Don’t Let a Down Day Get You Down

Don’t Let a Down Day Get You Down

For the most part, I would say I am a positive person.

It wasn’t always that way. In my angsty 20s (and probably into my 30s too), I was certainly more of a glass-half-empty kinda gal. I wasn’t a pessimist as much as I was a skeptic.

But the last few years have taught me how much there is to appreciate in every day—in every moment, really.

Grace

I’ve become pretty good at chasing that joy with gratitude. Any time I catch myself getting cranky, frustrated, hangry, or road ragey, I try to STOP, take a breath, and bring my focus back to the good stuff.

But then there are those days…and I know we all have them…when there is just no convincing me that the sun is shining. Anywhere.

I am sad, down, blue, and downright unreasonable.

So what do you do on those days when you’re having a no good, very bad day? As a creative person, negative energy can not only kill your good mood, it can stop all your good juju from flowing.

This happened to me the other day, when I was tasked with writing some inspirational copy for a client. I could not shake the funk I was in, but I needed to get some work done!

On a blue day, here’s what I give myself permission to do:

1. Give myself a break.

Sometimes you need one. Sometimes it’s totally ok to spend an extra 10 minutes in bed before you hit the ground running. It’s ok to take a 15-minute break in the late afternoon and just sit in your car and turn on some tunes. It’s even ok to take a mental health day and not go and do all the things you’re supposed to do. Guess what? The world will keep spinning. And if you actually take a moment to let yourself rest a little extra bit, chances are you’ll be even stronger when you get back at it.

2. Shed a tear.

You know that feeling when you’re trying to hold back tears? That tightness in your throat, and your belly, and that clenchy jaw thing? Maybe it’s just me. But every once in awhile, I find that I just want a good cry. Maybe there’s not even a particularly good reason to. Doesn’t matter—I give myself 5 minutes to get it out. And then I move on.

3. Cheer myself up.

Now this isn’t like—let me eat an entire bag of cookie chips because that will cheer me up. (Whoever thought up cookie chips deserves an award or a flogging, I haven’t decided which yet.) This kind of cheering up is like—let me take a moment and think about how I’m feeling and what might make me feel better. Maybe it’s a special cup of tea, or watching dumb videos on YouTube for 5 minutes, or stretching out on my yoga mat for a few. Whatever it is, do it for yourself. It’s a real treat.

4. Get moving.

This is the part I most often resist when I’m down, even though I KNOW it will make me feel better. A long walk with my headphones in is bound to cure most any ill. A hot yoga class is kinda perfect to get my mind off a downer day. But if I don’t have time to do that on a particularly blue day, then I make a point to get outside for a few minutes and stretch. Or I shut my studio curtains and crank up the music and pretend I’m at da club. Whatever it takes to shake some of that negativity out.

Tomorrow5. Let it be.

And finally, I just try to stop resisting. I get still, I tune in, and I tell myself–tomorrow is another new day. Another chance to move forward, in the right direction.

Trust me, even though the sun may not be shining today, it will be there tomorrow. And the next day too.

Serendipity

Serendipity
 Serendipity

Serendipity is such a great word. Doesn’t it just sound like a feather on the wind? I always picture the dog/dragon Falcor from The Neverending Story when someone says that word.

I think I like it so much because of what it means though.

The official definition: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

Serendipity. Destiny. Fate. Call it what you will, I’m a total believer.

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Why You Should Talk to Strangers

Why You Should Talk to Strangers

I’m not really the kind of girl who chats with strangers.

In fact, I tend to avoid them. At the gym or on an airplane, I’m the chick who gives you a smile as she’s putting on her headphones and cranking up the music.

Because I’m sure you’re really nice, but I’m not looking to make any new friends. And I don’t really want to end up in a political debate with you, or talk about the Kardashians, or hear about why your chick lit book is totally enthralling and I have to read it.

I’ve always been kind of a snob when it comes to strangers. But I think I’m a changed woman.

StrangersOn a recent trip up north, I met two strangers who I think the Universe may have placed in my path for a purpose.

Which made me think back to last December, when I was on a very emotional and nerve-wracking trip to the same destination. And if it weren’t for the kindness of a few strangers, I’m not sure what I would have done.

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Mixing A Little Mindfulness Into Your Morning

Mixing A Little Mindfulness Into Your Morning

Back when I was working my corporate job, mornings were a hectic, spastic kind of a mess. To get up and out and take care of everything that needed to be handled before rushing out the door to sit in traffic was…madness.

I always wanted to get more organized, and maybe even bring a little calm to my mornings. But I could never figure out how to do it without making it even more time-consuming and complicated.

As I retooled my life towards a more creative path, reclaiming my mornings was one of the first priorities on my list.

Setting an intention for your day sets the tone for everything to follow; it’s no wonder you’re feeling stressed, panicked and exhausted if that’s how you’re starting off every morning.

Flip that dynamic around—I dare you to just try it for a week and see if it makes a difference in your sanity.

Here are a few simple things I do every morning to bring a little more awareness, calm, and mindfulness to my day. And by the way you guys, this actually doesn’t take any more time than my hectic morning routine did. Read more

Give a Little Bit

I have been fortunate to be surrounded by generous people in my life. My parents are both very generous people, as are my friends, my husband, and his family.

MandyBut I don’t think I really understood generosity until I got to know my mother-in-law, Mandy. She was always extremely generous to me, in all ways. She welcomed me into her family with incredible warmth and acceptance, she was always an amazing listener and advice giver, and she helped my husband and I in so many ways, emotionally and financially. She was a rock for us.

When she passed away last year, we were heartbroken and in shock. At the celebration of her life, people my husband and I had never met came up to us at the gathering and smiled and hugged us as if they had known us for years. “You’re Matt and Sam,” they would say with pride. “She told us all about you.”

And then they would tell us what a thoughtful and generous person Mandy was. “Did you know she helped me out when I really needed it?” they would ask, and then go on to tell us another tale of how Mandy had helped them out of a jam, given them a gift they could never have afforded themselves, or made a donation to a cause they cared about. Read more

7 Simple Steps to Creating a Vision Board

7 Simple Steps to Creating a Vision Board

How do you take a first step towards a more creative life?

Create a vision board. Fill it with your intention, your wishes, and your vision for your future.

Making a vCloseup Vision Boardision board is a simple, inexpensive and creative way to manifest what you’re looking to do. A vision board can jump-start your creativity if you’re feeling stuck, and help you find your flow once you get unstuck. Read more

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

This limbo I’m in is kind of uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, not working for the past four months has been amazing. I’ve never had a break like this, and I’m so grateful for it. I have a friend who likes to call it “funemployment.”

But every few weeks, I’ve been interviewing with one company or another, and then I end up in this weird, awkward limbo until I hear whether or not there’s further interest. Even the jobs I’m not particularly excited about or interested in—I still find myself on pins and needles waiting to hear what will happen next.

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