Embracing Change and Making Positive Choices

Some people can easily adapt to change while others may struggle a bit more. Some people are very willing to try new things while others prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Either way, change can be overwhelming and there is a level of uncertainty that comes with it. In life, things are always going to change. We can either look at this as a negative thing, or a positive thing. We can experience so many different  kinds of changes whether that is moving to a new city, going to college, or something on a smaller scale such as switching up your diet. Many people believe that in order for change to happen, they need to do something big and they need to do it quickly. There are so many small things that you can do that can lead to big and positive changes over time. Today, I wanted to share some small things that I have been doing that have had positive effects on me and my life. I hope that by me sharing this, you will be inspired to make some positive changes in your life.

Recently, I noticed that I was making subtle changes to my daily routine and this is not only making me feel happier, but it is making me feel healthier all around.  I am currently a junior in college and I just recently started a new semester. This is always a little stressful and overwhelming for me because it can take some time for me to get comfortable in a new routine. It was so nice to have some time to relax over the holidays, but now I am back to school and my schedule is not ideal. My days are pretty long and I have some pretty big gaps in between my classes.

I was nervous to start this semester because not only was I taking new classes with new people, but I was also about to start my first internship. I am the type of person who likes to plan things out and I enjoy routine. I wanted to sit down before the semester started to write out a schedule that included everything I wanted or had to do in a day. This schedule included school, school work, my internship, the gym, and time for my family and myself.  I had no idea how I was going to do it all in one day, but 4 weeks into the semester, I can (somewhat) confidently say, I am handling it. In this situation, I was somewhat forced into change. A new schedule meant I had to turn things around, so change was necessary.

First, I wanted to talk about how I have been able to get to the gym. When I first started my fitness journey, I was in high school. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my dad would pick me up from school and we would go to the gym together. Once I started college, I began going to the gym on my own and I went earlier in the day (typically I would leave for the gym around 1pm). Luckily, my school schedule allowed me to go at this time most days, so this is the schedule I stuck to for quite some time.

As some of you may know, I felt like I had lost my motivation last year quite a bit and I knew I needed a change. Now, mostly due to my school schedule, I have to work out in the mornings. This is something that I was not used to because I was never one to work out in the mornings. Although I am a morning person, the idea of waking up and going straight to the gym just sounded exhausting. I think this change was exactly what I needed. I have been going to the gym in the mornings around 9am and I have been feeling really good about it. After my workouts, I always feel more awake, more energized, and happier. I am now able to get to the gym early, and then I can focus on school and my internship for the rest of the day. There are only a couple minor issues with going to the gym in the morning. One issue is that I start to feel tired and sluggish after lunch time, so I need to find a way to keep my energy up in a healthy way (if you have any tips or advice on how to get over this, please leave a comment below). And the other issue is that I feel like my workouts are a bit rushed because I have to get to school right after the gym. I could wake up a bit earlier, but it is difficult!

On to a similar topic: healthy eating. Along with losing my motivation for the gym last year, I was also falling off track with my healthy eating. Well, I knew this year I wanted to do better, so I have made small changes. Since my days at school are pretty long, I always pack a lunch. I rarely eat fast food, and I am usually comfortable making my own food at home. When I pack my lunches, I make sure to bring healthy options. Even if there are sweets at home, I try to avoid them and save them for later when I get back home. I’ll typically pack something like grapes, an apple, turkey, crackers, nuts, and yogurt. This is usually enough to get me through the school day. When I get home, I eat my dinner, and then I’ll let myself enjoy something sweet. I have a major sweet tooth so avoiding sugar is incredibly challenging for me. I allow myself to enjoy my cravings however I don’t go crazy. Moderation is always key.

I think that many of you can relate when I say that technology is absolutely addicting, and it can negatively affect us in more ways than one. I was never the type of person to allow people on social media to bother me and I think this is because I know who I am and I understand that people like to showcase their highlight reels. What I do have a problem with is knowing when to put my phone down. I struggle with this mostly at night. I know I do not get enough sleep and it is something I am working on. I decided to limit my time on technology at night. After I finish my school work and take a shower, I don’t bring my ipad downstairs with me. If I do, I know I will end up on Netflix and I will binge watch my favorite TV shows all night long. Now, I’ll just scroll through Instagram and eat a small snack before I head off to bed. I try to get to sleep by 12:30 instead of 1 or 2am like I used to. Since I have to be up early for class most days, I need to sleep even more now.

These are just a few small things that I decided to change in my daily routine. I knew that if I didn’t make these changes and stick to them, I would feel much more tired and I simply wouldn’t feel healthy. Certain situations in life are going to push you to make some changes. While my new schedule is what gave me the push I needed to make these changes, I also make choices in my day to day life to stick to my goals. I don’t HAVE to go to the gym, eat healthy or put my phone down. I CHOOSE to wake up and go to the gym (let me tell you, it is so tempting to sleep in on those days), I CHOOSE to pack healthy and delicious foods for lunch because I know I am going to enjoy it and it is going to make me feel good. I CHOOSE to limit the amount of time I use technology. We make choices every single day; make sure to make positive ones.

Thank you so much for reading. I know change can be difficult. Trust me, I don’t always like it and I had a couple of breakdowns when trying to figure out how I would do all of this. But let me just say, sometimes change will push you to make better decisions and it will even push you to better yourself. If you get a little off track, it is ok. Take your time, make small changes, and you CAN change your life in such positive ways. It all starts with you; your attitude, and your choices.

The Power of Your Mind

What you tell yourself, you will start to believe. This is something that I have come to realize in recent years. When you start pointing out your flaws and bringing up every little mistake that you make, you’re constantly bringing yourself down. As I have gotten older, I have realized the importance of self-love and self-care. I may not know everything, but one thing I know for sure is that speaking negatively about yourself is absolutely going to lower your self confidence. I know this because I have done it to myself too many times to count, and if I am being honest, I still do it from time to time. While I do think that it is important to recognize our faults (because NO ONE is perfect), we have to work on telling ourselves why we are great, too. It is so much easier to point out our flaws than to recognize the things we love about ourselves, but we have to try.

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. We see many people talking about fitness and how they take care of their bodies, which is important, but what we don’t often see is people talking about how they take care of their minds. I recently told a friend of mine that I believe we have two voices in our heads. We have a friend, and we have an enemy. The enemy is loud, rude, and self deprecating. The friend is kind, loving, and caring. You are both of these people, and you get to decide who to listen to every day. It’s sort of like when you’re watching a cartoon, and there’s an angel and a devil on the characters shoulders. I promise you, if you listen close enough, the friend is whispering to you. Block out the negative, and focus on the positive.

I wanted to share some of the ways that I have been keeping my mind a comforting and kind place to be, and working toward confidence and self-love. (I don’t do these things EVERY DAY, but I definitely should, and so should you! Some of them you could even do throughout the day.) I like to start my days off with positivity. I am a morning person, and I am often in a pretty good mood when I wake up, so I keep the positivity going by telling myself that it is going to be a great day, and that “I’ve got this!” I also like to compliment myself on whatever I am feeling good about on that particular day. It may feel a bit silly to look in the mirror and compliment yourself, but it is worth it! On days when I planned to get to the gym but I am just not feeling it, I tell myself, “you’re going to kill this workout,” and when I walk out of the gym I realize how powerful our thoughts really are. This is not always an easy thing to do though, because I am not ALWAYS in a great mood or feeling my best. Sometimes you’re running late, or you forgot your wallet at home, or you’re going through some kind of internal dilemma. Whatever it is, this can negatively affect your mood and your entire day. It is 100% OK to have bad days. Let yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, but once that day is over, work on doing better tomorrow.

Recently I started school again, and I have to say that I am feeling a bit stressed and tired, and this negatively affects my mood. Obviously getting enough sleep is something that you should prioritize, but it is something I am still working on. One way I like to stay positive and happy during the stressful school year is something I decided to do recently. Every morning, my best friend and I started to tell each other the positives about our days. For example, one day my positive may be that I am wearing a new outfit that I feel great in, or it’s a sunny and gorgeous day out, or my class was canceled (no one knows the joy of getting that email like college students do). By doing this, you are stating the things are already great about your day before it really even begins. Another small thing that I wanted to mention is that sometimes in the mornings I will get out of bed and as I get ready for the day, I will play some of my current favorite songs to boost my mood. (On days when I have to wake up a little too early or I am running late, I will most likely not do this, but I have noticed that I feel much happier and more awake when I do!)

Something that I have been trying to do every morning is stretching. Stretching in the morning will wake up and calm your body and your mind. If you just take a few minutes to do this every day, it can benefit you in more ways than you think! I also love to eat right when I wake up, so making a delicious and healthy breakfast is important to me. If you are not a breakfast person, try to eat something small but still healthy and filling.

You have the power to choose how your day goes. You get to decide what you say and sometimes how you feel. You don’t always have control over the things that happen to you, but choosing how you react to it is important. If you choose to be bitter and angry at the world every day, you may not get to experience the joy that you could feel if you simply decided to be happy or positive. I want to challenge those of you reading this to start your days with kindness to yourself. There is always something good in every single day, so look for the positive and give yourself one compliment. Putting yourself in this mindset can really make your day so much better. I know the power of my mind, and I know what to do to let myself have a good day. The hard part is sticking to it, but once you do, you’ll want to do it every day.  One small, positive thought can completely turn your day around and there are so many simple ways to take care of yourself that don’t cost a thing. I have been working on doing these things daily, and I have noticed great changes in my mood and my overall mindset.

I just wanted to share this quick message to remind you to love yourself and to always be kind to yourself. Just do the best that you can! Thank you for reading, and I would appreciate it if you shared this post with your friends and remind those that you love to take care of themselves as well! Until next time!

I am not sure who originally said this quote, but it is something that I think about often, and I wanted to share it with you:

“You live most of your life inside of your head. Make sure it’s a nice place to be.”