Taking A Time Out

Oh those Feelings. Impatient, anxious, irritable & disconnected. It’s a taking a time out kind of Monday.

I find spending time alone can be therapeutic when these feelings start taking over. A Monday to just hang out in my sweats, do a little bit of blogging , lounge around, bake , whatever I want.
By spending time alone I am able to set my thoughts straight and get rid of all negativity. One thing I can tell you is that you should never be afraid of being alone.

Take a day, a day just for you . Very often it helps us understand who we are, what we want, and what we can do to become better people.

I’ve always wondered if I was an introvert because I do love spending the majority of my time alone. I shop alone, I exercise alone, I go to coffee shops alone. I just really love being alone. I’ve even gone on several vacations alone. It’s confusing at times because I also have an Extrovert personality because I have no problem speaking to strangers, or initiating conversations, or even public speaking. But at the same time, extended periods around people make me feel drained that leads me to this need of wanting to be alone.
I would have to say I have a much easier time adjusting my approach towards the world based on situations as I encounter them. If that makes any sense at all.
So, what am I?
An introvert or an extrovert?
Maybe it’s neither, with a little research, sounds like I may actually be an ambivert!
Yes, an ambivert!

am·bi·vert
a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features.

I choose to be outspoken and social when I need to. I even enjoy social activities. I simply need more solitude breaks to recharge my “social batteries.” I have come to learn that it’s ok to pause to think, or to ask for the solitude that I need.
I think we all possess both introversion and extraversion to some degree. The more I read , the more I believe no one is ever purely introverted or purely extroverted. We are all  ambiverts  with varying degrees of introversion or extroversion.
Some think that the whole concept of ambiversion is a crock.
I think there is no right or wrong personality type. All we need to do is to live, act and address who we really are. Continue to build on our strengths, eliminate toxicity and get to know our true self.BLOG PICTURE

Although I sure do sound like an ambivert from what I have researched, I will not label myself one way or another.
As for A Time Out Monday, I just need to be quiet and think and let the superpower kick in. It’s amazing how just a solitary day with your mind can bring you peace again. Looking forward to my day.

I hope you all can find time to slow down, which in turn will allow your whole system to take a breather. Rejuvenate!

Be Well!

Pauline

My Journey – Part 2

Two weeks ago, I made the decision that I was going to become the healthiest version of me that I could become. A long overdue visit with my family physician was just the wake up call I needed.
For the most part I eat a pretty healthy diet and have a moderate exercise routine. So, when the Dr. told me that my blood pressure was dangerously high, like stroke high I was a little taken back. Medication was prescribed and yet another new journey begins for me. Journey #2

Let’s start with Journey #1.
October 2013, I left a job that sucked the life out of me, the negativity around me was too much and left me dealing with Anxiety & Depression, I made myself a promise to never let anyone or anything ever take away my love of life again. My focus was to increase the positivity in my life. I knew I had to take responsibility and make it happen, because no one else could do it for me.
I just wanted to be more positive! I was so frustrated with the negativity that my thoughts seemingly force upon me. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was ready.
I found myself seeing a therapist, reading books, googling positive quotes that inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. It didn’t matter to me that I already knew what the book was all about, or that I’ve seen the same quote 2 or 3 times before or that people might think she’s crazy seeing a shrink. What mattered was that I continually feed my mind with positive and inspirational material. The more time I spent in the land of the positive, the better I was becoming. So, what happened was gradually I found myself here today, one of those happy, positive people that can handle any adversity. I still work on this Journey daily and continue to practice random acts of kindness. I just love making people smile!

This takes me to Journey #2
The same process I followed in Journey #1 for personal development is exactly the process I will follow to supercharge my life with a gym membership to meet my health and wellness goals.
I’ve Joined a gym!!
No doubt that intimidation is an unavoidable part of life. I know there will always be that someone who I feel is better than me in some way, but that doesn’t mean I should run from those feelings. I need to trample them under my feet. It’s unfortunate, and I know I am not alone on this one, people feel intimidated at the thought of joining a gym. I get it now, walking into room with mysterious machines is tough and what’s worse is that everyone there seem to be in great shape and know exactly what they’re doing. The hardest part about going to the gym for the first time was getting myself there. dsc_0019_1
I set up an orientation with a trainer who showed me around and taught me how to use the machines. I asked a lot of questions and felt a little silly but once all my questions were answered and I knew how the machines worked, I felt much more comfortable about showing up for my work outs on my own. I might have initially felt awkward following the trainer around the gym, but to me an hour of discomfort seemed much better than days of confusion at the gym.
It’s hard in the beginning, (only 2 weeks into it) because I’m trying to change something that my body isn’t used to. I’m o.k with that. I have decided the best look I can have when going to the gym for the first little while and trying to overcome the anxiety is one of confidence, because if I look like I know what I’m doing, I’m golden. Fake it, till you make it-lol

So, I will throw my ear plugs in and zone into motivational music that will silence the other gym goers and give me the push I need to keep going. My goals will give me focus and purpose.
Each day as I walk into the gym, I will tell myself that I am there to give it my very best and it doesn’t matter how everyone else looks. My first two weeks is not comparable to someone else’s 52 weeks. I’ve got this!

Gradually as with Journey #1 The happiest version of me I will also become the healthiest version of me Journey #2.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment.

Be Well!

Pauline

 

Anxiety Does Not Define Me

I find that People always share the shining side of things, especially in our world of Social Media. Yes, I am guilty. It’s easier to share the highlights of your life than to talk about the negative, but I think it’s also important to show we’re all human, we all have failures, we have things that are more difficult to cope with.

Admitting vulnerability has the ability to connect people. I hope that with this blog I connect with you & give you inspiration.

Everyone has struggles in life – it just happens that anxiety and depression are mine.

Anxiety. At some point in life you will face it. A public speech, job interviews or the first day at your new job, you’ll get nervous, do whatever it is that is making you nervous and then go back to your usual self. This makes me incredibly envious.

The stigma around having a mental health issue causes a lot of people to hide it. That’s why a lot of the time when you find out someone has anxiety or depression it comes as a surprise.
SURPRISE!

I am not an expert on anything. Most days I struggle with being the expert on me, but that is the only thing I come close to being an expert on.

People are puzzled by me — I come across as outgoing but introverted, very social but rarely wanting to go out and socialize. My alone time my safe place.

Despite many physical symptoms of anxiety, I’m a master at hiding it.

While I may not be able to prevent stress or anxiety from showing up at inopportune times, my remedy and a great place to start is by taking a deep breath and remembering I don’t have to have it all together all the time. Or even some of the time. The best thing I can do is live honestly with myself. I’ve also been through a couple of episodes of depression. Luckily, I have had the strength and guidance of professionals to get through them along with amazing support of family & friends.

I think a couple of my favorite pieces of advice for when feeling down is “it’s OK not to be OK” and “Sometimes we fall down because there is something down there we’re supposed to find”

I know this might sound strange, but I am grateful for my Anxiety and Depression even though I would not wish them on my worst enemy, but they have had a huge impact in shaping who I am, and in developing some of my biggest strengths. I’m proud of my kindness and empathy. Being familiar with struggle makes a person appreciate the goodness in life so much more. Life is good, and life is short, and for that reason I will make my journey count.

Anxiety and depression do not define me, but I am truly very grateful for the life lessons I have learned in working to overcome and manage them, and of the person I am.
I have become more proactive to stay healthy, especially when my mental health is at stake and have come to the conclusion that I will never let my most personal decisions be influenced by the opinions of others. I have to believe the right decision lies deep in my heart. I believe in the knowledge I have and trust myself enough to embrace the unknown.

The prescribed medication I take for anxiety attacks does not define me. I am OK with my decision to take medication when needed to help me with my anxiety. A decision that came from acceptance, not shame. A decision that allowed me to start down a new path on my journey.

My one piece of advice to anyone dealing with anxiety is to never let anxiety fool you into thinking you’re not strong enough for something. 8edbf8af8f9b1546b55e86bed33c060b
Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way. This is based on my own individual experience.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. Always stay true to you 🙂  Always remember…Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

 

 

 

Clutter Free = Mind Free

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog, but with a New Year 2015 approaching, thinking of what I would like to accomplish in the New Year I thought I’d share with you my New Year Resolution. I am a pretty organized person to start with, but there’s always room for improvement & this is what my resolution is; maintaining a clutter free lifestyle.

I once read that cluttered spaces and thoughts affect your productivity and overall enjoyment of life? The general idea of decluttering is to get rid of things, thoughts, and ideas that don’t work for you and don’t contribute positively to your life.

It’s like this – when you get rid of clutter, you free up a much needed space not just physically but also in your head (emotionally). Soon, you’ll realize like I have that you’re not so stressed out, overwhelmed, frustrated, or just feeling yucky.

I’ve put together some ideas on how to do this and am sharing with you my friends so you to, can live clutter free and add to your enjoyment of life.

While most dream of being more organized, actually getting that way can sometimes be a challenge! If you struggle with too much clutter try the process I use for myself;

Sizing down the number of things you already have is the first step of the battle. I suggest starting one room at a time. Give yourself permission to only keep the things that are currently useful, despite who gave them to you or how much they cost.  This can be really hard, especially at first. Believe me it does get easier when you begin to realize that freeing your home of clutter frees your mind of clutter. As you begin to sort through your things, ask yourself these questions:Do we use it, wear it, or play with it? If it is clothes, does it still fit?

  1. Is it in good working condition?
  2. Does it enrich our lives in some way?
  3. Does it have sentimental value?
  4. Could someone else use it more?

I also find it helpful to set up 4 categories:

1.) Things to keep in this area

2.) Things to donate (or in my case-sell on my online thrift shop)

3.) Things to throw away

4.) Things to put elsewhere (keepsake box, seasonal items, or things that belong in a different room)

Once you’ve cleared an area and put away all the items that belong elsewhere, move on to the next area.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And this my friends is how I stay organized and clutter free. Sometimes it gets away from me and that’s when I go back to the beginning & start again. The Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. is the key. Stay on top of it – easier said than done. After all we are human-not perfect-lol.

declutter-your-mindAn amazing feeling to sit in a room without clutter & just chill.

May your New Year be clutter free and all that you wish for.

Happy 2015 & Thanks for taking the time to read & follow my blogs through out the year.

PC

*Side note to all my friends out there, if you are de cluttering in the new year and looking for a place to donate your items I would be happy to take them off your hands for my online thrift shop. http://www.facebook.com/PCSmilesThriftShop

Discovering Ecotheraphy

Have you ever thought that you’re not as happy as you should be in your life?

I’m sure you have. We all have at some point in our lives.

About a year ago that was me. Not that my life is hard, or that I have a lot to worry about, I have a pretty comfortable life. It was just me feeling stuck .Thinking too much about the past, worrying about the future, just not being thankful for the present. I decide it was time to take some steps to enhance my level of well-being. I started on my journey. I took to the World Wide Web and googled well-being. Here I found a number of new activities and practices that I could take up: meditation, singing, running, performing acts of kindness, mindfulness, yoga and so on. I do a lot of these now, but the one thing I was surprised with was that research had shown of all these activities the most effective thing you could do, according to research, is to take up gardening.  flowers
Gardening? No wonder I always felt so much better after a day of working in the yard. I should tell you first of all that I am not a gardener. I have no idea what the flowers in my flower beds are called, with the exception of the Hosta plant. Oh yes, and the impatiens flowers. All I know is that those plants in the back get nice purple flowers and the others in the corner get beautiful yellow ones. Yep, and that’s how I plant my flower beds.
I read in an article that in the UK, gardening has begun to be used as a therapy for individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. As an alternative to prescribing anti-depressants, doctors in a pilot study are signing patients up for 12 week gardening courses. The ‘Grozone’ project teaches patients basic horticultural skills and encourages them to grow their own plants, which they can take home afterwards.
ECOTHERAPHY! Sweet! I love it! I have always enjoyed being outdoors and soaking up the beauty of nature in general, a walk through the woods, sitting on the beach, stopping by a roadside park. I have used all of these to improve the symptoms of anxiety and to improve concentration and well-being.
So although I have been under the weather with a cold I decided to venture out to the flower gardens yesterday. It’s fall here so it’s time to cut back, transfer and weed the few gardens I do have. If you know me, you will know that I have been on a mindfulness journey and have become very wrapped up in practicing mindfulness because it is such a powerful tool that keeps me staying in the now. So as I was digging in the dirt I found myself absorbed in the digging, lost track of time and the restlessness and chattering of my mind just faded away. I felt alert, alive and my mental energy became more intensified.
dirtI was in the moment! Concentrating on the beauty around me, free from the anxieties of the future.
So today I got lost in the gardens again. I have never devoted much time to the activity. But I’m beginning to think that I should start. Not only did it feel great to get out and do some physical activity it kept me focused and in the now, it gave me a sense of accomplishment too. I know I will have to wait until next summer for all my hard work to unfold but I also know once the snow melts and spring arrives and the first sign of bulbs pop through the ground I will be knee deep in my new ECOTHERAPHY.
And for now I will give thanks to mother nature for providing a day of sunshine. Cheers to another wonderful day outdoors.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

-Luther Burbank

Attitude A Choice

21366_560737483983401_2017972483_nLast October I suddenly quit my job. Realizing that the past 6 years with this company was changing who I was. The negativity of the workplace was sucking the life out of me. I was becoming one of the negative employees I once complained about. Not someone I wanted to become. Was it scary, just quitting without a plan in place? You bet it was!

Anxiety & Depression took over my life for a couple of months until I just woke up one morning and said. “I don’t want to feel like this anymore” So I had a choice to make, stay stuck or pull myself up out of this frame of mind. A choice, something we all have.

This is when I realized the impact of choice and attitude on my life and how important it was to surround myself with positive, happy people and to make time for more things that made me appreciate the world.

Spending time exercising and helping others have helped me boost my moods and put me in a better frame of mind.
Working at developing a good attitude is so worth it! It has helped me to improve my health, my happiness, and I believe it will help me live a longer life.
Is it easy? I’m not saying it’s easy, but what I am saying is if I can do it you can too. It’s a choice!
Become aware of your thoughts, when you have a negative thought try to replace it with a positive thought. It takes some time, but what do they say? It takes 21 days to form a habit. 21 one days, give it a try. Choose your attitude, change your life! Change
Since implementing this mentality my life has improved dramatically. My health has improved. My anxiety and depression have disappeared and I have made the choice to stay aware, to practice mindfulness and to only allow people into my life who are good for me and have a positive outlook on life.
I’m at a time in my life more than ever before where I can say “Life is good” I follow my heart.
Here’s hoping this gives you some inspiration if you are stuck.

Starting the day off with a positive quote every day is a great way to reinforce positive changes in your life!