The Passage of Time

It hit me the other day…I was pulling into a parking space, just getting home from work. We had gotten a 10″ snowstorm the weekend before and as much as I love snow, finding enough parking after a storm can be quite difficult. I remember shortly after the storm, the snow was piled up all over the roads. As beautiful as it is, it made parking a little tricky for about a week. I remember coming home everyday trying to maneuver my car into a space. I couldn’t wait for the sun to melt some of it away. We had a really warm day the other day, it reached over 60 degrees and the remaining snow had melted away and that’s when it hit me…

A brief moment of sadness rushed over me as I pulled so easily into my parking space. I know this may sound crazy, but this small routine moment made me reach a large realization. I have heard this time and time again, but have always found it difficult to do…that is to live in the moment. As life unfolds, I tend to just go through the motions, or look to the future, sometimes dwell on the past, but hardly ever live for today and in the moment. There can be so much that we are missing when we are not fully paying attention to our present moment. Good or bad, as hard as it is, if we are constantly stuck in the past, or focused on the future, we are missing the here and now.

When we practice living for today, so many opportunities can flow to us, we are more open and focused on our surroundings, our energy and minds are set in the present moment. Easily parking my car, such a simple event, was what I needed to really push myself to try to live in the moment. I was so busy wanting the snow to melt so that I could park my car with ease, that when the snow did finally all melt away I missed it because I did not fully enjoy it while it was there.

Time cannot be taken back, if we focus on today, we can start getting the most out of life. This will definitely not be an easy habit to change, but I am appreciative of my own mini wake-up call. Enjoy each day and each moment, for time keeps pressing on and is soon to become just a memory.

Decoding the Anxious Mind – Tips to Relieve Anxiety

Most of us feel some sort of anxiety in our lives during specific life situations like a new job, moving to a new house, having an argument with a loved one, giving a presentation, etc., however there are individuals like myself that struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. This is the more extreme form, not your typical anxiety here and there. In this blog I will be talking about my personal experience with anxiety and also tips and tricks that I have found to be very helpful along the way.

I have dealt with anxiety since I was a young child. Things often worried and scared me without any particular reason. I remember being so tense about things and I couldn’t relax enough to be a wild and free kid like many children are. I of course had a ton of fun in my childhood and have many great memories that I will never forget, by this I mean I was an overly-cautious child and that hasn’t changed much to this day! As I grew into my teen years, my anxiety became more apparent. I was extremely shy, I hardly spoke to anyone. My hands would sweat and I was afraid of what others thought of me. I was so shy and nervous that it prevented me from even knowing what to say to other people, I had a lot of trouble keeping a conversation going with anyone outside of my family. I believe that anxiety and shyness are in most cases part of being a teenager, however my anxiety was extreme and impacted many areas of my life. Now, as an adult I still suffer from anxiety, but I have made a lot of improvements by submerging myself into situations and forcing interactions with others until they became natural. This took years and years for me to be able to do, but now good luck getting me to stop talking!

I am reminded of my anxiety on a daily basis with varying degrees depending on what’s going on in my life. I have experienced those dreaded panic attacks, moments where you literally cannot get your mind from snowballing from one idea or fear to the next, and times where you feel like you are literally going insane and losing control. I have thankfully found ways to manage and lessen my anxiety and I am happy to share them with you! In some cases, the tips below will not suffice, there are cases where individuals should seek a professional to help them develop a deeper understanding of where the root of their anxiety might be coming from. Here is a list of tips that have helped me:

  1. Be out in nature – it’s so peaceful and relaxing and makes you realize that we are a small part of something so much greater
  2. Go for a walk – the physical aspect is very good at calming anxiety, being exposed to nature is an added bonus if you walk outside
  3. Take a hot shower or bath – heat is so soothing and relaxing and so is the sound of water!
  4. Write or journal – express and relieve emotions. I love to write and blog
  5. Have a hobby and a focus – this keeps your mind busy, an idle mind is not a good thing, there’s too much thinking. A hobby gives you focus and hope as well as something to look forward to, it’s a nice distraction
  6. Talk with like-minded people – this can help you realize that you aren’t alone and you aren’t as different as you feel from society. I know a lot of times I literally have anxiety about having anxiety, so just to know that there are others that have similar fears or experiences, makes me not feel so alienated

I truly hope that you have found these useful!

The Magic that Happens Just by Being You

Be yourself…that sounds easy right? After all, we are living everyday as ourselves, or are we? I am sure that a lot of us can think of a time or times in our life where we didn’t stay true to ourselves whether it be due to stigmas in society, peer pressure, fear, whatever it may be, it prevented us from being our authentic self. I believe that for many of us, we don’t realize how often we “stray” from ourselves. For example, we could hold back on saying something in a meeting, limit sharing our thoughts, feelings, and opinions with friends and family, or not sticking up for what we believe in.

It seems as though many of us have this innate fear of being seen as different, being judged, fear of trusting and opening up, fear of failure, not being loved, so many other reasons that prevent us from being our true selves. One factor that I have noticed especially in myself is that once I let go of my fears, the world opens up to me. This of course, is not always easy to do, but when we start to love ourselves, boost ourselves the way we so easily boost others, say what we feel, and ask questions, that’s when the magic happens!

photo of three women lifting there hands

We can learn to be ourselves by analyzing the way that we approach people and situations that happen to us in life. We can pay more attention to our interactions with family, friends, coworkers, others in general. Are we saying what’s on our mind and in our hearts? Are we asking questions when we are worried about something instead of believing that we already know the answer? Do we stick up for what we believe in? Do we push ourselves to do the best that we can in life? We can be conscious of the moments and situations where fear takes over and use them as opportunities to slowly start putting ourselves out there. Overtime, this can become second nature.

As with a lot of aspects of life, we cannot control what others do and say, only how we handle ourselves in these circumstances. There will be people that judge and form opinions about us, but I personally have felt that the freedom that comes from being your true self far outweighs any backlash or fears. When you allow yourself to be open, vulnerable, fearless, you open up so many windows of opportunity in the areas of life and personal growth. I have found that living my authentic self has decreased my worry and anxiety and has let me grow and develop as an individual. Remember, you are amazing and beautiful just as you are…let it shine!!

man standing beside cliff