It’s been quite an interesting 2015 so far. In some ways it has been good, and in some ways bad. I took the plunge to change careers, quit my job, went back to school to study my passion (skincare therapy), went through a really tough breakup (lost my best friend of 4 years), started a new diet (successful!) and got in a car accident. It has been a roller coaster of emotions.
One day, I was sitting at Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades with a good friend of mine. We were both trying to find serenity. I stared and stared and stared at that beautiful lake and scenery not knowing how I was going to handle these overwhelming emotions. Then it hit me. If I want to be happy, I need to take action and start living!
I didn’t realize that all these years I was racing through life and not living it. I was so entwined in the everyday hustle and bustle and sweating all the small details that I simply have forgotten to stop and smell the roses! I know, I know..it’s not an easy thing to do especially in today’s world with work, family, kids, etc. But start off with a few small changes and work your way to bigger changes.
Here are some of the changes I’ve made to help me start living life to the fullest and feeling great!
1. Practice Gratitude: I learned this from a sales coach we had at a company I worked at. Taking the time to find 3 things you are grateful for each day can make a huge difference in your outlook on life, your relationships and how you feel about yourself. We truly have a lot to be grateful for! 2. Meditation: I NEVER was the one to meditate and it was always difficult for me. I thought, “who has time to do this?” I was always anxious and couldn’t get my mind to settle just for a moment. But I did some research, talked to some people, and realized this could make a big difference in your attitude even if it’s as simple as closing your eyes for 2 minutes to focus on your breathing. It calms me and makes me feel more at peace.
3. Letting go of anger: It’s like the song from Disney’s Frozen. “Let it go! Let it go!” I never thought I could let some things go. And yes, I can get angry very, very easily. Then I realized I’m only hurting myself and ruining the potential of my day over a driver that cut me off! If I wanted to start living life, I couldn’t waste my energy on anger, especially on small things that will have little impact on my day. So now I tell myself, okay that sucked, but move on!
4. Staying active: We all know exercise is good for you, right? Releases endorphins, releases toxins from the body and makes you feel good! So it may seem ironic that I quit my gym membership. But I wanted to start enjoying the outdoors and nature while getting a workout. Jogging, walking, hiking and biking in the sun are really what keep me alive. I also started to practice T’ai Chi which takes a lot of patience, but I think I’m getting there.
5. Focusing on my core: Along with staying active, I’m focused on a lot of core workouts and a diet that supports it. I have always been a firm believer that if you have a strong core, the positive energy radiates out to all your extremities. This is why I enjoy practicing Pilates so much because it focuses on strengthening the core. I’m also on the Abs diet and it has done wonders. Lots of veggies, whole grains, protein , zero alcohol and less processed foods have made a huge impact on my energy and body. I fit in my skinny jeans again and feel great. My energy levels are sustained throughout the day and I’m not crashing at 2pm. In addition, a strong core has helped me feel centered and balanced both mentally and physically.
6. Pampering myself: I’m in school studying to become a licensed esthetician also known as a skincare therapist. My goal is to work at a wellness spa and have my own someday. I love making clients feel relaxed while giving their skin treatments. Afterwards, they feel good and healthy. While I love giving that gift to someone else, I know I need to take the time to do that with myself too. It’s all about making time to de-stress. This could be as simple as putting on a facial mask to nourish your skin, listening to some relaxing music or taking a nice, relaxing bath.
7. Eating slowly: No more eating in the car or inhaling food. I’m taking the time to sit down and actually taste my food, enjoy the flavors and textures. It is amazing how different you feel after eating this way. It goes back to gratitude. Feeling satisfied and grateful without feeling bloated or sluggish.
8. I swapped my alcohol for tea: Alcohol is a depressant and has never made me feel good. After a night of drinking, I’m lazy with zero energy the next day. Zero energy means I’m not going to be productive or enjoyable to be around for that matter. So instead I’m drinking all different kinds of tea. Green tea, chamomile, ginger, white tea, blueberry, rooibos..there are so many satisfying flavors. Plus, they contain good antioxidants for your skin and body!
9. Make time for friends and family: It’s easy to get wrapped up in responsibilities and chores, but make sure to spend quality time laughing with your loved ones!
10. Smile: Last but not least, smile! Make the time for others. Smile and say good morning to whoever you pass by. You will feel good and so will they!
These are just some of the things that are helping me live my life to the fullest. Hopefully, this inspires you to make some positive changes so you can be successful and START LIVING LIFE AGAIN!