Grateful for 2019

Yesterday’s post looked at some self-reflection questions for 2020, today we look at some gratitude prompts for 2019. Taking time to jot down our answers reminds us that even in our challenges of the year, we have found moments to be grateful for:

  • A memory I am grateful for:
  • A person in my life this past year who made a difference to me:
  • A change in the past year that I am grateful for:
  • A strength of mine that I am thankful for:
  • Something that comforted me in the past year:
  • Something that I learned about myself in the past year (to which I am grateful):
  • A challenge that I was grateful for:
  • A memory in nature that I am thankful for:
  • A memory of a trip I took:
  • Something new I tried this past year:
  • A decision I made in the past year I was thankful for:
  • A memory of something that I felt in my soul:

When moving into the promise of 2020, we can look back and thank the universe for 2019; paving way to a new year with acceptance and gratitude. 🙂

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Self-Reflection Goals for 2020

Coming upon the turn into a new year, we often begin thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. This post is similar, but instead are listed a series of simple statements that we can use as smaller stepping stones to bigger goals:

  • A book I’d like to read:
  • A movie or TV series I would like to re-watch:
  • A self-care activity I would like to increase:
  • A new food I would like to try:
  • A new place I would like to visit:
  • A creative activity I would like to try:
  • A healthy habit I would like to increase:
  • A way for me to strengthen connections with those I care about:

Curiousity is one of the ways that we allow movement and growth. Answering these types of questions (or creating some of your own), can help us to achieve a sense of accomplishment while working towards the bigger goal of creating balance in our lives.

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Great Tips for Falling Asleep

In a recent article entitled “5 Tips to Calm a Restless Mind Before Going to Sleep” by Jade Wu and featured on Psychology Today, Wu features some tips for falling asleep that are creative and can use our imagination to help guide our minds into feeling calmer and more settled. Two that I especially found compelling (quoted):

  • Transfer lingering thoughts from your brain to paper. “Your brain is juggling thoughts and working hard to keep them spinning because—goodness forbid—you might forget to worry about something important. I like to use the download technique right before bedtime to catch everything that’s still nagging at my mind. Sometimes, if there are well-formed thoughts worth exploring, I write them down in my journal.”
  • Walk yourself through a scene. “Our brains are language machines, designed to be very good at telling stories using words. And all of our thoughts are just stories that our brains tell in order to help us make sense of the world. When you talk yourself through a scene in your mind, it’s much easier to slow down and control the pace. You can take your time to walk from room to room in an imagined house, or from tree to tree through a memory of your favorite park. Try to fully get into the scene and use all five senses. What do the leaves on the trees look like? Is it a windy day or a still and sunny one? What do you smell? Do you hear children playing or birds chirping? Take a look at the flowers on the ground—what color are they? How do they feel between your fingers? By doing this, you’re taking up room in your mind that your brain would otherwise dedicate to racing thoughts.”

Doing these types of exercises when our minds our restless at bedtime can help to not only take the pressure off of falling asleep. Not only are they great distraction techniques, they can also use our imagination to better strengthen our ability to calm ourselves, bringing body and mind more in sync.

To read the full article (she had some other great tips too!): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-savvy-psychologist/201912/5-tips-calm-restless-mind-going-sleep

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A Quote About Boundaries

A lovely reminder about the importance of boundaries, set in an effort of self-love:

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries.

Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how to use it.

You teach people how to treat you by deciding

what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

I often remark to people that “sometimes we need to teach people how to treat us.” This begins and ends with boundaries, both with ourselves (it is okay to say no) and to others (when you let them know how you feel about a behaviour or choice they are making in regards to the relationship.) The need for boundaries comes out of an inner desire to feel appreciated and respected – that process will work best when we give it to ourselves first. 🙂

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Simple Yet Difficult Statements and Why We Need to Use Them

Why is communicating so difficult? We tend to feel very nervous when we know a conversation with a loved one is necessary; defaulting to avoidance and convincing ourselves that this issue at work or home is not important or will go away. Sometimes it is that we can’t say sorry, or we hesitate in telling others that we love them.

Statements that are simple, yet effective at strengthening relationships include:

  • “I’m sorry.”
  • “I love you.”
  • “Can we talk?”
  • “Thank you.”
  • “You were right.”
  • “I need…….”

Perhaps we weren’t taught to use those statements growing up and now they feel foreign, perhaps we are in a relationship that isn’t safe for us to use these statements (see yesterday’s post!), perhaps we hesitate to use them due to our own indifference to the relationship. Despite the reason, the root cause it seems, lies in our fear of vulnerability and susceptibility to rejection. Using these statements requires humility, and an inner sense that even if they are not responded to, we are strong enough to say them.

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Oprah and Dr. Phil Talk About Relationships

In a recent Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations podcast episode, she sits down with Dr. Phil to talk about his book, “Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World.” Ultimately, it was an episode about how there are some relationships in our lives that are simply not healthy for us. Between Oprah and Dr. Phil, we are hear some common-sense, yet important, advice – (paraphrased):

  • We tend to give people the benefit of the doubt – after we become invested in the relationship, we are hesitant to give it up, even though we know we are being taken advantage of.
  • We often love with the idea of who we wish that person to be – we fill in the gaps to make them wonderful in between.
  • We often want someone to be better than they are, and we will work harder to try and create it. In the process, we often end up de-valuing ourselves.
  • Someone’s unhealthy or toxic nature has nothing to do with you; it may feel like it does, but it is the way they function in relationship.
  • “The only thing worse than being in a bad relationship for a year, is being in a bad relationship for a year and one day.” – Dr. Phil
  • You don’t owe anyone access to your life if they are mistreating you – this includes family.
  • We have to believe in ourselves; listen to our instincts and heed the red flags.
  • “When people show you who they are believe them.” – Oprah

Listening to the episode is an affirming way to allow ourselves to let go of the illusion that an unhealthy relationship can, or will be any different.  It allows us to set boundaries, take our space, or end a relationship that no longer values who we are.

To listen to the full podcast: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/own/oprahs-supersoul-conversations/e/65771027

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Merry Christmas

                                                  From

my family

to yours, I wish you peace

 on this day. May you feel blessed;

may you have moments of joy, may you feel

content and full. May you feel the magic of Christmas.

May you find comfort and warmth in your family and friends.

May you feel love.

Kris, xo

Photo credit: http://Photo by Hide Obara on Unsplash

 

Let’s Not Underestimate the Power of Dancing

When is the last time you went dancing? As we age and mature (and tend to enjoy a quiet evening at home over pumping it up at the clubs), we often don’t have the opportunity to dance.

Last Friday evening, Kurt and I attended a lovely Christmas wedding. With the ceremony and reception being on the same street on which we reside, AND it being a Friday evening, I was sure that we would be home by 11 pm. After a typical work week, I feel the lull of a quiet Friday evening at home; enjoying pizza and a wine spritzer. If Kurt is lucky, I will make it through two episodes of our current show.

Looking forward to the wedding, it lived up to my expectations; the ceremony was lovely, tablemates as well. Speeches were simple and funny. Food was delicious – imagine poutine at a wedding reception? And there was dancing. Get you moving, feel the vibes in your whole being, bring you back in time, keep you up on the dance floor dancing. A few slow songs thrown in there, and the night was perfect.

I could give you a few psychological reasons that dancing is good for you, or I can just tell you from experience that it is good for the soul. It lightens you; it is joyful. Take the opportunity to dance when it presents itself; or create one – dancing in the kitchen works too. You will be glad that you did.

PS: We got home at 1 am 🙂

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3 Important Daily Affirmations

Daily affirmations are an important way to keep ourselves on track when it comes to achieving optimal emotional health. By saying something that is affirming to ourselves, we replace old patterns of thought that may be limiting us. Daily affirmations increase our confidence and allow us to stay focused on our value.

Typically, affirmations are more effective when they are concise and they begin with the words “I am.” We can create our own affirmations based on specific goals, or use more generalized ones that simply affirm our value.  The idea is to say these daily in a planned matter – first thing in the morning, sticky note them on your mirror, journaling them at night. They can also become part of your distraction techniques when dealing with a difficult situation or emotion.

Three that tend to be a good place to start, focus simply on self-love:

  • I am worthy of love.
  • I am worthy of respect.
  • I am important too.

By incorporating affirmations in our day, we set our minds to a clearer, more positive path.

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A Canadian Resource for Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a complex bio/psycho/social mental illness that include influencing factors such as genetics, personality and temperament, and cultural norms. Those who struggle with self-image and perceptions about their appearance tend to be at risk for developing an eating disorder; add the tendency to achieve perfection and/or trauma to increase the risk.

An important resource for those struggling with an eating disorder is the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, operating Canada’s only national toll-free helpline (and instant chat), providing support and treatment options to people across Canada. Of callers to the helpline, 45% are those personally affected, 30% are concerned loved ones, and 15% are health professionals.

Their extensive website features a blog, countless resources for understanding eating disorders as well as tabs as to where to get help.

Their toll free number: 1-866-633-4220

To visit the website: https://nedic.ca/

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