We spend so much time comparing our journey to others- am I right? I wonder how much more happiness we’d personally feel if we regularly reminded ourselves that only WE take part in our personal journey, and the differences we see when looking at others is O-K-A-Y.
I have found personally, that over the last few months, I have felt a lot of anxiety, sadness, frustration (enter other synonyms to these), etc. when looking at others seasons of life and comparing my current one to them. The amount of time I would spend (especially on social media) looking at others realities and thinking mine was falling short makes me sad to realize/ think about. It’s so easy to want something in our own lives so badly, that we become hyper-aware of others who have what we want and to be honest, throw ourselves a pity party. If you’ve ever thrown yourself a dramatic pity party, raise your hand!!(Pheww, I was worried it was just me).
Here is the good news, however, my friends:
If the thing you are looking for or want isn’t right in front of you right now, you can work toward it- do everything you can to achieve it– OR (depending on the situation) remind yourself that nothing, including the present moment, is permanent.
Work as hard as you can to be present and to appreciate your current season.
So if you need it, here is your reminder: Comparing your current season to someone else’s is NOT going to change yours. Celebrate where you are right now, because it’s this path that’s taking you to exactly where you should be.
Man have I really missed writing here! To be 100% transparent, Covid-19 has run your girl into the ground. Mentally, emotionally, physically… I’ve been exhausted. Today’s blog is going to be very honest, because it’s been a rough few months and maybe if you’ve had a rough time too, it’ll be helpful to know you’re not alone ♥️.
In the beginning of quarantine, over three months ago, I was trying to view working from home and all the complexities of the pandemic as optimistically as I could, even though I was feeling a lot of uncertainty and anxiety at that time. I took this time to go on daily walks, was making breakfast daily, and overall trying to remain positive. I even made a playlist of songs to help keep everyone upbeat in my post Music to Boost Your Mood – My Quarantine Playlist. See, I was really trying in the beginning here!!
One thing I remained top of mind this whole time was how grateful I was to still have a job and that I could do it safely from home. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my work in HR, Coronavirus flipped my job upside down. Since none of us have really navigated any of this before I knew there was going to be a lot of information coming at me fast and furious, so I tried my best to focus on what I could control and digest everything as quickly as I could.
Aside of work, I also had a lot of fear about the health and safety of my loved ones knowing that many of them were high risk and if they contracted coronavirus it could be extremely dangerous for them. I would spend a lot of time praying, and made sure I did my part in staying home, washing my hands, wearing a mask etc.
As we got into a routine of staying home, grocery shopping, trying new ways to entertain ourselves, things started to feel a little “normal.” The one thing however that never slowed down or felt normal was my workload. Since the pandemic has started I have been averaging between 50 and 60 hours a week with my job, working around the clock and making myself available whenever new information came out and it needed my attention in a timely manner.
This is where work from home life really presented a challenge for me: with my new desk/office being in our dining room, I never felt like I ever truly unplugged from work. I started to notice myself being extremely irritable, I felt like I couldn’t focus my eyes as well as normal, and when large pieces of information came to me that I had to mentally download, I couldn’t keep my attention on that item for more than five minutes before worrying about/ thinking about something else. The past few weeks I knew I really needed a break and praise the Lord (LOL) I’m finally getting one this week.
After months of go-go-go I’m finally taking a break. While we can’t travel anywhere safely (lots of states are currently on a “hot spot” list of increased Corona cases), 2 of my girlfriends and I are going to a local resort and just relaxing pool side. THANK YOU LORD JESUS 🙌
While I’m grateful for this time off, I also wish I took it sooner. If you’re feeling some of the anxieties or worries that I’ve listed here, or are just mentally beat up, do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to REST. If you’re not feeling your best, you can’t give your best. In a weird way, I’m kind of excited to not have plans this week. It’ll be nice to sleep in, read a book and catch some Vitamin D.
Cheers to taking some time off- we all deserve it! ♥️♥️♥️
I don’t know about you guys, but we’re well into six weeks of quarantine and I have definitely hit that mark where sometimes I’m feeling a little stressed out and not as positive as normal.
While of course coronavirus itself scares me, most of my family/friends and I have been lucky enough to remain at home and #StayHome. I am in a career however, where COVID-19 has doubled my workload at times. There’s been a few 12 and 13 hour days, and pairing that with a pandemic, can do a number on anyone. The last few days I’ve been feeling very stressed out and rather than letting negativity and anxiety takeover, I began writing out a list of things I can do to put my mind at ease and to promote a more positive mindset.
A huge part of why I like sharing some details of my life on social media, as well as in this blog, is because there have been plenty of obstacles I’ve gone through or life lessons I’ve learned that make me think:
If I’m going through this, I’m sure somebody else has or will too… and if I can share something that resonates with them, Why not put it out there?
That’s where this post comes in: I want to share some things that have helped me during quarantine that maybe you haven’t considered doing or haven’t thought of to get your mind, body and spirit on the same page while we’re all going a little Corona crazy. If there’s something not on this list that you have found to be helpful during the pandemic, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list!
The last thought I’d like to leave off on is this: we are responsible for our own attitudes, mindsets and how we allow situations/ people/ setbacks/ frustrations impact us. Every morning we can choose how to start the day and as obstacles pop up we have the choice to go over, under, around, or through it. I use some of these things below when trying to power through it:
16 Ways to Shift Your Attitude During Stressful Times
Go for a walk/run or get physical– Exercise helps manage stress! Ever have a rough day and workout afterword? It always turns my mood around! If you take a stroll outside, try and be present when you’re out in nature. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze, notice the colors of the leaves- putting yourself in the moment while taking in what’s around you can immediately calm you down.
Meditate/ Pray- I love doing the below exercise! My favorite part about it? You can do it anywhere, in any setting, at any moment!
Get good sleep– Seriously- is anyone else on a really funky sleep routine due to Covid-19?? That’s a hard yes for me! My goal has been to get at least 7 hours a night.
Download an app like Headspace– Headspace walks you through mindful meditations day or night to help you relax and center yourself. I use this app usually when going to sleep and the breathing techniques are amazing and have me out in minutes!
Start your day with gratitude– this is my morning GO TO- before your feet hit the floor, note 3 things you’re thankful for for that day!
Take a break– many of us are at home right now. It’s okay to take a break from your work space (just like you might when in the office). Go for a walk, stop by your “break room” aka kitchen and change the scenery every once in awhile. If your screen is doing a number to your eyes, you can also purchase my favorite blue light glasses from Amazon by visiting my Aurora Loves Page.
Unplug from electronics– Leave your phone in another room, shut off the Tv, time how long you’re allowed to scroll, whatever it is you need to do, breaking away from your electronics is A-OK in my book!
Put a feel good playlist together! I made The Weekly Sparkle Quarnatine Playlist specifically for you that you can download instantly on Apple Music of Spotify!
Find ways to Give Back– helping others immediately makes you feel good and so many people can use the support right now! Look up your local Volunteer Center to see who needs what!
Clean up a small area– I love tidying up a space that could use the love. This might have been a weekend task in the past, but since we’re home now, I may take 15 minutes and cleanup a space I may not typically think to. It’s proven- when you’re in a cleaner environment, your stress reduces significantly.
Start a new show! Hiiii Netflix!!!
Start a new hobby or pick up an old one– I plan on doing some arts and crafts this week to flex my creative muscle! Why not do some of the things during this time that make you happy/excited? You can catch me making some jewelry this weekend!
Journal– there is no right or wrong way to write down what’s in your head! Grab a pen and paper and get your thoughts out- sometimes it helps to de-clutter your brain and let your emotions out. I call this “brain-dumping” and use it to organize my thoughts!
Read a new book– I just got Love Does by Bob Goff and I can’t wait to read it! Bob is truly inspirational!!
TAKE A NAP– this one is for your Nap Queen over here. Naps reset mindsets/allow you to shut your brain off.
Take a Breather and Give Yourself Grace– You’re allowed to have a bad day, you’re allowed to have a moment you wish you handled better, you’re allowed to feel crazy right now! FEEL everything you’re feeling. None of us have gone through this before, so you’re feeling is 100% okay and allowed. The important part of feeling stress, however, is that we don’t allow it to completely take over and lead us down a negative path.
I hope there’s something you can grab off this list and try! Let me know what you’ve done and if it’s not here I’ll add it for others to see too!
I don’t know about all of you, but music has the ability to change my mood and energy. During this time, while we’re all staying home, it’s easy to fall into a slump and I know what it’s like to need a pick me up! I put together a playlist of my favorite songs that always put me in a good mood! I used to have some of these songs in my “Driving Jams” playlist, then my “House Cleaning” playlist for a little pep up!
I thought it would be fun to share my playlist with you, as well as provide links to save it instantly onto your Apple Music or Spotify Apps! What songs boost your mood? I’d love to add some recommendations!
Here is my Quarantine Playlist that will keep you feeling good during the COVID-19 #QuarantineAndChill period:
Sending everyone a ton of love and well wishes during this crazy time in our world! I hope this music playlist fills your day with a little happiness and positivity. If you have more songs that throw you into a good mood, let me know in the comments!!
I’m so grateful to BlessingManifesting.com for this visual! Self-care has become a huge conversation in the last few months and I’m so glad it has!
These 8 different Types of Self-care perfectly illustrate how self-care is not a “one size fits all,” but rather something you need to explore for yourself and find what works best for you!
As for me, I feel like depending on what’s going on in my life, I dabble in each of these as needed! Anyone else like that? Regardless what kind of self-care you choose, it’s important to practice it for balance in your life. I know that when I don’t make time for self-care, it shows so many ways!
Happy New Year!… Or as I’m feeling so far in 2020- Happy YOU Year!! I love a fresh page, and that’s what today is. The beginning of a New Year is literally day one of 365, which is a lot of opportunity to design and create the YOU you want to be.
I know a lot of people talk about resolutions beginning a new year, but I always try and focus on goals I have to better myself all the way around- mind, body and spirit. I’ve thought a lot about what I want 2020 to look like including what my hopes are and how I can obtain them.
In 2020, I’ll be focusing on self love and overall happiness.
My reason for this? Literally, every situation happening in your life (or that you want to happen) stems from how you’re feeling inside. When you feel overall happiness, your perspective of outside situations is typically more positive. When you’re feeling sad, anxious, worrisome, or anything bad on the inside, typically your perspective on the outside can be more negative.￼ Everything on the inside comes through and effects all outside situations- both good and bad.
For example: let’s say I’m feeling anxious about something in my mind and possibly overthinking it because it makes me anxious- My husband could walk in the room and asked me a simple question, but because I’m feeling anxious/negative inside I respond to him in a negative way, even if it’s not justified or doesn’t make sense. Because I’m not feeling good on the inside, it creeps out and effects something completely unrelated. Have you ever lashed out at someone undeserving because you’re feeling your own shit?
Come on, let’s all raise our hands 🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️.
Now in the opposite regard, have you ever had a feeling of overwhelming happiness or contentment and that nothing can bring you down? For me, after I crush a really great work out I feel invincible! The energy that I get from working out can have me start a project I’ve been meaning to start, smiling from ear to ear and even sometimes, you can ask my husband, even motivates me to clean the house! Because I feel great inside, positivity is spewing out of me in all directions!!
Can anyone relate to this? It’s crazy how much were feeling on the inside projects on the outside. So for 2020 I’m working on the happiness within so that happiness is what’s coming out. The self-love portion of my goals is also to give myself some grace when I fall short on overpowering the negative.
My 2020 Vision is laser focused on positive vibes/energy, positive relationships, self love, mental/physical/spiritual health… and that’s just the stuff on the inside I’m working on!
Other goals for 2020 is working with my husband to launch our non-profit (EEEEEKKKK), moving the needle with my baby TheWeeklySparkle.com 😍 and penning the outline of my book. AHEUEUFHEK!! I said it. It’s out in the universe now, so there’s no taking it back! A book has always been a dream of mine and something I’ve been jotting notes on for years. 2020 is the year I’m committing to start it.
The start of a New Year is truly magical. I’d love to know what everyone else’s goals are for 2020! Shoot me a comment or note & let me know!… and don’t forget!… Write your goals down!!! It’s the best way to let them sink in and help you be accountable to them! Nothing fancy, they can be in your “notes” app or in a journal! Happy writing! ☺️
The point of this blog has always been to connect. In the beginning phases, it was meant to connect with just my blog readers and then slowly transformed into connecting with even more people through my Facebook Page , Pinterest, Twitter and now even Instagram! When I started this almost seven years ago, The Weekly Sparkle only reached a few subscribers each week as they’d get my blog subscription in their inbox or others who would google search topics on things they were thinking about and wanted to feel some kind of connection on. Well, a few posts back on my Facebook page, I shared this quote and the response to it was huge!! So many women messaging me saying, “Wow I really needed this today” and “Amen Sister!!” and my favorite- “Holy Crap, I didn’t know I needed that until I read it… then I read it 10 more times!”
To be honest, this is why I love posting things that inspire me! Half the time I’m not looking, and something so bold, and so real and so relate-able pops out at me and causes me to step back and say “WOW other people need to read this!”
So let’s get to this quote shall we?
All of us, men and women alike, have periods of our lives where we just feel like we’re not in the right head space, or being kicked while we’re down, or are just really going through it. Friends, I’ve been feeling this way a little bit lately, and instead of identifying it for what it is and stepping back to see how I can fix it, I just keep going and going and going! There’s something to be said here though– there is something so completely commendable to those of us who are going through something, yet we continue to show up, be an awesome mom/dad/sister/wife/husband/boss/caretaker/etc etc etc etc and not let this season of our life paralyze us or cause us to quit. There’s a weird strength that comes from knowing you’ve been through things, but you’re still standing and moving forward.
So my message here is two fold and it’s simple: it’s okay to not feel strong all the time, but it’s so extremely important to recognize when you need a break. Sometimes when I’m go go go, my own mental and physical well-being goes to the wayside. So a quote like this reminds me that it’s okay to hit the pause button. The biggest message here though… if you’ve been through (or are going through) some things, the really tough, hard to navigate things, and you’re still standing, moving, getting ish done… you are a rockstar and need to pat yourself on the back.
So to my QUEENS… Keep 👏 Doing 👏 What👏 You’re 👏 Doing!!!!!! You are the real MVP’s and deserve to take any and all of the time you need for yourself! Until then, keep grinding, stay strong and no quitting. ♥️
This past Saturday, together with our family, friends and community, we were able to raised $18,500 for the MS Wellness Program at Good Shepherd here in the Lehigh Valley!! Good Shepherd’s MS Wellness Program, is a unique, bi-weekly program that offers activities to promote and maintain the health and well being of participants who are our neighbors here in the Valley. The goal of the MS Wellness Program is to enhance the quality of life for our participants and their families.
For our 6th Annual #GiveBackLehighValley Softball and Cornhole Tournament, we knew we wanted to rally together and focus on MS, especially with so many loved ones effected by this disease. The event was a hit!!! We’ve had more participants than ever, and know that Give Back 2020 is going to be even bigger!!!!!! Here are some pictures from the event:
From our amazing sponsors and donors, to volunteers, players and spectators… we cannot say THANK YOU enough for the amazing support behind this event! We have already announced that our Give Back 2020 event will be on August 22, 2019! If you’d like more information on how to get involved, please send me a message or write in the comments below!
Lately I’ve been realizing how much of my own happiness/disappointments within myself are based around pleasing others or living up to their expectations of me. I find myself feeling stressed over what someone might think, how they took this or that, whether or not they think that is good enough, etc etc etc.
Sounds exhausting, right?
This is where my “SO WHAT” mantra comes in. So what if you’re not living up to others expectations of you, does that matter? Are their expectations realistic and do they match what’s important to you?
What actually matters is whether or not you are (or are becoming) the version of yourself that you went to be!! It only matters if you are living up to your own expectations. And guess what? If you’re not, you have the power, every-single-day, to change that. Remember that what others expect of us isn’t always about us- it’s can be about a fear, or an insecurity of theirs that they’re projecting on you or needing from you. Others expectations often have nothing to do with us specifically. And just how others do it to us, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can be doing that to others as well. It’s not easy to be mindful of, but if you are, you’re ahead of the curve!
On the flip side, what’s even crazier to think, is that majority of the time, the expectations we think others have about us, don’t even exist! We are subconsciously making things “heavier” than they need to be! Somewhere along the line in our relationship other people, we may have developed a feeling of what they expect from us as friends, siblings, co-workers, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, etc etc etc. Most of the time, however, you’ll find, the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Again for those who need to read this again:
…the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Being honest, I read that for myself again, too.
To overthinking a little less, letting go of the heavy feelings, giving ourselves more grace and sharing that grace with others too…