Community · Community Giving · COVID19 · Faith · Giving Back · Goal Digger · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Remaining Positive and Stress Free While Staying Home

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!

We are in this together everyone!!!

-Stay Well (And Stay Home!!!)

-Aurora

Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Home · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Uncategorized

Let’s Talk Self Talk

Pep Talks // illustration by Mari Andrew via Cup of Jo

Let’s Talk SELF TALK. Anyone else read the above and think… WOW… that IS how I talk to those people in my life! And now stop for a second, and ask yourself, “Do I always talk to myself this way?…” with understanding, excitement, happiness, patience etc etc etc. The answer is a hard NO in my book. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to internal thoughts and self talk.

  • I’ll never be good enough
  • I don’t look the way I should
  • I hate my body
  • I didn’t do as well as others expect me to
  • There is no coming back from that mistake
  • I’m not strong enough
  • I’m not enough
  • I can’t control my stress
  • I’m not lovable
  • I’ll be alone forever
  • I’ll never be as good as them
  • I’m not perfect
  • I need to be perfect

How many more things could you add to the list if I left it open ended? I guarantee by the time I proofread this 2-3x I will have added a few more to the list. It’s SO EASY for us to have these self-defeating thoughts, because the world (now more than ever) always has reminders of how we can be better. How to be a better mom or dad, a better employee, how to get bigger boobs or that you need a flat stomach- everywhere you turn (ESPECIALLY social media), we are surrounded by others Highlight Reels of what “perfect” or “ideal” looks like. I talk about this in a past blog called: The Reel is not Real.

So in a world that is always showing us how we can be better, how do we keep our minds in check to what living a good life looks like to us personally?

Master your mind, create your dreams. . . . #Repost @thedailyguru ・・・ Shitty things, people & experiences will happen! It’s going to be a part of life you won’t escape it.... the same as negative thoughts you feel you can’t escape.... .  Learn to make your thoughts & self talk encouraging, strong & positive & just watch how much faster you bounce back from the shitty situations in life 🖤 #lifesajourney .

We have to flip the script.

Yes, the script in your mind, the years of experiences that have molded you and your thoughts- it’s time to flip the script and remind yourself that you are a human and capable of amazing things, even if you’re not perfect, have made mistakes, don’t look this way or act this way, have this job, achieved this or that… IT DOES NOT MATTER. These things do not define your life and dwelling on them only robs you of living your BEST, happiest and fulfilled life.

You all know me, when I write, the topic usually has to do with something that is close to my heart and something either I or someone I know has or is going through. I think this is one topic I can say, ALL of us struggle with. We all have our own thoughts and preconceived notions of ourselves and what others expect of us. Lately, I’ve been in my own head with negative self talk; comparing myself to others success, doubting my growth and path in my exercise journey… honestly have thought, “why am I even doing this?”

YOU GUYS—- WHY do we do this? Not the “this” I’m talking about above, but THIS… as in what this entire blog is about. This self-defeating discussion with ourselves.

WHY do we do this?

Well friends, I’m committing to breaking the habit and here’s why: I am tired of suffocating moments of joy and successes by shining a light on my worries and insecurities. The truth is 99% of the things we over analyze, beat ourselves up over or stay up at night worrying about, don’t happen. This is a fact. So why not work on putting things in place to shake these thoughts as they start approaching and work toward more positive self talk all together?

Here are some tips on how to get started:

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I’m starting with the above, and one tip I’d like to add is: If you’re having a moment of overwhelming negative self talk and you need to kick it, phone a friend! There are a handful of people I know I can turn to when my self talk is all out of wack! These are the people who speak to you the way you would normally speak to others: patiently, kindly, lovingly, etc and they’re also your reminder of how much you are a rock star at life! Tap into these people- because the people we trust the most outside of ourselves is our tribe.

All in all, I want to work on challenging my negative self talk, figuring out where it’s coming from, and shifting my perspective to more positive thoughts and feelings. But just like with anything, in order to get better at it, you need to practice it daily, so I plan on doing just that!

Here is what I need to know you!

  1. What struggles do you have with Self Talk?

  2. Do you have an effective way of talking yourself out of Negative Self Talk?

  3. Do you like helpful checklists like the above to reference in the future?

Thanks for the read, friends! Let’s try talking to ourselves the way we talk to others: with love, support, patience and excitement! We really do deserve it.

Cheers,

-Aurora✨✨

Dreams · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Living with Intention · Motivation · New Year · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized · Valentine’s Day

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Week friends!

Ahhh I love, love. Valentine’s Day is always one of my favorite holidays because we’re taking the time to acknowledge the love in our life in a way that’s more than we typically would. I am one of those people who believe we should ALWAYS celebrate the love in our life, but I also love the day that’s devoted to it– Valentine’s Day! ❤️

There is something though, that I know many people can relate to, and feel this time of year, and that’s being alone on Valentine’s Day.

So how do you celebrate a holiday that’s focused on love, when you’re not in it?

I think an alternative to throwing a SICK Anti-Valentine’s Day Party is that you can also celebrate the love you feel in your life and the love you have for yourself. I know, not as fun and less of a party- BUT the day itself celebrates love, so why not celebrate the love you have for others (even if not romantic), and the self love you have (or need to work on) for yourself?

I think it’s so important to ALWAYS practice self-love, whether you’re in a relationship or not, so why not use the day as a treat-yo-self, love yourself, remind yourselfday that you’re worthy of love?

So to my single friends and readers, Happy Valentine’s Day- I hope you spend the day remembering that the day is about LOVE and not necessarily about being in it. I think it’s important to remember that this day is going to change meaning throughout all of our lives, so while you’re waiting for your person to enter your life, love yourself a little bit extra and remember that love surrounds you always.

To my friends and readers in relationships– I echo the above message 10 fold, and also want to remind you to use this day and appreciate, love on and reflect on the love in your life. Love is magic, and all too often, we don’t treat it each day like we do on Valentine’s Day.

On a personal note…

I’ve seen the meaning of Valentine’s Day evolve over the years in my own life. And year after year, I become more and more grateful for the love I have with my husband, our incredible family and the love we receive from close friends and people in our lives. I’ve had this day pass where I didn’t feel much love at all, and days where my heart is bursting. So this year, I’m tearing a page from all the above and just appreciating all the love I feel in my life. I know I’m surrounded by it, so that’s what I’ll celebrate this year.

My dear friends, Happy Valentine’s Day. If it makes a difference, I LOVE YOU and am sending it to you no matter where you are.

To you & your Valentines… ❤️

-Aurora

 

PS, Xerox also has these addddorrrrabblleeeeeee FREE card print outs if you want any for your friends or loves!!!

Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Housekeeping · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Paying It Forward · Sandy Hook · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Pause & Be Grateful

The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:

Go Go GO

… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻

They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!

The Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal & My Prayer Journal are two great (and inexpensive!) ways to begin your daily gratitude journey! Do you already practice doing daily gratitude? If you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, here’s a nice way to get started:

I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself. This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!

Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.

I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.

I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…

To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,

Aurora ✨

Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

Happy Sunday friends! I went along with the other couple million on social media and completed the #10YearChallenge a few days ago. If you have been hiding under a rock don’t know what I’m talking about- the concept is simple: you find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and one that is current, and you post the side by side views.

WOW

The intention of this challenge was to show how different we all look after 10 years. At 31 however, I found myself looking at the girl on the left, and thinking: “WOW, if I could talk to this girl, the things I would tell her about her life to come.”

So I posted this photo on My Instagram (Click to follow) and I wrote the caption:

What would I tell Aurora Boo 10 years ago if future me had a chance to speak to her? YOU LOOK AMAZING, STOP THINKING YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND THAT YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Oh, and THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IS ON HIS WAY, HANG TIGHT GIRLFRIEND❤️ {& keep your signature picture pose- it’s gonna be a hit later down the road}! I can’t believe the #10YearChallenge just inspired my next blog post! See you all on Sunday! 😘

So here we are…

THINK about this, where were you 10 years ago and what did you think of yourself? Were you in school? Were you in a relationship? Did things feel awful? Did things feel perfect? Now I ask… how different does it look than you thought it would?

Did you think you’d be married? Did you think you’d have kids? No kids? Did you think you’d be advanced in your career? Or are you in a career you never thought you’d be in? Did you think you’d be retired already? My friends….

This is called, LIFE!… & growing up/ growing old

BUT!…. I have to laugh when I think back to myself at 21. Didn’t we all think we’d have kids in a few years and consider our 30’s being OLD? I certainly did. Never did I think that at 31 years old, I wouldn’t have at least 2-3 kids. Why did I think that? Because my parents had me and my siblings when my mom was in her 20’s… and we’re supposed to be following the footsteps of our parents, right? Man, I’m literally sitting her smirking thinking about what I thought life would be like and how it is.

I truly, wholeheartedly, love my life. Every aspect of it: the people in it, my marriage, my relationship with God, my career, my accomplishments, the life lessons (difficult and positive), and where my life is headed. It just looks so different than how the girl on the left thought it would look.

So, what would I tell the girl on the left at 21, that I know now at 31?

I would pat her on the back and tell her she’s doing a great job, even though sometimes she doesn’t feel good enough or that she’s on the right track. I would tell her that it’s okay to challenge people you love, even though you worry it’ll be perceived as disrespectful and that growing up comes with forming your own beliefs, non-negotiables and boundaries… but that kindness is imperative. I’d tell her that one day the people she’s challenging will actually appreciate her for that, and thank her for helping teach them a thing or two along the way. I’d tell her that it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident that your current relationship is the forever relationship, and that what you’re feeling in the relationship is valid, and should be heard. I’d tell her she can have more than one deep love in life and that her soul mate is out there. I’d also tell her that she’ll find him soon and to go with her gut. Lastly, I’d tell her it’s okay to say NO sometimes.

Things I would want to tell her, but I wouldn’t, because they gave her the best life experience and growth: Don’t take out more student loans than you need- future Aurora will thank you. Drop the friends that make you feel bad about yourself, or cause too much drama in your life- they’re using you for your energy, and this will eventually burn you out.

It’s amazing how this fun internet challenge really inspired me to think a little more inward. What I gained by looking back is something I will take with me looking forward: Things that are paining me now, or keep me up at night, will all iron themselves out over time, and stressing about them now, and feeling negative about them, won’t make them go away- they’ll just continue giving me stress and worry. So, looking into my next 10 years, I will try harder to shake the things that worry me, and instead focus on and LOVE the heck out of the things/people in my life that bring me joy.

Did you complete the 10 Year Challenge? If so, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago if you knew what you knew now? Would love to hear it in the comments!

Love,

Aurora ✨✨

Community Giving · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

The 12 Days of Positivity & Self-Care

5A531D3F-91DC-4660-B448-E884D6D7D596.jpegChristmas is around the corner, and I truly believe this is the most WONDERFUL time of the year! Whether you still need to shop and wrap, you’re counting down the days until school and work are over OR you’re relaxing and blasting Christmas music all day (that’s not just me right? 🤷‍♀️😹), this 12 Days countdown is for you!

While the 12 days of Christmas usually begin Dec 25, my 12 Days of Positivity and Self-Care are kicking of Thursday Dec 14, and will last through Christmas Day! Check back each evening around 8:00 EST to see the next Days theme or idea to get your heart and mind ready for Christmas! Please share with someone who loves Christmas or needs to get in the spirit! Visit The Weekly Sparkle Facebook page for more as well! Day 1 will be posted this Wednesday 12/13 @ 8:00pm for Thursday’s kick off! Please see the tab at the top of the Website for the 12 days updates!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Please tag #Sparkle12Days on your social media to get others involved!

To the MOST wonderful time of the year! 🎄❤️- Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Genuinely Being Positive

20130419-032212.jpg

I made this quote into a picture because I love it and have always believed in it’s value. We live in a world where it’s easy to take someone who is always happy and in a good mood and categorize them as something negative. “You’re too happy,” “How can you always be smiling?” “You know, some people might take your optimism as being fake or think you’re a push over.” (Those are a few of my favorites). This has to be one of the biggest battles I have faced over the years, because it’s hard for people to believe that genuinely happy people do, in fact, exist.

It hasn’t been a battle in that I feel a need to defend myself, rather, I struggle in helping others see that many live their lives this way, and choose to put their best foot forward each and every day. It’s a choice. You have to wake up each day, or decide in difficult moments, that instead of letting difficulty, anger, fear, anxiety, jealously or negativity take over, that you are knowingly and willingly going to choose the higher route.

This subject came up in speaking with my best friend the other day, as she was dealing with a situation similar to this and knew I would be able to relate. It is not easy being a positive source for the people in your life, especially when at times they are determined to try to provoke negativity within you, or worse, doubt that you’re being genuine. It’s people like my friend who remind me that it’s worth it to live positively and this makes me appreciate our friendship even more.

So why is it viewed as UNrealistic for us to lead a life that’s more positive, or has a silver lining in difficult/challenging times? Because it’s easier to get angry, react impulsively, yell, blame others, be in denial, etc. As with many difficulties, the challenge is to recognize your behaviors, overcome undesirable reactions and change!

As I write this, I must begin getting ready for work, have not slept all night, and am looking forward to a long 10 hour day ahead with no rest. But I’m still optimistic because I got to write for all of you and it’s FRIDAY.

Let’s do this together, shall we?

Xo Aurora