Lets Kick Negative Talk

Lets Kick Negative Talk

This is a sticky subject for me as i have dealt with it myself since i was a teenager. One moment you feel like your on top of the world but the next moment it’s almost like your 6ft under ground.

Let’s Kick The Negative Talk #confidence #lifestylebloggers #motivation #love #selfesteem

Let’s get real..

Sometimes we don’t like ourselves. We could have done better on promoting our work, this mornings run, last nights tennis round, or devouring that cupcake for lunch faster.

Let’s kick the negative talk!

Sure, you have friends.  They are everywhere and they complement your hair, nails, the fact you did your makeup and look like an honorable member of society.

 

I get it

I do. Sometimes you just look at yourself in the mirror and totally downgrade yourself with thoughts like (or maybe you talk to your cat) “you’ve gained some weight”, “oh you can’t go for a run but you can binge watch “How To Get Away With Murder” for 3 hours”, “you bombed that 2,500 word essay genius”.

We all do it, even that friend that you think is perfect and secretly wish she’d fall and break her stiletto and pinky toe. Don’t be like that.

We as women should believe in and empower one another. The world is hard enough as it is!

Let’s kick the negative talk!

You are going to be by your side for the rest of your life, so you’d better like yourself.

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8 Yoga Poses For Anxiety

8 Yoga Poses For Anxiety

Anxiety is the most common mental illness, it effects about 40 million Americans. If you haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety chances are you still experience stress in your everyday life.

Practicing yoga is a great stress relief, with each breathe you feel your body let go of worry, tension, and anxieties. The focus yoga puts on the body helps give way anxiety to thoughts of mindfulness and peace.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder:
– You feel panicked, uneasy, or scared
– Frequent heart palpitations
– You have trouble sleeping
– Excessive worry
– Fatigue
– Restlessness
– Poor concentration

If you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing any of these symptoms make sure to let your family physician know so you can help get it under control; your not alone.

When anxiety finds its way to me I like to do a sequence of yoga poses. You may be thinking “how are yoga poses going to help me right now?!”, Yoga is a great untapped resource by a lot of people. The poses help by releasing stressors and anxieties with concentration on the body and breathing.

Giving your mind something other than your anxieties to focus on. If your willing give these poses a try and tell me how you feel afterwards. The outcome will be a welcomed relief and you’ll have a smile on your face once the sequence is finished.

I am in no way shape or form a doctor or a yoga instructor, I am sharing what I know to help me. If you’ve had or have back problems or shoulder problems do not try this without consent from your doctor.

8 Yoga Poses For Anxiety

Childs Pose

Sit on your knees that are spaced shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath and lower your torso down towards your thighs, extending your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply.

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Corpse Pose

you’re basically laying down with arms at your side, mentally the corpse pose can be difficult. The goal is to relax your mind as much as your body, so anxiety and stress fully leave.
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Half Moon Pose

Start by bending your standing leg without lifting the back leg off the floor. Use your whole arm for balance as well, moving the weight of your body forward so it is directly over your front hand and foot. Stay there for a few breaths, allowing the intensity to build in the standing leg until you start to feel solid and stable. Then, press down through the ball and heel of the foot as you direct the center of your kneecap toward the toes. Be sure to turn and open the outer thigh enough to maintain that direction of the knee. Lastly, keep your leg steady as you revolve the shoulders, chest, and abdomen upward.
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Half Standing Forward Fold

Begin in Standing Forward Fold with your hands or fingertips on the floor at the side of each foot. You can also rest your hands on your shins, or press your palms into yoga blocks at the sides of your feet. Inhale as you raise the front of your torso away from your thighs, straightening your elbows. Lift your collarbones and sternum away from the floor. Reach the crown of your head forward and your tailbone behind you. You can bend your knees slightly to help straighten the torso and spine. Press your fingertips or palms into the floor, to help lift and straighten your torso. Lift your head slightly and gaze forward without compressing the neck. Your torso should be straight. If your back rounds, bend your knees or place your hands higher until your spine is straight. Engage your quadriceps (the front thigh muscles) and draw them up toward the ceiling. Do not lock your knees; keep them slightly bent. Bring your weight to the balls of your feet. Keep your hips aligned over your ankles. Slightly lift and lengthen your torso with each inhalation. Hold the pose for up to one minute. Exhale as you release into standing forward fold. Repeat 5-10 times.

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Legs Up The Wall

Lay with your feet against the wall, bottom touching as well, with your arms down to your sides. Take deep breaths to both center your mind and calm down.
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Fish Pose

Begin by lying on your back with arms at your sides. Slide your hands under your buttocks and keep them there. Then inhale and lift your upper back and head off the floor, pressing your forearms and elbows into the floor. You can keep your legs straight out in front of your, bend at the knee or the most complicated- folded like the Lotus pose. While in fish pose, take several breaths and lower torso and head back down.
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Eagle Pose

Begin standing in Mountain Pose with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees. Balance on your right foot and cross your left thigh over your right. Fix your gaze at a point in front of you. Hook the top of your left foot behind your right calf. Balance for one breath. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back, toward your waist. Square your hips and chest to the front wall. Draw your belly in and up. Gaze at the tips of your thumbs. Breathe smoothly and evenly. Hold for up to one minute, focusing on your breath and keeping your gaze fixed and soft. Gently unwind your arms and legs and return to mountain pose. Repeat on the opposite side.
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Photo credit:
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven

If these poses worked for you then check out my bedtime yoga routine too. It helps curve the restlessness so your not anxious and you drift off to sleep in no time.

 

The Fear List

The Fear List

In 2018 I want to get more out of my comfort zone. I won’t learn new values if I just stay in my little bubble.

This list pin points the things I am afraid to do, say, or that make me very uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is what this post is all about! I need to grow; stop letting my anxiety take a hold of my life and dictate my choices.

The Fear List #lifestyleblogger #fear #inspire #anxiety #depression

Fear List:
Traveling alone
Eating a meal by myself
Reading in a coffee shop
Writing in a public place
Shopping alone (not including grocery stores, pharmacies, or convenient stores)

I’m terrified to travel alone, i always have been. I worry about things like “what if I get lost?”, “what if I get robbed?”, “what if i get hurt?”, “what if I get kidnapped?” (I think I’m watching too much ID Network). All of these what ifs ping around in my head and stop me from traveling alone.what if I had a great time??

I’m always thinking people are judging me. I don’t think I’m that important at all I just think they’re judging my outfit, hair, makeup of choice (too much or not enough). So for me to sit down anywhere to eat alone brings on a lot of anxiety. My brother said he eats alone all the time and loves it. When I see someone eating alone I aspire to do it too, to tell my anxiety to go play somewhere else.

I want to tackle my reading list this year, it’s growing by the day. I’d love to be able to sit down in a chair at Barnes & Noble to read a few chapters of a new book. I don’t really know why I have a hard time doing this, there are chairs all around so obviously they want you to sit and relax.

I’d love to break out my iPad or laptop at say Starbucks and write a few posts while enjoying the coffee aroma wafting through the air. I feel like those seats are reserved for writers, researchers, and freelancers so who am I to take their seat when they have deadlines to meet and I just have a blog post to write.

I can not shop alone for more than 45 minutes. It’s like my internal clock is like “ok that’s enough, get out of here!”, it’s so frustrating! I really believe this has a lot to do with my trust level. I don’t trust anyone i see in public, i don’t know them. I have no idea what they plan to do that day. I think this is because of all the bad things happening in the news lately.

As you see my anxiety plays a huge roll in my everyday life, it is always present. When it doesn’t show up immediately it does like to make an appearance before things are all said and done.

I’d like to come out of 2018 more confident than ever. I think to do so, I will have to take on challenges (things I see as a challenge anyway), get my hands dirty, and be moderately uncomfortable to make that happen.

Is there something your scared of that you want to depart with this year? I wish you the best of luck too!

5 Yoga Poses For Back Pain

5 Yoga Poses For Back Pain

Somedays are hard, psychically. You ache all over but the worst is your lower back. Your looking for anything that will dull or eliminate the pain.

I love yoga, with the right sequence of poses relief is achivable without taking all those medicines. I myself try to yoga my way out of my day. I have a morning, bedtime, stress relief, and a lower back pain routine. I love sharing my yoga experiences and poses that may help you too. If you suffer from lower back pain from an injury, desk job, or fatigued muscles give this routine a try.

Why muscles get sore?
When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it is believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.

Causes of lower back pain:
Sitting too long
Bone Spurs
Pinched Nerve
Lifting heavy objects
Muscle spasms

Yoga Poses:
Remember to breathe in deep through the nose while doing these poses for maximum relief.

Reclining hand to toe pose

image source

Benefits:
Relieves backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, flat feet, and infertility
How To:
1. Lie supine on the floor, legs strongly extended. If your head doesn’t rest comfortably on the floor, support it on a folded blanket. Exhale, bend the left knee, and draw the thigh into your torso. Hug the thigh to your belly. Press the front of the right thigh heavily to the floor, and push actively through the right heel.
2. Loop a strap around the arch of the left foot and hold the strap in both hands. Inhale and straighten the knee, pressing the left heel up toward the ceiling. Walk your hands up the strap until the elbows are fully extended. Broaden the shoulder blades across your back. Keeping the hands as high on the strap as possible, press the shoulder blades lightly into the floor. Widen the collarbones away from the sternum.
3. Extend up first through the back of the left heel, and once the back of the leg between the heel and sitting bone is fully lengthened, lift through the ball of the big toe. Begin with the raised leg perpendicular to the floor. Release the head of the thigh bone more deeply into the pelvis and, as you do, draw the foot a little closer to your head, increasing the stretch on the back of the leg.
4. You can stay here in this stretch, or turn the leg outward from the hip joint, so the knee and toes look to the left. Pinning the top of the right thigh to the floor, exhale and swing the left leg out to the left and hold it a few inches off the floor. Continue rotating the leg. As you feel the outer thigh move away from the left side of the torso, try to bring the left foot in line with the left shoulder joint. Inhale to bring the leg back to vertical. Lighten your grip on the strap as you do, so that you challenge the muscles of the inner thigh and hip to do the work.
5. Hold the vertical position of the leg anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, and the side position for an equal length of time. Once you have returned to vertical release the strap, hold the leg in place for 30 seconds or so, then slowly release as you exhale. Repeat on the right for the same length of time.

Bridge Pose:

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Benefits:
Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
How To:
1. Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
2. Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
3. Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
4. Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Downward Facing Dog

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Benefits:
Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
How To:
1. Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.
2. Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
3. Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
4. Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.
5. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes

Extended puppy pose

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Benefits:
Stretches the spine and shoulders
How To:
1. Come onto all fours. See that your shoulders are above your wrists and your hips are above your knees. Walk your hands forward a few inches and curl your toes under.
2. As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels. Keep your arms active; don’t let your elbows touch the ground.
3. Drop your forehead to the floor or to a blanket and let your neck relax. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. To feel a nice long stretch in your spine, press the hands down and stretch through the arms while pulling your hips back toward your heels.
4. Breathe into your back, feeling the spine lengthen in both directions. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then release your buttocks down onto your heels.

Cat pose

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image source

Benefits:

Stretches the back torso and neck
Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs
How To:
1. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
2. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
3. Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.

**I’m not a yoga instructor just a lover of yoga. Dont over do each pose and if you are feeling pain of any kind, please stop and contact your doctor if you wish to continue.**

 

Monthly Goals: January 2018

Monthly Goals: January 2018

I like a lot of people are terrible at keeping New Years resolutions. I hardly think about making a resolution until it’s almost New Years anyway.

I shall write them down, concentrate on them one by one then put them in my little (manifesting) box, wish them the best of luck while they make their way into manifestations, and hopefully meet them again sometime this year.

If you don’t believe in manifesting then so be it. However, I do. I joined a group of 39k who do as well. It’s a beautiful thing.

January

January Goals:

Practice gratitude journaling:
Gratitude journals have captured my attention in 2017. I haven’t started one because I get a little bit of anxiety trying to figure out what to put in it (yes, I know that defeats its purpose, hehe).

Read one book:
I think in 2017 I only read three books.. just three! It doesn’t make any sense to me either! I have a reading list that keeps getting longer by the day.

Keep bow practicing:
On my birthday (December 18th) I bought myself a pink Diamond (they are a girls best friend, right?) Bowtech bow. I will not use it for hunting as I do not have the heart to hurt animals (not saying you don’t care about their little furry being if you are a hunter. Ya gotta eat).

Schedule out February’s blog posts:
I really want to gain more attention to the blog. I’m starting to obsess over the numbers to the point my heart breaks a little when I have an off day. What do YOU as a reader want to read around here? I’d like to get so organized that I have a month a head scheduled out.

Walk at least 5 miles weekly (sprinkled with running) & track with Fitbit:
I was in the best shape of my life in 2015. I was eating great, running four times a week, I even ran my first half marathon! I was proud of myself in 2015, right now is a completely different tune. I’m 15 pounds heavier (lots of anxiety and depression met me in 2017. This year, it’s time to shed it!

Drink at least 70oz of water a day:
Why is it so easy to like 30 shots of tequila (Gatorade, Protein shake, anything of your choice really) but I can barely do 18 ounces of water daily. I have water in my coffee (bean juice) does that count for anything?

Complete two yoga sessions a week:
I love love love yoga! L.O.V.E-I.T!! When feeling anxious it helps calm me, it even helps me sleep  and stay that way until my alarm blazes through my welcoming dreams. Guided yoga is great (yes I found the yoga channel the satellite provides)! The voices are so calming and you can see the poses as they’re performed.

You go ahead and hulk smash those goals for the month! Show them who is boss while your beating them about the head and shoulders.

If you find you’ve become a little distracted- that’s not a problem. Stop, take a few deep breathes, continue to plow through them.

This is a new month of a new year; where anything is possible!

Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival

I love bright colors, lights, and adventures; so it’s no surprise how giddy I got once I heard the Chinese lantern festival was coming back to Cary this year for the spectacular lights & lanterns show. I missed the exhibit last year due to a head cold on my birthday.

I’m anxious so no lines

Gates opened at 6pm on Sunday evening, I’m an anxious person so I don’t like standing in line; I was thrilled after purchasing my ticket online to skip the line.

I didn’t know what exactly to expect as there wasn’t a lot of photos from years before, I guess not to give it away. I overheard a few people say it was way different this year than last year, with the added bonus of a live performance every 30 minutes.

I took at least 100 pictures in which I wasn’t pleased with the camera at first. The pictures came out blurry from picking up the lights and bright colors. I figured it out after about 15 minutes of a lot of tweaking and cursing (because that helps fix most things right?). I got it! So on I went..

I have thought and thought but I can’t really pick a favorite scene. The dragon was huge and sprayed water from its mouth too. It was the length of the pavilion, I sat on the steps and stared until my eyes got tired.

If your in the Raleigh/Cary (or surrounding) areas this would be a great way to enjoy the lights with the family, friends, or even alone.

Here are a few highlights from the exhibits, don’t you just love the lights along with the designs?? ( In order to cut down on page load time, I put them in thumbnail view. Click the images to view then better ).

Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers

Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers

The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends. That’s why it’s such a special time, right? Well, let’s be honest; that’s also why it’s such a difficult time. Stress rates spike, family altercations increase, and you somehow find yourself in tears after what should have been a lovely dinner.

Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers #stress #family #anxiety #together

Much as we love them, family can be difficult. Whether your family is the type to get into out-and-out arguments, or whether the stress is usually a result of subtle barbs and hurt feelings, we can all use a little extra help with stress management over the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you keep your cool:

Deep Breathing
It might seem really basic, but it’s a classic because it works. When we’re stressed, our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and forces us into a reactive state, where we might act in ways we regret later. It can even become a self-perpetuating cycle, where you become vigilant for any perceived threat and it just continues to feed the stress. Instead, cut off your stress reaction by reassuring your body that it’s not in physical danger. How? Give it oxygen. Regulated, relaxed oxygen. Whenever you find yourself reacting to the stress, start to measure four counts as you inhale, four as you exhale.

Communicate Boundaries
If setting boundaries feels like a mean-spirited thing to do, consider sociologist Brene Brown’s advice that the MOST compassionate people are those with clear boundaries. Setting clear boundaries with our loved ones allows you to stop stressing about how much you need to take before just snapping. It also lets you have more peaceful relationships because others know where you stand, instead of being surprised that you’re reacting so negatively to something they say. It’s especially great for those arguments that you keep having over and over again. This post has fantastic advice for setting and communicating boundaries with loved ones in a way that will avoid conflict instead of creating it.
Stress Management Techniques For Family Get-Togethers

Check Your Self-Talk
Usually we’re quite sensitive to things that our families say because there’s actually more behind every statement. We hate when our sister brags about how great her children are doing in school because we feel self-conscious about our own performance as a parent, or we react badly to our father’s advice because we feel he’s never been satisfied with us, even back when we played little league. Instead of reading into each comment, check your own self-talk. Write it down and follow each lead down to the extreme conclusion so that you can decide whether or not it’s logical. Then, when that harmful self-talk creeps in again, you can nip it in the bud.

Take a Walk
Did you know that walks outside–especially walks in green spaces–have a powerful effect on our cognition? It gets us outside of our own heads, puts our body chemistry into a healthier balance, and redirects self-deprecating thoughts. So include a nice walk around the neighborhood into your family get-together, whether it’s with a few other family members, or just by yourself. If you want some time alone, you can always say that you have to take a call and step outside.
Stress Management Techniques For Family Get-Togethers

Have an Exit Strategy
By hour 4 of family socializing, stresses and conflict can compound. Evenings that seem to go on and on can wear on us, and yet slipping away might not feel like an option if you have a mother who has perfected guilt-tactics (and let’s face it, all of our mothers know how to guilt us). So, go into the evening with a plan and an excuse to leave. Tell yourself you’re heading out at a certain hour, and a reason why. For example, you might have to get the kids to bed, you might need to get to sleep for an early morning appointment the next day, or you might even have to leave a daytime party before it gets full dark because you don’t want to drive icy roads at night when your vision is compromised. Let your mother try to argue with the safety excuse!

A Tiny Solution

A Tiny Solution

One thing about me is that I like close spaces, they make me feel safe. I was in a tornado when I was three years along (along with my mother & brother) that almost killed us.

Being three years old this shook me to my little core; I spent the night at my grandparents house for about 6 years after that dreadful night. I simply didn’t trust to be in the home I shared with my family. It was a brand new home but still on the same land the tornado hit. My little brain couldn’t comprehend that I would be safe that the tornado was just a fluke.

Looking back on things that tornado helped shape me into the person I am. I think that is where my anxiety started, and that be so? I was only three. I wouldn’t spend the night with anyone and my mom said at night I’d pace until my grandma picked me up.

What is weird though is I’m not scared of the dark, I love storms, rain is one of my favorite things ever, and I feel peaceful on rainy days.

I can’t explain how excited I was to see a tv show on HGtv that showcased these tiny houses. I thought they were so adorable! After binge watching the show for a few hours (don’t judge) I decided I will have a tiny house.

I think it would be a fun little place to live and I would feel comfortable, so let the savings begin!

I’ve got a design in mind but want it to be at least 800sq ft – not the 670sq ft that is pictured. I really love the design of the house with its levels and the lounge upstairs, Quin will love looking at the birds and other wildlife animals all day.

It’s a tiny solution, I love this tiny house plan! #tinyhouse #home #tinyhome #lifestyle

Nova Scotia tiny house plan