It’s a long one! . . . . (that’s what she said)

Doing this blog has almost become ~therapeutic~ for me . . . I know what you’re thinking – this freak hasn’t posted in over a week, what is she talking about?! BUT trust me, I’ve been working on new content and getting my name out into the universe! It’s much more time consuming than I could have realized. On top of that, I’ve also been trying to take advantage of this amazing Chi Town summer.

Maintaining a life / work / fun balance is tricky. I’m already a few years out of school and am just starting to figure it out. You know when New Year’s comes around and you see post after post saying “2018 is YOUR year. . . blah blah blah” ? I’ve decided to get my little booty in gear and actually make it happen. Granted, I started when we were already halfway thru 2018 but that makes no difference. What makes a difference is that I’ve found a routine and set of processes that actually work for me.

I’ve incorporated those pesky little “self care” items into my nightly routine (as opposed to doing them once or twice a week). I’ve switched over to a more natural and personal skin care regimen (I’ve got a post coming up that goes more in depth on what that is). I’ve found healthy and productive ways to deal with my stress; I now work out everyday and utilize a meditation app as I’m falling asleep. I’m cooking at home almost every night, drinking less, and being more present in my life.

Implementing these changes wasn’t always that easy. Getting myself to work out is SUCH A CHORE. Even though I love it! What finally changed that? I incentivized myself. If I kept up my routine for a whole week – I got to go to Target and invest in a new workout wardrobe (which was desperately needed; I was wearing tattered leggings from high school). And as someone who loves target and clothes. . . . this worked for me. Now that it’s been two weeks, the gym has become a habit and the new clothes are just a plus. 🙂

My nighttime relaxation and skincare routine (yes, now those go hand in hand!) has been a much longer journey. I’ve always struggled with skin issues, and after doing a Whole30 recently, I realized I needed to be more conscious about not only what goes into my body, but what goes on it as well. I did hours and hours of research on natural skincare and eventually phased out my old products (that worked for me, but caused my skin to be incredibly reactive and sensitive) and replaced them with handmade, naturally derived products. Doing my skincare regimen at night puts me into a state of relaxation. It kicks my brain into “okay, bedtime mode!” It takes longer than maybe most people are willing to spend, but if you find a routine or process that helps you relax, a little bit of a time commitment won’t hurt.

I’m now sleeping better at night, waking more rested and ready, and generally just feeling so amazing about myself. I’ve found a contentment within myself that I haven’t generally felt before. I’ve shifted the focus of my life to be more on “me” and less on the “other”.  A huge part of this transformation has also been the fact that I’m comfortable saying “no”. If I’m not quite feeling myself, or the event I was invited too, I’m so much better about being honest. It’s so important to not stretch yourself too thin. Everything around this age (Millenials!) feels so do-or-die. But I’ve begun to realize that slowing down (just a little!) is okay. I’ve been able to enjoy my life so much more.

I hope this inspires you to find your routine! Or if you have one, please share in the comments below. It’s definitely not as easy as everyone makes it sound, especially for those of use that drag our feet (looking at myself here). But I encourage you all to think about ways you can start to incorporate more of “you” into your life. Find yourself, be at peace, and live your life. Thanks for reading.

xx

P.S. One other item that is a total guilty pleasure of mine . . . beauty videos on youtube! Sometimes while I’m blogging or researching I’ll put on a video (sometimes even the gossip youtube videos – which is so embarrassing to admit). What’s your guilty pleasure?

Photo: unsplash.com Arnold Leung

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