blogtober, blogtober, Self Growth

Why You Should Own a Gratitude Journal

Having a sense of gratitude for life is truly transformable. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I kept a gratitude journal for an entire year & wrote in it almost daily. And not to be dramatic, but it seriously changed my life. If you are currently in a place in your life where you’re feeling kind of stuck or constantly seeing the worst in most situations, maybe you need to head to the store & pick up a journal & pen & start writing down what you are grateful for.

You May Also Like: I Wrote In a Gratitude Journal For Entire Year

Here’s why you should own a gratitude journal…

Reflection Helps You Grow As An Individual

I personally love spending time with myself & my thoughts & just reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m going & where I want to be. But sometimes when you are keeping those thoughts floating in your mind, your thoughts can become blurred & jumbled together. I find when I take the time to write my thoughts & feelings down on paper, those ideas become more clarified. Have you ever had those moments where you are so overwhelmed that you can’t get your mind off said situation? Maybe if you sat & wrote them down on paper, you’ll release them from your prisoned mind & perhaps your vision or goals will become more clear.

When You Focus on The Good The Good Gets Better

Like magic almost, if you focus on the positives more so than the negative, you will find yourself more at bliss. The reason I started a gratitude journal in the first place is because I was tangled up with negative situations too much, I was becoming a Debbie Downer & I wanted to get back to the person I was before I was jaded by life. Believe me, I know life’s obstacles & tribulations can change even the most bubbly of people, but I was adamant NOT to give in. And writing down even the most smallest forms of gratitude helped me get through those ruts.

Your Mental Health Benefits As Well

Not only will your mindset shift, but your mental health will benefit as well. When you become more thankful, you release the tensions & frustrations & in turn, lower stress levels, anxiety, improve your sleep & even your interpersonal relationships. No longer will you be tossing & turning about the what ifs of life. You will sleep soundly knowing you have much to be grateful for. I think when you become more aware of your emotions & what goes on in your mind, you can better articulate situations & relationships. They say communication is key & you must not forget to communicate with yourself most of all.

You Become Happier

When you show gratitude, this means you are acknowledging the good things happening in your life. By focusing on the good, you become less cynical & start having faith in your life again. Having that sheer optimism, strong relationships & connections as well as an urge for more experiences results in a much happier existence.

You Gain Self Worth

When you start taking control of your mind, your perspectives & mood…you are no longer accepting or needing validation from other people. You know yourself better than anyone else. Quit holding those judgements, falsehoods, or even critical statements that may have some truth to them. How are we supposed to better ourselves & learn from mistakes when we are bombarded by those situations forever? By writing your blessings, you automatically down the road to success & improvement. No longer see yourself as a lost cause.

Would you consider keeping a gratitude journal after reading this list of benefits?

have you read yesterday’s blogtober post? my current fall obsessions

-B

blogtober, Lifestyle

My Fall Self Care Routine

all links are NOT affiliated / sponsored

Happy Sunday! On this day of Blogtober, I wanted to slow things down & share with you my go to self care routine for fall. I tend to base my rest & relaxation on the seasonal vibes. In no means am I restricting this for only Sundays of course. Whatever day you feel the need for a pick me up, return to this blog post for some inspiration.

When I think about fall, I picture cozying up on the couch in a comfy sweater & fuzzy socks, warm beverage in hand gazing out at the falling leaves from my window. Honestly, it’s such a vibe especially for down days such as these.

Dress Cozy & Comfy

Most fall days, I lean towards oversized sweaters & leggings – but on self care days this attire is a fall wardrobe essential. Basically, I’m looking to be as comfortable & warm as possible & this pairing does just that. I’m the type of person who gets cold when the temperature drops to 60 degrees. Maybe my iron levels need checked. LOL So, bundle me up in blankets & pillows as well because I’m ready to be a toasty burrito.

You Might Also Like: 10 Fall Clothing Essentials You Need In Your Wardrobe

Set The Mood

Most self care days I allow myself breaks from all forms of work. But there are the occasional moments where I find myself still typing away or doing some behind the scenes work for the blog. I guess you could say it’s the price we make for fueling said passions. And honestly, I find these moments to be rather relaxing when I set the mood right. In the fall especially, I will light a few candles (preferably ones of the pumpkin spice or cinnamon aroma), dim the lights & just find a chair to melt into for a few hours. Occasionally, I’ll play some background tunes or have a Youtube video playing in the distance – usual videos revolving around true crime or ghost stories this time of year. Another favorite of mine is putting the fireplace video from youtube on my tv (because we don’t have a real fireplace).

You Might Also Like: Why Bloggers Need Their Own Office Space

Give My Skin Some Extra TLC

In the fall / winter, my skin becomes super dry. I really try to prioritize moisturizers & face masks more often. In general, my skin care routine is simple. The less products the better for my sensitive skin. But I really love an occasional peel off or clay mask. Some favorites include the Origins Retexturizing Mask & the Fresh Pore Purifying Face Mask . But on a regular basis, I stick to a cleanser like the Cera Ve Facial Cleanser & warm water.

Cook a Tasty & Fulfilling Meal

As soon as the temperature drops just a tad, I’ll quickly start to crave those hardy, carb filled meals. I’m trying to make relatively healthier choices (cue wedding prep), but we aren’t perfect all the time & news flash…it’s ok to crave the pasta! So, on self care days especially, I’ll usually cook my favorite & easy meal which is Fettuccini Alfredo. On the side I’ll toast up some bread, dip it in olive oil & sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of everything. To me, this is heaven. Add a glass of orange tinted wine & you’ve got yourself a spooky season type of evening!

Take a Scenic Stroll

I love the beautiful scenery fall season has to offer. The brightly colored leaves of red & orange & the way they sway off the trees into the wind makes me love the fact I live in an area with multiple seasons. Getting fresh air & being in nature is another way I relax after a long day. Even if it’s a quick walk around the neighborhood, I take advantage of the outdoors regularly. I hope to also schedule a few weekend adventures with the fiance – preferably to the mountains this season. There’s just something about staying in a cabin by the mountains / lake with the fall scenery that would make the perfect relaxing fall getaway we desperately deserve.

You Might Also Like: The One Where She Gets Married: I’m Engaged

Watch a Spooky Flick

The entire month of October, I try & soak up as much spooky material as possible. I love ending the day with a movie or tv show of this genre. It puts me in the best mood. Some favorites include Hocus Pocus, most true crime documentaries, paranormal mini series or even Halloween / ghost story youtube videos. Look out for an entire list of Halloween themed favorites coming up this Blogtober.

You Might Also Like: What To Watch This October

Get Lost in An Eerie Book or Story

I definitely read a lot more in the fall or winter time. I think it’s because we are inside far more often. Of course you can choose any genre of book you’d like to get lost in but I prefer thrillers, mysteries & ghost stories during this season. I recently purchased a reading chair for my office & it’s the perfect spot to cuddle up in a blanket & novel especially during those more blustery of fall days. It’s important to create spaces in your home that invite relaxation.

Be sure to plan out a few self care days this month, especially if you are a fellow blogger participating in Blogtober like myself. I hope this post gave you a bit of inspiration. What’s your favorite self care activity during fall?

Have you read yesterday’s blogtober post?

Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

-B

Minimalism, Minimalism, organization

Mental Minimalism & How We Can Declutter Our Mind?

When we go through our homes & bag up unwanted items & send them on their ways to new homes, it feels like a weight has been lifted, doesn’t it? When we scroll through our news feeds & become pickier of who we follow, it feels inspiring & uplifting, wouldn’t you say? I’ve discovered doing all those things doesn’t seem like enough though. I wish we could donate our emotions & thoughts in the same exact way we donate a few old pieces of clothing. Why does the decluttering process have to take an immense halt when it comes to our minds & mental wellbeing? I think it’s something we seriously need to consider.

Our belongings fill voids of emotions we don’t want to acknowledge.

The decluttering process can become an endless cycle of bringing things in & sending things off. There were times where I felt like I wasn’t making headway with this less is more lifestyle. I’d get rid of bags of items & a few months later find myself with closets filled to the brim once more. There is a psychological component to consumption of all forms. We crave things because we know it makes us feel better. But in reality the things we tend to crave are the unhealthy things like scrolling through social media too much or buying tons of clothing or makeup or even food. It fulfills us in the moment but gradually that high goes away. To maintain a better wellbeing, we need to crave options that fuel us in a healthier way & don’t just give us that short lived satisfaction.

What we should focus on:

getting outside more often & even ground ourselves in nature

consume less media

declutter our homes

meditate

find activities that don’t cost a dime

Being One With Nature

During quarantine I learned the importance of getting outside. Even just opening the blinds & letting the sunlight peak through was enough. Taking walks in the neighborhood, breathing in that fresh air & just admiring the surroundings helped with my cabin fever & my overall mental health. In reality, when we are feeling closed in or not ourselves, we need to resort back to our roots of taking advantage of the Earth around us. As I was researching about this topic, I learned the concept of grounding & how we need to remember to use our senses & way of touch. Whether it’s doing some gardening or digging your feet in the sand at the beach, these actions actually benefit our mental wellbeing. I can attest to this because when we were renovating our backyard, I felt so alive. Although weeding was a lot of work & I got bit by a few bugs along the way, being outside in nature & away from technology gave me a sense of clarity.

Consume Less Media

As much as I love listening to podcasts & music during my walks, I made the habit to do these activities in silence. I think we drown our minds with sounds & voices so often we become restless when it’s silent. Even when I sleep, I’ve learned to rely on a sound machine. It’s something I’m trying to break from because in reality silence is peaceful. When I was pulling weeds in the backyard, I left my phone inside & just worked with merely the sound of the trees moving in the wind & the occasional chirp of a bird. I forgot how meditative that is. And I think we use these forms of media like binge watching a tv series or listening to music to drown out the thoughts we don’t want to acknowledge. Distractions can be healthy but if done too often, we are simply running from the problem instead of facing it.

Declutter Our Homes

This is something we know all too well. If we feel overwhelmed, we can get rid of a few things & clean our homes for some mental clarity. Although this isn’t the end all be all to feeling fulfilled, it’s still an avid step in mental minimalism. When our spaces are clear, so are our minds. On a seasonal basis, I go through our home, my social media & even personal relationships & see what I need to change. To get that boost in the right direction, sometimes it means to clean out a closet or organize the laundry room. It may seem insidental at first, but it actually trains our minds to have this less is more mindset.

You May Also Like: Messy To Minimal Series: Living Room | Kitchen | Bathroom| Closet

Meditate

Slowing down & just focusing on your breath is something so easy but also something we tend to forget. Lately, I’ve been feeling so busy & the other day I just sat in my favorite chair in my living room put on a relaxing youtube video [ shoutout to all my ASMR fans] & just meditated. I didn’t even close my eyes. I just stared into space & just completely let myself turn off my overthinking mind & just be one with this video. If someone walked in & saw me doing this they would probably think I was insane but it seriously relaxes me & sometimes even puts me to sleep. We need to learn how to balance our thoughts. We can’t let them eat away at us & cause headaches or worry. Telling yourself, “I’m setting those thoughts & emotions on the shelf at the moment & I’ll get back to them later” is the healthiest thing you can possibly do.

Find Free Activities

This might seem like an impossible task. But just like we should celebrate those small wins, we also must enjoy the simple things in life. I think we all can relate to the fact the pandemic caused us to see life with a different perspective. Some of my favorite moments are having a few people over the house & just having good & genuine conversations. Times we are getting to know one another on deeper levels is so priceless. Taking walks outside & admiring the views is something free we take for granted. I find those intricate plans & big events seem fun in the moment & are things I still enjoy, but those spontaneous times where no thought is given are ones I hold more dear. And on days I wake up with dread or sadness, I try to remember those precious & simple times. I try to find small ways I can make my day better. It doesn’t take much to maintain a sense of happiness. I think we place too much expectations where we end up feeling disappointed or let down. But if we focus on the big picture of why we are all here, I think our mental wellbeing would thank us for that.

You Might Also Like: 10 Ways To Live a Stress Free Life

Minimalism is far more than getting rid of a few old belongings. To get to the core of the issue, we must look inward & take care of our mental wellbeing. We must not let our minds be filled with clutter & useless information. We must not let people’s opinions or projections flood our minds & cause pointless worry. As someone who struggles with anxiety & stress, learning about mental minimalism & decluttering my mind has been the best coping mechanism. So, you CAN donate & clean up your thoughts & perspectives just as easily as any other form of clutter. It’s probably the most crucial one of all.

B