Ways To Reduce Stress:

In honor of finals week.

Stress. Amazing how a small, simple word can hold so many emotions for many different people. Stress can stop us from enjoying the things we love, so it is important to change up your daily habits or treat yourself occasionally to create a clear conscience for yourself. With that said, here are some of my favorite stress relievers:

  • Find support from your loved ones
  • Don’t look at it all at once.
    – Just take things one piece at a time. (Make sure you put some breaks in there too)
  • ¬†Take a walk
    – Walks are extremely good for your mental health. It helps boost creativity and mental sharpness, increases your mood, lowers risk for Alzheimer’s, and helps you get a better night’s sleep!
  • Create a schedule/invest in a planner
  • Take a power nap
  • Hugs! Seriously hugs are magic.
    – Hugs release endorphins (a happy hormone) which can help your health in SO many ways.
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Cry (It’s ok! Let it all out!)
  • Set down the phone and close the laptop
  • Music
    – Music is amazing because it can connect many groups of people. Music brings back vivid memories and emotions, so if you’re stressed I recommend putting on some tunes.
  • Be creative (write, paint, draw, cook etc)
  • Do yoga/meditate/stretch/workout
  • Prepare the night before
    – This week is finals week for my school, so make sure you have everything you need packed, charged, and laid out.
  • Take a day to glam it up and dress your best.
    – Go out for coffee with a friend or a date and just try to take some time to enjoy who you’re with, where you are, and who you are.
  • It’s ok to say “no”
  • Avoid negative people
  • Jot down 3 things you are grateful for
  • Do a random act of kindness for someone
  • Believe in yourself
    – Visualize yourself doing well and you will do well
  • Go outside
    – Even if it’s only for a few minutes
  • Create goals
    – They could be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly!
  • Decide what matters and what doesn’t
  • Gracefully walk away from drama
  • Take a half hour to quick clear up and clean out your space
  • Focus on the positive
  • Enjoy the little things
  • Write lists ūüôā

Hope this helps! Remember to take things one day at a time.

Love, Belle

Life Update: One Year After My Back Surgery

“Grow through what you go through”

As many of you know, I had a back surgery on my L-5 S1 after herniating a disk in my spine last year. This caused sciatica which is a fancy word for numbness and pain down the side of the¬†leg. This is a typical thing that happens to 60-80 year olds as their bodies get older. (If this doesn’t make me any more of a teenage granny than knitting and baking then I don’t know what does) My doctor said it was most likely caused by repetition of playing hockey for so many years¬†or increasing my weights for weight training too fast. Ultimately after getting the surgery, I was told that hockey was no longer an option for me. This put me in a downward spiral for a bit. On the outside, I tried to remain my usual happy-go-lucky self, but on the inside, it was difficult to let go of something I have loved and lived for so long. It hurt to say goodbye to something so quickly without being able to prepare myself for it. There were many questions of “Who am I?” Thankfully I had so many wonderful people who helped me remember who I was whenever I doubted myself. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and aspirations, and that is exactly what I did and am still doing today. I decided with the amount of time I would have been playing hockey, I should work towards trying new things, meeting new people, and bettering myself in new ways. I realized that there is so much this world has to offer, and if one door closes you can open up a new one. With a positive mindset¬†and ambition to explore new things, nothing can get in my way. So to the people who ask how I am, I am doing better than ever. My pain is hardly noticeable as long as I’m active and make smart decisions when working out. I learned so many things about myself and just life in general last year. I learned that good or bad we can always take away a new lesson from our¬†triumphs and failures. Last year was definitely a ride, but it has helped me become the person I am today. I am very thankful for the many people who helped me through such a difficult time, and I am more than excited for what the New Year brings.

Love, Belle

Healthy Habits to Start After Holiday Hoedown:

First note: Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. One without the other won’t do much for your body. It is important to find the right balance in your day to eat the right foods that nurture your body and to exercise (even a little workout is better than no workout!) Also, remember that you are human and that treating yourself on occasion is not something to beat yourself up about. You know yourself and your body better than anyone else.

  • Drink more water:

A great motivator to drink more water is to get a nice water bottle that you can take with you to work, school, or the gym! Another tip is that if you find your water boring, put in some fruits and herbs! My favorite combo is strawberry and mint!

  • Find a workout buddy:

Find someone that shares your fitness goals to help motivate each other to hit the gym. Most gyms offer a variety of classes, so call up your workout buddy and ask them if they are interested in going to the gym with you! If you don’t have a workout buddy, I recommend putting together a workout playlist to keep yourself motivated. Note: if your workout buddy doesn’t want/can’t go to the gym, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either!

  • Eat 4-5 smaller meals a day:

Eating smaller meals is not only great for weight loss (if you eat the right foods), it is also great for your metabolism, stops hunger that potentially causes an unhealthy binge, and helps control your blood sugar. Another tip is to use smaller plates. This tricks your mind into thinking you are eating larger portions than you actually are!

  • Change up your routine:

This was one of my resolutions for the new year. If you do the same workout day after day, it is no longer beneficial for your body. Actually, it’s BAD for your body! If you overuse your muscles by using them every day doing the same routine you can rip, tear, or herniate something! (Which happened to me at age 16. That’s a whole other story I’ll get to in other posts) By switching up your routine, it gives your joints, muscles, and tendons a chance to recover.

  • Quit skipping breakfast:

You know the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Start your morning off with some water to start up your metabolism and make yourself a balanced breakfast. One of my favorites is scrambled eggs with chopped asparagus, ham (or Canadian bacon) on top of some coconut oil toast, and some fruit on the side. If you are REALLY running late, quick grab a Luna bar or try to pop in a piece of toast with some peanut butter and grab a banana.

These are only a few simple tips to start with. I’m sure I will have many other posts much like this one, but for now just practice balancing out your day, one day at a time. Try not to look at all the things you need/want to do all at once because that will only stress you out and you’ll lose your balance. Otherwise, you’ve got this!

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

  • Say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry” (so instead of “Sorry for being late” say, “Thank you for being so patient and waiting for me! ūüėä”
  • Stop DREAMING and start DOING
  • ¬†Always keep a smile on my face especially when I don’t want to
  • Find lessons in failure
  • Put down the phone and spend the time you’d be on it enjoying people’s company, or work toward your goals
  • ¬†Do fun things during the week, not just the weekend
  • ¬†Try to wake up earlier and set goals for the day
  • ¬†Give more compliments to those around you
  • ¬†Create healthier habits (Drink more water, eat less labeled food, cook more nutritious meals, cut out processed sugar!)
  • ¬†Learn to take walks when you’re stressed (take a walk with someone?)
  • ¬†Change up the workout routine (doing the same things over and over become less beneficial to your body and your health)
  • ¬†Learn to relax (No electronics)
  • ¬†Always try new things (Sports, activities, foods etc)
  • ¬†Try to blog once a week
  • ¬†Do something the scares you
  • ¬†Graduate high school and start college (insert internal freak-out)
  • ¬†Visit family more often
  • ¬†Ask someone for life advice
  • ¬†Travel places (go on a road trip with your best friend this summer)
  • ¬†Make plans with people (No more “let’s hang out” and then be to shy to actually ask them to hang out)
  • ¬†Get a new job
  • ¬†Meet new best friends in college
  • ¬†Read more books (any recommendations?)
  • ¬†Become a better speller and actually know where to put commas
  • ¬†Write more handwritten letters and make more phone calls
  • ¬†Don’t worry about what others think
  • ¬†Gain more patience
  • ¬†Be the change you want to see in the world. Your actions and choices can make a difference to the people around you. (They might even follow your example)
  • ¬†Learn to live in the moment

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ūüėä