Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 2

 

Congrats on making it through the first week of challenges from the 30-day Mental Cleanse. (Now you better go treat yo self to some wine, girl.)

For those who aren’t aware, Erin from “A Welder’s Wife” and myself created a month’s worth of mental-based challenges for you to try all throughout February. If you’re looking to cleanse your mind and focus on self care—this challenge is perfect for you!

Below are a reflection of the first week of challenges:

Jan. 30: Set two goals you would like to achieve during this challenge

My first goal is to set a little time for self care every day throughout February, so that I can appreciate that day. My second goal is to focus on that day’s challenge instead of thinking and worrying about upcoming challenges to be more present for each day.

Jan. 31: Treat your face to a special pampering facial

This is never an issue for me because I have a hefty sheet mask collection. I took the time to exfoliate my skin, and followed up with a sheet mask from Sephora.

Feb. 1: Go for a walk

Walking is the one thing I do whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. I was able to take a walk during my break at work due to it snowing nonstop here in PA. Taking a walk before work or on a break always relaxes me.

Feb. 2: Journal for 15 minutes

I typically write in my journal on Sundays, but I rearranged my journaling time to this day instead and it was a success. I was nervous about changing my normal routine to accomplish these challenges but it hasn’t been an issue yet!

Feb. 3: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal

I try go to sleep around 11:30, but I was happy to get to bed at 11 this night because it was a long week at work for me. A little extra rest is always important when you need it.

Feb. 4: Make a Gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life

I used to keep a gratitude journal that I would write in almost every night. This was particularly easy for me! Since then, I’ve pick up my journaling again a little more frequently, so I’m happy this was a challenge.

Feb. 5: Take a long bubble bath

I sorta failed this one. I don’t take baths much since I moved because our tub in shallow, but I treated myself to a pamper night by doing my nails, a hair mask, etc. I still feel good about this day and think it still counts, right?

Make sure to let us know how you did with the first week of challenges! Below are the next week’s challenges!

The second week of challenges: Diet & Exercise 

  • Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

  • Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

  • Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles a little TLC.

  • Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

  • Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

  • Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes. Bundle up!

  • Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week one? What challenges for the second week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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5 Things to be Happy About | February 2017

And we’re back with the positive vibes and gratitude here on Blissfully Brunette. (Praise hands emoji)

But for real, I think we could all use a little positivity here in the world because the past two weeks on social media haven’t been pretty. So let’s change the energy out there, shall we?

If this is your first “Things to be Happy About” post—welcome! This is a post I write monthly to share and express gratitude about the month ahead. These posts are some of my favorite to write because it reminds me to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life we often forget. Make sure to leave a comment below sharing what you’re looking forward to now that it’s February!

1| Feeling Settled in the New Year

The first few weeks of January can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re focusing on all your goals, getting back to work, and coming back down from the “holiday high” that I experience every year. Basically, it takes me a solid week or two to admit that Christmas is over, and life will return to normal. In February, I am settled in my life, I have my routine down. etc.

2| Goals & Grind

I don’t know about you, but I am NOT the type of person who will wake up on January 1st and be ready to completely change my life for the new year. Definitely not a thing here in my world. Instead, I like to slowly incorporate positive changes, new habits, and work on my goals slowly. Now that we’re heading into February, I will be set to achieve all my #GirlBoss goals and work hard all month long.

3| Valentine’s Day

Plot twist! Josh and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can read all about it—you might get a kick out of my humorous take on it. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy this day. Instead, I’ll bake something with my friends, watch Netflix, and drink wine for the night. Or, I’ll bring in festive cookies for coworkers. Trust me, you still can appreciate this holiday without going all-out with the Pinterest DIY gifts.

4| A Short Month

There’s something about knowing the month being short makes me feel blissful. February in the northeast means a not-so-fun time with the weather and the mass amount of snow. But, I look forward to this month because the month will fly by and we will be a month closer to spring, which brings me to my last one…

5| Preparing For Spring

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Spring is very underrated; and it’s a season I secretly look forward to. After the holiday season, I immediately think about my excitement for spring, and think about slightly warmer weather even though winter can last through March here in PA/NY. I begin “spring cleaning” and decluttering so I can get a jump start before the season arrives.

What are you happy about now that it’s February? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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A Mindful Mentality: Intention

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For the last post in this blog series, I decided to write about a topic and concept very close to my heart. If you haven’t kept up with “A Mindful Mentality,” I recommend reading my posts from previous weeks on:

Authenticity

Grace

Openness

Today’s last post is on intention and how to live life intentionally.

First, allow me to clear the air on living life intentionally. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything out of your comfort zone or drastic. Many people believe that living intentionally means you have to donate 70% of your belongings and live minimally, or it means you need to meditate in the woods every day.

However, you can do these things if you truly believe they will benefit you. I’m not saying you should or should not do certain things in order to live life intentionally; but I will say that it’s important to first understand what living intentionally means to you.

Because, let’s be honest; intentional living means something different for everyone, and that’s okay! This shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s okay if we decide to do things differently than what others are doing. But, I do want to share some ways that you can practice living intentionally.

Touch Base:

Spend time each day connecting with your mind, body, heart and soul. Whether that’s through meditation, walking, writing, or any other activity. Challenge your mind, body and soul every single day in new ways. It’s so important to touch base in these areas of your life in order to live a life that’s intentional. However you decide to connect your mind, body, heart and soul is up to you.

Be Aware:

Remember to appreciate the present. We get caught up in the past or fear what’s going to come next in the future that we forget to focus on the present day and moment. This is something I constantly struggle with because of my anxiety. I always fear of what’s going to come next; and I dread my mistakes of the past. I’m learning to let go and be present.

Rediscover Yourself:

Similar to touching base with yourself, you should always take time to rediscover yourself. In the different seasons of our lives, we are constantly growing and learning. I like to take time in a new season of my life to rediscover myself and my passions. I also use it as time to reflect on where I was three years ago verses where I am today. It helps you be more mindful with your present life.

How do you practice living a life that’s intentional? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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A Mindful Mentality: Openness

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“The doors will be opened to those who are brave enough to knock.”

Openness is a concept I think we all secretly struggle with. Openness is all about accepting every moment in life—good or bad—with open arms because every moment in life is a learning experience. It’s also about seeking personal acceptance, which is similar to the ideas presented in authenticity.

One thing I’ve learned about mindfulness is that the components of this idea are all connected in some form. For example, I personally connect authenticity and openness together because they both can relate to accepting yourself and being honest about who you are. There are some differences, however, in essence, these ideas are all very connected.

If you haven’t read my two previous posts on mindfulness, make sure to check out last week’s post on grace and the previous week’s post on authenticity.

Openness, for me, is very much synonymous with acceptance. In life, we are handed good and bad cards. But it’s not about the cards you receive, it’s how you play the cards you are dealt. You can have a winning outcome even with bad cards. This is how I view openness: it’s about accepting what you have and using it as a way to learn and grow as an individual.

I truly believe that we grow and learn every single day. Many people don’t agree with me, but I think it’s true. When we deal with life’s struggles, we don’t think very positively about them. Openness is the ability to see each difficult moment as a blessing because it’s an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. This makes you more mindful about your daily life and how you can help others in their daily lives.

If you notice you’re in a funk about a rough week, take a step back and look at the big picture. What can you learn from this week? How you can use this week’s events to grow? These are the questions that help us become more mindful and aware of our lives and how we decide to live it.

Next time you are in the midst of a good day or bad day, I encourage you to think of how you can utilize the event for a personal gain. How can you use this bad day as a way to grow as a person? How can you help someone else who is having a bad day grow as a person?

How do you practice openness in your everyday life? Make sure to leave a comment sharing your thoughts below!

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A Mindful Mentality: Grace

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How can we be more graceful? And what does grace have to do with being more mindful?

For me, grace is one of the most important components of practicing mindfulness in our everyday lives. Personally, it’s the one component I have had the most trouble with. It’s also the one component I’ve found the most rewarding since I have been practicing mindfulness.

So how do we bring a sense of grace into our lives? I have three everyday scenarios when we can practice grace. This will lead to a more mindful life.

Accepting the imperfect:

Life can be incredibly complicated; and things don’t always go the way we expect. But it’s okay. We need take our minds off of the idea of a perfect life because there is no such thing as perfection. We have ideas of what we think is perfect, but that’s in our minds. Once you accept imperfections, you will be more mindful of your life altogether.

Practicing forgiveness:

I truly don’t like to admit this, but I struggle with forgiving people. Over the years, I’ve worked on forgiveness by coming to the realization that every human makes mistakes. We can’t expect perfection (same idea as my previous point). This has lead me to be more mindful about my actions and how I respond to other people’s actions.

Spreading unnecessary kindness:

Again, no one is perfect, so we all have bad days. Instead of putting out negative energy when we have a bad day, why not spread a little kindness to someone else? Or, if you notice someone is having a bad day, go out of your way to cheer them up. It’s all about becoming more mindful of your surroundings and the people around you.

How do you practice grace in your everyday life? Make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts below!

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