September 9, 2011

Gimme Some Love: Tips for Self Love and Success

Hey Beautiful!

Yes you, silly. I'm talking to you. Cuz you're beautiful, just the way you are. Okaaay. If you're wondering why I sound like a Bruno Mars song, let me explain. {Side note: TGIF!!!}

I usually try to be super optimistic (and sometimes that leads to being idealistic) and face life with a smile. But I've noticed that lately (think a couple years, which yeah is quite some time), I've been complaining. A LOT. And I finally opened my eyes and ears and put my foot down - this has got to stop!

Background info: I was having a few rough years and little optimistic Chrissy apparently couldn't handle it somewhere down the road. I'm not going to go into all the gory details, but you know how it is. Island girl lands in North Dakota for college (North Dakota!?!!?), body doesn't handle the frozen tundra very well at all, healthy island girl is now suddenly always sick. Said girl is also a poor college student, being that she doesn't have a trust fund (which if you do is just great!) and does not want to ask her parents for more money than they can afford to give. So there you have it. Health and money. The ever-present obstacle to pretty much everything.

I valiantly tried to beat life at it's own game and long story short, my battle tactics were all wrong and I had a losing streak. Hence, the constant complaining. Going on my third year in college, I just woke up and had an epiphany this week. I got so sick of complaining and honestly I think that was my way of dealing with not having control of all those other aspects of my life. Anyway, I got up and went on an early morning run which since I hate exercising was quite the big deal. I needed to clear my head and come up with a stronger, more effective battle plan. 
So I did. And here's some of it, who knows, it might be what you were looking for:

Chrissy's Tips for Self-Love and Success
1. Exercise.

Yes, I just said I hate exercising. But guess what, like every college student I gained that freshman 15 nice and steady over the last couple years and never did anything about it. I couldn't see it until I had to take a few extra minutes to button up my favorite jeans. I never had to exercise and everybody would always say how lucky I was when I ate that extra piece of cake and they couldn't. But my metabolism slowed and not working out got the better of me. Plus, exercise makes you feel fresh and increases your energy levels which makes it easier to stay positive and be awesome! I like to stay fit without realizing that I'm doing it, so here are some options:
  • Swimming - lose weight and relax at the same time! 
  • Zumba - soooo much fun! 
  • Kickboxing - After a long, tired day, this will do the trick. Take that, calculus homework! 
  • Dancing - ditto zumba. 
  • Sports - tennis, racquetball, whatever.
2. Be kind to your body.

Don't be too hard on yourself. It's great to challenge yourself but make sure not to push yourself over the edge. If you treat your body/self like some machine and overwork it then sooner or later that machine will get all squeaky and it's going to need a serious oil change (or whatever it is you do to make a machine alright again). Sure, we are all going to have to pull an all-nighter sometimes, but doing it frequently is terrible for your body. Same goes for not taking time for yourself. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, I heard. I don't know about you, but I'm guessing nobody wants to be around that.

3. Manage your time.

I couldn't stress this enough. I was the queen of time management. I had everything under control and I rocked, if I say so myself. But that was part of the problem. Life turned around and suddenly I couldn't control things that I needed to control anymore. I was taken by surprise. It all happened too fast and I didn't react quickly enough. Now, I'm more proactive. Work ahead and Work smarter, not harder. Control what you can and for the things you can't, there's always damage control. At least, that's how I see it. This way you won't unnecessarily blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in the world. Your stress levels are lower and you're happier overall because getting things done gives you satisfaction.

4. Know what stresses you out and how you react to it.

I get stressed out when things aren't in order. I like things to be in their rightful place. And this applies to everything. I also get stressed about things I can't control - like being a broke college student for example. When I mean control, I mean, I can't exactly make it disappear. It weighs on my mind and I get stressed. I know I can take measures to protect myself, but the problem is sometimes what you do is not enough. And the last few years have been like that for me. It's important to remember that's how life works. I realize that now. Just go with the flow. Do what you can, be creative about what you can't and accept the things you absolutely cannot change. Move on. 

My reaction to stress (besides crazy headaches) is this - I eat. I hate stress-eating and I never thought that was me because well, it wasn't. But now, my lifestyle has changed and with the cold weather up here, a pint of ice-cream or a giant piece of chocolate cake in the comfort of my well-heated room was quite the recurring scene. I have a sweet tooth and I'm fine with that but I've realized where to draw the line. You need to face the facts and come to terms with the problem, otherwise how do you begin to solve it? So eat right and on time. Snack in between and reward yourself, but look for the signs and know when to rein yourself in.

5. Know what makes you happy and do it more often.

Pretty straightforward. Singing in the shower gives you a high that stays for days? Jump right in there and maybe take an extra 5 minutes.

6. Be independent but know when to team up.
The truth is (and I've learned this the hard way), at least once in life, the people closest to you will let you down. Everybody's human. Don't put your happiness in other people. If you can't make yourself happy, chances are, nobody else can. 

I am a pretty independent person, but I have had to depend on people a lot here. I don't have a car, I don't have a support system. It's difficult to get used to and I don't like to burden others. But people have been so nice. That's something I really like about ND and the Midwest in general - people are nicer and definitely helpful! Take charge - do things on your own. Spread your wings and explore your world, but after a distance if you find yourself in need of help, don't be afraid to ask for it.

These are just some of the things I have thought about and am now enforcing in my own life and I thought I would share. I hope this helps. 

Life is too short to complain all the time. There will always be big stages of your life where change is inevitable, but don't lose yourself in the process. Always preserve your personality and keep your head above the water. Change is not always bad - you gotta know which ones are the good kind. And last but not least, remember, it's all about perspective.

I'm excited for my first weekend as the old/new hybrid me.
Happy Friday!

Chrissy, xoxo

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