The Scenic Route

IMG_6324The countdown to our two weeks in Italy is officially on–2 days till wheels up! We’ve been planning this trip for months, and honestly, until the last week it seemed so far away and unreal. Traveling has always been a dream of mine, and even though I’ve manifested a lot of it in the last few years, I still geek out over getting to cross another destination off my bucket list (ummm, hello…ITALY!)

Today I’ve been in full on packing mode and trying to get everything ready for our house sitter who will be coming to stay with our puppies…gathering emergency contact info, writing out detailed instructions, cleaning out the fridge, doing laundry. And as I dashed my way from one task to the next, the all-too-familiar feeling of overwhelm started to close in on me.

In recent years, my pre-travel M.O. has been to work right up until the day of vacation to make sure my to-do list is complete before I go (despite the fact that I’d be taking work with me), pull several outfits off the hangers and shove them haphazardly into our suitcases a few hours before our flight was set to depart. The result was that instead of feeling excited for my upcoming trip, I’d be this anxious ball of nervous energy who needed to spend the first day of her vacation sleeping off the stress.

This time, I’m determined not to worry this amazing trip away by stressing out over everything that needs to be done to get ready for it. I’ve been taking my time, doing a little bit each day that moves me in the direction of preparedness. I’ve been trying on different outfits to make sure that every article of clothing I pack is something that’s comfortable and that I feel good in. I’ve been going through all of my accessories and toiletries, being very purposeful with everything I’m bringing with me. I’ve been really present to the experience of organizing my suitcase, deciding where I want to place things and why.

It sounds silly, maybe, but just the simple act of slowing down to pack for this trip has made me feel lighter and truly excited about the adventure of it all. It’s also made me painfully aware of how many other amazing experiences I haven’t fully experienced or outright missed out on because I’ve been so focused on doing what I had to do to ‘get through’ them.

I don’t want a life that I’m just trying to get through. I want a life that’s rich with experiences, full of adventures, and deep with meaning. I think we all do. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to take the scenic route.

Blessings, Love and Light,

Christy

P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! We share ideas on self-care, self-love, how to add more joy to your life, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!

 

Owning Your ‘No’

ownyournoSeveral years ago our family went through a major transition. My husband and I decided it was time to end a business partnership that was sucking the life out of us, and he started his own company back in New England where we were from.

Everything felt pretty chaotic. We had to rent out our house because the market had just tanked and we had no hope of selling it. We rented a new place in NH, moved our kids half way across the country, and got them set up in their new schools, ready to make a go at creating a life of freedom for our family. With all the changes we were already going through, it seemed like the ideal time for me to go back to school to finish bachelor’s degree. Clearly life was not going to get any easier any time soon, so we figured, why not?

I knew that in order to keep all the balls in the air, I was going to have to make some pretty significant changes in the way I was going about life. The biggest one being that I had to figure out how to take some things off my plate and learn to say ‘no’ a lot more often. And I did…reluctantly. But in the process, I developed a nasty habit of offering lots of long-winded, exceptionally detailed explanations as to why I was choosing not to participate in a particular event or project. Not a confidence builder, or super empowering, right?

Years later, when I started working with coaching clients, I realized this was a theme across the board with most of my clients. For most, it wasn’t a huge leap for them to embrace the idea of saying no to things that just drained their energy, but they felt the need to explain why they were saying no–they couldn’t help themselves!

I totally get it. As women, we’re conditioned to believe we should be able to handle anything and everything without a lick of help. It’s like the more we take on, the more imaginary blue ribbons we get to collect (or something like that.) There’s a lot of guilt and shame around putting ourselves first, or simply honoring our needs at all.

Here’s the thing: You don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology for honoring your needs and doing what feels right for you. You don’t have to justify your priorities–especially when you’re making yourself one of them. Here are some tips on owning your ‘NO’ without the guilt:

  • Make a list of your top 3-5 priorities. If you’re asked to do something that clearly doesn’t honor any of your priorities, it makes it pretty easy to turn down.
  • If you’re not really not sure whether or not you want to participate in something or have the time to allocate to it, say you need more time to decide, and give a date when you’ll follow up with an answer.
  • This may come as a shock, but you aren’t the only one who can do things (I know, I know…I became a little indignant when I realized this too). Keep in mind, when you forgo an opportunity, you give someone else the chance to shine.

Blessings, Love and Light,

Christy

P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! We share ideas on self-care, self-love, how to add more joy to your life, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!

 

5 Easy Ways To Let Go And Have Fun

Most of us probably wouldn’t consider our day-to-day lives a whole lot fun. There’s an endless array of activities and appointments to cart our kids around to, hours to spend shopping for and preparing meals, and piles of laundry that never seem to dwindle in size. I don’t know about you, but none of that qualifies as “fun” in my book.

The good news is, you’re not destined to a life of indentured servitude to your endless To-Do List. In fact, there are a handful of super simple things you can do on any given day to let go, de-stress, and have some fun:
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1. Add “Fun Breaks” to Your Day

There may be a lot of things you have to do in a day, but there’s no reason you can’t make them more fun! Dinner has to get made, but why not make it more enjoyable by pouring yourself a glass of wine and blasting that 80’s playlist on your iPhone?

 

2) Lose Yourself

Schedule 15-30 minutes in your day to do something you can get completely engrossed in and lose all sense of time (I know you don’t have the luxury to actually lose track of time, so set the timer on your phone so you don’t have to look up at the clock every couple of minutes). Maybe put your feet up and dust off that great memoir you’ve been wanting to read.

 

3) Get Crafty

Color has been shown to boost mood, so get crafty! If you there’s a project you’ve been meaning to try your hand at, go for it. If you’re not really the arts-and-crafts type, adult coloring books are a great way to relax and be creative without requiring a lot of supplies or set up and clean up.

 

4) Act Like a Kid

Who says adulting has to be serious and boring all the time? Do something you loved to do as a kid–play hide-and-seek; toss water balloons; tool around the neighborhood on your bike just for the fun of it!

 

5) Create Your Own Soundtrack

Music is a fantastic way to be playful and get out of your own head. Create a playlist (or several) to have at the ready when you’re feeling a little blah and need a mood boost.

 

I’d love to hear from you! Have you found your own ways to add fun to your daily life? Which of these tips are you most likely to try?

Blessings, Love & Light,

Christy

 

P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! We share ideas on self-care, self-love, how to add more joy to your life, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!