How To Beat Negative Thoughts For A More Positive Outlook

How To Beat Negative Thoughts For A More Positive Outlook

If you feel emotionally tired, angry or unmotivated; you keep overthinking your past mistakes or misfortunes; you want to change yourself, but don’t know where to start; you already tried changing, but got back to older habits; you feel disappointed; you struggle with low confidence: There are ways to beat negative thinking and emerge from it – stronger, brighter and wiser than before.

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How To Use My New Planners To Kick Off 2019 The Right Way

Hello Lovely,

Do you have goals for 2019? The holiday season is over now and it’s almost time to return to work. So after a couple of weeks of excess, it’s time to get back to it, bring that self-discipline and determination back and get it done. Staying on track after the initial high of motivation can be tough, though. This is why people often opt out of making New Year’s resolutions. But the fresh start that a new year brings should never be overlooked; it’s an opportunity to go after what truly makes you happy from a fresh perspective. That’s where these planners can really help you.

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As a thank you to everyone who has been such an amazing support over the past year, I am giving away two free printables to help you prioritise self-care and plan self-care activities for every day of the month. These sheets are actually a part of a bundle deal that I’m releasing today, called “How To Own Your Sh*t”. The bundle sells for only $10. The bundle includes a fitness planner, ($6 if bought separately) and a self-care workbook with 30 activities ($6 if bought separately). The fitness planner comes with 5 healthy recipes to get you started, easy workouts and it allows you to easily record your meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; keep track of your daily activity and exercises; and has space for reflection to allow you to improve every week. There’s even links for three of my favourite at-home workouts. While the self-care workbook has 30 different activities ranging from silly confidence boosters to deep introspective creative writing.

All planners are easy to print and put together, and if you live in Nassau, I’ll print the planner for you if you want. A small delivery fee of $2 will be charged. Purchase the Self Care Planner here and the Fitness Planner here. Or buy them both here.

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Why I'm Afraid To Get Too Personal On My Blog

Hello Lovely,

In an age of oversharing, it's easy to become that person who snaps a photo of every single meal, document every part of your vacation and broadcast relationship troubles. We're encouraged to be open and speak our minds. We've learning keeping secrets can be dangerous and we've reframed many hurtful labels. All of which I'm sure has been to help society become more open-minded, uninhibited and explorative creatures. But is there a price to being so open? What are the real risks? I originally started this blog as something to do while I looked for work, but over time it's become very therapeutic for me; giving me a reason to get up, get out and try new things. And when the feedback started coming in, the positivity encouraged me to do more, share more. But lately, I haven't wanted to share as much. It wasn't until I started reading, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis that I realised how much I was really holding back and how superficial a lot of my content had become. If you want to check out the book for yourself, it's available on Amazon - I totally recommend it.

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What are my insecurities? This isn't one of those posts where I can simply list the reasons. A lot of my reasons are intertwined. When I really think about what stops me from getting too personal it's one thing: fear of backlash. I wish I could share about my weight struggles without people complaining that I'm delusional because I'm skinny and there are people with real weight problems. But what people don't know is I often receive unnecessary comments on my weight with people asking if I'm pregnant. I wish I could share about my mental health struggles without fear that a future employer would see this and think I'm too unstable for the job. I wish I could share about my relationship issues without my exes feeling vindicated somehow. Or the fact that sometimes, even after undergoing surgery at 19, I still have bladder accidents and wet myself. And as much as I wanted to share that a few weeks ago I went to the police because I feared someone I only went on two dates with might have been stalking me, I just couldn't find the strength.

What makes it worse, is for the past five years, I've worked with really vindictive people. The kind who go out of their way to get you fired by setting you up to fail or outright lying on you. And if they had access to my deepest personal problems, I just knew they would find a way to use it against me. None of this has been easy to deal with. I mean what's the point of owning a personal blog if you can't truly be yourself on it, right?

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So how have I been dealing with it? I recently started sharing more Instagram stories. I realised a good way to get personal is to get more real on social media. One thing I'm secretly insecure about is the sound of my voice. I can't explain it, I just don't like the sound of my own voice. So years ago I assumed others don't either and haven't been much for speaking. (Hence why blogging is so appealing and I never tried vlogging). But by sharing videos of the various stages of recipes I try or videos of myself getting ready or hanging out with friends, I'm getting more comfortable with speaking in front of people. I always thought people would look at me strangely if I'm recording a video in public, like I would look vain or something. To challenge myself, I went to a wine tasting (where I wrote a small portion of this post) and took selfies and a boomerang while at a table with other people. Was I self-concious? Of course I was. But I knew the fear of what others think about me was crippling my growth so I had to do something about it.

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The same with working out. When I was in Houston staying with a friend, we went to the gym in his community and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't work out in front of those people, even though they didn't know me. I went back to the apartment and worked out there, but deep down I knew I was cheating myself. I started sharing more about my workouts on my IG stories as a motivation to myself to continue. But the truth is I'm so inconsistent with working out lately, my diet isn't what it was before I travelled for the summer and I actually put back on some of the weight I lost, so I feel like a failure and I hate sharing failures. (Who doesn't, right?)

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Well, those were some of the biggest and the baddest in no particular order . I genuinely feel a weight being lifted off as I close out this post. I really appreciate all of the love I've been receiving as I open up. I want you to know it really is a reminder to think positively and be grateful for how far I've come, instead of how much further I think I need to go. The truth is, everyone doesn't need to know everything about your life, but you also shouldn't be so ashamed of the truth that you create a completely false life just to please others who are probably struggling with the same shit as you.  To quote Rachel Hollis, "More than anything, I hope you’ll rest in the knowledge that you can become whomever and whatever you want to be, my sweet friend . And on the days that seem the hardest, you’ll remember that— by an inch or a mile— forward momentum is the only requirement."

What I Do to Get My Blogging Mojo Back

Hello Lovely,

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When I first started blogging I didn't have a schedule or a plan. Now I know what I want to accomplish by blogging and I share something every day! Or at least I'm supposed to. Every now and then I miss a day or a week, and a reader recently asked me about it. Sometimes I really am too busy to create content but most of the time, I just don't know what I want to talk about, and not knowing what I should talk about leads to panic, which of course leaves me crippled by anxiety. And just like that, I've lost it. My motivation and my will to blog. I guess you can call it my mojo. That feeling of, "I've got this. I know what I'm doing and it's going to be great!"

But it's been really hard to want to blog when I know that I can't provide top quality  imagery of top blogs such as A Beautiful Mess or Color Me Courtney, or I don't have a degree in journalism. If I'm going to do something, I want to do it well or not do it at all, which is what most people want to do when they set out to do something. The issue here, though, is that I act like I absolutely must have editorial shoot level photography and content written better than J. K. Rowling. You so don't, and I know that, but I don't always act like I know that.

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I've been holding back from making posts that I feel are mediocre or irrelevant in comparison to most blogs. But the whole point of blogging is to share what you love and enjoy and to be yourself entirely. To lighten the load, I often give myself permission to take a week off every now and then, because I know there won't always be something worth talking about, so I have to give myself time to find something worth sharing.

I often read other blogs and if I enjoy reading it, it's probably something I'd enjoy making or a topic I'd enjoy writing about my own experience. I don't want to be posting half arsed content just to make sure I have a post up on a specific day, so I post about whatever I like even if it's not conventional because that is the whole point of blogging and occasionally, I need to remind myself of that.

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What To Do When You're Not Feeling So Confident

Hello Lovely,

Are you a confident woman? Do you keep pushing in the face of adversity? Do you wake up every morning ready to rock? And then it happens. Every confident woman has a weakness somewhere. There's always something that can hurt our pride or put a thorn in our confident stride. Maybe it's when someone lets you down and you now have to fend for yourself? Maybe it's when you realise that you have no reliable or authentic friends at work, and no matter how hard you try to ignore it and just focus on the job, you can't deny that it gets a little lonely. And maybe even uncomfortable if you know they don't like you. It's hard to maintain your confidence when you have to interact with the very thing that tries to tear you down. I'm sure we all have our methods for breaking through, but after so much fighting, do you ever just get tired?

I know I do. I'm on a positive vibes only right now but I'm surrounded by negativity every day. No matter how hard I try to compartmentalise and distance myself from the drama, it really only does one thing: Leaves me alone. You brush it off as haters and a sign that you're clearly doing something worth watching. You also remind yourself that comparison is the thief of joy and it's never good to second guess yourself because of what someone else is doing. And sure for awhile being alone is nice, because I'm confident in myself and what I have to offer. However, after so much alone time, sometimes I do start to think, Is it me? Am I the problem? And just like that, my confident is shattered. So what do you do when you're not feeling so confident? Here are just a few ways to pick yourself back up.

1. Call your person

Everyone should know that episode of Grey's Anatomy where Christina told Meredith (or was it the other way around) that she is her person (if you don't, I literally just provided the clip for you, watch it, don't be lazy). It quickly became a thing that we all started saying. Everyone should have a "person" or maybe more than just one person. I have two people. Two people that no matter what, I know they won't judge me, they will understand, and depending on my mood will automatically know if I need sound, logical advise, or just an ear to vent to so that I feel right. And yes these are the people I would call if I just murdered someone, if they weren't already there when it happened.

2. Dance It Out

Or whatever your thing is. What is it that soothes you? Dancing? Singing? Video Games? Cooking? And it doesn't even have to be something you're good at. God knows I am not the best singer, but that doesn't stop me from building karaoke playlists that I belt out in my car while not letting people out of corners (eye of the tiger baby - not literally the song, that's just how it makes me feel when a song I really enjoy singing along to comes on).

3. Stop trying

Who gives a damn any way? So what if your coworkers don't like you, so what if you messed up that recipe? Give yourself a break. Literally, stop trying. Whatever it is, walk away from it. Do not let that moment define who you are. You, awesome you. You'll get it next time, or maybe never at all; and that's okay. Whatever it is you can't do (after trying everything you could to do it) simply wasn't meant for you to do. Stop trying, and find something else you can do!

We're not perfect. We cheat on diets, we skip gym days (for months on end) but we're not failures. It's okay to not be confident 100% of the time. It's okay to not have all the answers. Give yourself credit for the things you can do and know that tomorrow is a brand new chapter waiting to be written.

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How Decluttering My Closet Reduced My Anxiety

Hello lovely,

Let's have an open and honest chat about anxiety, shall we? Since last year, a lot has happened and I feel like I'm just playing catch-up. I've been taking time off periodically just to clear my head but nothing seemed to be working. I was falling behind at work, in my professional life outside of work and I was just always tired. The thought of doing anything creative or remotely productive left me crippled with anxiety and I just couldn't progress. It wasn't until a recent tweet made me realise at least one of the sources of my anxiety.

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So while I was home sick with the flu, I took a really long look at my closet. Over the span of several days I completed the most intense purge of my life. Anything that I hadn't worn in months, anything that couldn't fit and never would again went into the bag. I went strictly on impulse. If I got a bad feeling when I touched it, I got rid of it. Sure there were some pieces I really liked, but I couldn't tell you the last time I wore them or when I'd ever wear them again. I knew I had to toss them. And as I did, with each piece, I slowly felt a weight lift off me. Slowly I was able to find the energy (and the space) to put away my clean laundry instead of leaving it on the couch for a week until the new laundry came and that laundry just got tossed on the chair in my room (everyone has that chair; get rid of it). It was a vicious cycle.

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And even worse, I can't even tell you what's in these bags. This was the most cleansing purge ever! I think it was symbolic of all of the toxic things I've gotten rid of in my life over the past year and a few things I still wish I could get rid of. It's also symbolic of my growth emotionally and professionally. My personal style hasn't changed drastically, rather subtly. Don't worry I still have a closet FULL of clothes and options so I don't miss these clothes at all.

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I now feel better about doing laundry and putting them away immediately. My room is still relatively clean with a few more things that can be moved into storage but I'm still working on it. How are you spring cleaning this year? What are you looking forward to getting rid of and how are you getting organised?

Working on Positive Self Talk

Hello Lovely,

Let’s face it—life can be rough sometimes. We all go through ups and downs. And you know I’ve definitely been through my share of moments, both good and bad. But here’s the thing. We can learn from our past and have it help shape our future. Today is day 10 of the #21DaysofMe Challenge and it's all about transformation and self love. In addition to three ways to show yourself some love, I'm going to share three things that I love about myself.

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Show Yourself Some Love

It really starts with giving yourself the love you deserve. Don’t beat yourself up—because you are enough. Wherever you are in your journey, that’s the best you can and should be. This is why even though I was really upset to have to eat at an expensive restaurant this past weekend, I ate the most expensive food I could find to engage in self-love. I ate oysters, mussels, shrimp and lobster tails (that was my entire dinner). For dessert, I finally had crème brulee and panacotta (I didn't like it). 

Real Talk

Boost yourself up, especially when you might be feeling down. Give yourself some positive words of encouragement! Maybe you leave notes for yourself on your bathroom mirror in lipstick. Maybe you just smile at your reflection. But be sure to share a kind word with yourself every once in awhile. I stood in the front of the mirror and told myself that I was awesome because at only 28, I may not have a serious romantic relationship like my friends, but I have a Master's Degree that I paid for on my own (no loan), I recently upgraded my car and I became the first and only certified Bahamian AutPlay Therapy Provider. I reminded myself that I have a lot going for myself and everything was beginning to line up for a brighter future.

Form Healthy Habits

Whether you work out every day or you’re just getting into your routine, that’s okay. Take it slow and work at your own pace. We’re all running our own marathons! When I first started going to the gym, it was really hard. Now I hate whenever I miss a day, and that I can only go three days a week.

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Check out this video by Demi Lovato, on transforming key areas of your life.

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

I hope this post shows my human side. We all make mistakes and we all fall short. Whether it's that relationship that ended after 2 years or only 2 days (yes I have lost a guy after only 2 days) there is always going to be something in life that makes you feel incompetent.  Today I want to share, in no particular order, about five times I felt incompetent, which is going to involve me "putting a few people on blast".

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6 Ways To Practice Self Care During Chaotic Times Of The Year

Hello Lovely,

As much as I love the holidays, if I’m completely honest, they also bring pangs of anxiety. Not only are you forced to spend time with family members you're not exactly fond off, or stuck in traffic or an airport somewhere you may or may not be interested in going, this past holiday season was particularly difficult for my family. On December 16, 2017 my step dad died. Even though he was sick and I had seen the warning signs that he would not make it to the New Year, it still felt like I had the rug pulled from under my feet. So to say that this holiday season was chaotic is a HUGE understatement. Family dynamics got crazier and we spent time we should have spent rejoicing and decorating, planning a funeral. It's enough to cause the deepest depression spell but I got through it all smiling and laughing. Which may leave you wondering:

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How can practice self-care during the holidays or other chaotic times of the year?

Check In Mentally & Physically

This requires you to be aware of your triggers and methods for recovery. Take particular note if your mood always drops after talking with a specific friend, or if you have anxiety around a specific task. On the flip side, don’t forget to do a scan of the positive things as well. Like if you feel a little extra warm and fuzzy after watching movies with your family. The more awareness you can bring to the things that both deplete you and fill you with joy, the more you can do these next steps effectively.

Setting Boundaries With People

I love my family but sometimes something as simple as calling me the wrong name ticks me off. Setting boundaries is going to look different depending on the person and situation. As an introvert, being around large groups of people for long periods of time can feel like my worst nightmare. There have been times I simply chose not to go to family events just to avoid the noise.

I was particularly inspired to work on this when the night before my step dad's funeral I had to sneak away to my bedroom just to be alone and work in silence. I still wanted the TV on (on something I actually enjoyed watching) but I couldn't take the back and forth conversation of my mum, grandmother and uncle over the noise of the TV while I was trying to work. I already had a brunch with my best friend's earlier that day so I had pretty much met my social quota for the day and just couldn't do it any more.

After dealing with my anxiety for over a decade my mum knows when to not take things personally but still checks me when she feels I'm getting worked up and taking it out on her. Make sure the people closest to you understand your triggers and respect your boundaries that you have in place or any effort you make in self-care can result in offended family members or friends.

Respect Your Budget

This is the time of the year where it is easy to over-indulge. For those of us who only get paid once a month, you know that after that early pay day in December, it's a LONG way to January. Once you figure out what you can spend on extras like holiday gifts, events, and other holiday things, honour that. If you splurge now, you pay even more later. And later comes sooner than you think. The list of things that seem to trap us in extravagance may differ from person to person, however, it is common to be swept up into excessive behavior. Aristotle wisely stated, “all things in moderation.” 

Forgive

Forgiveness isn't something that's one and done. Forgiveness happens again and again, often for the same offence. Because no one is perfect, someone will always do something you don't like. It takes a strong person to forgive someone, no matter what they've done or how long ago it happened. It’s not too late. Your forgiveness will not only heal their hearts, it will heal yours. Forgiveness simply means, I value myself (or our relationship) more than being right. Who do you need to forgive? Maybe you owe yourself some forgiveness. P.S. You don’t need an apology to forgive someone.

Give up expectations

I expected my step dad to die before the New Year but. no matter how sure of this I was, I still wasn't prepared when it happened. The holidays, particularly Christmas, can set us up for unrealistic expectations. It's supposed to be a “magical” time of year as we dream of the perfect holiday. Past experiences, the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job or financial difficulty all seems to heighten during this time of year.  One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time, is to give up your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree while hosting the perfect parties with the perfect gifts.  This type of thinking is extremely damaging to you.  As you relinquish these ideas, you are able to open yourself up to experiencing greater joy in the reality of the moment.  Let go of false illusions and celebrate the moment.  

Don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle of the season

Plan ahead and designate specific time frames for the tasks that you need to complete or the functions that you will attend. This will give you time for mental preparation, allowing you to not be overwhelmed.  The malls and stores are extremely active at certain times of the day and week.  If possible, plan your shopping time during quieter hours, such as weekday mornings.  Shop online in the privacy of your home to avoid crowds all together.  When you do plan to be out in the crowds, calm your mind and body before going.  Realise that you don’t have to rush.  Take your time and enjoy the shopping process.  Often times, by changing our perspective of the situation, we can approach things with calmness.  We do not need to become part of the holiday frenzy.  Create a sense of peace and joy, true holiday feelings, inside your mind and spirit.

Take care of yourself over the holidays. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love. May peace, joy, love and happiness be yours today and throughout the year!

3 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

Hello Lovely,

There is no amount of coffee that can make me a morning person! I'm one of those people that has 5 alarms set for every work day. My first alarm is a reminder to turn on the heater, The second alarm is a reminder to get up to make breakfast and lunch. The third alarm is in case I ignored the second. The fourth is if I was smart enough to meal prep letting me know I need to leave home in an hour and the last one simply says to leave home. I hate snooze so I almost never snooze. My morning routine works for me but it still doesn't make me excited to get up at 4:30 every morning.

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These tips may not necessarily make you a morning person but it just may make your mornings a little smoother and quit hitting the snooze button for good.

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Set a bedtime…

If you’ve ever had one of those weeks where your bedtime is completely erratic each night (8 pm one night, midnight the next), you know how hard it can be to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed each morning. And there’s a reason behind that: In fact, did you know that having a consistent bedtime every night of the week can lead to better quality of sleep and therefore higher rates of productivity the next day? So it turns out our parents were right all along for forcing us to go stick to one bedtime. If you want to become a morning person, my first piece of advice is to set a bedtime and stick with it. Some nights will be later than others of course, but aiming to be in bed at the same time each weeknight is a good starting place.

Plan out your breakfast the night before…

We’ve all had those mornings where we’re applying mascara as we’re running out the door, shoes in hand and coffee nearly spilling all over the place… Only to arrive at your office desk to realise that you didn’t have a bite of breakfast to help fuel your big day. Since getting out the door on time to go to work can be a mad dash, our editors recommend planning ahead much as possible. I usually don't eat breakfast until 9 am because it keeps me feeling fuller longer. Pinterest can be great inspiration for planning your meals. Once you have an idea of what you would like to eat for breakfast, you can buy this items during your next grocery trip so you'll always have the ingredients on hand.

Make your bed

I know what you're thinking. I don't literally mean make your bed because I can honestly say this is one chore I never do. Make your bed is symbolic. We watched this video during our training week at work and it truly is inspirational. Whatever your task is, whether it's working out, running your side business or literally making your bed, completing a task before you've even left the house for work or school will increase your sense of accomplishment and make you more productive throughout the day. You have to watch this video!

Do you have any tips for becoming a morning person?

And, what tips do you have for setting a morning routine and sticking with it?

Let us know in the comments below.