How to Bounce Back and Thrive

A recent life event has inspired me to write. An experience filled with disappointments, negative energy and bad decisions. At the time, I would have never thought to write about it because of how awful it made me feel, but as I sit here and reflect, I realize that my words may be able to help others through a difficult time. 

As I stepped back into reality, I was upset, angry, confused and genuinely embarrassed. I was in a rut – but not for long. Resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their lives. Over the years, I have actively practiced how to have good resilience which essentially is the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress. So here’s how I bounce back and thrive:

Lean on your loved ones. Find comfort in the ones who love you and cherish your relationship. Focus on people who care about you and your well-being and who support you. Value whoever values you. Spend time with them, talk to them about how you’re feeling, and let them listen. They are your support system.

Do something to break the pattern of nasty self-talk and ruminating. After an unpleasant event, we tend to put the blame on ourselves. We think negatively about ourselves and consistently think about what we could have done differently (well I mean, I do). Keep yourself busy. Watch a movie, laugh, call a friend or go to the gym. It’s hard to steer clear of negative thoughts, but give yourself credit for that hour or two that you were able to not think about that shitty thing that happened to you. 

Practice mindfulness daily. Journal or meditate. Focus on the present moment, where you are right now – allow yourself to feel – release those negative emotions, but always remember and be grateful for the beautiful life God has given you. 

Forgive yourself and forgive other people. Even when you didn’t get the closure you needed or an apology, forgive. This may seem silly to other people because everyone deals with things differently, but the act of forgiveness has changed the way I look at shitty things that have happened to me. Forgiveness helps me move on with my life. 

You choose how to react to what has happened. React positively. Choose kindness, choose love, choose happiness. Don’t sit around and sulk. Get back into a routine that makes you feel alive and energized. For me, it was getting a good night’s sleep, heading to the gym, eating healthy meals and making time for self-care.

Accept, learn and MOVE ON from it. Remove yourself from the situation – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Just disconnect from it. Don’t try to control what is out of your control. Being angry, sad, or worrying won’t change the situation. Shitty things happen to good people all the time. Don’t let it be a big deal. Better things are coming for you. Things work themselves out and everything happens for a reason. In a year or so, I’ll probably still think negatively about the situation (hahahaha), but I’ll most likely be able to laugh about it because I’m human and I make mistakes – even really big ones. 

Help someone else in need. Be the best you can be in your professional life. This is huge for me. I’m in a field of work that relies heavily on helping others so I pour my energy into my meaningful career.

Read and listen to motivational, inspirational and encouraging words. I’ve always been a huge fan of reading, but for those who aren’t, there are podcasts and ebooks available everywhere. Reading and listening to another person’s words can be a form of healing for some. Hearing about someone who has been through a difficult time and has dealt with it is reassuring to me that I’ll get through it too. 

Some of my favourite podcast channels:

  • The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast
  • The Health Code
  • Wellness Force Radio

Some of my favourite books: 

  • A Tribe Called Bliss by Lori Harder
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells
  • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Take each bad experience as a lesson learned. Take it as the universe telling you that it wasn’t for you. It wasn’t meant for you and you probably dodged a bullet. A job opportunity lost, a relationship ending, failure, rejection – take it and use it to better yourself. Bounce back fast and make others wonder how the heck you did it. Take your L and make BIG moves.

Bliss & blessings,

S

Feeling is Living: An Empath’s Existence

Are you the person that everyone runs to for advice? When you first meet someone, do they usually feel comfortable enough to tell you all about their life? Instantly, I give off this warm and understanding vibe that allows others to share freely with me. I always considered myself a deep feeler, a helper or a healer. Things just get to me more easily than they get to other people. I labeled myself “emotionally sensitive.” The first time I heard the word ‘empath,’ I was in a meeting with my manager. She was describing me as the empath. I was stunned. All the qualities she mentioned, I embodied. 

An empath is a person who has the ability and capacity to feel what others are feeling. I felt so lost when attempting to explain it to someone because I was unaware that there was a word to describe the deep heartache and heavy burden feeling that I sometimes experience. I would think to myself, “how do I say this without sounding dramatic?” 

I am someone who feels so deeply and intensely. I’ve felt the emotional pain of my family, friends, clients, and strangers. I am sometimes so overwhelmed by my own senses that I just need to take a moment or several moments to just bring myself back to clarity and keep myself grounded. Everywhere I go, I want to find and make meaningful connections. I walk around with an open heart that is sort of like a sponge – taking in everyone’s energies and emotions. I connect and sometimes, heal without the intention of even doing so. 

Being an empath can be very emotionally exhausting at times. The powerful quality of empathy that I embody and my own personal challenges has led me to want to help others. I work in a field where I am constantly surrounded by people, offering support, helping when and where I can and all while trying to remain positive. I sometimes feel like I am carrying a weight (that is not always mine) on my shoulders. My mental and emotional health has suffered because of this. I realize that I must put in the extra effort to take care of myself that others might not find necessary. 

It is important to learn how to manage our empathy in such a way that prevents negative energy and fosters our well-being. A few things that have helped me to lessen the absorption of other people’s energies and focus on my own emotions:

1) Set healthy boundaries for yourself.

  • Know when to take a step back from the situation. Whether that be alone time or letting someone know that other resources are available for their use. You can’t be the superhero every time! We teach ourselves to not rely on others to make us happy, now it’s time to preach our knowledge. 
  • Ask for help, if need be. If you need a break from your job because it’s all just become too much, ask for more support or a day off. 

2) When you notice heavy emotions, start by labeling what you’re feeling. 

  • Ask yourself whether what you’re feeling is yours, someone else’s or a mix of two. 

3) The moment you notice yourself feeling emotions that are not yours, think about what is happening within you.

  • Take a deep breath and notice where in your body you feel the most grounded and let that guide you to a place of release. 
  • Return those emotions to their rightful owner. 

4) Use mindfulness meditation. I write about this all time, but it has truly changed my life. 

  • Stay within the present moment. Reflect on where you are. Breathe. Release.
  • I use this as energy healing. Cleansing my energy to allow for positivity to emerge. Clearing my mind and resetting my mindset. 

Once we learn to properly care for ourselves, we can use our gift and offer it to the world. I believe our biggest gift to the world is learning to trust your intuition more than anything else. Let it guide you to greatness. Deep empathy gives us the ability to relate and connect to others. When we care so genuinely, we are able to understand another person in a way that not everyone can and because we feel what others are feeling, we communicate in a sincere way that others can relate to. This sincerity can help us develop meaningful and fulfilling relationships. All in all, being an empath is a blessing if you know how to use your gift. Remember to spread the kindness not to just everyone else, but to yourself. 

Bliss & blessings, 

S

How to Get Back on Track with Your Fitness and Health Routine

It’s so easy to fall off the wellness train once life starts to get in the way. We start making excuses about having no time or just being so tired. We simply put our health on the back burner. You vow to eat healthier and never skip the gym and the moment you fail, you give up. I’ve heard everything in the book:

“Well I’ve already ate like crap, so I’ll just start fresh tomorrow.”

“I’m so busy. Maybe I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.”

“I can’t believe I ate that slice of pizza! I feel so awful. I ruined everything. I give up!!!”

“Ugh. I didn’t workout today. It’s okay, I’ll start again next week.”

Next week turns into next month turns into next year and you’re right back where you started – upset and unimpressed with yourself. We need to remember that this is a journey that we’re on, with no specific end point and there are many bumps in this long road of working on our health and fitness.

6 Simple Ways to Get Back on Track: 

REALIZING YOU ARE ONLY HUMAN.
Accept that you are a human being who makes mistakes and can’t always be 100% all the time. Even the most successful people slip up, but they always have the willpower and motivation to jump back up and get back on track quickly. Change your mindset from “maybe later” to “right now” because starting again may be difficult but it’s better to just get back on with it then keep making excuses. It’s completely normal to fall off the wagon, but don’t dwell and feel bad about it. Be active and create change in your life! So what you ate a slice of pizza? So what you skipped three gym days? Be better tomorrow. Set goals and start small. Make sure they’re realistic.

CARRYING A WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU.
People often underestimate the importance of water consumption. It helps with dehydration (during workouts), elimination (flushes out toxins) and digestion (of your food). Your brain is made up of mostly water so drinking water helps you focus and concentrate better! It increases energy and relieves fatigue. Carrying a water bottle with you will remind you to keep drinking and motivate you to keep filling it up. I drink about 2-3 L a day!

CREATING A SCHEDULE.
Make time for your workout. Put it in your calendar on your phone, make a reminder and make it a habit! It’s all about being motivated and willing to go now that you’ve created some time. The next step is to schedule out each day and what you’ll be doing at the gym. For example, on Monday, I focus on my legs and incorporate some LISS (Low-Intensity-Steady-State) cardio. I also have each leg-focused exercise written down on my phone so I can refer to it. It’s so much easier to go to the gym when you’re prepared – it’s less intimidating.

JUST KEEP MOVING!
Sometimes we don’t have time for a full workout or to even get to the gym. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do some squats and lunges, go for a walk, stretch or even do a HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training) workout at home! The point is to get your heart rate up and move around for a bit. Trust me, your body will thank you.

CREATING A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD.
If you’re constantly feeling like you need to “cheat” on your relationship with food, then you need a new relationship. Eating healthy sometimes holds a negative connotation. It’s so hard for some people to understand that eating healthy is not eating kale, boiled eggs, and drinking lemon cayenne water everyday and restricting yourself from your favourite foods. We’ve got to get out of that mindset! That, in itself, is unhealthy. Here’s how I created a healthier relationship with food:

  1. Start eating mindfully – listen to your built-in cues – when you’re hungry and when to stop eating.
  2. No foods are off the table – I don’t restrict myself, I just understand what foods are treats and I create alternatives to the foods I love but not are so great for my body.
  3. I always eat breakfast – no matter how early or late my body is telling me to eat.
  4. I don’t keep problematic foods in my house.

REMAINING POSITIVE.
Progress doesn’t happen overnight. I’m not expecting you to magically lose 10 lbs in a week (because that’s not healthy) or just stop eating chocolate for the rest of your life (because that’s just whack). Remember why you started this journey. Take photos so you can track your progress. Keep a positive mindset – no negative self-talk. Learn to love how your body transforms and changes. Appreciate that you are making the effort! This journey isn’t just to transform your body, but your mind and soul too. Be proud of how far you’ve come – a day, a week, a month, a year. Celebrate the small victories!

Wishing you luck on your journey, 

S

Embracing the Fear of the Unknown

It is a part of our human nature to fear the unknown. We are predisposed to the idea that not being in control of our lives is scary. We are afraid of the unknown because we don’t know what’s coming or what life has in store for us. Fear stops us from living our best lives – taking risks and exploring new ideas. Sometimes, it makes us put our passions on the back burners which ends in regret. We take the easy, more secure route. We take this route because we know there is stability, we know what the future looks like for us.

I was always really scared of the future, and big decisions I’d have to make regarding my future. I realized thought, that if I’m always letting this fear of the unknown future hold me back, none of my hopes and dreams would ever happen.

I still struggle with that fine line between thoughtful decision and overthinking. Thoughtful decision-making is all about making a pros and cons list and considering how the decision will affect your life. It is something that leads to action. Overthinking is more about contemplating, comparing and analyzing every single thing that could go wrong or right in regards to the situation. I am guilty of stressing myself out by playing out all possible ways in which a scenario could go. I stress myself out to the point where I miss the opportunity to see how the scenario actually plays out. I miss out on things that could have been great because I am overwhelmed with the fear that it could have gone terribly wrong.

You might be afraid of taking a new job because changes in your life may occur and you’re extremely comfortable where you are. You know that these things will be replaced by better things, but your feeling of fear doesn’t know that. It only sees one side of the situation – fear convinces you that things could go wrong.

But honestly, what is the worst thing that can happen if you let go of this fear of the unknown? Rejection? Failure? These things happen to the best of us. I am also a strong believer that things don’t workout because we are meant for something better suited for us.

3 Things that Helped me Overcome my Fear of the Unknown

STOP AND DROP THE OVERTHINKING
Most of your fears won’t manifest, unless you think about them all the time and actually manifest them into your reality. I was told by a dear friend that if you put certain thoughts into the universe (negative or positive), the universe will attract those thoughts or energies back to us.

TRUST IN GOD OR A HIGHER POWER
Whether you believe in something or not, believe that you were destined for greatness. I believe that God has a plan for me and so I leave it in His hands that my life is exactly where it is supposed to be right now. It brings me comfort knowing there is God to rely on. Saint Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

INVITE THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN IN
We may fear those who are different from us but if we don’t learn about things we don’t understand and just fear them, we will forever be afraid of things we do not know. We must make a conscious effort to uncover the unknown outcomes and great possibilities that the unknown may hold. Be curious about your fear!

Life is all about taking chances, conquering your fears and accepting the unknown and all that surrounds it. Take risks, accept the darkness of the unknown and know that you alone have the power to light up the darkness. Leave security behind. Life is meant to be uncertain and it may scare the living heck out of you, just remember that this is YOUR life and the future is so bright – so much is in store for you. Good things, great things! Where you currently are – is the beginning. Think fearless and strong and you will be just that. Embrace the change because the possibilities are endless. Make the unknown a challenge and conquer it.

I get out of bed everyday happy and excited about where I currently am and what the future has in store for me. Be brave, because taking that leap could really change your life.

Bliss & blessings, 

S

Remember to follow my fitness/wellness journey on instagram @smprogress

Being Positive and Staying Positive – All on Your Own

 

A mini collage of myself and some of my favourite people.

This isn’t a step-by-step guide to always having a smile on your face and being “happy” all the time. This is me explaining how I’ve been learning to become more of a positive person and how I’ve embraced doing it all on my own. Although good people in your life can help you create a more positive life as well (more about that below!!!). Being positive doesn’t mean that you have to live in a perfect, sugar-coated world. A person who is positive faces obstacles as well. They get angry, just like any other person and they fight hard for what they believe in, but they are strong and self-aware about their emotional state. They take responsibility for their feelings and are okay with being kept accountable. I am not always positive – I struggle, just like anyone else. I get into moods and feel not so great sometimes. It happens, but always remember that what you’re going through isn’t permanent.

Here are a few things that helped me become more positive in life.

1) Focus more on your peace of mind and less on being happy. Experience everyday as it comes and let yourself feel different emotions. When I try to increase my peace of mind – I try not to overthink things or think too much into things. When you overthink things or worry about things you cannot control, it only leaves you feeling upset and disappointed. Accept that you are right where you need to be. As soon as you start letting go of the fact that you cannot control all aspects of your life, it will become easier. Someone once told me, “you may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control how you react to it” and I’ve always lived by this. Sometimes shitty things happen, but I always try to keep an open mind and I’m a strong believer that things do happen for a reason so this gives me peace of mind that I am right where I need to be. Your thoughts and mindset are EVERYTHING.

2) Don’t make your intimate relationships the end-all-be-all of your happiness. The person who is in a relationship with you is not there to give you your happiness, they are there to increase it. When it comes to relationships, I see it as two people, two separate entities coming together to be positive additions in each other lives, not the one person completing the other person’s life. You can’t rely on your partner to shift your mood, heal you, or fill empty spaces and it is not your responsibility to do that for your partner either. I’m not saying don’t be there for your partner if they are going through a rough time, I’m just saying that if they need space or to be alone – give it to them and don’t let their mood define how happy/upset you are. Don’t feed off their energy. Create your own happiness and stay positive for your partner. The last thing you need is both people feeling really awful. Develop a positive relationship with yourself and embrace your independence.

3) Don’t force things – this applies to everything in life. Your relationships, your friendships, conversations. Once you learn how to let life happen on its own, you’ll be so much more relaxed. Go with the flow!!! Don’t self-ruminate and over-analyze every situation or relationship in your life. Remind yourself that you don’t need to have it all figured out.

4) Figure out what truly makes you happy so that when you do get into a negative mood, you can find ways to pick yourself up. Go to the gym, call a friend, journal, play a video game, and get distracted! If you’re struggling to find something to do, why don’t you try something new? Step out of your comfort zone. Strength comes from overcoming things we thought we couldn’t do. Do something challenging you would’ve never thought you’d enjoy.

5) Don’t take yourself so seriously. (I need to take my own advice!!!!!) I’m always taking myself too seriously. Always trying to be a superhuman and be the best version of myself. I never give myself a break. Give yourself permission to be who you are. Allow yourself to be different and to be unique. Reach for your dreams and go as far as you need to in order to accomplish them. Don’t compare yourself or your life to others. Get off social media and give it a break if you are. Social media can seriously be the devil sometimes.

6) Listen to yourself. Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, helps you grow or makes you happy. Eliminate toxic people or relationships from your life. Once you allow someone to disrespect you or treat you like you don’t matter, you are setting the tone for the rest of your relationship with that person. As I have grown up, this has been a huge lesson learned for me. I don’t tolerate people who come in and out of my life whenever they feel like and I do not allow people to treat me as if I am a friend/partner of convenience. Let it go guys, seriously!!! Please don’t let people be shitty to you. I promise you deserve so much better than that. A person who says they like you and care about you wouldn’t be treating you like that!

Lastly, appreciate all the good things in your life. The things and people you may be taking for granted. A roof over your head, food on the table, your job, your health, your education, your family, friends, and your significant other. Thank them and send them love whenever you can. I thank God for all the good people in my life and for what He has given me thus far. Be humble. Good things are coming!

Sending you lots of positive energy,

S

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-art-closeness/201601/the-fine-art-being-yourself

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/11-simple-ways-to-make-yourself-happy-every-day.html

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-things-happy-people-do-to-stay-happy/

My Guide to Ultimate Self-Care

There are many ways to live this life, but I choose to live it as genuinely and as authentically as I can. In the past few years, I have learned so much about myself but the most important thing I have learned is how to properly take care of my mind, body and soul. It was something I had always put on the back burner. Other people were my number one priority. I would always put my relationships before myself. Wounded people and hurt souls attracted me and I wanted to nurse them back to health. I slowly but surely learned that this was no way to live my life. Of course, it is okay to be there for people – but always remember that your life is just as important. You deserve time to grow and learn about yourself and most importantly, you deserve the love that you are always trying to give everyone else.

Life gets busy and in the way of your ability to properly care for yourself. Excuses are made and promises of “me-time” are broken. People who prioritize taking care of themselves are thought of as selfish or full of themselves. This stereotype needs to end! I am here to tell you that taking at least 30 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself will gradually improve your mind, body and soul. You will become less tired and more focused which will give you the ability to work more efficiently. I am living and breathing proof of it. Set out time for yourself – turn off your phone, put down your laptop and just unwind. I promise the world won’t change that much while you’re gone for awhile. If you can devote time to your career, your family, your education, your friends, why not yourself?

The things I do to care for myself may not work for you, so do some sets of trial and error and figure things out for yourself. It is important to find balance in your life. It took time to figure out “self-care” by reading various articles, learning from mentors, friends, and professors but I finally found things that work for me. Before you start reading what I do for myself and my body, please be advised that I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist or doctor. So before doing anything out of the “body” category, talk to your physician.

To care for my mind I meditate, read and journal. 

  • Meditation is truly an art. It takes practice, but once you’ve got it… you’ve really got it. It is a connection with the universe that many people are not even aware of. I suggest starting with iPhone apps like Headspace or Calm. They are great for beginners and include guided meditation where you can start your practice. I practice mindfulness meditation. The book I started off with was “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It gave me a great resource to start my practice and reflect on what the self really is. Mindfulness meditation is really about taking in and appreciating the present moment. The goal is to leave your judgements behind. A lot of people who attempt to meditate, usually give up within the first 2 or 3 minutes because their minds start to wander. Don’t punish yourself for that. It’s human nature for that to happen because your mind has been trained a certain way. Be gentle with yourself. Allow this to happen and focus in again. Focusing in on the breath is the key aspect to being mindful. What I really love about meditation is that it gives you the ability to truly be one with yourself and the current moment despite what might be going on around you.
  • Reading has always been a big part of my life. My love for reading started when I was seven. I begged my parents for a library card and would get them to take me there every weekend to take out new books. I read all types of books – mystery, romance, educational and even biographies. I never really saw it as a form of self-care. I just saw it as a distraction and to really immerse myself within the book’s setting. Books took me places I could never go. I just loved getting away and forgetting about things for awhile. Just recently had I learned (or just realized) the benefits of reading. Not only can reading be informative and educational, it also improves memory function. Reading has led me to expand my vocabulary and language skills. It has also taught me how to be a better writer. I try to read at least 30 minutes a day, if not more. If you’ve always treated reading as a chore, this might not work as a self-care ritual, but I suggest trying something light like a magazine and gradually work your way into books.
  • When I journal I pour out my whole heart. I started to use a journal as a therapeutic aid after my first heartbreak and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. After I journal, no matter how long or short my entry, I always feel calm and centred. It definitely improves my mood. It is a way to release my feelings and thoughts. I clear my mind, I practice gratitude, I forgive myself and most importantly, I envision my hopes and dreams. I know it’s hard and intimidating to be given a notebook with a ton of blank pages. You’re not sure where to start or how to put your feelings into words, but fear not, I have some questions that might help you reflect:
  • 1) Define what happiness means to you.
    2) Are you happy right now?
    3) What could be changed in your life in order to create a more positive environment?
    4) What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? Does this align with the path you are on right now?

To care for my body, I exercise, eat nutritious foods, drink water, and use great skincare products. 

  • Exercising has become an essential part of my self-care routine. Working out and moving my body significantly changes how I feel about myself and just changes the way I go about my day. Even on days when I am feeling off, I make sure to move for at least an hour whether that be walking around, jogging, or cycling. I don’t follow any workout programs, but I do organize my own schedule of what body part I’ll be working on each day. It is a mix of cardio and strength training. If you are a beginner, it is important to have a plan before you enter the gym because if you don’t, it’ll leave you feeling intimidated and stressed and that is the last thing you should be feeling. I bet you’ve heard this a million times, but when you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. The gym should be your happy place! Also…don’t forget to foam roll! It helps with the recovery of your muscles and aiding them to return to normal functioning.
  • I like to be aware of what I put in my body therefore, I eat nutritious foods. If you can’t read the first five ingredients on that list (unless it’s in a different language), you mostly likely shouldn’t be eating it. When I started out, I used food/calorie trackers like MyFitnessPal or just simply documented my eating habits in a food diary. I don’t follow a strict diet, I simply eat mindfully. I choose to eat whole foods, not processed. Eat those veggies (because I really didn’t). But remember, it’s also all about balance. Don’t be scared to treat yourself, but also don’t go overboard. It’s okay to have that piece of chocolate, or that slice of pizza. Go for it but keep in mind, a healthy body starts in the kitchen! 80% of it is really what you put in your body, so make the best of it and eat mindfully.
  • People really underestimate how much water they should be drinking. I drink water constantly throughout the day. I drink 2.5-3L a day to stay hydrated through my daily activities. Usually if I’m working out, I up my water intake because while we sweat we are becoming dehydrated. Research says that drinking water before your meals and substituting water for sugary drinks can lower your caloric intake and improve weight control. So stay away from those “diet” pops, and stick to the plain jane of liquid we like to call water. Replenishing your body with water is one of the easiest things to do!
  • I have a full post about my all-natural skincare products on my instagram which I will post below. My face is oily and it was really hard to perfect a skincare routine that worked for me but I think I finally nailed it. I use a lot of LUSH products – face masks, cleansers, and exfoliators. I love how their products use natural ingredients and it really works with my face to strip away excess oils. Some of my favourites are ultrabland, ocean salt, and angels on bare skin. As a night time moisturizer, I use coconut oil. It is a natural product that helps to keep your skin hydrated and repair it while you sleep. My day-to-day go-to’s are definitely Clinique’s dramatically different moisturizing gel and Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum. This combination has done wonders for my skin. Don’t forget about your skin! Show love to it and it will glow.

To care for my soul, I sing, dance, listen to music, and surround myself with GOOD VIBES.

I’ve always loved music so much. My parents were such big advocates of using music as a positive mood enhancer. My dad would play the 60’s-80’s and my mom would sing Shania Twain and Celine Dion on repeat. Music has always been a big part of my family. I love to sing and despite not being the greatest dancer ever, I dance. I use music to soothe my soul. I love all types of music, so I’m not very hard to please on a long car ride. I work with individuals who have intellectual disabilities and seeing the kind of impact that it has on them and how much it helps them has been really impactful on my journey of self-discovery. Researchers at McGill University took fMRI’s while people listened to their favourite songs and they found that when the music hit its peak moment – their brains released dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone that is linked with the feeling of reward. So when you’re feeling down, stressed out, or anxious – put on your favourite chuuuunes and GET JIGGY WITH IT.

In caring for myself, I choose to surround myself with people who radiate positive vibes, encourage me, support me and help me grow. Life is way too short to be anything but happy. You have to surround yourself with people who will make you laugh and lift you up, not people who create drama and are stunting your growth as a human being. Love the people who treat you right, and pray for those who don’t. Meggan Roxanne says it best, “please don’t jeopardize your well-being by choosing to remain loyal to those who constantly drain your energy.” In order for you to maintain a positive aura, you don’t have to be happy-go-lucky all the time, you just have to be strong and self-aware of your emotional state and be responsible for what you do in this world.

What I’m saying is, take care of yourself, no matter how big or small the action. Put yourself first, love yourself and just be kind to your body because we’re not perfect, we’re human.

Self-love always,

S

P.S. If you’d like to follow along with my fitness/health/wellness journey…follow @smprogress on instagram.

References:

https://psychcentral.com/library/id105.html

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/what-is-a-foam-roller-how-do-i-use-it-and-why-does-it-hurt

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675