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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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5 Ways to Simplify During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 13, 2017

I genuinely feel horrible for the people who can’t bring themselves to enjoy the holiday season because they only associate this time of year with stress. Leave a comment below if you’re one of those people who doesn’t look forward to the holidays because I’m curious as to why you feel that way!

PSA: I’m here to help you DESTRESS during the holiday season because you deserve to enjoy this time of year without feeling overwhelmed. Here are 5 ways to simplify during the holiday season.

1| Make a game plan

Get an overview of all the things you want to get done during the next two months. The truth is that we say that we want to have weekends filled with all the holiday activities, but that’s not always realistic. Get an idea of what weekends you’ll have a ton going on, and make sure to plan a few days where there is a little less activity to balance everything out so you’re no completely overwhelmed.

2| Just begin

You can make a game plan and feel as organized as ever, but where people fail and get behind during the holiday season is they simple refuse to begin. They wait until mid-December to actually being holiday shopping, or they wait until the week before to wrap every single gift. Needless to say, your holiday season will be less stressful if you get started early and odn’t procrastinate on your entire to-do list.

3| Define what’s necessary

Do you have to do everything on that winter bucket list you found on Pinterest? Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything at all, but go through all the tasks and outline what it truly necessary for you. Do you need to have six separate days dedicated to shopping with all different people? Do you need to watch a holiday movie every single night? Find a balance of what matters most to you and what’s essential.

4| Schedule down time

See point one. It’s just as important to schedule down time during the next two months as it is important to write down and schedule all your plans as well. If you’re in non-stop Christmas mode where you’re always working on shopping, baking, cleaning, going to parties, gift-wrapping and all the other traditions—you’re going to get stressed. Plan several days of down time for reading, relaxing, pampering and watching all those holiday movies with some hot cocoa.

5| Forget Perfect

One of the root issues people have with the holiday season is that it isn’t that Hallmark-picture-perfect-movie that we all think it’s going to be. Sometimes, you burn a tray of cookies, you break an ornament decorating the tree, and plans fall through last minute. To put it simply, that’s life, and it’s okay. Instead of looking for everything to go “perfectly,” just enjoy the moment without pressuring yourself to have these unrealistic expectations. Go with the flow, and enjoy the holidays. It will all work out.

Do you stress out during the holidays, or not look forward to the holidays because of everything that needs to get done in a short amount of time? What is the most stressful part of the holiday season for you? Make sure to share in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

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Practicing Minimalism During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 8, 2017

Let’s cut to the chase. The holidays begin pretty much anytime after November 1st. Once October is over, it’s fair game to begin holiday shopping, listen to holiday music and do all those bucket list items you’re itching to do before the end of the year.

Before we get too far into all the craziness that comes from this time of year, I want to share a little insight on how you can remove any unnecessary stress by practicing minimalism during the holiday season. Not only will this bring bliss into your life, but you’ll be able to enjoy this season without feeling overwhelmed.

1| Practice what you preach

I have touched on this topic in previous posts, but it’s important to practice what you preach during the holiday season. For example, if you’re buying gifts that aren’t useful, cause clutter, and don’t have any purpose for the person receiving it—you’re opening the door for those people to give YOU those same type of gifts. So really, you’re not doing anyone good including yourself. Instead of giving your sister another scarf and candle, give her a gift of an experience like a pedicure, massage, or wine tasting for a girl’s day. Being mindful of the gifts you give to others will be a direct reflection of the gifts you will receive. So don’t give useless clutter just because it was on sale.

2| Evaluate your traditions

Traditions are wonderful. But there are some things you do every year that cause stress and aren’t enjoyable at all like a cookie-baking frenzy with 10 family members in a kitchen meant for only three people, or packing too many plans in Christmas weekend. If something is causing unnecessary stress and making this time of year overwhelming, consider altering your traditions to work for everyone. You don’t need to remove these traditions altogether, but making them work for everyone so that you’re all enjoying your time together is important.

3| Focus on mindfulness

Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in what’s coming next for the countdown to Christmas that we don’t enjoy the moment that’s happening. You’re already focused on decorating the tree that you don’t enjoy the process of picking one out at the tree farm. You planning next week’s gift-wrapping and baking session with your friends that you aren’t even paying attention to the Hallmark Holiday movie you’re watching with hot cocoa. Enjoy each moment as it’s happening without thinking about the next plan.

4| Practice gratitude 

Between holiday shopping, baking, preparing for guests, and enjoying a slew of holiday parties, it’s easy to lose focus on what is important during this season. During November and December, I make it a daily habit to practice gratitude. It gives time to reflect on all the good that has happened throughout the year and show appreciation for those moments. It also give time for us to be thankful for the little things we may take for granted. The goal of minimalism is to appreciate what you have and not think of gaining more, so no matter how big or small something may be—practicing gratitude is essential during the holiday season.

How else do you practice minimalism during the holiday season? I would love to know more about your experiences, so make sure to share them in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: November

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 6, 2017

We’re two days away from completely diving into the holiday season, and I couldn’t be more excited. At the same time, I can’t believe that there are only two months left in 2017. My goal is to make these last two months of the year count, and enjoy as much of the holiday season as possible. Let me know what you’re looking forward to this month whether it’s Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, food, or something else going on in your life that you’re feeling blissful about.

1| Owning a Home

As you’re reading this, we’re moving into our home this week! It’s unbelievable to think that just a few short months ago, we decided to make the largest purchase we will ever invest in. Needless to say, our lives are packed up in boxes, and we are working on making our house a home. If you want to read more about our home-buying journey, give one of my recent posts a read!

2| It’s Acceptable to Think About Christmas

And by acceptable to THINK about Christmas, I mean that it’s acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, begin Christmas shopping, and participating in all the winter-related activities.  (I know not everyone will agree with me, but i know there MUST be some Christmas-lovers out there!) Once we get through Halloween, my attention is slightly moving away from wedding planning and moving, and now is focused on Christmas, baking, and all the holiday things.

3| Focusing on Gratitude

You all know I’m a huge proponent of expressing gratitude as often as you can, which is why I’m planning a challenge for myself to express gratitude all month long with journal prompts, random acts of kindness for coworkers and strangers, and everything in between. Last year, I had a list of challenges for myself and I found that doing one every single day was a little difficult, so I plan to spread the challenges out throughout the month.

4| Holiday Shopping

I am one of those people that will most likely have their holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving. Especially with moving into the house, wedding planning, work, and life in general, I try to work ahead as much as possible so that I’m not rushing around to the last minute and feeling stressed during the holidays. This year, I want to be more conscious about spending money after purchasing the house, so I’m looking into DIYs. Make sure to share any DIY gift ideas you have!

5| FOOD.

Need I say more? November is the beginning of a two-month eating frenzy that we indulge in. From pies and all the food during Thanksgiving dinner, to holiday cookie swaps in the office, you better believe that this month is the beginning of eating all the best food. And I’m ready for it.

What are you looking forward to this month whether it’s related to the holidays or something else good going in your life? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Blissful Bits: October

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 1, 2017

 We can all use a little more bliss in our lives, right? 

That’s why I’m sharing a new series on Blissfully Brunette where I dish out videos, stories, blog posts, and everything in between that brought a little bit of bliss. Hopefully, these posts will give you the little pick-me-up you may need to get through the week whether you’re looking for new blog posts to read for inspiration, new recipes, workouts, funny videos and anything else that may bring you an extra dose of bliss.

1| 10 Steps to Declutter Your Mind Right Now

TBH when you’re going through a blogging rut, you lose your creative spark. It’s not a good feeling, and it brings on other issues like stress, self-doubt and more. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a positive headspace earlier this month because of it. After reading Erica’s post, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit. I am working full-time, blogging, moving into my first home and planning my wedding. I was stressed and burned out, and my mind needed some major decluttering. If you’re in need of a mental declutter, you’re going to want to check out her post.

2| Bath & Body Works Candles

Because who doesn’t get happy when they think of candles from Bath & Body Works? You all know I’m here for the fall scents like “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, “Marshmallow Fireside,” and “Autumn,” but they having been bringing out the holiday collection—and it’s getting me excited for the next two months. So tell me, what are some of your favorite Bath And Body Work’s candle scents that you can’t live without during fall and winter?!

3| Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Because it’s all the wonderful things about fall in one dessert. (I know, except for pumpkin spice) So, I’ve been in a baking mood despite not having a ton of time to bake as of late, so I’m sharing this delicious recipe in case you’re looking to try something new.

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar , plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9×13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  5. For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

4| The Truth about Fear & Perfectionism 

Another post I’m sure many of you can relate to because fear is something we all experience. For me, perfectionism is something I have always struggled with, so I know how difficult it can be to have something go less-than-perfect, and you’re left feeling useless, and feeling like you failed. There’s a lot to uncover in this topic, but Rachel highlights some key points of fear and perfectionism that will make you realize you’re not alone in your thoughts. In turn, you’re going to feel blissful knowing other people ARE experiencing what you’re experiencing.

5| 20-Minute Pilates Workout

I love Pilates because not only are the workouts enjoyable and effective, but they also can work your entire body. Yes, even a 20-minute workout can leave you feeling sore the next day. And yes, it’s a wonderful feeling because you’re not sweating non-stop for over an hour. You can do this anywhere in your home, hotel room, or your office if you don’t have any other option. Trust me, if you want a simple workout that will five you great results, try this video below!

What has you feeling blissful this week? Make sure to share any blog posts, quotes, videos, or anything else in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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