Does it look like this where you live yet?
I am so excited for snow, and early morning sunrises over the mountains.
But I suppose we shall have a few more days of fall before winter truly arrives.
It usually does so quite unexpectedly, and in full blast.
Until then, I've written out a few intentions
towards the better, more true-to-me life that I described a few days ago.
Intentions that will help me uncover more of my authentic self,
and live more in line with the person I seek to be.
Thankfulness. So important, and yet it is cast away so easily.
When the daily grind is getting me down, and I start to feel like I'm neck deep, thankfulness for all of the blessings in my life is the first thing that gets tossed to the wayside. And yet, perspective is key in making progress towards a positive and bright future. I may not be working the career of my dreams, but I do have a job. I may not have my own cozy apartment with my best friends as roommates, but I live in a very comfortable house (that belongs to my parents), and not paying rent allows me more flexibility in other areas (student loans...ahem...). I often forget to be thankful, and yet, once I start listing off the things I am thankful for, I quickly find that it's hard to stop. I am so blessed.
Staying positive goes hand in hand with thankfulness.
I can be so negative. As a highly emotional person, I have a tendency to seek out drama. I don't know why. But I would sometimes rather see the negative in life than point out the good. I think it has something to do with wanting other people to fix my problems.
But complaining and venting accomplish nothing. It just wears out those on the listening end.
Making the conscious effort to be positive in tough situations is and will be a huge challenge for me, but I strongly believe in hope, in having faith that I am being protected, and that I am capable.
Staying positive and being thankful are the like the foundations of all my other intentions.
It is both friend and foe.
Personal experiences like self-image issues and health problems in my family have led me to see healthy eating and staying fit as one of the most important things a person can do for themselves. By staying away from junk food and exercising daily, you're laying the brick for an easier road later in life. However, I know how difficult it can be to stay motivated. That's why I believe that the key to being a healthy person is to add mental health to the list of things to focus on.
Truly, the trifecta of a healthy lifestyle is: eating right, exercising, and seeking healthy and positive outlets to keep yourself away from mental challenges like anxiety and depression. I started seeing a counselor in college, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Now that I am back home and starting to settle into a routine, I've made a point of including these three things into my new life.
Here are a few examples:
- Learning more about nutrition. I've also decided to eat vegetarian four days a week, which will not only help me balance out what I'm eating, but will also shrink my carbon footprint! (When I do eat meat, I plan to eat local as much as possible... learn more and calculate your footprint here!)
- I joined a local running club that meets three times a week. It's nothing intense, but it will keep me outside and staying active during the holidays.
- Having positive outlets to focus on like this blog, volunteering in the community, and incorporating my faith all help keep me sane.
For me, creativity is rejuvenation.
I hunker down, usually in solitude, and find solace and energy in through the act of creating.
Writing, singing, listening to music, photography... it's the process of seeking, discovering, and then reflecting that I desire.
My art history professor once told me that art is usually one of the first things to go when dictators step into power and take away individual freedoms.
Really, what is a better sign of freedom than the ability to think for ourselves, the ability to create?
Writing here on this blog, in my personal journal, taking photographs, and even moving furniture around helps me build up strength again. And I spend a lot of my free time reading books, magazines, and other awesome blogs, searching out cool projects and ideas (like this 'Design Your Life' series) that will inspire and motivate me.
Positively investing in the community is so important to me.
The news is filled with horrible stories about individuals and communities that are suffering for all sorts of reasons. And political ads are exhausting, aren't they? Not that politics and voting aren't important, but we can impact our own neighborhoods, schools, and communities in positive and uplifting ways by stepping out and simply lending a hand.
And let's be creative! Set up a lemonade stand with the kids, and donate the money to a charity you care about (it is a great lesson in giving). Or this Christmas season, instead of spending thousands and thousands of dollars in gifts that will just pile up in the closet or under the bed, let's spend more time together making memories, and give more of our time and money to others who really need it.
With or without a classroom, I want to continue active learning.
Graduate school is in my future. So continuing along with academics will not only help my chances of getting into the program of my choice, but it also will help me stay motivated to pursue the career of my dreams.
I also want to learn more about nutrition and yoga, and I'd really like to become fluent in another language.
Along side being creative, striving to learn new things will help exercise different parts of my brain, and will definitely revitalize my tired soul.