Life By Arden: a blog celebrating the beauty & diversity of creativity
by Arden Creates Co
Hi! I’m Arden, owner of Arden Creates Co, pink + green enthusiast, blogger and letterist. My business, Arden Creates, was founded with a creative spirit and an ambitious objective: to create high quality, iconic artworks and make them accessible and relatable to everyone, while leading
the way for hand-designed teen-owned businesses. Arden Creates Co sells stickers, prints and stationary, and celebrates the diversity and beauty of creativity. I am a one woman-owned business, and you can find me on all social media platforms at @ardencreatesco
on the other side of the clouds is a bright blue sky.
It’s a choice whether we give into this head thinking or whether we go to the source of cheerful enthusiasm and faith — the heart!
Very often the things we think are causing us grief are not the real issue. If we are willing to do the work of diving into our fears and exploring them, it turns out that the misery we feel is not really because of someone else or something else.
I have had to work through this so many times myself — I keep thinking I have dealt with something and then I realize I have only peeled back the superficial layers of needing to control everything.
Things that cause us grief and “steal” our joy are always things within us. They may manifest in external people or circumstances but our outer is a reflection of our inner — no matter how hard that is to actually believe!
Often it’s because we have a deep fear that we are not worthy or good enough or we are being abandoned or will lose security, or be unsafe in some way. These are usually the core issues of our gloom.
The easiest example of this is when a relationship breaks up. We are devastated. Life is over. How will we ever find anyone this good again to love? How will we live without this person? And so on. I have done this myself many times- yet, six months (or less) later we realize that this devastating break up was in fact a HUGE blessing! That we were saved from making an enormous mistake that would have negatively influenced us for many years. It was, in fact, a lucky escape!
It's all about refocusing energy.
Food and the Media
Food blogs, food forums and food groups in online social networks are numerous. Some mostly function as means to share recipes while others for reviewing restaurants or dining experiences. Depending on the subject matter they vary according to both how food and eating is presented and portrayed. While blogs dedicated to exercise view food as fuel and vitamin packages, people following recipe blogs tend to emphasize the pleasure and indulgence associated with eating. Which food community one belongs to can therefore be seen as a strong marker for one’s identity. Hence, the classic phrase by the famed French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin could not be truer in these wired times: “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.
While these online trends can be regarded as harmless and uncontroversial, much more serious and negative occurrences exist.
As formerly clandestine illnesses, anorexia and bulimia have now reached the limelight online among teens/young adults. Despite efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of extreme weight loss and eating disorders, the pro-anorexia (pro-ana) and pro-bulimia (pro-mia) communities have flourished online, and the amount of young people with eating disorders is increasing — and many blame social media. The communities, blogs and forums are often managed by individuals who have some sort of eating disorder themselves. The persons use these web sites as a means of communicating information for others who also have an eating disorder, while not actively seeking treatment.
The negative relationship we form with food, our bodies, diets, and eating routines…This topic holds very dear to my heart. It’s something I’ve personally struggled with and something most girls I’ve ever talked to have experienced at some point. . The subconscious way we think about EVERYTHING affects us even when we don’t realize it. Rejecting food can also make food “reject” you (this is where stomach issues & food sensitivities come in). In pretty much every aspect of daily living, changing your way of thinking = change your life.
While I am still very much in the process of healing my relationship with food and my body, I think it can be helpful to truly take a step back and look at how much food-related media you are consuming. What instagram accounts do you choose to follow? How do you feel when you see that one influencer pop up on your timeline? I would even say disordered eating had become an epidemic, so it's important to protect yourself from scary internet traps.
At the end of the day, the sooner we can all accept that eating is cool and good, the sooner we can all live our best lives. This will also look different to everyone too and I love that. Food is fuel, food is fun, food is love.
remember to take care of yourself, create time to live in a lil bubble of self-love for a minute. I promise it'll make you feel wonderful :)
relationship with self
Well, it means not trying to change the way we live our lives for other people. It means allowing ourselves to be truly seen for who we are. It means letting go of feeling that we have to be someone that we're not, or trying to speak or act in a way that doesn't feel aligned for us.
Try this exercise: imagine being in a relationship with someone you didn’t love, found to be deeply flawed, worthless, and not good enough. Now imagine you have to be in this relationship for the rest of your life. How would that relationship feel? How would that relationship affect your thoughts, behaviour and day-to-day life?
Self-care is about looking after yourself and your mental health. The relationship you have with yourself is crucial to your own wellbeing and also to creating healthy and happy relationships with others. Being kind to yourself regularly is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Self-care can look like different things for different people. For some, self-care might be taking time to rest each week; for others, it may be sweating it out at the gym or going for a run outside. Self-care could be going for a walk in one’s neighbourhood, spending time in nature, or seeing or speaking to friends regularly. Here are a few habits you can start today that can bring about a positive change to improving the relationship you have with yourself:
Invest in yourself. Spend 15–30 minutes each day doing something that uplifts you.
When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said.
If you stumble or feel you have failed, don’t beat yourself up. Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive.
Do something to wind down at the end of each day.
Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself.
The Mental Health Foundation has a number of guides to help you look after yourself.
A few of my favorite things- FEBRUARY edition
Every few weeks I like to do a roundup of things I’ve been loving recently. Books, food, random items... you get it :)
The Five-Minute Journal
This daily journal has been circling the internet for a hot minute now, and I can proudly say that I bought it before the hype😌 But seriously- you need this journal in your life. Its helped me practice daily gratitude, reflect on the days’ events, and improve my quality of life in general- all in 5 minutes!!! You can purchase on urbanoutfitters.com or Amazon.com . Happy journaling!
Pink and Green To-Do List Notepad for 2021
Shameless self plug- this to-do list has made me daily produtivity do a full 180. We all know I’m a stationary addict, but this product is truly next level. Personally, I could never find a to-do list that encapsulated productivity in its’ rawest form. So naturally, I created one myself. This notepad makes it simple to plan out your priorites for the day, as well as smaller tasks- all in a convienient size and design. A true must-have! You can purchase this cutie to-do list on my etsy :)
Step one to becoming a WELLNESS GOD. Need I say more? After charcoal latte, skinny teas and mushroom coffee, chlorophyll water seems to be having a moment in the world of wellness. The green pigment-infused water is being hailed as a potent detox drink that can improve gut health and boost complexion, among other things. It helps me alleviate headaches as well! You can get this beauty-boosting supplement at most health food stores or online.
The @lexie Podcast
So candid, so honest, so relatable. I love everything about this podcast- Lexie has such a soothing voice and an honest, down to earth way of looking at the world. Give it a listen! Find this pod anywhere you get your podcasts.
a mini 2020 reflection- 3 months late
Early 2020, I went on a trip to visit family. At the time this trip occurred, I had been in a sort of growing stage. I was experiencing things that would later shape the person I grew into, and it was an uncomfortable and frankly depressing time for me.
How was your trip?” a friend asked, as my trip drew to a close. I thought for a moment, then the answer came easily. “It had its ups and downs,” I said. “There were times I felt exhilarated and sure I was on track. Other days I felt lost. Confused. I’d fall into bed at night certain that this whole trip was a mistake and a waste. But I’d wake up in the morning, something would happen, and I’d see how I’d been guided all along.” I later felt a sense of guilt- I hadn't lived and experienced the trip to the fullest whatsoever, and took the people I was spending time with for granted. I can look back on my actions and cherish the moments, all of them, even the ups and downs. Cherish the places you’ve visited, the people you’ve seen. Say good-bye to those whose journeys have called them someplace else. Know you can always call them back by thinking loving thoughts. Know all those you love will be there for you when you need them most. Honor the lessons you’ve learned, and the people who helped you learn them. Honor the journey your soul mapped out for you. Trust all the places you’ve been. Make a scrapbook in your heart to help you remember. Look back for a moment. Reflect in peace. Then let this year draw to a close. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. You’ve learned that by now. Take time to honor this ending—though it’s never really the end. Go to sleep tonight. When you wake up tomorrow a new adventure will begin.
connect to creativity
The more open and connected you are to the world around you, the more creative you will become.
You will become more creative in your own growth and in how you live your life. You will more creative in problem solving in work and play. You'll be more willing to try new things- whether it's learning to play an instrument, build a piece of furniture, ride a horse, or grow a garden. You'll find yourself more open in solving problems with loved ones, trying less traditional approaches than you might have considered in the past. You'll find yourself gaining insights, information, and healing from sources you may have previously overlooked. Your participation in all your activities will be less controlled and more spontaneous.
The more connected you are to the universe, to life, to yourself, the more creative you will be.
tips for aspiring bloggers/business owners
for those who have that creative, entrepreneurial fire in them!!!
-focus on the NOW. the audience you can serve in this moment. why are their interests? what inspires them?
-create what YOU want to create. this is a lesson I learned the hard way. figure out what lights that fire in you and run with it!
-the market is never too saturated. there is space at the table for everyone, speak your truth and I promise, you will be heard.
-sometimes, you're going to have to do it all. there's no way around it and it won't last forever. while this may seem like a huge burden, (and it definitely can be) there is so much to be said for tangible, handmade items and packaging that a REAL PERSON curated and spent time on.
-get excited! its a new opportunity and big things are coming :)
mind dump 01
i feel groundless a lot but i think the more i feel this way, the closer it’s maybe pushing me to something greater. that hopefully i’ll push through so hard to the other side. that it’s almost preparing me to be able to handle even more. maybe it’s all a sign that we are ready for greater and ready to feel even more groundlessness of life. that’s where some of the greatest achievements come from. big adventurous business deals, last minute decisions, unknowingly going on a date that turns out to be your husband, taking opportunities that feel insane or out of your control but that turn into amazing feats. maybe that’s what this discomfort is prepping us for. i don’t know, but it feels good to think about. it feels good to even write this right now or to just talk about it to the public. i think there’s power in free form writing. i want this “blog” to serve purpose, yes, and be a place full of pretty words and ideas. but i also want it to show the messy parts, like right now. it’s life. it’s unedited.
breathe in and out slowly. release tension in your jaw, your eyebrows, your neck, your shoulders. feel how warm the breath is, how easy and simple it is to just breathe. notice the distractions but come back to it when you can
what grounds you?
Recently I purchased the ebook "Paradigm Shift" by Sophia Rose. While reading and journaling through it, one of the prompts asked: "what grounds you." As I sat there, racking my brain for what grounds me, I realized I hadn't felt that true inner peace in a long time. Instead, I felt like I never had two feet on the ground, I was always sort of just hovering.. In realizing that, I also discovered that I barely knew myself. I didn't know what made me feel inner peace and gratitude, because I had essentially lost myself throughout quarantine.
In all honestly, I think I preached knowing and loving yourself so much to others that I never really took the time to figure out what it meant for ME.
I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the reflection. It was like I was going through a transformation but it was all happening out of body. I tried to be so many different versions of other people throughout the past six months that I couldn't even figure out what grounds ME.
In journaling all this out, I began to see that THIS is what getting to know yourself truly means. Finding the not-so-great parts of you and altering your perspective to grow through them.
I'll end this with a few things that I realized make me feel deeply rooted in myself.. maybe it'll inspire you to do the same :)
-morning peace and quiet.. far away from the downstairs chaos. the time I spend in the morning setting the tone for the day. for me this means having a few must-do's: opening blinds, brushing teeth, making the bed, stretching, playing hype music, journaling.
-spending time with my cats.. they really do be a mood booster.
-playing/writing music. ever since I stopped participating in theater I felt like I had lost the musical side of me that I had always known. I've been playing guitar RELIGIOUSLY and its brought so much peace to my days.
-WATER. showers, baths, splashing my face with it.. its so therapeutic for me as I've been craving lakes and oceans recently.
-staying off social media and my phone in general. I value the days where I don't pick up a device until 1pm. One of my New Years intentions is to have more of this days.
this one makes my soul sour. its another reason why this blog has been grounding me lately. allowing myself to spread love through words and art... there's nothing better.
Thank you for being here.
Wellness is everywhere today: juice cleanses, Soulcycle classes, self-care. Though the "culture" of wellness was paved by millennials, I wonder how it is affecting Gen Z. I see it in myself every day: fridge full of spirulina and assorted powders a self-proclaimed wellness influencer told me to buy. I see myself spiraling into the latest tea or coffee that will supposedly "awaken your senses".. I wonder when it all bypasses “health” and actually just become another niche for the bourgeois or form of comparison? It’s almost a game now or a way to almost “show off”. It’s like the healthier our habits are, the better people we are. Like I honestly think if I ordered a latte with cow's milk instead of oat, I would be hesitant to even speak it out loud? I’m embarrassed by that statement, but it’s true. It’s like somehow the choice of choosing dairy milk makes a person less elite. It’s subconscious, we don’t even realize we are doing this at times and maybe that’s the problem. In a world of exclusivity, it almost feels like High School, trying to get a seat at popular kids table.
How is the younger generation going to be influenced by this "culture"? I already feel like whenever I make an "aesthetic" coffee, I should share it on social media without a second thought. Where did the DEPTH of health go? I really don’t know, but the fact that our quality of life can now be determined by the amount of adaptogens and matcha whisks you own is pretty astounding.
Why are we all so encapsulated in the material side of wellness? Because at the end of the day in my mind, wellness is four things: light, energy, thoughts, and self.
Maybe this is all for the better though, and finding balance is just the key. A little bit of this a little bit of that. Yes to buying $10 gluten free vegan bread but also yes to doing free meditations and sharing laughs with good company. It’s about finding our own balance and truth within all the “crazes”. My goal is just to make sure Wellness doesn’t venture into a place that promotes an unattainable lifestyle. It should be simple and pleasant, not another thing to stress over. After all, it’s Goop’s world and we’re all just living in it.
On today’s episode of “Am I the only one who does this?”……
Recently, I found myself impulsively purchasing pretty much whatever came to mind.. ie, an eyeshadow palate, door-dashing food, you get it. Was it the Christmas money that I had recently received making me feel a little too powerful? My bank account finally being over $20 thanks to my business?
Or was it my undeniable craving to sustain myself.
After receiving my door-dash food, instead of feeling excited I felt a since of…guilt? Like I wasn’t deserving? I couldn’t shake it. I felt so undeserving/icky about my decision that I literally cried. I felt so weird. This wasn’t the first time this has happened to me either. Or there’s been times when I’ve had moments of disordered eating where I would think that having enough food or “not as healthy” foods was something I didn’t deserve. That instead, constant dedication, routine, hard hitting exercise, clean eating, etc. was the way to success. I loved/sometimes still do convince myself I didn’t need to feel indulgence.
As women, there’s a lot we have to constantly suppress, restrict, quiet, and maintain. It comes down to pressure from others and from ourselves. A lot of times, this is all verrrry subconscious, as in it happens without us realizing it. Most of the time it’s even integrated in our education systems, the music we listen to, and the lifestyles we idolize. Conforming, twisting, shifting, altering, shrinking, enlarging, fixing, manipulating, quieting. It’s never enough to just be. I always thought I had to restrict my behavior and my thoughts so that people would find me attractive or acceptable.
It’s so common and it’s sad. The worst part, is that it not only just messes with our heads (hello depression and confusion) but it also manifests physically as this painful, confusing stagnant energy in our bodies. It can manifest as headaches, an aching back, chronic bloat, fatigue, irritability, stress, etc. Yeah, when I keep that stagnant energy in me, the self doubting, restricted energy, I was ill. All the time. And not a single food would fix the knot in my stomach.
It starts with practice and first, acknowledging the limiting and restrictive beliefs. So for me, and the door-dash incident, I sat down and I wrote down the opposite of my natural feelings of discomfort.
Here is what I wrote: I AM PROUD OF MYSELF FOR INDULGING IN THIS PIZZA! I DESERVE TO TREAT MYSELF WITH YUMMY FOOD. I DO NOT NEED TO FEEL RESTRICTED BY MY BANK ACCOUNT, I AM ONLY A TEEN. I HAVE THE REST OF MY LIFE TO MAKE UP FOR THE $35 I SPENT ON FOOD TODAY. THAT NUMBER IS NOT SCARY. THAT NUMBER IS A PRODUCT OF IRRATIONAL THINKING THAT I HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE. FROM NOW ON, I WILL MAKE THOUGHTFUL DECISIONS WITH MY MONEY AND HOW I CHOOSE TO SPEND IT.
More good things that make you feel amazing. More pleasure! Letting ourselves get rid of the restrictive mindset all around only lets us be open to more goodness and opportunity……
happy new year, favorites, working out
Hello hello! Happy New Year everyone :) Although 2020 was a hot mess, it was the hot mess that many of us needed. 2020 taught (forced) me to grow through what I went through + taught me a few very valuable lessons.
Here's a few golden nuggets that I'll take with me into 2021 and beyond.
- You are in this moment for a reason. You are exactly where you are meant to be. And if it's a hard chapter, remember that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
- Friendships only work if both people put in the same amount of energy.
- Sometimes, you need to loose people in order to love yourself.
- Let go of those who pull you down. And if you do not have anyone who is bringing you up, don't stress! They are on their way.
- At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. So make sure that relationship is your top priority.
Moving on from the sappy stuff, here are a few of my favorite things to ring in the new year.
THE ALL OF US PODCAST
NOTION DIGITAL PLANNER
WELLNESS WITH SOPH'S BLOG
Another favorite of mine is Melissa Wood Health pilates workouts. Her regimen has truly changed how I think about my body/working out in general. She focuses on strengthening and sculpting, which is exactly what my body was craving after going through extreme 60 minute HIIT workouts almost 7 days a week and not properly nourishing myself. Not cute. Not healthy.
Now, I can say that I am a big fan of MWH!
Lately, I find myself living dangerously in my head. Daydreaming often…fueled by nostalgia and imagery. Who knows, but it gets me through. I really suggest writing whatever's on your mind like this often. Maybe even put it out to the world. Start a blog! Why not! They’re particularly nice to come back to during times of sadness or uncertainty, to remind you of times you’ve been inspired. .
Manifestation, Meditation, and Mindset, Oh My!
Hello Hello! This is truly a topic that I've been wanting to discuss and dive into for SO long, but just haven't had the platform or confidence to. But that's changing! YAY! Let's get into it. I first heard about manifestation and the law of attraction on the podcast "Acting my Age" with Rohini Elyse. I had never paid much attention to anything LOA-related, and it seemed so confusing and unattainable at first. But I was intrigued. I started listened to manifestation podcasts and watching YouTube videos, and here's what I've learned in the few months I've been learning + practicing the Law of Attraction.
Manifesting 101 - Learn What The LOA Really Is.
Order (Ask) - Design Your Dream Life Plan & Set Big Goals.
Expect (Believe) - Overcome Limiting Beliefs & Blocks.
Achieve (Receive) - Manifest by Taking Inspired Action.
Of course I am NOT a master at this, I simply think Law of Attraction can really change peoples lives, and is SO powerful. Quick disclaimer.. Manifesting (and also the law of attraction) is not some woo-woo concept that magically brings all your dreams into your life. It is important that you understand exactly how you manifest your reality before you can "order" your big dreams. Dream big and you will make the magic happen!
So if this sounds like your jam, keep reading, because I have 3 tips that are guaranteed make this process a million times easier + maybe even QUICKER?...
If your goal is to manifest abundance with the Law of Attraction, you should not limit your Law of Attraction routine to just your vision board, journaling, or your daily affirmations. You should live your abundance mindset every day from morning to night because it signals to the universe 24/7; hey, I am ready to manifest more abundance into my life!
1. Take more action
Taking action is absolutely crucial when it comes to the Law of Attraction, and there is nothing more important in the manifestation process.
The inspired action is what really counts when manifesting; these are the steps that take you further and closer to your dream.
But every action counts, the small and the big ones and the good news is, you can do them consciously.
Try to spend a day (or even better the whole week) consciously doing things that help you to live a more abundant life.
Work on your goals, use your favorite Law of Attraction tools every day, get up early, and start a morning routine.
These are just some ideas of action steps that will bring you closer to your big dreams. And they will also help you to bring more abundance into your life.
2. Be Grateful for the Little Things
Gratitude can go a long way if you want to have an abundance filled life and manifest all your dreams. I think gratitude should be a daily part of every life, and of course, part of every daily Law of Attraction routine.
But gratitude starts with the small things, and we can consciously live it through the day.
Are you happy about the penny you find on the floor, are you grateful for your roof over your head, the food on the table that you woke up today, the birds singing in the morning, the sun shining on your face?
Practice gratitude daily, as often as you can, and see the magic happen. This will definitely manifest more abundance in your life.
3. Live a More Positive Life
I would NEVER want to instill any toxic positivity in you, so please don't think that's what I'm about to say. This hack has truly helped me so much.
My top everyday hack to bring more abundance into your life: be more positive.
The negativity in our world annoys me!
I mean, one scroll through Instagram and its not hard to see how many people get upset, argue with each other about meaningless things (people who don't even know each other in real life), people who rant about politics, the environment and whatever, but don't do anything about it themselves.
No, but seriously, what brings all this negativity? Nothing at all! So try to concentrate more on the positive for a few days.
There are so many ways to be more positive in everyday life and therefore, to attract more happy feelings, and of course, also more abundance.
Don't watch the news too much, be happy about the little things and be thankful for them, distance yourself from negative people, don't gossip, and so on.
Mkay, I hope those tips helped you bring a touch of inspo into your LOA routine, and maybe even inspired you to start one!!
Imposter Syndrome :/
Hello Hello! It's been a quick minute since I've written a blog post, but I am so happy to be back.
Quick reminder to go check out my ETSY SHOP! Search Arden Creates Co at Etsy.com and have the best time doing some small business holiday shopping! Plus, you can guarantee to be supporting a young entrepreneurs dream. Speaking of a young entrepreneurs dream, lets get into today's topic of IMPOSTOR SYNDROME!!! SCARYYYY!
The topic of Impostor Syndrome became even more relevant when the extremely popular game "Among Us" was released. In the game, one player is chosen as the "Impostor," and the rest of the players must figure out who it is while performing various "tasks".
The actual defenition of an Impostor or Impostor Syndrome is:
"Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud"."-Wikipedia
In my experiences, Impostor Syndrome can feel like severe inadequacy and self-doubt that usually leaves me fearing that they I'll be exposed as a “fraud”, usually in my business/social media life. However, it can affect anyone, regardless of their success. Deep down, I know I'm not a fraud. I've worked hard to get to where I am, and I know that I deserve a platform and have something to say! But like I said, imposter syndrome can affect anyone, no matter their level of success. While I wouldn't consider myself to be a huge creator whatsoever, I do put myself out there quite a bit, and it can feel really scary sometimes! Being vulnerable and sharing art as well as your feelings on social media has made me doubt myself and think of myself as inadequate and unworthy of a platform to share my art and creativity. While these feelings are brief, they can hit hard and make you feel horrible sometimes! So, I'm here to share with you some of the ways keep mister imposter syndrome from destroying my self worth.
Remind yourself of what you are doing and WHY. Become so deeply rooted in the WHY that absolutely nothing else matters except that WHY. Personally, my WHY is to spread feelings of creativity, self-love, and encourage others to love life. If I can make one person smile, or give one person a reminder that encourages them through my art, I have succeeded. While this may seem difficult and daunting, it can actually be very fun! You learn a lot about yourself through finding your "why," and you will discover what drives and motivates you, which can be extremely useful.
Separate feelings from facts. There are times you’ll feel stupid. It happens to everyone from time to time. Realize that just because you may feel stupid, doesn’t mean you are. Take some time to journal it, speak it, or practice some self-care to get back into the "fact" mindset.
Visualize success. Do what professional athletes do. Spend time before posting something vulnerable or different on Instagram and imagine the best-case scenario. Make it feel like you are RIGHT THERE in the exact moment you desire. I don't want to get too law of attraction ramble-y on here, but feel free to check out my earlier blog post on manifestation. It can be a super useful tool and I encourage everyone to give it a chance! It sure beats picturing impending disaster and will help with performance-related stress.
I hope you can use these steps to overcome Impostor Syndrome, and maybe my experiences will make you feel a little less alone in this. Remember,
the only way to stop feeling like an impostor is to stop thinking like an impostor.
Hello Hello! If you told yourself at the beginning of 2020 “This is MY year!”, I’m right there with ya!
Like so many of you, I spent hours organizing lists, goals, and making game-plans of everything I wanted to accomplish for myself, my business, and my family. And for the first couple months, everything was going great.
Life was good and we were all blissfully unaware of the fact that our worlds would be completely turned upside down. We’ve made it to the last few months of 2020. This has been quite the unpredictable year, but I don’t have to tell you that. 2020 is the year that forever changed us all. It forced us to slow down, give up things (whether we wanted to or not), and despite our best wishes for things to go back to normal, I think we all slowly realized with each passing month that we might not ever fully return to the way things were before.
When I look back on this past year, I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that this was the greatest year of my entire life. In many ways, it has been one of the hardest years for me, especially mentally.
Somehow, between all the talk about social distancing, quarantine, and wondering when things will get back to normal, I’ve been able to walk away from 2020 with a few life lessons. While this has been a strange year, it’s also been a growing year for me. I’ll be sharing the lessons I’ve learned in 2020 with you today.
My mental health is important and it’s worth taking the time to improve it.
One of the most important things I did for myself this year was going to therapy. I have depression & anxiety. In the middle of the year I was at a low point in my life, as I’m sure many others were. Having depression makes the low points even more dark and lonely.
As I continued to put in the work to create a better mindset and confront my emotions, I found myself free from the depression and anxiety that had been a stronghold on me for months. All of the hard sessions, negative emotions, etc. were worth it. Now I have the tools to break through the next depressive episode I may have.
I would recommend therapy to anyone, whether you have a diagnosed mental illness or not, but especially if you do. Everyone goes through hard times. When you feel like you need help determining what is next or how to move past your current situation, counseling can be a great option.
If you, or someone you know, is in need of help, there are options available.
In life, unexpected things will happen, how I handle it makes a difference.
2020 was supposed to be the year that I accomplished many of the goals I have been working on for years. What about you? This year has been a unique opportunity for us to look at how we react to the unexpected. Have you been sulking alone, doing everything you can to ignore COVID-19, or taking it all in stride and trying to make the best of it?
Use The “Off Switch”
As someone who struggles with anxiety, 2020 was a nightmare at times and completely overwhelming. There have been so many terrible things happen around the world and everything you see on the news and social media nowadays is negative.
That said, this year I learned that it’s okay to take breaks from social media and the news, and there’s an off switch for a reason. My mind can’t handle the constant negativity, fighting, and toxicity that you see, and I’ve learned to really limit my consumption of it all.
I personally find myself much happier when I’m also not comparing myself to everything I see on social media, and I have more time to just enjoy life instead of worrying about what everyone else might be doing.
I went through almost every emotion/reaction you could think of for a while. It wasn’t until I started thinking about the good that has happened this year, that I realized it is possible to go through the unexpected in a positive way. There are some great memories to hold on to when I look back on 2020. COVID can’t take that away.
I encourage you to spend some time, after reading this, to think about the good that has happened this year. Even if it is just one small thing. Let that be what defines 2020 for you.
Those are the three major lessons I’ve learned in this less-than-ideal year we have gone through. I don’t know what 2021 will have in store for us, hopefully it won’t be a repeat of this year, but I do know that it will be better from the lessons I have learned in 2020. What are some lessons that you have learned this year?
We all have our ways of coping. some healthier than others, but either way, it‘s how we as humans live through loss, grief, despair, loneliness, and even the seemingly minuscule problems of everyday life. (2020 has been one big YEAR of coping honestly) here’s my list of some go-to coping mechanisms that aren’t the best and how I’m trying to cope more productively.
- standing in my pantry at 9am, cherry picking the m&m’s from trail mix.. I don’t know why this is more satisfying then just eating a handful of chocolate out of the bag, but it is.
- post shower, sitting in front of the mirror and tweezing (that is most likely not a word) all of my eyebrow hairs that aren’t perfectly placed until my glabella is swollen and angry.
- putting off something because i don’t want to deal with it until it literally punches me in the face. (this happens in the form of physical deadlines, hard conversations i don’t want to have, making appointments, sometimes eating, etc).
- ignoring everyone’s texts like including close friends and family because I’m just that tired and unmotivated
- buying more thrift store junk even though I already have too much and there probably wont be a place for it but I like the idea of living in a vintage jungle
- obsessively looking at my horoscope and following all the star patterns and retrogrades so that I can validate feeling bad but also kind of motivate myself to feel better?
- ordering far too much door-dash that my wallet very much cannot handle and then feeling guilty about it afterwards (see my last post)
- taking a bath, shower, or splashing my face with cold water. I’ve been craving the ocean lately and because of the pandemic (also the fact that it’s currently winter) I’ve been turning to the next best thing.. immersing myself in water. there is something about sitting or standing in a body of water that feels almost therapeutic.
- yoga or a simple stretch. ive been trying to get a little bit of movement in every day. wether its doing a random TikTok dance, Pilates, or my personal favorite: yoga. slowing down my body and putting intention into the movements has immensely improved my relationship with my body.
- indulging, mindfully. for me, this means giving myself a little extra lovin’ when life is rough, without the guilt. like baking a single serve cookie to have after a good, nourishing dinner. or treating myself to a bubble bath after I have come home from a long day.
- pinterest. i am thoroughly obsessed. Looking at all the pretty images and making fun boards is SO entertaining and genuinely gives me hope for the future.
On this note, I invite anyone reading this to write down your own coping mechanisms because it’s honestly fascinating and half the stuff I realize I do subconsciously. For 2021, I made it a goal of mine to live more intentionally. Intention with my goals, what I put out in the world, how I move, how I eat, how I treat others. It’s been a wake up call honestly because a lot of the time we get in our own way. Being aware is the first step!!!