6 Simple Ways to Unwind

21 January 2018

Unwinding is something I've been thinking about lately.  Actually, as a whole I've been thinking about the idea of being busy and having a balanced life between work and rest.  Being busy does not equal productivity, and that's something I hadn't really realized before.  I can pretend that I'm being productive by doing a lot of things, but does that actually mean I'm getting closer to accomplishing my goals? ehhh....

So one thing I've found out is that when you actually work hard, work smart, you're gonna need to take some breaks.   Obviously it's important to keep the hustle going and stay busy, but there needs to be a fine line between work and rest. SO today I thought I'd round up a few ways I personally like to unwind after a busy day or week.  LET'S GO.

This one is something that I try to do every night before going to bed.  The whole idea of getting your thoughts together after a day of thinking about so many different and random things is honestly so helpful in getting your mind to just relax.  Think about how the day went, what you want tomorrow to be like, and what you can do to get there! Those are all super important things, and if we just go, go, go, we often miss the opportunity to think and give our minds a break. 

Now, maybe MAYBE I'm partial to this one, but I love to cook/bake (as you guys might know!), and I know this one is a huge stress-reliver for me.  When I'm baking, it almost just takes me into a different world.  It's just about you and the food you're making.  And if you're in the right mood, blasting your favorite music while doing this makes it 2034587349x better.  And honestly, don't worry about not being a Gordon Ramsay in cooking! Even using something like a boxed mix can be a huge time saver and still make you feel like you're putting the effort in.  :)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is basically a exercise in which you tense one muscle group for a few seconds and then relax it.  You work your way through all the muscle groups, and then count backwards from 5 to 1 to bring your focus back to the present.  It's really a great way to relieve stress.  This chart has some more information on this if you're interested.  I've been doing this the past few nights before going to bed, and THIS IS HIGHLY HELPFUL.

This is also something I try to do before bed, but it can be done any time really.  Whether you're an extrovert or introvert, it's important to have some alone time every now and then.  One thing I do every morning is read my Bible because it makes my day go so much better AND gives me quiet space first thing in the morning.  When life gets especially stressed and busy, it's even more important to carve out that time to unwind (WITHOUT WIFI).  It's almost ingrained in us to just reach for our phone and scroll through the latest social media, but STOP.  Stop yourself and ask if this is really going to help you right now, or if it'll just make your mind go and go more.  And more often than not, it's so much better for our souls to have a break from constant internet scrolling.  (is it hard? yes. but is it worth it? yes. :'))

Just a little tip for those extra stressful days.  Tea is so calming and soothing, and I know it always is such a calming experience for me.

Brief physical activity is known to help beat stress.  When you're tense or anxious about something, moving around helps release that energy and calms you down.  I've been trying to make a practice of doing some form of exercise before bed every night, and I'm pretty sure that the nights I do it helps me sleep better overall. WHO EVEN KNEW.

SO tell me, what do you do to relax? Some weeks are just super crazy and stressful, and I believe it's really important to have a good system to relax and keep your mind and body stress-free.  *nods*  I know there are so many more things to do that I probably don't even know of, so let me know what you do to get rid of stress/relax in the comments!!


Philadelphia [day trip] | Travel Diary

09 January 2018

Something that I thought of doing this year were travel diary posts.  Posts recapping a little adventure I took with pictures (or maybe even a video).  Here is the first installment in that series! Ultimately the goal of this series is to show that whether you travel far or near, there's a world with limitless beauty out there waiting to be discovered, and like St. Augustine said, "The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page."

A few weeks ago, when I was on Christmas vacation (way back in 2017 :), we went on a trip to Philadelphia to see some of the sights.  We went to an aquarium (where I got to see Santa dab, underwater even! what's the world come to), even crossed over to New Jersey, and saw a Macy's Christmas light show.  It was a fun trip, and I gotta say, the highlight was probably the incredible cheeseburger I had in the food court.  UNBELIEVABLE.

I'm a country girl at heart, but going into the city is good for the mind.  I love the hustle and bustle, the way everything is so close and just a walk away.  I love the chaos, people in their different walks of life passing each other on the street, the noise.  The buildings, and all the things that are so perfect to snap a picture of.  Also the lights are so PRETTY.  When we went  all the Christmas lights were still up and it was just so beautiful. 

So tell me, what was the last little travel adventure YOU went on? Far or near? This year I really would like to travel more, but we'll see.  (To be honest, I want to see the world, sooo....;) What's happened in your 2018 so far? 



31 December 2017

When I look back on this year and try to sum it up, the words that come to my mind are: continual change, growth, learning.  It was a hard year.  But it was also a good year.  Why? Because I learned.  And God was faithful.  Without this year, I would definitely not be the person I am today.  And for that, I'm thankful.

So today I want to summarize this year.  We're heading into 2018, great.  I just want to wrap this year up on a good note on the blog, so let's get into it.
So I went back and looked at my 2k16 post from last year.  Wow things change fast xD

My word for 2017 was "BELIEVE".  At the time I wrote that post, it was nice.  But quite honestly that phrase didn't really stick with me throughout this year.  Maybe it was just through the ups and downs of life and all that I kind of forgot it and went with the flow.

I learned a ton this year.  Found out who I really am.  And I fell in love even more deeply with my passions.  I have no idea how it'll all work out, but I know (to a certain extent) what I want to do with my life.  I have no flipping idea how I'll get there or if it'll play out like I want to in my head (probably not), but I know what I want.

Overall, 2017 was a year of growth.  And I'm still growing.  I have a long, long ways to go yet, but I'm getting there, one day at a time.  And that's all you can do for anything.  Moment by moment.  That's how you live  life.  (why do i feel like this post is so deep lolz)

Okay, let's be honest.  Writing this year wasn't the very best,  I'll say that much.  First and foremost, my novel that I had started working on around NaNo 2016 was what I had wanted to finish this year.  But as things turned out, the hard drive that had been on the computer I was writing it on malfunctioned and quit working.  SO we got a new hard drive and are pretty much still in the process of trying to recover what we can off of the old one.  We have a brand new memory now, so while that is nice to some extent, everything that I had (INCLUDING MY NOVEL) is gone.  *headdesk*
An overhead shot of a cup of coffee next to an open laptop, two pencils and a stack of sticky notes
So looking ahead to 2018 writing wise, I want to get back into writing.  I'm part of a writer's group where we send short stories to each other one month and then critique them the next for each other, which is super nice because it really forces me to actually write every month.  Other than that, I'm going to really try to figure out what's going on with the old hard drive and retrieve my novel and HOPEFULLY finish writing it.  But we'll see.  I'm hoping that 2018 is a better writing year than this year was.

+ Skating became a huge, huge part of my life.  I know the rink, the staff, the ice so well now xD Almost like a second home haha!  Speaking of which, I just passed my first USFS skating test this past week! (thank you Jesus)
+ Home renovating became my newest hobby.  Fixer Upper started it :D I binge watched that show so much this summer, and let me just say that Chip and Joanna Gaines inspire me so much.  (Also now I'm deep in painting projects around my home.  Great.)
+ I got a new phone (major plus: it actually works!)
+ This summer taught me many lessons, but most importantly it taught me who I am and what I truly want to do with my life.  I'm chasing that passion with God's help now.  The hustle is real.
+ Solar eclipse happened!! 
+ I found confidence.  In Christ alone.  I learned so much this year, and I learned so much about what's really important in life.  2017 stretched me so much, but it taught me the best lessons.  Lessons that I needed.  I know who I am, and this life's not about me, it's about Christ.
+ I got new glasses because my old ones broke >_<
+ I finished reading the Bible the whole way through.
+ Got into gardening.  Don't get me wrong, I was always a gardener, but this year I got into it so much more.  It's super fun yo :D
+ Got my braces off
+ What happened to this country, man. What happened in pop culture.  If 2017 taught us anything, it should have taught us how much we need God. 

Blogging in 2017 was fairly good.  I kind of talked about it in my last post so there's not really a whole lot more I have to say, but sticking to a schedule really helped me out this year.  If you're considering starting a schedule for your blog, I'd 10/10 recommend it.  True, there were a few nights I was up at Wednesday night trying to finish the post before 12 P.M. and make it somewhat coherent, but most of the time it really helped me stay focused and make blogging more of a habit. 

 I already covered most of the stuff about blogging in my last post, but just to refresh I'm planning on posting 3-4 times a month in 2018.  I'm not going to post on a set date or anything; I just have the total amount of times a post will get up that one month.  SO YEAH.  I'm looking forward to it! The last few months of 2017 haven't been the greatest blogging-wise, so I'm hoping to step it up a little in the new year.  YEET.  Also, the new blog design inspires me a little more to actually blog so that's always a good thing.  

2016 was a year of crazy change in my life, most of it hard.  2017 was a year of growth--learning to bloom where I'm planted and learning about what's really important in this life.  It was a kind of mundane year, but at the same time not.  But it was a good year overall. :)  

2018? At the moment, I don't know if anything that I "want" is going to happen this upcoming year, but I'm praying.  But 2018 holds some major milestones in my life (which will probably be documented on the blog LOL), and I'm a little nervous about them.  But it's good.  It's life.  It's growing (up).  So I'm just taking it one day at a time.  Making the most out of every day and staying focused on what's important and remembering the best is yet to come.  


 SO WHAT ABOUT YOU? If you had to describe 2017 in one word what would it be? What were some of your most memorable moments of this year and what are you looking forward to in the new year? 

adiĆ³s till next year amigos,