Tag Archives: mental health

Two Lovely Women

Today I had two separate conversations with two separate women from totally different friend circles. We spent a lot of time talking about our lives, as women do. Griping about our small problems and being thankful for all the other amazingness around us.

Both women left me with the same message: don’t be so hard on yourself.

Forgive the fact that you skipped that last hill on your run. For leaving the dishes dirty in the sink. For laying in bed at 9pm instead of going out for a night with friends. For that extra scoop of ice cream.

I hold myself to some pretty strict standards, but maybe it’s ok if I don’t meet them every time. Maybe no one besides myself even notices the difference!

I’ve been trying this for a couple of months now. It works. So just relax your standards a bit … I promise you won’t miss them.

Big hug and a kiss- Ash

One Year Later

Yesterday was my blog’s birthday. It’s been 365 days since I wrote my first post on Anxiety and Depression. When I started this little blog space, I actually had almost no idea of what a blog was. All I knew was that I had a lot of ideas and was tired of getting up on my soap box in the grocery store line. I was tired of talking to people who didn’t want to hear my advice. (Fair enough for the poor people who mentioned one thing about gluten and then had to hear me talk about it for 30 minutes straight).

One year later, this blog has given more than I could have imagined. Of course, I’ve cut back on my number of posts, everyday is just too much. And I’ve narrowed my focus to life updates, health experiments, recipes, and workouts (yep, that’s a narrow focus, hah). But this thing is still a lot of work and there’s a reason I keep going.

This blog has connected me with long-lost friends and new awesome strangers. It (and some advice from my bff) led me to start my Happy Bootcamp. It has helped me focus my cooking energy on healthy meals and my workout energy on a manageable routine. It holds me accountable.

This blog helped me channel my design energy when I couldn’t get it out at work. And when I finally moved on, it helped me get a new job! And now, when my work isn’t health related and I want to talk health, I come here!

But finally, and most importantly, this blog has helped me stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. When I reunite with family after a long time and they know exactly what I’ve been up to, I know it’s all worth it. Because although I may not have any clue that they’re even reading, I know that if they want to pipe up and say hello, they can. The loved ones in my life are my main reason for writing. I miss you all so much, I just don’t want to lose a connection.

This blog has become an extension of me. It represents such a huge part of my personality, health and happiness.

So please … keep reading and I’ll keep writing. I hope you’re all having wonderful Wednesdays. Hugs and a big smoocheroo (yep, you’re all getting birthday kisses today) – Ash

 

Thinking Tuesday: Angry is a Habit

I am a very introspective person. For a long as I can remember, I have looked upon admirable people and analyzed why others respect and love them. I do the same for annoying, disrespected people. It may sound shallow but this process of defining my own character has made me confident that the person I am is the best kind of person I can be.

I have a distinct memory of walking to lunch in 7th grade. I was wearing my signature pink tank top with braids in my hair and I was walking with my friends. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd. They were all nice enough to me but I didn’t love their emphasis on disobeying your parents and “hooking up” with random other people in the group, so I tended to stay away.

Continue reading

Mindful Monday: How to Connect

Almost every job in life requires humans to interact with other humans. Certainly, once I learned to really connect with people, I excelled at my work. The first step is always to actually care about the people you’re working with or for. Continue reading

Mindful Monday: What’s Beautiful About You?

My sisters and I had a skype conversation last week. They had just been on a hike and, in talking to each other about what they want to do with their lives, they both became very inspired. They called me for some advice, “we want to help people (women especially) with their confidence issues, how should we do it?” They already had a bunch of great ideas and we worked over a few details. They will, hopefully, be starting work on their campaign in the next couple months.

Around the same time, I got an email from my mom. She sent me a link to this video. It made me cry, of course. Watch it. It’s three minutes you won’t regret using. Continue reading

Thursday Book Review: The Happiness Project

It’s time for me to give this book the space it deserves. I have written about it in two posts already (April Goals and Healthful, Happy, and Loving Project) so my regular readers know how much I love it, but let me give you some details.

BookCover

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, is for every person of every type of life. If you think you can get more happiness out of your everyday routine, or if you’re just looking for a bit of motivation, read it!

Basically it chronicles a lawyer turned author’s year-long quest to make a happier life for herself. What I love about it is that she decided she already loved the pieces of her life: her kids, her hubby, her location, etc, but she wasn’t as thankful for them and she knew she should be. How many of us are guilty of that? It’s probably why you read this blog (and any other blog) in the first place. You are trying to improve your life without seriously changing it.

And we have all tried. Goodness have we tried. Personally, I set goals pretty frequently but rarely do they make an impact on my life. That’s because they aren’t tangible resolutions. That’s a key phrase: tangible resolution. It has to be a resolution not a goal because goals only exist until you reach them, resolutions are forever. And you have to lay out tangible steps to make these resolutions a reality. Otherwise they will never stick.

Commandments^ Here’s my list of rules for my Happiness Project.

And here’s and example of my resolution: I want to lower my overall stress and anxiety level throughout the day.

My tangible steps to reach that goal: I will build in a walk or breathing meditation, some quiet time, in the middle of everyday so that I have a few spare minutes to reset my stress-meter. And it’s working!

Basically, this book is an inspiration. Rubin spent an entire year figuring out how to make her happiness a reality. She researched and then she experimented. She laid out a plan and then went for it. The sheer determination and will power it took to keep those resolutions was massive, I’m sure.

I have recommended it to several patients and now I’m recommending it to you. Any self-analytical and driven person should read this book. Check it out from the library, buy it here, or just follow Rubin’s blog! And no, I’m not getting paid for this, there are just things in life that deserve attention.

And if you read my blog with any regularity, you’ll see me implementing these resolutions myself. Mine need some work but I’m on the right path! I’ll keep you all updated. In the meantime, have a stellar Thursday 🙂

Love and a big smile. – Ash

 

Mindful Monday: Gratitude

What is a “thankful mind?”  Why are there books and blogs and entire websites dedicated to thankfulness? Why do all the happiness experts tell us that having a thankful mind is one of the keys to overall wellbeing? You will never know until you try it. Trust me, it changes the way you think.

Since starting this blog, I’ve found other bloggers who write entirely about why they’re thankful. While I won’t go that far (I have WAY too many other things to say) it can be a great mental exercise to follow their lead.

So I know it’s Monday, and the working world has started turning again, but how about you just take a second to reflect on why you’re thankful?

There are two quick posts from other bloggers that may get your juices flowing.
Day 431 – Ruth Rainwater and Year of Kindness Challenge: Week 12 – Dallas Woodburn

The three things I’m thankful for today:
1. The internet and Skype. Yesterday I got to talk to a friend in China AND North Carolina. It was almost like they were sitting right next to me. I love technology.
2. A fully stocked kitchen. I spent yesterday morning and afternoon cooking up all kinds of deliciousness. I haven’t always had my own happy, clean, fully stocked kitchen in which to experiment, and I love it!
3. My Gran. She is one of the most understanding and respectful women I know. When I miss our weekly phone calls, I feel just a little more anxious and unsettled. Just the sound of her voice peps me up and calms me down at the same time.

What are your three things today? 🙂