treat yourself to your favorite face mask and show you’re watching on Netflix while your phone is off.

5| Do something a little extravagant 

If you have a little extra money and time to treat yourself, do something more than the typical feel-good stuff if you’ve been feeling more low than normal. Treat yourself to a massage. Treat yourself to a more expensive meal. Make your favorite dessert and indulge without guilt. Open that bottle of “special occasion” wine. Buy a dress you’ve had your eye on for the last few months. Life is too short not to do the things you want to do. Life is too short to wait for a special occasion to do something good for yourself. You deserve it no matter what day it is.

Remember: You need to take time for yourself. You aren’t helping anyone around you when you aren’t helping yourself first. So, take the time to shut off from the world for an hour, a day, or a week. Give yourself time to refresh and recharge, and you’ll be able to take on life and all that it brings.

How do you take time for yourself? Make sure to share in the comments below so we can find new ways to take care of ourselves during a busy season in life. 

Ki Signature

 

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The Ultimate Gift Guide For Minimalists

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 20, 2017

Yes, I know that you maybe thinking that it’s way too early for Christmas. 

Well, let me tell you that it’s NEVER too early to get ready for the holidays. Plus, planning ahead of time is what decreases stress and increases bliss before the craziness of the holidays come in full force. So, if you’re looking for a little bliss, and looking to prepare in advance for some holiday shopping, keep reading. I’m collaborating with my wonderful blogging friend, Erin from A Welder’s Wife to bring you some gift ideas for the minimalist friends in your life. So, make sure to read her post on the same topic! Erin is a talented writer, and her blog posts on minimalism are always inspirational.

Keep in mind while reading this post that the gift ideas are meant to simply someone’s life. They aren’t things that your aunt or sister would expect unless they are living a minimalist, simple lifestyle. So, while these gifts might not seems like the right type of gifts that would appeal to everyone—they will definitely work well for the minimalist friend on your list who you know will appreciate a gift that simplifies their life.

1| Reusable Bags

One of the top items I use and love is a reusable bag for grocery shopping, and it has decrease our need for gathering plastic bags from Target. Instead of holding onto plastic, your friend will help the planet by using a bag for all of their shopping. Plus, they can use these for traveling or errands. For the reusable bag, you can include other gifts inside that you know your friend would love like a book on their wish list, their favorite candle, or a tin of Christmas cookies. Make sure to include a note that explains her favorite things in the bag and that the bag that holds everything is reusable and can help make any farmer’s market trip stress-free and easy!

2| Cleaning Cloths 

I’ve been taking steps to reduce the amount of unnecessary products like napkins, paper towels and similar items. So, I’ve been using more green-friendly products that make cleaning simple and easy like these cleaning cloths. Any busy mom, or environmentally-conscious friend would love these. Not only can they be washed easily, but they also replace up the 15 rolls of paper towels. You can feel good about helping the environment and giving a gift you know your friend will be using every single day. You can create a gift with items that are made from recycled materials, or gifts that give back to charities to help the environment. This is especially the perfect gift for your minimalist friend who doesn’t want extra things in their home when they can get everything done with one item.

3| Coconut Oil

You’re probably wondering what friend would want coconut oil. Well, fear not because you don’t have to give your friend a jar of coconut oil and call it a day. Coconut oil can be used not only for cooking or cleaning, but also for beauty items as well. It’s the perfect, multi-purpose item that your minimalist, simple-living friend and use all-year long. Coconut oil can be use as a moisturizer, cuticle treatment, deep conditioner for your hair and more. So, you can create a relaxing, pampering basket that includes: coconut oil, a face mask, essential oil, and you can even create a DIY scrub that uses coconut oil in it!

4| Gift Cards

While you have a ton of options with this one, you have to keep in mind that you want to think about where you’re buying the gift card for? Is it a store that will promote unnecessary shopping? If yes, then it might not be the best gift for your minimalist friend. Instead, treat your friend to a gift certificate for a local market, an all-natural, beauty shop, or a place where they can get anything they need (hello, Target)! Make sure you’re intentional about the gift cards you choose. If you know they’re working on home projects, buy a gift card from Lowe’s or Home Depot to help them out. Keep in mind what your friend loves, and they will be sure to appreciate the thought.

5|  Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Another gift where you’re probably thinking, girl, no one wants cleaning products for Christmas. And while I agree with you, I also think that you can make anything personal and useful to a minimalist. Minimalists love gifts that make their life simple, and a multi-purpose cleaner is definitely a great way to reduce the amount of products you’re using with chemicals. Another basket idea you can make can include home essentials like the multi-purpose cleaner, essential oils for a relaxing space, the cleaning cloth mentioned above, mason jars (to store food, prep meals, or store other home items), and other things you know your friend or family member would find useful. Remember, it’s all about gifting items that will simplify their life, and that will be used in their home.

6| All-In-One Planner

If your friend is a die-hard fan of using a traditional planner, an all-in-one planner is the way to go! Choose one that not only keeps their daily schedule in track, but it can track meal planning, the amount of much water they drink, workouts, daily to-do lists, positive mantras, and more. Finding a planner that can help organize all these items will be sure to simplify your friend’s life. You can also introduce your friend to a bullet journal and get a few colors pens to get them started. Maybe it’s a project you both and begin together to help simplify your lives. Take the day together to start planning your monthly, weekly trackers and lay out your new bullet journals together.

Whatever you decide to purchase for your minimalist friend, keep in mind one question: “What will help simplify their life and make their life easier?” Whether you put together an at-home spa basket, or a bag or home essentials, you can be certain that she will love the gifts that are simple and what will improve their life. Don’t forget to check out Erin’s post where she shares even MORE gift ideas for the minimalist friends on your holiday gift list. Be sure to stop back next week where we collaborate on another holiday-related post for you!

What gifts have you given to a minimalist friend in the past? What are some minimalist gift ideas that YOU have been given that you have loved? P.S. what is one thing on your wish list for the holidays? Make sure to share everything in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Ways to Practice Minimalism [That Doesn’t Involve Decluttering]

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 16, 2017

I know what you’re thinking…

You think that minimalism is ALL about decluttering. Decluttering your closets, decluttering your kitchen, decluttering your basement. It’s all about getting rid of things you don’t use. I’m here to drop a major truth bomb.

Minimalism isn’t ONLY about decluttering.

Sure, is it a huge focus that you see all over Pinterest and YouTube? Yes, it definitely is. But I want people to understand that there are so many other ways to practice this lifestyle that doesn’t involve you going through your entire house and purging every other day. Although I definitely believe decluttering is extremely helpful in this process, it isn’t the only component of living more minimally. So, I’m here to share five other ways you can practice living a minimalist lifestyle, that has nothing to do with decluttering.

1| Focus on your buying habits.

You can declutter all you want, but if you’re going right back to the store—then you’re not doing yourself any good. The purpose of minimalism is that you’re removing the non-essential to make more room for what is essential. It’s about only having what you need rather than a new trend you may want temporarily. This could be a long post by itself, but you can also focus on shopping consciously at second-hand shops and thrifting for items to help with budgeting and ethical shopping. P.S. Have you checked out the true cost? It’s absolutely life-changing.

2| Go green + DIY.

Another area where you can simplify and minimize your life is with cleaning and beauty products. I’ve been focusing on streamlining my beauty routine and researching more on DIY scrubs, and natural products for my skin like coconut oil and homemade coffee scrubs. You can also clean a lot of of your home using vinegar and essential oils. There are tons of bloggers out there who are helpful should you decide to learn more about natural, green products for cleaning and beauty.

3| Rethink your food.

I have to give my brother and sister a shoutout here because I admire how they garden. They grow their own vegetables, fruit and herbs—and you can tell they enjoy the process and work behind it. Minimalism deals with consumption, which includes the food you eat. I’ve been trying hard to stay away from processed foods and enjoy a mix of fruits, vegetables, and protein. When we move into our home, I hope to do a little more with planting herbs and gardening in hopes that it will help me choose more plants and healthy, whole foods rather than snacks and junk food.

4| Practice what you preach. 

If you’re practicing minimalism, how do you show others? When the holidays roll around, are you giving nieces and nephews more clothes they don’t need, and toys they may only use for a short time? If yes, you’re not being faithful in your practices. Although not everyone practices this lifestyle, it’s important to remember that practicing what you preach is essential. If people see you giving unnecessary things, people will give YOU unnecessary things YOU don’t need or want. You’re only hurting yourself in the long run. Instead, give your niece and nephew day passes to the local zoo, aquarium, museum, or park they love. Give your sibling a date night with their spouse to a trampoline park or a new brewery. Give experiences or things they need or are useful.

5|  How are your goals?

Let’s say you’ve been working on this how minimalism business for awhile now, and you’ve purged your entire house from top to bottom. You went from spending an hour every day cleaning to two hours a week cleaning. You now have TONS of time on your hands because you aren’t cleaning and cooking for hours every single day. So what are you spending your time on? If you’re filling up your time with Netflix and social media—stop immediately. Get our your vision board and see what you want to accomplish. Now, make more time to actually work on those goals. Minimalism is about making time and space for the goals and life you want to live. Now, go do it.

You all know I love a good decluttering session, but there are other aspects of minimalism that will bring bliss to your life. Once you’re done decluttering, look to some of the other examples above like growing your own food, focusing on your goals and dreams, and overhauling your shopping habits.

What area of minimalism do you think would be the easiest and hardest for your to apply to your life? What area of minimalism do you think you’ll tackle next? Or, are you still working on the decluttering stages of your journey? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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Self-Care Challenge: Week 4

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on July 28, 2017

I feel like this month has been flying by! I can’t believe this is the last week (with the exception of the weekend) for our 30-day self care challenge. If you haven’t been keeping up with the last few posts, make sure you check them out: week one self care challenges, week two self care challenges, week three self care challenges.

Week Four Challenges:

Watch your favorite movie.

I have too many favorites, but I decided on Pitch Perfect because you can’t go wrong with singing and Anna Kendrick. Right? What is your favorite movies or top five list of favorite movies?

Take a social media break.

It was a perfect day to take time away from social media because I had everything scheduled in advance, so I wasn’t even worried about posting to different platforms. It’s amazing what this little break can do for your well-being. I was able to focus on enjoying the day rather than aimlessly scroll on social media!

Meditate for 10 minutes.

I’m a person who meditates so much better when I’m listening to soundscapes like summer thunderstorms. It definitely helps me relax a lot easier and enjoy the time in peace. Do you meditate? Do you listen to guided meditations or have any apps you use? Make sure to share in the comments!

Try an online class or webinar.

I’ve been taking so many online classes, courses and webinars for all things, blogging, social media, etc., and this one was no different. I decided to focus more on YouTube, and I can’t express how much I learned. P.S. this might be a hint of something coming to Blissfully Brunette soon!

Visit a chiropractor.

My chiropractor is incredible. It’s amazing what one little adjustment can do for my neck. If you struggle with neck and back pain, I would definitely recommend it because it will change your life. I promise.

Take a power nap.

This was after a LONG week and even a longer weekend ahead, so this nap was so well deserved. If Corrine says we should take naps, then we should take naps. Side note: Are you watching the Bachelorette? Who do you think will win?

Compliment a stranger.

It’s incredible to see how taking the time to compliment someone can make their day, especially when they’re a stranger. Take the time to spread some love and kindness by complimenting that girl at work or someone at the bar.

Week Five Challenges: 

Two words: adult coloring.

Buy flowers and plants for your home and office.

 

What tasks did you enjoy the most from week four? Which tasks were the most difficult? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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Self-Care Challenge: Week 3

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on July 21, 2017

Goodbye week three and hello week four. Make sure to go back to the self-care challenge week one and self-care challenge two if you haven’t read my review of those challenges yet. Then we can review the week three challenges, and then it’s time to move on to week four. How have you been enjoying the challenges so far? What has been your favorite week? What week has been the most difficult? Make sure to share all your thoughts in the comments below!

Week Three Challenges: 

Create a calming playlist and relax while you listen.

So I didn’t necessarily make a playlist but I did listen to a lot of soundscapes, which I didn’t realize how much I love listening to them. It’s very relaxing after a long day of work to enjoy. I even threw on a sheet mask while I listened to thunderstorms. What a better way to spend a weekend, amiright?

Do yoga or pilates for 30 minutes.

I am all about pilates, so I decided to try yoga for something different because it has been awhile since I’ve done a good 30 minutes of yoga. Let me tell you that it was so relaxing, and I’m wondering why I haven’t been doing this more frequently. Did I feel sore? Yes. But was it the BEST kind of sore? Absolutely!

Plan a night out with friends.

Sushi nights are the best nights. My favorite thing to do is to grab some sushi with my friends, and hangout with some wine and relax after a long day at work. It’s the little things in life that make it wonderful. Whether you’re relaxing at your house or going out for a girl’s night to the bar, make sure to spend quality time with friends.

Take a scenic drive.

I’m happy to live along the lake where I can enjoy beautiful views and a scenic drive along the water. I used to hate driving, but now I find it to be calming and relaxing when my favorite music is playing. I took a drive out along the lake and it happened to be a beautiful night with an even better sunset.

Organize your digital life.

My laptop was looking a little crazy after planning so much content for this month and for next month, so it was in desperate need of some organization. Let me tell you that my laptop is looking good after a few minutes of filing and sorting through my blog content.

Write 5 things you love about yourself.

1| My ambition.

2| My ability to dream no matter how big those dreams may be.

3| My compassion for others.

4| My ability to give love.

5| My strength.

Treat yourself to your favorite dessert.

What do you do when all desserts are your favorite? Oops. Just kidding. I plan on going on an ice cream date with Josh later today to treat myself to some ice cream, and I know I’ll have absolutely no regrets. Neither should you, so go #treatyoself today.

 

Week Four Challenges:

Watch your favorite movie.

Take a social media break.

Meditate for 10 minutes.

Try an online class or webinar.

Visit a chiropractor.

Take a power nap.

Compliment a stranger.

 

What tasks did you enjoy the most from week three? Which tasks were the most difficult? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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