find your calm

Grounding myself has been an uphill battle lately. It's like the chaos of my world can't be calmed; I have this gigantic cloud of things to do and things to worry about circling me. For a while, I'd given up trying to fight it, but I've recently started listening to what actually makes me feel good. 

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Progress is Progress

You'd be surprised at what completing tasks can do for your wellbeing. I was the first to guess that avoiding reality with tv and books would do the trick, but getting rid of some of the mental clutter is even better. It doesn't have to be anything big. When I've had a particularly rough day at work, or when I find myself having a panic attack, small and mindless tasks work wonders. I'll give myself a manicure and/or shave my legs. If I'm pressed for time or the former don't apply, I clean up a room, make the bed, or organize something. I know those seem insignificant, but they don't require laser-sharp focus and they're time consuming enough to allow a few (much-needed) deep breaths. At the end, you'll have something to show for it. Anything helps, and if you can only bring yourself to do so much, make it count. You'll come home to a cleaner space or not have to worry about chipped nails "on top of everything else." 

Find your zen. What can you do to maximize your positivity? What makes you feel most like you? We're slowly decorating our apartment, so finding something that really ~goes~ with our space feeds my positive energy. Every time I add something new, I'm able to enjoy our space that much more when home. Over time, the apartment we're coming home to is really reflecting who we are. I also recently cut my hair off because I just wasn't feeling the old 'do anymore. I haven't looked back since cutting it off. When you really take the time to listen to what you need, there is no hard thought involved. You just know. I woke up one day and said, "this isn't me anymore." A few hours later, I was in a salon saying, "shorter, please."

Treat Yo' Self

Yes, one of the many life lessons brought to us by Parks & Rec. Get yourself something unnecessary-- anything you know will make you happy. That thing you've always really wanted, but could never justify. Try this for justification: it'll make you smile. Just do so within your means. I was talking to my dad one day about how he'd spent an entire week's paycheck in one outing. I was confused because it went against everything I'd been taught about saving for a rainy day. His response was: "I work hard. You see me leave at 5am and come home at 7pm. What's the point of working so hard? I'm gonna do something for me every now and then because I earned it." That day he went out and bought name-brand groceries and then stopped off at Barnes & Noble for a craftsman magazine. Basically, my dad taught me that it was okay to treat myself. It might not make your chaos shrink, but it'll give you a reason to smile.

One of my favorite perfume lines, these perk me up right away. They never leave my side.

On a similar note, do something for yourself. It's recently been rainy and cold-- the exact environment I thrive in. All I wanted to do instead of spend every waking hour at work was to enjoy it. My boyfriend and I went out and had a mini coffee date. Technically, yes, we bought the coffee. But that wasn't the point. The point was spending that hour the way I wanted to spend it.

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There's a certain empowerment in looking back and realizing that you. are. getting. shit. done. You are working through the rough days, getting closer to the end. Making the most of this time is about all you can do, and although it's not pleasant, it also doesn't have to be a complete loss. Let yourself enjoy what you can, find a reason to smile, do what you can. You're doing your best.

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